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Re: Thread Finish
Posted by: David Graham (71.71.228.---)
Date: February 22, 2020 07:45AM

Some of yall have some intricate methods to your madness. I like it!

I use flex coat high build. Mix for 5 minutes, pour out on foil, let sit for 5-10 minutes. While its sitting I use an alcohol burner on the wraps to remove fuzzies and lint. Start at the tip applying finish and work my way towards the grip end with a thin coat, using a heat gun to get saturation. Then I go back to the tip and add a little more finish, which is now a bit thicker, and use a heat gun again to level. By the time I get to the grip end a second time the finish has thickened up a good bit which allows me to get a nice thick coat over the decals. Let it sit on a dryer for 12 hours and it's pretty well dry to the touch, 24 hours fully cured. No issues.

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Re: Thread Finish
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---)
Date: February 22, 2020 09:40AM

Roger W

If you are still following this thread I know mixing acetone to the epoxy finish does undesirable things to the finish in terms of its hardness, time to fully cure and maybe even its ultimate strength. However the ultimate goal is to invisible wraps with inlaid turns. The thinner the epoxy finish the easier it is to thoroughly wet out the silk and replace the air in the silk with epoxy. If there is air trapped in the silk an off white or silver "shimmer" appearance is the result for which the only fix is to remove the wrap and try again. The viscosity of a mix of 3cc resin, 3cc hardener, and 3cc acetone is about that of whole milk an my success rate using it is better than 95%.

All subsequent applications of finish do not contain any additional acetone so the downside impacts of adding acetyone to epoxy finish are mitigated to eliminated.

By the way, if anyone tries this I do recommend in the strongest possible terms that you use all the necessary safety measures to prevent contact with the epoxy and inhalation of the fumes.

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Re: Thread Finish
Posted by: Tom Harder (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: February 22, 2020 10:05AM

Ben, I'm disappointed you deleted your post. I felt it was very good. The idea here is that everyone does things differently, including you, and all are equally valid. I appreciate all of your input. I'm serious.

John, I've also watched every single video in your library. Seriously, I have. I like them all. I don't know who does most of them but I just love the guy! I have wished to own your commercial dryer system, I just can't justify that much money for it. I'm sure to manufacturers these units are invaluable. I'm sure they're exceptional! I also think your two coat application system is a very fine way to go, especially when you're making rods for yourself. You usually have plenty of time. But, if I have a customer call me and is leaving on a trip this weekend (forgot to call me) and I've got 2-3 days to get it done (and it's not the only thing I'm working on) I like Roger's method to get the rod done and give it enough time to cure.

Michael, I am not in disagreement with you. I can see the heat damaging the finish quite easily. Exactly how, I do not know but your point is well taken!
Lance, you as well. In fact one thing is a consensus, and that is heating up the epoxy prior to application. My heat gun velocity on low is well below what a regular hair dryer puts out. It's among the finest heat guns on the market, so it does almost anything asked of it. So, as I'm about to do a second test I'll be warming them up. I have read on the LS Supreme instructions says DO NOT heat the hardener. That's from memory though so I'll refer to the instructions prior to doing anything with their finish. One thing I want to re-confirm for everyone, my shop has been kept at 72.5-72.9 degrees, so temperature of the epoxies is not much of an issue.

Oh, Roger one other thing, I do not use intense heat. As I said, my heat gun is amazing and I can dial in the temperature it runs at. I start at very low and then increase it until things happen. I was just guessing because I didn't look but I thought it was about 400 degrees maybe. I don't think that's intense. Plus, I just do quick flashes not pointed at and kept in one spot. Throughout my years of building I've used heat for almost all of it. It really works but it can't be intense or even that much which you can do.

Really, there is a ton of great suggestions here. I also like seeing that much of what you're doing is product specific. So, with Flex Coat we do X, with ThreadMaster I do Y and so on.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2020 10:08AM by Tom Harder.

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Re: Thread Finish
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: February 22, 2020 10:08AM

You mention "Oriental motors" in your post. You also mention Minneapolis. I am in a northern Suburb,just off 35W.
I picked up a couple of "oriental motors" with controllers and power supplies a couple of years ago for some testing and possible use in a project.

If you would like a couple more, you can have them. Just drop over and I would be happy to pass them along.

Just drop me an e-mail or give me a call at 763-784-4049 and it would be my pleasure to pass them along if you would like them.

Take care

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Re: Thread Finish
Posted by: Tom Harder (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: February 22, 2020 10:11AM

Wow Roger, I'll call you, okay? I'd like to know what you would need for them first. What an offer! Thank you very much. It might not be today though.

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Re: Thread Finish
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.res.bhn.net)
Date: February 22, 2020 10:19AM

There is a lot of information given and you my friend have to filter all this information.

One thing for sure all those who responded were sincere in sharing their experience with you. AND guess what, here is another

I put the mixing tray by the rod and use it to check the cure. I rather put a thumb print on the mixing tray than the thread finish. Some times I too have to learn from experience.

Have fun


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Re: Thread Finish
Posted by: Tom Harder (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: February 22, 2020 10:48AM

John, I'll bet everyone here does the same thing! (or at least they should, right?) At least I do. I think of it as a requirement. Still another excellent point for anyone looking for information on "how we do it" (to steal a line from most of Flex Coat videos!!)

Thanks John!

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Re: Thread Finish
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: February 22, 2020 11:02AM

Tom, when it comes to creating a link, i,m the world,s worst..every thing looked good on this end but i guess it didn,t work.it was an article by west systems epoxy makers on what happens when you thin epoxy..i may try again but it looks things have pretty much been covered already..sorry for the blip..

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Re: Thread Finish
Posted by: David Baylor (---)
Date: February 22, 2020 03:34PM

I'm with Grant here. My first endeavor into working on rods was replacing the guides on 3 of my factory rods. They actually turned out very well, except that they looked like footballs, and the single foot guides had finish running up the legs. When I joined this site I spent a lot of time on the photo section, looking at the work of others. The finish on their wraps was nice and flat. I wanted mine to look that way too. So what did I do ...... I started tinkering with the finish too much. I tried brushing it on with what I thought was just enough finish to get the job done. I wanted that perfect first coat so my second coat would be hassle free. By tinkering with it I made more problems for myself. Even though I had very few air bubbles in my mix, I had tons of air bubbles in my wraps. I finally started actually listening to what members of this site were saying, in particular, Tom Kirkman .... and I just put the finish on and let it do its thing. Of course practice helped me get closer to the proper amount of finish on the wraps in the first place, but I stopped tinkering with it.

My procedure is pretty simple. First I'll say that I have only used U-40 LS Supreme finish. At first the regular formula, and more recently the high build formula. It's never given my any problems that I didn't cause myself, which means its given me no reason to try a different brand. With all due respect to others, I don't heat it at all. Any time I have applied heat to finish, be it a flame, a heat gun, or my breath, it has caused problems. For me, and I can't prove it, but it seems to me that heating the mix either prior to mixing them, or in the dish after pouring them out, shortens the working time. And being kind of slow at the process, I need all the working time I can get.

Anyhow .... I mix equal parts (3cc's of each) in a small plastic cup using the white round mixing sticks available from Mud Hole. I mix it slow, never pulling the stick from the mixture until I am done mixing it. I get very few air bubbles during mixing. I then pour into one of the aluminum mixing dishes from Mud Hole that you referenced earlier. I let it set for maybe 3 minutes while I get everything ready to start applying finish. I position the rod in my wrapper with the guide feet up, and using a tooth pick I put little dabs of finish along the length of the guide feet, I work from the end of the foot towards the guide leg. I always put a little extra at the ends of the tunnels. I do every guide, letting the finish soak into the thread as I do the others. Then I put the power to my wrapper and start applying finish, starting at the same guide I started at when putting finish on the guide feet. I use a fairly thick brush to apply the finish, but I only use the thick brush because it will hold more finish. I let the finish touch the wrap, not the bristles of the brush itself.

After I get all the guides done I turn off the power and position the rod with guides up, and I let it set 5 to 10 minutes allowing the excess finish to sag. I wick off what has sagged with a tooth pick and the I rotate the rod 180 degrees and follow the same procedure of letting it set. I let it set a little longer on the second turn because there isn't as much finish on it and it doesn't sag as quickly, and also because the finish is starting to set up.

Other than a pesky occasional thread nub, the wraps on my last 4 or 5 rods have turned out wonderful. I used the LS Supreme high build on my last three builds and they turned out even better.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2020 03:35PM by David Baylor.

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Re: Thread Finish
Posted by: Tom Harder (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: February 23, 2020 04:14PM

Very interesting David. First question do you do any elaborate butt wraps or any long stretches of finish over any substrate? The idea of stopping rotation allowing to sag then removing the excess is something I've never thought of doing...but I like the idea. I may give that a try. You're the first one to reply that uses LS Supreme, so that's good. I'm glad you've found a way to work with your chosen finish to achieve great results!!!

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Re: Thread Finish
Posted by: Tom Harder (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: February 25, 2020 04:13PM

Okay, as a final to this thread, it's now 4 days of cure time. Again, I've kept my finishing room of my shop at 72.5-72.9 degrees. It's actually 104 hours after application here are the results;

Hardest to Softest;

ThreadMaster High Build - Hard but flexible - it is quite hard though
Flex Coat High Build - Hard but Flexible - it too is quite hard
U-40 LS Supreme - I'd rate it at roughly 75% of the hardness of the above finishes. I like the balance of this finish
ThreadMaster Lite - Quite soft - it would seem best suited for very low build situations. Maybe Bamboo or anyone who wants a minimal finish.

Flex Coat High Build and ThreadMaster High Build hardness difference is indiscernible. They are both hard. I used a Nylon Thread packer with a fairly sharp tip to test them. Both marked but barely! And both healed.
U-40 LS Supreme is considerably softer than ThreadMaster and Flex Coat. It marked significantly but also healed. I couldn't even tell where I tested it. This one seems a nice middle ground to the four.
ThreadMaster Lite remained the softest of the Group. It marked the worst of the 4 I tested but, it also completely healed. This stuff appears that it will remain very soft.

Clarity; Point of fact; all of my finishes are over a year old. My Flex Coat High Build is 18 months old. The oldest is ThreadMaster High Build at about 5 years. ThreadMaster lite is about 4 years old. My U-40 LS Supreme is roughly 2 years old. I keep them in a cool dark place in my basement. I protect them from light. Appearance is how they appear in the dish, not on the Rod. The rod and guide feet are from an old G. Loomis Fly Rod I built maybe 20 years ago. So, it's a dark red color...so is the thread. It was not color preserved. So, being this dark makes it difficult to assess finish clarity.

ThreadMaster High Build - slightly amber - The most discolored of the group. In the bottle you wouldn't believe how they both (Resin and Hardener) have discolored. On a dark rod with dark thread it would matter little!
ThreadMaster Lite - ever so slightly yellow - In the bottle the Resin is dead clear (even after this long!), the Hardener has ambered significantly. Still, much less than the High Build.
Flex Coat High Build - Only the slightest yellow in the dish - Resin clear in the bottle, Hardener very slightly yellowed.
U-40 LS Supreme - Again, only very slightly yellow in the dish. In the bottle, the Resin is dead clear...the Hardener has ambered significantly.

Summary; Flex Coat the clearest, and hardest finish followed closely by LS Supreme (for clarity), then ThreadMaster Lite and, finally, ThreadMaster High Build.

Unfortunately, in the end I cannot suggest a best finish. I never intended to. I was primarily interested in HOW you all did what you do to get a great finish. All of the finishes have different properties. From very little working time to extended working time and it kind of corresponds to their eventual hardness. Less working time = harder finish. So, your choice of finish will likely depend on the type of rod you're building. A Deep Sea Roller Guide rod that's 80% thread would demand a much longer working time (unless you're good with making up multiple batches mid-rod). And then silk thread on a Bamboo rod would have totally different requirements. Personally, this little test makes me very interested in Billy's method of mixing finishes.

What really became clear is that they all require some product specific experience to apply each one to it's best behavior in order to achieve exceptional results. Also, I want to really thank all of you for your contributions because how we each do things can not only teach new people to Rodbuilding, but also help each other with some very valuable tips you each use to get the quality of finish you're proud to have out in the public with your name on it.

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Re: Thread Finish
Posted by: David Baylor (---)
Date: February 25, 2020 07:48PM

Tom, regarding your finding with the different finishes. That is awesome information you posted. Not only helpful, but very interesting. I know I appreciate the amount of time you took to post it.

To answer your question, no I don't any long or extravagant wraps. I've yet to even put a decal on any of the rods I've built. Just guide wraps. Although I did do some marbling on one of the factory rods I redid, just to see how I like it. It was fun. I tried using the same process of letting it sit and then wicking off the excess as it sagged, but it kind of messed up the marbling, so I stopped doing it and just let it turn. The surface was a little wavy, but I attributed to the marbling more than the finish not self leveling.

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