Best Clear For Water Use

Discussion in 'Materials' started by QuantumRock, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. QuantumRock
    Joined: Jul 2015
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    QuantumRock New Member

    I apologize if this isn't boat related, but I couldn't think of a more well educated group of people to ask this question to. I am a custom fishing lure painter and have been using BSI 30-minute epoxy to finish my lures with. It has worked great thus far but it adds a lot of weight and I know there is something better out there. In this forums vast knowledge about marine use clears what would be a good finish my lures? Must be able to be applied by dipping the bait in and letting cure, 2 coats max. I have read a lot of MCU's but most of them cause air bubbles to form during curing process when used as a dip solution. Thanks ahead of time for all the help. I have racked my brain on this for a long time and need some professional opinions. Thanks!
     
  2. Jamie Kennedy
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    Jamie Kennedy Senior Member

    You could try West System, and add some acetone to thin it. It is very clear and goes on very thin without thickeners. They have some special epoxies that are extra clear but the regular epoxy should do fine. You can get it in small repair kit sizes as well as larger sizes. For your purpose if you are doing really small batches you should measure the epoxy and hardener with a scale. I think it is 5.3 : 1 by weight. It should say. The repair kits are small enough that you can just use the packets for measure.

    Also, to prevent bubble heat up your lure before hand so that it will be cooling as the epoxy is curing. The bubbles are actually water vapour not air. The heat from the epoxy curing drives water vapour out of the wood, or whatever porous material you are coating that may contain some moisture. Preheating your work will also make more epoxy drip off when you dip it. You can also allow the epoxy to start to kick before you dip but you have to be quick. It gets warm and thinner just before it gets warmer and thicker. Try it without acetone first, and just heat. Use a little acetone if the heat thinning is too difficult to control. Preheat your lure for sure though, to avoid bubbles.

    p.s. They do have a special clear hardener to use with the same resin.
    The mixing ratio is different. 3:1 by volume and 3.5 :1 by weight.
    http://www.westsystem.com/ss/207-special-clear-hardener

    You can read a lot on the West System pages. You can also contact them as they are extremely helpful.
     
  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I wouldn't use epoxy, especially if you want UV stability. I would use an LPU or a single part polyurethane, both of which will be much more resistant to UV.

    If you do elect to use epoxy from West System, use the 207 hardener, which is a 3:1 mix and designed to be extra clear and mostly blush free, unless you're laminating in the rain. Their other hardeners are 205 (5:1 mix) and their fastest cure. 206 (5:1 mix) and a medium cure time. 209 (3:1) is their super slow.

    Avoiding out gassing can be done with the "hot on hot" method as Jamie describes or it can be done by insuring there's no epoxy pools on the surface with the first coat on raw wood. Dipping is tough, as you'll always have a drip, but if you wipe this off, just before it gels up, you'll be good to go. Personally I'd just be inclined to use an air brush and spray on an LPU or single part polyurethane. Instead of an air brush you could use one of the disposable sprayers, like the Preval system. These are relatively cheap and easy to use. Lastly you could just use some polyurethane in a rattle can, which would be about as easy as it'll get.
     
  4. Jamie Kennedy
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    Jamie Kennedy Senior Member

    I think PAR is correct. Polyurethane would be better and easier. I think you are less likely to get vapour bubbles also as it sets with moisture, but not sure. Preheating your work a little should work if you do get bubble. Experiment on some duds before you coat your gems. :)
     
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    If using polyurethane, heat the lures to about 100 degrees, then let them sit for a few minutes to insure they are cooling down, then apply a slightly thinned first coat (10% - 15%). Let this soak in good and when barely tacky or just after it's lost it's tack, apply more. Dipping works, but tends to apply too much, particularly as it runs to the lowest point. Thin, uniform coats work much better. This is where an air brush come in handy. You can lightly dust the piece, let it flash off and dust it again fairly quickly. You only need to heat the lure on the raw wood coat. As to thinning, do so just enough to get it through the gun with leaving a big stipple. A thin coat will self level and the stipple will go away.
     
  6. Jamie Kennedy
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    Jamie Kennedy Senior Member

    What would be the best thinner with polyurethane for this application?
     

  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Depends on the formulation. Most of the time is mineral spirits (instead of gum turpentine), but xylene, acetone and toluene are also called for. The label will tell you what is preferred.
     
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