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Blank Painting Squeegee Material
Posted by: Caleb plumlee (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 13, 2023 06:17PM

Hello. Long time stalker, but my first post!

I really want to figure out the squeegee method of painting rod blanks that I've seen in factory tour videos. I'm frustrated with the mess, paint waste, and overall hassle of spray painting (plus I suck at it). I can get the single stage high quality automotive paints I need, but the materials I've tried for the rubber membrane aren't working well. I've tried latex balloons, latex "punching balloons," and bike inner tube rubber... all are not ideal. The inner tube is too tight or too loose at some point no matter what (not stretchy enough?). The balloons seem too thin and grippy. They "stutter" when I draw the rods back through and give a bad finish.

In the factory videos I've seen, it looks like they use thick (1/16") yellow (latex?) rubber sheets. Before I order expensive materials to test though, does anyone have the answer already??

Before someone suggests trying another method, please note I'm specifically trying to figure out the squeegee method to a science like I've seen online. I've seen it work, so I know it can be done!

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Re: Blank Painting Squeegee Material
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: January 13, 2023 06:58PM

It may not be so much the material but how the membrane is held and the method of passing the blank through the membrane..

Think about slightly stretching the membrane over a form like an embroidery hoop. It will keep the membrane fixed and give better control, also fixing the hoop to some thing solid to minimize relative movement.

I am picturing fixing the hoop to pole or rail and getting on a ladder or other high place and pulling the blank through with a steady continuous motion.

Right now that's all I have.

Have Fun

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Re: Blank Painting Squeegee Material
Posted by: Caleb plumlee (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 14, 2023 12:00AM

Well, those sound like good ideas. I'll experiment with tension a bit more, but I have had the latex materials stretched fairly tight... any tighter and they started to split on me when I push the rod in. I can't really stretch the inner tube tighter. I'll have to think about jow to do that one more...

As for the ladder, I'm doing 4pc fly rods, so the pieces are nice and short thankfully!

Still getting uneven finishes or overly thin coats currently... been a loooooong night ugh

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Re: Blank Painting Squeegee Material
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: January 14, 2023 01:03AM

All of the blank painting videos I have seen make it appear to be so simple and quick, yet in reality, can be frustrating to actually accomplish perfect results. The amount of tension the “diaphragm” exerts on the blank and the speed with which it is drawn up the blank to produce that perfect finish is only realized after basic ol’ trial-and-error.
Possibly the best approach for you may be to employ foam cosmetic pads (~.25in thick). Punch a hole < than the size of the smallest blank diameter, saturate it with your paint, and drag it up and over / past the large end. It works for me with PermaGloss.

Mark Talmo

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Re: Blank Painting Squeegee Material
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: January 14, 2023 11:21AM

Too many articles on this very topic to mention in RodMaker. For a straight squeegee material, the material in punch ball balloons has typically worked well. But the opening isn't a one-size fits all thing. Depending on your blank's difference between tip and butt diameter, you have to dial things in for that range.

We also detailed a blank coating tool from PVC that mounted a foam disc, similar to what you find in the grey foam paint "brushes" at the local home improvement store. You saturated the foam with your clear coat or paint and slid it down the rod blank. I found this to be superior for coating a rod blank and worked on a greater range of sizes. You just punched the tip through the foam and let the foam dictate the opening and the pressure.


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Re: Blank Painting Squeegee Material
Posted by: Sergey Smith (---.lsan.ca.frontiernet.net)
Date: January 14, 2023 01:29PM

I was searching for the same thing for a while, Fuji has a tutorial on their site on the easiest way to do it at home but it's all in Japanese so it was hard to decipher. Their tutorial suggests natural rubber/latex which is also what at least a few of the manufacturers use for painting. You can use a hot needle, about 60% of the size of the tip of the blank you're painting, to make a hole in the rubber. Here's a video I found also that goes step by step through it, although it is also in Japanese. [www.youtube.com]

You can find 1/16" 12x12 sheets for about $10 from McMasterCarr or Grainger. They can definitely tear so if there's a big difference between the tip and butt size you'll have to adjust the size.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2023 01:31PM by Sergey Smith.

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Re: Blank Painting Squeegee Material
Posted by: Matt Ruggie (---)
Date: January 14, 2023 06:27PM

whats the benefit of this method over spraying? just curious

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2023 08:13PM by Matt Ruggie.

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Re: Blank Painting Squeegee Material
Posted by: Caleb plumlee (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 14, 2023 11:02PM

I'm not certain there is a benefit just yet... I'm going to try some of the suggestions above and see if it actually works first!

My intention is to find a one step (one coat) paint job that is as durable and perfect as the big manufacturers use. The only spray can paint I know of durable enough to not need a separate clear coat is the SprayMax 2k stuff. Getting a custom color of that shipped to me in Montana costs like $60/can after shipping and is single use.

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Re: Blank Painting Squeegee Material
Posted by: david taylor (---)
Date: January 17, 2023 08:15PM

There is a rod painter that works with mudhole.

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Re: Blank Painting Squeegee Material
Posted by: Caleb plumlee (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 18, 2023 01:47AM

Yeah, I spoke with the Mudhole painter too. Since I don't use mudhole blanks, I'd have to ship from Montana to Florida and back again plus his fees. It's fairly costly. I may have to go that route worst case though!

So far, I've been testing a lot this week and still haven't found a working solution. All the squeegee materials completely remove the paint upon pulling the blanks out... even when the opening is sized to match the section tips perfectly. I have no idea how the big guys are pulling this off. There has to be a simple trick im missong. The videos show the process being very very simple. Changing paint viscosity hasn't resolved much.

The closest so far has been using a punching balloon and running the blank back and forth through the squeegee multiple times until I have a kinda ok coating on parts of the blank. This is very messy with incomplete coverage.

I'm about ready to pass this off as impractical for small operations and go back to flow coating blanks and just redoing a lot. Seems foolish though since it appears so perfect and simple online!

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Re: Blank Painting Squeegee Material
Posted by: Dennis Danku (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: January 18, 2023 11:48AM

Caleb, Have you tried air brush paint? I use Createx Auto Air paint with a foam brush to refinish old blanks that have been scraped and sanded of all its old paint and finish. I have had the best results with their Pearlized colors and sometimes don't even put a clear coat on them which gives them a satin finish. After painting, they must be set with a heat gun or hair dryer for a few minutes which helps it cure. Before you give up I would try any color of the Pearlized Createx paint in your squeege set up. It may just be the paint that your using is not dense enough, You might need something like a jelled ink. Try a small jar of the Createx paint , you can get it at a Hobby -Lobby if there's one near you. Good luck, Dennis

Dennis J. Danku

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