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How to remove epoxy rod coating
Posted by: Timothy Fisher (---.hsd1.or.comcast.net)
Date: September 14, 2020 01:42PM

Hello, I am stripping an old graphite build and putting on new guides. I'm using single foots so I need to get rid of the finish at least around the guides and I think it would be best to replace it altogether. I see conflicting advice and a video that looks like a very bad idea (essentially scraping it off on a fast turning lathe). From what I can find sanding even a little bit of the graphite off compromises the integrity of the blank. I know it's epoxy and not urethane or any water based finish. So I don't want to buy a gallon of stripper (which as far as I can tell is for paint and urethane and I'm dubious that it would do much to epoxy) or blast it with a heat gun quite yet. Seems to me that the gentlest way is to hand sand out the bumps but even that is bound to run into problems with removing too much, making it uneven and getting down into the graphite around the guides. I am moving an incorrectly placed guide as well and ideally would start all over with the standard spacing from the tip top down (I think I worked up from the bottom using an incorrect procedure). The only thing I can think of is to pay too much for a can of Attack to try and dissolve the epoxy but I'm guessing that will be messy and not leave a smooth enough surface for the new coat (Glass Kote urethane).

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Re: How to remove epoxy rod coating
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: September 14, 2020 01:57PM

Timothy,
I use a very simple method.
I use my heat gun with just enough heat to soften the finish.
Then, I use a razor blade to scrape the finish off the blank.
One must be very careful with the heat, in the smaller sections of blank near the tip. A little heat goes a long way.

Then, I take the stripped blank and put it in a bucket that is half filled with warm water.

I start with about 150 grit paper and work up toe 1200 grit wet and dry paper used wet, to give the final appearance to the blank as well as smooth, level and remove all scratched from the blank . I sand only sand down the length of the blank and never around and around the blank.

When, finished, the blank will have a nice polished matt appearance that is ready to wrap. No fumes, no hassle and your hands are clean, due to the use of the water on your hands when sanding.

No need, and no reason to put any finish at all on the blank. Any finish just adds weight to the blank and detracts from its performance.

Best wishes.

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Re: How to remove epoxy rod coating
Posted by: Timothy Fisher (---.hsd1.or.comcast.net)
Date: September 14, 2020 02:56PM

But from what i read the last thing you want to do is sand the graphite itself. Is that incorrect?

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Re: How to remove epoxy rod coating
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: September 14, 2020 04:25PM

Using a utility knife or a razor blade scape the finish off the blank by holding the blade at 90 degrees to the blank. The finish will come off very easily and it doesn’t take that long. After scraping the blank down you can remove any remaining finish by wet sanding with a wet/dry sand paper. I like to start with an 800 grit paper. This does not harm the graphite it more like you are polishing the blank. When finished, top coat the blank by wiping on a coat or two of Permagloss. The blank will look brand new. I have done hundred of rods over the years doing this with no problems. Not as difficult as you may think.
Norm

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Re: How to remove epoxy rod coating
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: September 14, 2020 05:06PM

I would be leery of using heat. Especially if not familiar or use to doing it.

We gotta keep in mind that the binder used to hold the graphite fibers together that make up the rod blank itself is also epoxy. Heating up one also heats up the other and can weaken or even damage the blank if one is not careful.

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Re: How to remove epoxy rod coating
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: September 14, 2020 06:09PM

Roger has done it many times, so it has to work, but if it's really epoxy, I'm not sure heat will help much at all. But whatever the finish is, try the scraping methods recommended without heat and see how you do. Might come of quite easily with no heat risk. When you get into the graphite you will see black, so when you see black (on your hands, sandpaper/blade/etc) then you are just into it. Stop then and you'll be OK. It's not like if you touch one fiber the blank is ruined. Always take the conservative approach before taking risks that might not even be necessary.

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Re: How to remove epoxy rod coating
Posted by: Timothy Fisher (---.hsd1.or.comcast.net)
Date: September 14, 2020 06:27PM

Thanks for all that, one question, when scraping how do I know how far to go? When it's no longer shiny? Then sand until I see black on the paper? Seems to me that would be easier to know when to stop.

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Re: How to remove epoxy rod coating
Posted by: John DeMartini (---)
Date: September 14, 2020 06:28PM

I take an X-acto knife with a #11 blade and carefully pick at the finish at the end of the wrap on the guide foot. With care and a little luck I pick out the end of the thread, I slowly unwind the thread, the finish will "peel" off as I unwind. I do this for both feet until I reach the final section of thread finish. If unlucky I can easily remove the tread section and start from there.

With the thread off I get a clear picture of where the factory blank surface is, I use a combination of shaving and scraping the area until I am very close to the blank surface. at which point I switch to wet/dry paper 320 to 600 or higher as needed to get to the factory surface. Heat can be used to speed up the slicing/scraping but that to me is chancy and I am not willing to take the risk.

The factory finish on the rod blank is thick enough that I will know when I reach it and to stop sanding before cutting into the fibers.

Reminder any process you choose (any mentioned above is fine) will require patience, care and time.

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Re: How to remove epoxy rod coating
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: September 14, 2020 06:52PM

If you have doubts about scrapping down a blank, get an old broken painted rod and give it a try. The graphite under the paint or clear coat finish is actually quite hard. The softer paint/clear coat will come off very easily as little curly cues without bothering the hard underlying graphite fibers. A little wet sanding with 800 grit paper will easily remove any remnants of the paint/clear coat, and not damage the graphite fibers. The best way to learn how to do something is to just do it. So give it a try, much easier then you think.
Norm

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Re: How to remove epoxy rod coating
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: September 14, 2020 07:06PM

Rod manufacturers do not use epoxy to coat blanks! If it is epoxy someone else did it....................big mistake! Heating the epoxy as Roger state, softens it so that scaping it is easier, but caution is needed so as to not soften epoxy used to roll the blank fibers!

This is a tedious process but can be done if careful.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/15/2020 12:21AM by Phil Erickson.

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Re: How to remove epoxy rod coating
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.97.252.156.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: September 14, 2020 08:27PM

Heat from a hair dryer will soften epoxy, to aid in it's removal without possible damage to the blank. A heat gun will get hot enough to damage it. A lot of softened finish can sometimes removed with your thumbnail. There are about several thousand previous posts on this topic should you care to research it.

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Re: How to remove epoxy rod coating
Posted by: Timothy Fisher (---.hsd1.or.comcast.net)
Date: September 14, 2020 08:57PM

Phil Erickson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Rod manufacturers do not us epoxy to coat blanks!
> If it is epoxy someone else did
> it....................big mistake! Heating the
> epoxy as Roger state, softens it so that scaping
> it is easier, but caution is needed so as to not
> soften epoxy used to roll the blank fibers!
>
> This is a tedious process but can be done if
> careful.

That is correct, I built the rod. 25 years ago.

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Re: How to remove epoxy rod coating
Posted by: Timothy Fisher (---.hsd1.or.comcast.net)
Date: September 14, 2020 09:14PM

Yes I did, I couldn't find one specifically mentioning removing an epoxy coating. I'm not necessarily looking to delete the coating, just get rid of the mess left behind by cutting off the guides. One more question, when I'm refinishing all of it including the guide wraps do I do the blank first or wrap them and then do it. I see suggestions to go both ways. It will get urethane anyway, I am not all that concerned with dinging my rods. To me, rods reels and flies are tools to get something done, not look really cool so you can impress your buddies. The only one I have to impress my is my wife and that's easy to do when she sees the card purchases for a build (well kinda). She already knows what a decent rod costs and besides this is just a warm up to her new PacBay build. It's been 8 years since my last builds (twin 7/8 Lamiglas for Alaska)

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Re: How to remove epoxy rod coating
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.97.252.156.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: September 14, 2020 09:17PM

Citri-Strip will aid greatly in this process without harming the blank. Coat it hang it overnight, scrape the next day. You may be able to get quite a bit off using an old credit-gift card as a scraper Get off what you can, and repeat process if needed , (and it likely will be) then sand as Norm said. I got my bottle at Walmart. Quart size. The first time thru it might not seem like it did much but the second will. Works great.

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Re: How to remove epoxy rod coating
Posted by: Marcos Rodriguez (---)
Date: September 15, 2020 10:37PM

I repair/replace dozens of guides a week.build 2-4 customs a week and 10-20 production rods a week.. I use a small lighter . Hit the foot area and make a lap around hole area. This is on my lathe. Quick turn or 2. Quick 1-2 seconds. Then i turn rod and score over epoxy just to make an even line around Next i cut the thread On foot of guide blade facing towards guide cut over foot . Protecting rod. After that top layer rod finish and tread is cut of foot. Rest of area can just be peeled back. Any thread at ends can be reverse thread off fairly easy. Last step if going down to blank. I use a dull knife to scrape any finish off without catching any fiber from blank

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Re: How to remove epoxy rod coating
Posted by: Timothy Fisher (---.hsd1.or.comcast.net)
Date: September 16, 2020 11:23AM

Thanks everyone for the advice, I used a utility knife blade with an abundance of caution. One coat of urethane looks surprisingly good and I don't want to add too much more weight :)

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