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Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: Darwin Wong (209.171.88.---)
Date: April 01, 2019 01:03PM

Hi everyone
Just finished my first rod build. Overall happy but definitely some things can be improved upon

One thing I noticed when using my prokote over the threads was these micro bubbles I could see forming in the epoxy on the brush as I used it. This would sometimes then transfer to the blank. I was applying the finish on blank being spun by 9rpm dryer. Is that something wrong with the pressure or technique I'm doing? Thanks!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/01/2019 01:05PM by Darwin Wong.

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: April 01, 2019 01:09PM

Bubbles come from many places. Too much vigorous mixing. Too much brushing. Etc.

Micro bubbles can also be the result of heating the mix. You have to be careful not to boil it.

..........

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: John Cates (---.sub-174-207-22.myvzw.com)
Date: April 01, 2019 01:59PM

With Flex Coat finish, we always recommend pouring out on aluminum foil over a paper plate once mixed. This helps pop bubbles, extends the pot life, and gives you a good work surface to let any excess finish drip off the rod and back into the foil covered plate. If you have any bubbles that make it to the rod, you can deal with those with a heat source like a lighter, torch, or a heat gun. Be careful not to scorch the finish or kick up dust with the heat gun.

Here is a great little video we did on how we do it:
[flexcoat.com]

Flex Coat Company
Professional Rod Building Supplies
www.flexcoat.com

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: Jacob Nebeker (---.sub-174-222-13.myvzw.com)
Date: April 01, 2019 02:19PM

What I've noticed is after I mix is if you let it sit for 5 mins before applying you get rid of 90% of the bubbles.

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.97.252.156.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: April 01, 2019 05:07PM

Blowing thru a soda straw onto the coated area helps bubbles to release very well.

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: David Baylor (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: April 01, 2019 05:14PM

My guess would be that you're brushing the finish on? That's what I did when I first started building rods. I was trying to bush it on nice and smooth and it caused tons of bubbles in my first coat of finish. I'd try using heat to pop some of the bubbles, but for me it only seemed to cause more bubbles. If I can suggest something that has made a world of difference for me, and is something that I learned from the fine members of this site,

Instead of trying to brush the finish onto your wraps, load the brush with finish to the point of it dripping ..... then only touch the wraps lightly enough to let the spinning rod pull the finish from the brush. You don't really even need the brush to touch the wrap, just the finish on the brush. A light tough is all that is needed. You don't need to try and use the brush to push the finish into the wrap. The finish will do that on its own. At first you may put on too much finish, but don't worry. You can always come back and wick it off once you've gotten all your guides coated. Simply stop the rod from turning and let the excess finish sag to the bottom, then wick it off with either a toothpick or some other smaller easy to handle tool. Once you've wicked off the excess, start the rod spinning again and the finish will do it's thing and level itself.

One problem area you may find is the tunnels that are formed at the sides of the guide foot. They can trap air and cause bubbles in that area. What I do to cure that is .... I put the rod in the dryer or wrapper with the guides facing up. You don't want it turning. Then I take a tooth pick and dip it into my finish and then let it drip onto the top and sides of the guide foot. I do every guide starting with the guides that have the largest feet and working my way towards the tip. I do this to let the finish soak into and hopefully through the thread so it fills those little voids. Once I've done every guide I start the rod to spinning and I start putting the rest of the finish on. I start at the first guide I started with when soaking the tunnel area.

For me, getting my finish right was the toughest thing about learning to build rods. And the guide wraps are one of the first thing someone will look at as they're checking out the new rod you just built..

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: David Parsons (---.s16300.c3-0.drf-cbr1.atw-drf.pa.cable.rcncustomer.com)
Date: April 01, 2019 05:50PM

I use a little spatula and glop it on and smooth it out and it is easy to clean for next time. The brushing action might be causing the little bubbles

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: Jacob Nebeker (---.sub-174-222-13.myvzw.com)
Date: April 01, 2019 06:53PM

How do you get the epoxy even on decals? Having trouble with that. Sorry if I'm hijacking.

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: April 01, 2019 07:08PM

I second the use of a spatula to apply (and remove) liquid epoxy from thread wraps. I bought a couple sizes of "Made in Pakistan" miniature stainless steel spatulas - the size dentists use - to mix, apply, and remove epoxy from thread wraps. They clean up quickly and easily with a dab of acetone on a piece of paper towel. They only cost a couple bucks each at a flea market and they they work as well today as 30 years ago when I bought them.

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: Bill Sidney (---.gci.net)
Date: April 01, 2019 10:21PM

After if you put one drop of DNA on the mix, see what happen's you might be happy

William Sidney
AK

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---.lightspeed.lsvlky.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 02, 2019 09:38AM

Jacob N

Use fresh, as in just mixed, epoxy. Epoxy approaching the end of its open time is more difficult to apply well.

Apply the epoxy by moving it up and down the rod - do not "paint" it on around the rod.

After applying epoxy rotate the rod 180 degrees by hand once per minute for about 15 minutes, then rotate 180 degrees every two minutes for about 30 minutes, after which the rod can be rotated in a rod dryer. While rotating the rod by hand watch carefully for any accumulation of excess epoxy on the bottom of the rod and wick the excess away. This is extremely important else excess epoxy you see sagging on the bottom of the rod will form waves, or hills and valleys, on the label. Remember epoxy self levels so long as its viscosity can support itself on the rod, else it forms those ugly waves as it seeks the lowest level to self level.

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: April 02, 2019 11:55AM

Darwin,
When I go to finish a rod, I use an equal mix of A and B, and then use a craft stick to mix slowly for 120 seconds or 2 minutes, -- by the clock.

Then, I immediately applying finish. Normally, I will do the butt wraps first since they are the longest and require the most finish.

I apply when the rod is on my power wrapper and vary the speed from 0 to about 50-100 rpm.

I use inexpensive children's paint brushes that I obtain from one of the big box stores.


[www.michaels.com]


I only use a brush once. Then, I leave the brush sitting on the plastic mixing cup that I get from one of the big box stores for about 2 cents apiece.

I load the brush and with the rod spinning, I just touch the epoxy to the spinning rod. The brush never actually touches the rod. It is just loaded with epoxy and the spinning rod pulls the epoxy off of the brush.

My main concern at this time is to get sufficient epoxy on the butt wraps, guide wraps and guide tunnels to insure that there will be no spots with insufficient amounts of finish. To do the tunnels, I stop the rod with first the guide facing me, and load the tunnel. Then, I rotate the rod 180 degrees to have it facing away from me and load the tunnel. That, way as soon as the rod starts spinning again, the tunnel is fully filled.

At this time I do not smooth or level the finish. I just insure that I have adequate finish at each location on the rod. For the typical rod, this first pass takes about 90 seconds.

Then, I go back over the rod, starting with the butt wrap, and I have a heat gun in my non brush hand and the brush in my favored hand. I will slowly turn the rod, using the power wrapper,and give the finish just a slight application of heat. I watch carefully under a very bright light with the rod turning slowly to insure that the butt wraps are perfect. Then, I move on to the stripper guide and repeat. Then, repeat for all of the rest of the guides, including the tip wrap.

I go back, do one final check and then, either turn the power wrapper down to 10 rpm, or if doing multiple rods in the run, move this rod to a different single or multiple rod dryer for an overnight run.

I have only ever used standard flex coat. By applying finish as stated above, I normally only need 1+ coats of finish. i.e. One initial coat, and possibly a bit added here and there before leaving the rod for its long run.

Normally the total time to apply finish is 3-5 minutes, depending on the length of the wraps and the number of guides.

Never an issue with bubbles using this technique. I also just use standard 2 oz plastic mixing cups for my finish mixing and holding as I apply finish. But, because the finish will start to cure in about 10 minutes under these conditions, I generally use one mix of finish per rod.

Best wishes.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/02/2019 12:07PM by roger wilson.

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: Darwin Wong (---.cpe.net.cable.rogers.com)
Date: April 03, 2019 01:11AM

wow thanks everyone for all your helpful advice!! I really appreciate it. I did mix my epoxy very slowly and poured it onto a foil lined plate. No bubbles before applying. But many of you have pointed out some things that i believe will help me:

1) Don't brush the epoxy. Load the brush with more epoxy and let that do the work. I may try spatula as well just to see if it works for me
2) I was getting bubbles in guide tunnels as well so will keep attention on that
3) Work faster - I took quite a long time to apply the epoxy and may have been drying a bit
4) Try an initial coat to saturate all the threads then finish off with second pass
5) Can try slight heat - i did try the burner and i yes i did singe it :) I've gotta be more careful or maybe try heat gun instead


Looking forward to trying these things out on my second build coming up!

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: April 03, 2019 09:22AM

Darwin,
I found another source for the brushes that I use for finish application.

[www.discountschoolsupply.com]#

This item contain 144 brushes for $10. That means that each brush is 6 cents each. That is the price that I have paid in the past.

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: April 03, 2019 11:46AM

air in the brush and air in the cup are not the problem..it,s air in the thread wrap that is not sealed..wraps sealed with CP will end bubble problems and your work area needs to be 70+ degrees..no pouring out on foil and just BRUSH it on..enjoy the process..

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: Darwin Wong (---.cpe.net.cable.rogers.com)
Date: April 04, 2019 09:59AM

Thanks for the link Roger
Hi Ben, I was using colour fast thread when this occurred.

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: April 04, 2019 11:00AM

hi Darwin..there is a simple way to find out..make two test wraps..both with colorfast thread and put two coats of CP on one of them, let dry one day, then apply epoxy as you normally do to both wraps..i have never used colorfast thread because i like the way CP seals the whole wrap..please let us know your results..

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: April 04, 2019 11:07AM

another thing Darwin, be sure to use a guide under the test wraps..

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: April 04, 2019 01:59PM

Ben,
Your comment is spot on, if one wants the look of CP over thread.

I personally like the more thread translucent look of uncoated nylon thread with no cp on it and a coat of thread epoxy on it only.

But, you are correct, there is a smaller issue with bubbles with the use of CP over the thread before coating with thread epoxy.

Good luck

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Re: Thread finish bubbles on brush
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: April 04, 2019 02:33PM

hi Roger, my first rods were Herter,s kits and they used laquer for cp but it wasn,t as good as todays cp and there was no bubble problem because there was no epoxy till much later, then the sealing qualities of cp were of benefit, so i continued to use it even though i liked the translucent look a little also..i,m sure there are coatings that can be used to seal the wrap and still be translucient..there are some really thin epoxys used on fishing lures that may seal out air making it easy to apply thicker epoxy on top..i bet you may have tried them at one time..lol..you may have other ideas along this line..also, if i were faster getting the initial coat on befor the epoxy thickens even a little i may not need a sealer but that,s just not me..lol.

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