: Help!!! Putting the Epoxy/finish on the rod wraps!!
03-15-2006, 02:14 AM
Am into my second rod build... Am at the point of putting on the epoxy/finish on the wraps... Started w/ the standard flexcoat regular epoxy... worked ok, but was difficult to apply and get to flow smoothly... next, tried the Flexcoat-lite - the thinner version that requires 2 applications... that flowed better, but still, only needed one coat, and the flow wasn't as good as I desired. W/ my second rod, I tried the Lite again, and worked to keep temps in the 70's... well, the stuff set up really fast, and was barely able to get to half the rod before it set up... the frist 3 or for wrap sets turned out good, the last 3 i got to looked like s**t..
What am I doing wrong? Does anyone have recommendations, or are there otehr finishes/epoxies that are better or easier to work w/?? This second rod's a gift to my brother, and want to do it right...
Thanks for any help!!!
03-15-2006, 05:19 AM
Very important , you must heat up the epoxy before you apply it. I use the hot water method. I have a small container full of hot water to put my two bottles of part A&B. Before I put the bottles in the container I hold them under hot water and get the bottles hot to the touch. It works like a charm. I use Flexcoat lite . This should help you out. FishHawk.
03-15-2006, 12:55 PM
I think FishHawk hit the nail on the head with this one. Also, you will want to work in a warm, dry environment. If you are doing it out in your garage or some other cold place the stuff will set up quick even if you follow FishHawk’s advise. You may also want to use a lighter to heat it up after you have applied it. Do not apply the flame directly to the finish, this will burn it and screw it up, but hold it close enough to slightly warm the finish. If you do this while the rod is turning on the drying rack it should help you get out any lumps as well as popping any bubbles in the finish.
I've had excellent results with a product called Trondack Dura Gloss LS Supreme. A single coat does the trick and it's thin. Like the others have stated the preparation is still important and many a rod has been built with flex coat. I'm no expert but a got many tips from one. Here's one that's pretty well known and I don't feel like he's going to track me down for sharing it.
Warm up the two parts of the mix - mix them by slowly stiring them in a cup first in one direction for 2 minutes then in the other for 2 minutes- I hold the small plastic cup over a light bulb while mixing. Try not to whip the mix, that would introduce more air bubbles. Once you are satisfied with the mix put it onto a double layer of tin foil - spread it out and put it over the light again to help get the air bubbles out. For some reason it seems to have a shorter cure time if left in the mixing cup. The heat will accelerate the cure so only use it for mixing and to pop the bubbles. I use the syringes to measure the 2 parts as they have a different consistency at the same temperature - it's important to get the mix correct.
03-15-2006, 08:00 PM
So what is a reasonable amount of time I could expect to have to apply a "batch" of finish on to thread wraps?? I'm using a dryer that's turning at 4 turns/minute, pretty slow. And it feels like i'm taking a lot of time at each wrap applying finish. Given that you do what you've described above, how much time do you have before it begins to set up to the point it's no longer managable? thanks for your help... gonna need to order more finish before I can continue....
03-16-2006, 07:40 AM
Haven't really timed it but about enough time to do four or five wraps. It sets up in about two hours. That does not mean that you 'll have two hours to apply the epoxy. You'll know as the epoxy will not flow as well. FishHawk.
03-17-2006, 10:22 PM
I'm not so far out there as I thought then... That's been what I've experienced as well... I've heard people say they can do a whole rod in one mixture, but I haven't even come close to that... get some more glue and get on it!! :)
03-18-2006, 12:16 AM
Remember you only get 20-30 minutes working time (often only 15) before the 2-part finish has set up too much to flow well. I never try to put it on more than 5 or 6 guides per batch.
03-18-2006, 09:26 AM
I have used both the Flexcoat and LS Supreme epoxies and found them to be ok although problematic at times (probably me). Recently I have used a newcomer to the epoxy market, its called Threadmaster (currently being used by R.B. Meiser, CF Burkheimer, and others). The stuff is excellent, good flow and bubble release.about 30-40 min pot life (work time) 2 hr setup. Don't know if I can mention the vendor(not a sponsor) but if you PM or email I can hook you up.
Be careful flaming the finish it's a finesse technique, easy to smoke the epoxy & thread. Warm the bottles in hot water as discussed. You can breathe on the wraps to pop any stubborn bubbles.
03-21-2006, 09:23 PM
It is much easier to heat the finish or warm the epoxy when you are mixing it with a small heat gun that is used to shrink the Monokote used to cover model airplanes. In fact most shops call it a Monokote heat gun. It will bring the bubbles right out. It also should accellerate the cure time.Your dad might have one. If not you can pick one up at the hobby shop in Redmond the next time your there.
Note of caution,,, when you are using it to warm the epoxy prior to use I warm the bottles before I put it in the mixing cups. I have blown to many of the mixing cups off my bench. Also heating the mixed epoxy will shorten pot life.
03-28-2006, 04:06 AM
A hair dryer is also a good tool to heat up the epxy once it has been applied.
03-31-2006, 04:35 PM
Something I learned the hard way, is that a good finish requires freshly mixed epoxy, kind of like good concrete. If you let it get hot you have waited too long. As I recall I use to race through the project so I could get it done in one batch. The result was something I wasn’t particularly proud of. Regardless of the size of the project I mix at least 10ml, either in a mixer or by hand with a bodkin in small plastic mixing cup. When the epoxy is mixed I pour it out on a sheet of aluminum foil, this seems to help dissipate some of the entrapped air bubbles. I then apply it to the wraps with a natural hair brush first with a vary thin coat. After the first coat has cured 24 (hours minimum) apply another coat. The best applications seem to be by using a lateral brushing motion to distribute the finish, then it levels it self. Sometimes a little light flaming is necessary to pop out an air bubble. When the epoxy starts to get a little thick abandon the batch and mix a new one. Epoxy is cheep, a good finish is priceless. I have seen some absolutely beautiful custom work, infinitely better than the production stuff of the shelf. The custom jobs that look the best were a labor of love that may have taken weeks to complete.