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Getting epoxy smooth

Been wrapping rods with my buddy lately and we seem to be having issues with getting un even finishes. I am not sure if the dryer is turning to slow and allowing it to pool or what the issue is. Just looking for some input on applying finishes.

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Replies

  • ZzzlessknightZzzlessknight Posts: 2 Greenhorn
    You might be applying it a little too heavy. Warm the epoxy a little before applying. This will thin it a bit and help get any bubbles out.
  • saltybumsaltybum Posts: 1,595 Captain
    I agree, keep it thinner. Better two coats vs one too heavy. Hair dryer or heat gun can help to keep it flowing around BUT and a BIG BUT be very careful with heat guns as they can destroy your blank if you over heat it.
    Also I tried using an old batch of flex coat once and it did not handle well. Use newer material.
  • MiamipescadorMiamipescador Posts: 696 Officer
    On the first rod i did for myself i was only hitting the epoxy in an up and down motion and this would create lumps, such as a camels back.
    You have to brush the epoxy lengthwise(side to side) on the rod, starting at the beginning of the wrap and ending at the end.
    Epoxy is glass smooth now.
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  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,840 Captain
    All of the above tips are valid. Much of my rod building was learned from commercial builders so I probably do some things that are a bit unorthodox... I was taught years ago how to use FlexCoat and I still use the stuff even though there are probably better finishes available today. I make a point of not using any wooden sticks (popcicle sticks..) as stirring or mixing tools for Flexcoat since I don't want any possibility of contaminants in my finishes (and always use a new mixing cup each time...), I use a stainless steel tool to mix that two part finish. I also make a point of never using any thinner with FlexCoat (although I knew more than a few builders that did...). Once the finish is mixed and applied my last step (once the rod is turning properly on the drying fixture) is to very lightly use a propane torch, held about two inches from the finish to remove any bubbles and completely level the finish. As noted above it's all too easy to overheat a blank or "cook" a newly applied finish so you have to keep that torch moving constantly and never work a wrap for more than a few seconds -with that torch carefully kept far enough away that only the heated air comes anywhere near your work. Done properly you get a very good finish (but always need a second coat since you're not putting too much finish with either coat....).

    The last tip I can pass along is to mix and use any two part finish as quickly as possible since it will begin to stiffen and set up if you delay applying it.... When FlexCoat or any other two part finish starts to get difficult to work with - quit using it and mix up another batch!
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
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  • seanfishseanfish Posts: 254 Deckhand
    Bob brought up the way I do my finish. I generally use Classis Coat with the exact same method. Mix for a couple minutes, then let it sit for 30 seconds, then mix again slowly for another 30. You will NEVER have any issues with finish not setting properly with this method assuming you can achieve a 1:1 ratio of the parts.

    NEVER force one coat. Always two coats, often 3, and on some heavier rods I have gone up to 5 before. Finish is cheap.

    The speed of your dryer can only go too fast. My dryer is 3rpm. I have heard of people using 1 and 3/4rpm. I have used 40, 16, and 9rpm before. Drying at much over 16rpm will tend to have finish creep up the guide feet.
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,382 Captain
    Using thinner coats will make your finish more durable as well (I'll use 4-5 coats even on light fly rods). Keeping your coats thin with a nylon brush is next to impossible, if you're serious about putting a presentation finish on your rods, sable is really the only way to do it. I've been using the same 2 brushes for about 3 years, and I probably won't replace them anytime soon.
  • irishff727irishff727 Posts: 948 Officer
    What do you use to clean them. Brushes that is

    Time enjoyed wasted usually means I've been fishing
    time enjoyed wasted is not wasted time
  • thefuzz253thefuzz253 Posts: 57 Deckhand
    Brushes are cheap. Toss them in the trash after every use. That way there is no risk of ruining the finish on the next rod because you didn't get all of the solvent out. If you do find it uneven, you can sand it smooth and then put on a thin second coat. Also use a blow torch several inches away to both even out the coating and help remove micro bubbles.
  • Get-Em-WetGet-Em-Wet Posts: 9 Greenhorn
    Put it on and leave it alone...the more you work it the more you will end up with uneven coat...the finish heats up and this starts your curing...if you put your epoxy on evenly and didn't over build to much the finish will level on its own...of course you still need to hit it with heat to get your bubbles out, but the less time spent working that finish the better it will be.
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,382 Captain
    irishff727 wrote: »
    What do you use to clean them. Brushes that is

    It's actually just called epoxy brush cleaner. You can get russian red sable brushes from online retailers of art supplies for about 8$ a piece, and that one brush will outlast an 8$ bag of nylon brushes.
  • monoxidemonoxide Posts: 1,094 Officer
    My motor turns at I think 24rpm a little faster then I'd like but will work for now. I do thin coats and it seems to go on smooth I have used a torch lighter to pop the air bubbles. Also I have been told that if you mix your finish and then put on aluminum foil or a pie pan it will have a longer pot life. I dump it in a pie pan hit it with my lighter to get any bubbles that maybe there and it goes on good for the most part.


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  • irishff727irishff727 Posts: 948 Officer
    Thanks for all the info guys. I think we have been pitting it on to thick and trying to brush it even to much.

    Time enjoyed wasted usually means I've been fishing
    time enjoyed wasted is not wasted time
  • rysherrysher Posts: 381 Deckhand
    i know i'm late to this thread but here it goes:
    i strongly discouraged you to use a blower, you'll get dust all over your finish. especially if you turn cork/eva at the same workbench where you finish rods.
    if you apply the epoxy real thin, you dont need to heat it. heating up epoxy accelerates curing time.

    here's some real long epoxy on decorative wraps i built.
    this is still on the dryer, see how smooth the finish is on a wrap more than a foot long?
    that's only the 2nd coat of finish, with plenty more of coats to go. look at the finished rods below it.
  • irishff727irishff727 Posts: 948 Officer
    Never to late to the party. Lol how did u set up the wrap in the second pic top rod?

    Time enjoyed wasted usually means I've been fishing
    time enjoyed wasted is not wasted time
  • des1802des1802 Posts: 116 Deckhand
    How do you heat the finish?
  • rysherrysher Posts: 381 Deckhand
    irishff727 wrote: »
    Never to late to the party. Lol how did u set up the wrap in the second pic top rod?
    the wrap is called a shaded scales wrap. it is a 4 axis wrap, the wrap goes on the 0-90-180-270 axis.
    des1802 wrote: »
    How do you heat the finish?
    you dont. you heat each part A/B in its own bottle, dip the bottle in hot water. once you mix part A/B, dont use heat.
  • Salty Dawg44Salty Dawg44 Homosassa, FLPosts: 1,207 Officer
    I usually don't have problems with bubbles in the coatings, I lay it on lengthwise instead of using a brushing motion. If I do get any, I heat with a small lamp with denatured alcohol. It doesn't give off any soot.

    MY WORST FEAR......THAT WHEN I DIE MY WIFE WILL SELL ALL MY BOATS & FISHING GEAR FOR WHAT I TOLD HER I PAID FOR IT.......

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    but I will always respect your right to be wrong!
  • JSTickumJSTickum Posts: 412 Deckhand
    These are all great tips (other than useing FlexCoat) , I aswell apply multy coats . If these tips are not working , check your blank for bows , I find in rebuilds and E glass blanks have slight curves , this may be your problem , lighter coats , low heat , and a lighter brush may help . Time spent and steady hands will help over time .
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