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RiverSmallieGuy

Epoxy Mixture

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I am just getting into using 30 minute epoxy for lure clear coats, and I am wondering if there is any way to tell if your epoxy is fully mixed just by looking at it rather than mixing it for a long time. Also, how much denatured alcohol should I add to thin it? I generally mix about 4 grams of it at a time to clear coat small cranks and topwaters. I use a 1:1 ratio of the resin to hardener, and occasionally a tiny bit more hardener to ensure it fully cures. If it helps, I use the BSI 30 minute epoxy.

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No need to thin... mix slow and well to reduce introduction of air bubbles.   Typically you have 8 to 12 minutes working time.  If doing a large lure I may thin but just dropwise until I get the consistency I want.    

I mix once a consistent product is observed and get a flowing decreased viscosity product, for me probably about 45 seconds.   I typically coat 2 to 3 bass lures at a time.

I have always found epoxy to be rather forgiving and as long as you are close enough, no issues with cure.  BSI claims you have about 10% error in ratio and see no issues and to avoid excess hardener as increases brittleness and decreases strength.  Prewarm bottles to get a better mix.. quick zap in the microwave 10 seconds or so.  Ideally room temperatures should be at > 70 °F.

 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Travis said:

No need to thin... mix slow and well to reduce introduction of air bubbles.   Typically you have 8 to 12 minutes working time.  If doing a large lure I may thin but just dropwise until I get the consistency I want.    

I mix once a consistent product is observed and get a flowing decreased viscosity product, for me probably about 45 seconds.   I typically coat 2 to 3 bass lures at a time.

I have always found epoxy to be rather forgiving and as long as you are close enough, no issues with cure.  BSI claims you have about 10% error in ratio and see no issues and to avoid excess hardener as increases brittleness and decreases strength.  Prewarm bottles to get a better mix.. quick zap in the microwave 10 seconds or so.  Ideally room temperatures should be at > 70 °F.

 

Would it be overkill to do 2 coats on a 3.5" basswood topwater that I would be fishing in rocky creeks with aggressive smallmouth and gar because the gar really beat up my ABS plastic baits.

Edited by RiverSmallieGuy
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I am not a big fan of thicker epoxy coats.  

With a balsa bait I would be more inclined to just seal the bait with superglue then paint and topcoat as usual.  I never will complain about having to remake lures because of catching fish.  :lolhuh:

Lures aren't meant to last forever.  

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Travis said:

I am not a big fan of thicker epoxy coats.  

With a balsa bait I would be more inclined to just seal the bait with superglue then paint and topcoat as usual.  I never will complain about having to remake lures because of catching fish.  :lolhuh:

Lures aren't meant to last forever.  

Me neither hahaha, would it be way to much though? I mean would it yellow too much?

Edited by RiverSmallieGuy
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I find thicker coats more prone to chipping and cracking. 

Epoxies are hit and miss with yellowing.  I have baits 15 years that got stashed indoors in my fishing cabinet and never used that have yellowed and then others that are just fine.

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Just now, Travis said:

I find thicker coats more prone to chipping and cracking. 

Epoxies are hit and miss with yellowing.  I have baits 15 years that got stashed indoors in my fishing cabinet and never used that have yellowed and then others that are just fine.

Other words, one thick, non-thinned coat of BSI would be just fine. I don't have a turner, though, but I am perfectly fine with turning it in my hand for like an hour then hang it up and flip it over every 15-20 minutes.

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1 minute ago, Travis said:

That is how I would approach it.  Just a good solid topcoat.  

Alright. I feel that if the clear coat is just a little rough around the edges after one thick coat, I could go over the whole bait with a very thin second coat just to smooth everything out. Thanks Travis!

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18 minutes ago, wchilton said:

When you first start mixing epoxy, do you notice that it is not quite transparent?  I mix my epoxy until it returns to fully transparent and then for another 5-10 seconds. 

I do. That's kinda what I had been doing, but after I let my epoxy cure overnight it was still a little tacky. That is probably my fault for not mixing well enough, but advice taken! Thanks!

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6 hours ago, wchilton said:

Temperature can sometimes make a difference.  Try hanging one in a hot car for a day and see if it cures up.  You can also try wiping the surface with alcohol to get rid of the tackiness.

That would make sense. Would using isopropyl alcohol work as a solvent for epoxy or do I have to use acetone.

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When you mix epoxy you start a chemical reaction at the molecular level.  If the epoxy is measured accurately and mixed very thoroughly, you get a good finish that’s tough and resistant to yellowing.  So I measure with syringes and mix the hell out of it, disregarding any air bubbles introduced.  After mixing, I stir in a FEW drops of denatured alcohol and that expels bubbles.  I paint it on the lure with a nylon bristled artist brush.  Its fine bristles get it on the lure without generating any new bubbles and tend to pop any stray ones that remain. Clean the brush with solvent and it lasts indefinitely.

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Just now, wchilton said:

"That would make sense. Would using isopropyl alcohol work as a solvent for epoxy or do I have to use acetone."

Either should work. I would use isopropyl alcohol.

That's good, because I happen to have a lot of isopropyl alcohol, thats very convenient!

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I only use denatured alcohol.  Maybe isopropyl might work BUT I think most of it is sold cut with at least 30% water.  I definitely would not use acetone.  Tried that and the result was not good.  I say bite the bullet and buy a can of denatured at the home center.  It will last a long time and you can use it to clean epoxy off your brush too.

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Keep it simple... mix and apply no real need to thin.  

Acetone, lacquer thinner, then IPA are the typical recommendations for thinning product.  I have used them all at one time or another but prefer acetone (evaporates readily).   About the only time I thin is to seal plaster of paris lure molds.  I don't thin for top coat applications.

Many organic solvents will work.  Denatured can be all over the place with composition. Most big box stuff will be a mixture of 30-60% ethanol then 30-60% methanol (weight percent).  Klean strip is usually 60 % MeOH. 

It can also have methyl isobutyl ketone, acetone, isopropyl alcohol, ethyl acetate, acetic acid, heptane, ....... and is often the reason why guys see different issues at times. 

 

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I use emvirotex and for the first coat I do thin, I find  it wets out better but I have found that you need to mix first let it cook a few minutes then thin with denatured. I found if you thinned before hand it does not cure.  When I had batches to do I would do the thinned coat right before bed, then before work I would do a straight coat while the first was mostly firm but still sticky.

if you have added any details with a sharpie do an acrylic clear first (don't ask me how I know)

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I heat mine in hot water which thins them out before mixing and applying them. I learned this from a bait maker. It goes on easier, but it seems to set quicker. On a swimbait I can only do on piece at a time, with smaller baits I am sure you could do more. I don’t mix mine very long or that thoroughly and normally I don’t have issues unless I mess up the 1:1 

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