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Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (71.147.59.---)
Date: October 02, 2019 06:29PM

There have been a number of posts concerning contamination and fish-eyes while using epoxy which I have replied to in hopes of helping those afflicted. I have never personally experienced contamination problems while rod building assuming it was due to my regiment of cleanliness, UNTIL NOW. I am convinced my epoxy woes were due to the use of blue tape (3M if it matters).
For whatever reason, I decided to mask-off the borders on either side of my logo decal with blue tape rather than the regular tan masking tape (again, 3M if it matters) employed on every previous build. This was also my first time employing CTS Crystal Coat over coat a decal. The decal was placed on top of a single coat of cured CC with fresh CC applied on top. Within 5 minutes, I noticed the epoxy being repelled (monster fish-eye) but only on top of the decal. Knowing I was ultimately better off by removing the fresh epoxy, I did so by dry-wiping the wet coat from the rod and blue tape with strips of a lint-free paper wipe (Kim Wipes are awesome by the way) to remove 99%, and set the rod in the curing cabinet at 100* for 24 hours. Due to the fish-eyes only on top of the decal, I assumed the CC did not like being applied over the decal; my assumption later proved to be incorrect. The next day, I masked-off the borders with blue tape and applied ProKote which I had used on every prior decal coating. Within 5 minutes, the entire surface between the borders looked like the surface of the moon. The blue tape was the common denominator! Again, I removed 99% of the fresh coat but additionally removed the blue tape and used long strips of the wipes moistened with acetone slowly pulled across the surface as the rod turned on the wrapper. I know Tom and Roger, others as well, will cringe and I agree with all, but I was stuck between a rock and a hard place and drastic times require drastic measures. The rod was placed in the heated cabinet for 1 hour to allow the acetone to fully degas. The third attempt involved masking the borders with TAN masking tape and applying a fresh coat of CC; WHALLA, PERFECT!!!
I cannot explain why the original coat of CC beaded-up only on top of the decal and not the surrounding area. Nothing ever touches the surface of the decal until the epoxy is applied. That is what lead me to originally misdiagnose the root of the problem. I had never experienced previous problems with decals from either MudHole or Decal Connection, who I presently use. The 3M blue tape I was using has a smooth paper backing, not rough. Maybe there are differences in blue tapes. Somewhere along the production line of the tape I used, they must be using something at least similar to silicone. All I do know is that I will be relying on the ol’ tried and true tan masking tape from now on. Additionally to avoiding the above mentioned problem, the TAN is cheaper than the BLUE tape which is welcomed by a cheap bastard like me. Many of you may use blue tape without any problems = keep using it. For those who experience funky epoxy issues from time to time and use blue tape, consider switching to the regular tan tape.
By the way, the CC provided the most perfectly, level finish without any slight humps/valleys of any finish I have tried. My logos sit between borders which are 3in apart and it has always been trying at best to attempt to get a perfectly level finish over such a long distance; CC blows the others away; just do not use blue tape.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: October 02, 2019 06:50PM

99% of the epoxy finish problems that rod builders experience is because they do too much. Dump the tape. Dump the solvents. Stop messing with the finish. Put it on and let it do what it was designed to do.

............

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (71.147.59.---)
Date: October 02, 2019 07:49PM

Tom,
Agreed, and I rarely tape, use solvents or mess with the finish. You are point-on. However, certain procedures require masking such as attempting to get a high gloss, level finish over a decal right next to a dry or minimally coated thread wrap border such as mine. I have found in addition to the typical rotational “strokes “ of the application brush, lengthwise strokes (which extend past the central logo area) assist in leveling everything out quite nicely. Apparently, such can also pick-up contaminates. With CC performing and self-leveling so well, I may just try it next time without masking. None-the-less, I was simply offering the membership my observations that blue tape can possibly contaminate an area to be epoxied.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: October 02, 2019 09:26PM

Take a look at the finish left in your mixing cup. Is it level? How many strokes, in either direction, did you give it to achieve such a level surface?

...........

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (71.147.59.---)
Date: October 03, 2019 01:33AM

Tom,
Once again you are correct; the remaining epoxy left in the bottom of the cup is perfectly flat without requiring any brushing or “messing” with the finish. In all due respect, the mixing cup is only 1in in diameter and the sides confine the epoxy from spreading unlike the 3in span covering my logo. I have never achieved a perfectly level “lens” covering that large of an area, but a little messing with it certainly improves the quality. As mentioned, the CC may be a good candidate to achieve a perfect lens without messing with it.
Weather rodbuilders should or shouldn’t use (blue) masking tape for epoxy edges was not the original concern. For those who do, be cautious of possible contamination.
By the way, since I had no choice,the acetone saved my pimply white butt!

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: October 03, 2019 09:31AM

Interesting read Mark.

I always use blue tape to tack off the fresh wrapped guides before applying finish.

But, I never mask anything off when applying finish with anything.

I can only say, that by using blue or tan or green masking tape, I have never had any issues with finish - when just used as a tacking element to insure that the surface to be coated is free of dust.

But, thanks for sharing your experience.

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: October 03, 2019 10:10AM

Take some epoxy and pour it out so that it's not "contained." Note how it levels automatically.

............

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: October 03, 2019 10:41AM

Interesting string of posts. But I don't see how the type of tape used for a border can cause disruption to the surface of the epoxy well away from the border. Does that not indicate some other type of contamination well away from the border?

The comments on the self leveling when the epoxy is static bring up an issue which I've wondered about. Does the slow rotation of the finished rod while the epoxy is curing adversely affect its ability to self level? I agree I've never seen any lack of leveling of my unused epoxy, but I have seen lack of leveling on the longer lengths of epoxy coverage over decals/trim wrap/ in the butt area. Sometimes has a little wave to it that doesn't seem to be caused by the surface under the epoxy.

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---.lightspeed.rcsntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 03, 2019 10:54AM

One needs some sort of "sticky stuff" to maintain straight lines when inscribing rods freehand. i.e. no labels/decals.
I used to use tape - blue of tan. But they both left residue that I had to remove risking the inscription.
I switched to post-it notes that leaves no residue.
Herb
CTS

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: ben belote (24.112.172.---)
Date: October 03, 2019 11:24AM

Michael, maybe try hand turning..i can hear the laughter already..lol.

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: Ross Pearson (---.dlth.qwest.net)
Date: October 03, 2019 11:27AM

From the original post, it sounds like the decal itself was the problem which spread to the entire area masked off with the wiping off of the first coating. Perhaps a color preserver would have sealed the contamination prior to finish. In my experience the finish seems to wick under masking tape edges defeating the desired straight edge goal.

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: Mark Blabaum (---.broadband.sta.mhtc.net)
Date: October 03, 2019 02:14PM

If in deed you are concerned with the blue masking tape, I would propose a test. Next time you do anything with epoxy, take a piece of blue tape apply it to a piece of cardboard or paper and apply epoxy to the blue tape. If it fish eyes you will know that it is the tape, if it doesn't you may have another issue with silicone. I would doubt that the blue tape has silicone as it is rolled up upon itself and as such silicone would cause problems with the tape adhering to any object, but you never know until you experiment.

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: October 03, 2019 04:34PM

I appreciate the additional comments = Thanks.
Allow me to clarify that with the masked borders on either side of the logo to be coated, the lengthwise brush strokes extend onto the tape which could pull contamination from the tape onto the logo area.
Ross, your post was very logically approached; it would seem the decal itself was the source of contamination and by wiping the epoxy off the area, the whole area was contaminated. The spread of contamination could have also been caused/increased by wiping the blue tape during the process as well. This was about the 10th build using decals from Decal Connection and I have not had an issue with the previous decals from the lot. Their decals are printed and delivered in a single sheet so, while possible, it is unlikely one decal could be contaminated next to others which are not. But I still cannot explain why the finish beaded-up only on the decal; that is the big mystery here. Again, nothing touches the decal after the transfer tape is removed until the epoxy is applied. As for the epoxy wicking under the tape, I have not had any issues as the tape is removed within 5 minutes of the epoxy application. I am not a proponent of CP.
Michael, you appear to understand my attempt to achieve a perfectly level epoxy “lens” over a long area of a rod without any slight waves. Even the best epoxy can only self-level to a certain point. Generally, the thinner the viscosity (such as CC) the better chance of a level surface. You bring up a good point concerning slowly rotating the rod while the epoxy cures; I cannot answer that question. But I do rotate my rods and even reverse the direction frequently, more so in the early stage of cure.
Ben, there is nothing to laugh about turning by hand. It can be very effective, especially concerning keeping a high gloss on the threads on top of the guide foot. I have taken the suggestion from this site, tried it and it work exceptionally well but it requires a lot of attention. With its extended cure time, attempting to turn by hand when using CC would require nursing the rod for 12-16 hours! I will continue to power-rotate.
Mark, rest assured more testing will be performed. While ignorant of the actual manufacturing process, there are different tapes for different applications. It is my understanding the blue tape is designed to cleanly release, leave a crisper edge, more UV resistant and can withstand being left on longer than regular tan masking tape. Who knows what additives are used to achieve this. I encountered my first contamination problem when using the blue tape in this application for the first time. With the recent contamination posts, I wanted to share my experience and observations to the masses, at least those using (blue) tape, as soon as possible.
Roger, thanks.
This site contains a wealth of helpful information, ideas, procedures , questions/answers and opinions, all afforded by concerned and graciously generous rodbuilders, veteran and newbies alike. I have benefitted tremendously and feel compelled to offer any assistance I can to repay the favor!

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: ben belote (24.112.172.---)
Date: October 03, 2019 04:59PM

Mark, maybe if you mixed the CC and let it sit and thickened in the cup for a few hours then applied..it would still level but wouldn,t be so easily affected by rotation on the dryer..

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.sub-174-240-128.myvzw.com)
Date: October 03, 2019 05:31PM

This is a great topic, that I understand so well. I use Decal Connection and a local print shop that make them for me at an absolute bargain. This was happening to me quite a bit with both types of decals. My solution was CP, a light coat right over the decal and edges and about an hour to dry. No more fish eye period. A thin light coat of epoxy first then a thicker one after the first is completely hardened. Apply it fast and don't mess with it too much and it flattens out nicely. Simple and looks perfect.

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: Larry Pollock (---)
Date: October 03, 2019 05:53PM

I started having some unexplained issues with finish a while back. I use tape to hold my tie off loop for trim bands and was having trouble with the finish at the trim band. The tape I was using is the "new" 3M blue tape numbers 2093, 2011 and 2080EL. The old blue 3M blue with the rough back is non-existent in stores in my part of the country. The new tape leaves a grease like residue on the blank. After noticing the residue I wrapped my tie off loops to an old blank and applied a coat or finish. Sure enough the finish separated over the loop. It seems the adhesive from the tape was transferring to the loop and then to the trim wrap thread. I bought some Duck brand blue masking tape with the rough back and have had no problems since.

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: October 03, 2019 07:04PM

Thank you for additional replies!
Ben, excuse me if I did not explain things properly; I do not have issues with power-rotating a rod while the epoxy cures.
Lance, I have never experienced problems coating over a decal before this scenario. Not being a CP proponent, I would prefer to avoid its use. But, as stated previously, drastic times can deserve drastic measures. Something tells me this was an isolated case due to the blue tape, but if problems persist, I may have to reconsider the employment of CP.
Larry, a special thank you for your post!!! Indeed, the blue tape I was using is 3M 2080EL, the third one on your list. With your post, I am confident the tape was the culprit of my epoxy woes. It is very interesting to note your application of the tape did not involve the epoxy actually coming into contact with the tape itself, such as in my case, but merely the residue left from the tape caused your problems. Thanks for confirming my observations; it is a relief.
All of us use tape somewhere along the line while building rods, some of us more than others and in different applications. With Larry’s confirmation, all I can offer is to carefully consider which brand and type you choose; if you have no problems with the tape presently used = keep using it but if you change brands or type, a simple test could avoid epoxy contamination woes.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.97.252.156.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: October 03, 2019 07:21PM

Top Notch post Mark.

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: James Clark (---.mobile.uscc.net)
Date: October 03, 2019 08:41PM

If you are getting your tape from auto parts stores that could also be the cause of the contamination. The tape isnt in a completely sealed container and they do handle lots of chemicals that contain silicone in one form or another.

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Re: Blue Tape Contributing to Contamination Woes?
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: October 03, 2019 08:53PM

Mark, you opened a great subject and discussion! I never use tape except to tack thread to the blank for trims and have never had an issue caused by this.

I use Decal Connection exclusively and have more many years (going back to their waterslide days) and do not have problems covering their decals.

Sounds like there are some changes in #M's blue tape.

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