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Miller's Ferry 8

Need Help With Epoxy Finish On Crankbaits

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I am having a problem with some of my coating on my crankbaits getting rubbery and coming off easily after a few uses.  Any tips on how to make the finish a hard coating?

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Three questions:

 

1. Is it 30min. epoxy (if so what barand)? 

2. How long are you letting it cure?

3. How humid is the area you are working in?

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Some epoxies cure harder than others but to get the best finish the two parts must be measured carefully to a 1:1 ratio and mixed thoroughly. Do not thin with solvents. An outdoor urethane will deliver the hardest and clearest finish but can be too hot for some paints. 

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It's 5 minute epoxy.  Should I use a slower epoxy?  It's from Ace Hardware just a double tube with two different compounds that come out evenly so you get the good 1:1 ratio.  It is very humid because I do it in my shop and the humidity in southern Alabama is very high.  I use a heat gun on it usually for a few minutes.

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30 min. is better.  I have some crank baits I did last year with 5 and they are rubbery, and some with 30 and they are hard as a rock.

If you switch to 30 min. once it initially cures don't touch it for a few days, it will leave finger prints on it. 

 

I don't cure mine with a heat gun, but if I start running out of time I'll heat it up, it'll give you a little more time. 

 

Not much you can do about the humidity, it's bad in Ga. too. 

 

I get my epoxy from Hobby Lobby (it's in the airbrush section), they have 40% coupons on their website all the time so it makes it pretty cheap.

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There are many different ways to seal crankbaits, but if you are looking for a good product that's easy to use and durable just use Devcon 2 Ton epoxy. Do not use the 5 Minute epoxy, it sets too quickly to effectively seal a crankbait or self level. The finish quality is also much better with the 2 Ton.

 

Devcon 2 Ton takes about 16 hours to fully cure, but the 5 minute epoxy actually takes 12 hours or so to fully cure so in reality it's not much faster. It's supposed to functionally set in 5 minutes (more like 20, but whatever...) but it needs to cure fully before you go submerging it. If you're chucking these baits in the water without allowing them to cure fully, this could be the problem. 

 

There are many other options, but all have their pros and cons. If you are looking for something that will cure quickly then you should check out UV cured resins. Solarez makes some very good products. They are hard, durable and set in minutes with exposure to the sun or a UV lamp. There are some downsides though, for instance the finish is not as clear or glossy as epoxy. UV cure resins are indispensable to me for rapid prototyping and they are also very useful for sealing balsa baits prior to painting. 

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Thanks guys I appreciate the help.  I'm gonna give these a try and hopefully the problem will be solved.

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Another thing I like to do is add glitter to the epoxy, but most glitter is way to big and kinda ruins all your work.  So I use really fine glitter from "Crafters Choice".  It's a pretty random place to get it (it's actually a cosmetics supply website), but it looks awesome.  You don't need to add much at all, just a small pinch.  You can barely even see the actual glitter unless it catches light just right.  It does make whatever lure  you seal look that much better. 

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Another thing I like to do is add glitter to the epoxy, but most glitter is way to big and kinda ruins all your work.  So I use really fine glitter from "Crafters Choice".  It's a pretty random place to get it (it's actually a cosmetics supply website), but it looks awesome.  You don't need to add much at all, just a small pinch.  You can barely even see the actual glitter unless it catches light just right.  It does make whatever lure  you seal look that much better. 

 

I actually found some glitter at Wal-Mart that is very fine.  It works great.  Like you said, you can barely see the glitter just when the light comes across it.

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Another thing I like to do is add glitter to the epoxy, but most glitter is way to big and kinda ruins all your work.  So I use really fine glitter from "Crafters Choice".  It's a pretty random place to get it (it's actually a cosmetics supply website), but it looks awesome.  You don't need to add much at all, just a small pinch.  You can barely even see the actual glitter unless it catches light just right.  It does make whatever lure  you seal look that much better. 

I use this stuff too. It reminds me a lot of the glitter on Norman crank baits, which I like.

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5 min epoxy should dry rock hard, just like all epoxies.  But you should never use it to topcoat a crankbait because it yellows very quickly and is not as waterproof as slow cure epoxy, plus it will not level out as well as slower epoxy.  Like DVT says, the secret to getting a good epoxy topcoat is to measure it exactly and mix it really well before application.  Most guys don't know what "mix it really well" means.  I mean vigorously for about a full minute.  If you did this to 5 minute epoxy, you wouldn't be able to brush it on the crankbait before it got too hard to apply.

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