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VanderLaan

Sealing Wood Baits

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Making some wood musky baits. Hoping someone can give me a lead on paint prep (sealing, sanding, etc). Current efforts are ok, but I am wasting a lot of paint and dealing with raised grain, sanding, etc.  Definitely a different process than painting plastic baits. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. 

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Hey!  There's a lot of people who will put a layer of epoxy down over the wood to seal everything and create a smooth surface for painting on.  I often will use a coat of minwax wood hardener for a similar function. It seals the wood and creates a hard surface.  After applying the hardener I'll sand it again to get a smooth base. 

I think there's some added value with using an epoxy base coat for muskie lures, as it creates some added protection from fish teeth.  That's not something I need to consider most of the time, as I'm targeting bass primarily.

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2 hours ago, Big Epp said:

Hey!  There's a lot of people who will put a layer of epoxy down over the wood to seal everything and create a smooth surface for painting on.  I often will use a coat of minwax wood hardener for a similar function. It seals the wood and creates a hard surface.  After applying the hardener I'll sand it again to get a smooth base. 

I think there's some added value with using an epoxy base coat for muskie lures, as it creates some added protection from fish teeth.  That's not something I need to consider most of the time, as I'm targeting bass primarily.

Is that hardener waterproof? I would like to get away from using superglue, but it test my baits in water before painting them.

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2 hours ago, Flaswimbaiter said:

Is that hardener waterproof? I would like to get away from using superglue, but it test my baits in water before painting them.

It appears to be (and I think it ways it is).  I'll often fill a canning jar with it, quickly dip my lures, and then test them that way before putting anything else on it.

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1 hour ago, mark poulson said:

Just be sure to let the wood hardener fully cure before you paint.  Otherwise, the hardener will continue to outgas solvent and create bubbles in you paint.

The labels say 2-4 hours. How long do you wait and how many coats?

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1 hour ago, Flaswimbaiter said:

The labels say 2-4 hours. How long do you wait and how many coats?

When I used the Hardener, I dipped my bait for five count, and hung it to drip dry for 24 hours.

Then I hit it with my hair dryer on high, and watched as the end grain had solvent seep out and bubble.

I repeated that process, hanging to dry and then hitting it with the hair dryer, until no more seeping or bubbling occured.  

At that point I hung it again for 24 hours, and then started my primer/paint/topcoat process.

I never got it to work perfectly.  That's part of the reason I switched to PVC to build with.  Totally waterproof from the beginning.  I could shape, add my hdwe, ballast weight, prime, paint, and topcoat with Solarez UV in one day, and fish the bait that same day, if I'm in a hurry.

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I use a coat of Devcon 2 Ton epoxy as sealer, then as the topcoat.  Simple, cures in 5-12 hrs, waterproof, and tough.  It’s basically chemically inert after curing so no problems with bubbling, etc.

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It's nice when you use epoxy like Devcon as a sealer.  The paint ends up looking so smooth.  Those are the lures people are shocked to believe that it is made of wood.  I have not had that with poly or just hardener.    I've tried a bit of everything in this process.  If it is a test bait just for me, I will just hit it with some poly, so I can water test it.  Then primer and paint, then epoxy.    If it is a bait I want to look amazing, or for a customer, I will seal the wood with hardener, then epoxy to get that glass smooth surface.  Prime.  Paint. Epoxy (x2 or 3).   These are musky baits, so it may be different for smaller bass type lures.  

 

Either way, try it out different ways, see what works well for you.  

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