Thread Finish - Getting it Right!

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by freestoneangler, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    I've been building rods for 10+ years now and have a pretty good track record of success (having the finish come out right the first time). However, occassionally, the finish will not set-up correctly:mad: even after fussing to the nth degree the A-B component mixture and mixing. I have always used Flex-Coat product (both regular and lite build formulas). I keep my rod building room extra warm (with floor space heater) during cold weather seasons and as I mentioned pay close attention to equal amounts of the resin & hardener. I also mix very thoroughly.

    My question to this forum is does anyone have a best practice in getting the finish coat process right every time (using gram scale, etc.)? Do any of the other finish products work better than Flex-Coat?

  2. Banzai

    Banzai FFing and VWs...Bugs & Bugs

    I too, use Flex-Cote products in my rod-building, but have not yet (crossed fingers) had any problem with it failing to set up properly. However; I've not been building rods for that long. If anything it has set up almost too quickly to fully work the wrappings for a complete rod. More experience will probably help out that. One thing I have noticed though,with some epoxies (that is two part resins) is that the older the hardener is the longer the final hardening will take. this is with adhesives, Bondo and polyester resin for fiberglass boats.Sory if this info is no help, I'm stiil a noob to rod building.
  3. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    We're all new at everything at some point. I know what you mean about working time...that becomes a real challenge on large spey rods with lots of big wrappings...particularly if you're like me and want to get it done in one application.

    One trick that will help keep the 2-part mix from curing quite so fast is to cut the bottom end of a pop can off and fold the cut edge back inside (carefully and using pliers!). Clean the cup surface with acetone. If you use the syringe dispensers for the A-B parts, mix directly into the aluminum cup. If you use the bottles and plastic measure/mix cups, transfer into the aluminum cup after thoroughly mixed in the plastic cup. The aluminum tends to dissapate the exothermic heat from the epoxy much better than from the plastic mix cup and will give you some additional work life.
  4. Wayne Kohan

    Wayne Kohan fish-ician

    I always pour my finish out of the cup onto aluminum foil before applying to get rid of the air bubbles.

    I have built about 7 rods over the past two years. I have never had a problem (also fingers crossed.) I follow the directions for mixing that I got off the Flexcoat web site.

    I'm about to finish a rod with Perma Gloss, which is a one part finish. I'm anxious to see how well it works.

  5. Willie Bodger

    Willie Bodger Still, nothing clever to say...

    So, do post when you are done with the Perma Gloss, I'd like to know how that turns out.

  6. willieboat

    willieboat Member

    Turn both bottles upside down and place them someplace where they will remain that way.
    Using a coke can (can be full or empty, but at room temp) decide how many guide wraps you want to coat. Example: for four complete snake guides, you will need around 4 total drops of resin/hardner per guide.
    Making sure to keep the bottle upside down, clear your mind, open the bottle and count out drop by drop the number of drops you will need.
    Then do the same with the hardner. But add one drop more.
    Using your watch, take a wooden tooth pick, and mix this stuff for 2 minutes.

    Use a rod turner to apply and leave turning for a couple of hours.

    You will waste some epoxy, but it's better to have enough than not enough.
    If you loose count, toss the mixture and start over.

  7. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Good tip and I agree so long as both bottles drip tip are cut the same way (size of opening). On another note, Flex-Coat swears that you can heat the resin to eliminate the crsytalline formation and see no ill effects. I have a bottle that looks like honey and plan to do this...anyone out that advise otherwise?
  8. VancouverFisher

    VancouverFisher Lucky if I get out anymore!

    Two things that have helped my mixture set up well: I never mix less than 2 cc of each in a batch and I put a flame/heat directly to the epoxy after its applied (not too much or it will burn). I don't keep the flame on the expoxy for long - instead, I quickly sweep it back and forth until the expoxy sags a bit on the blank. I let the motor do its job, the epoxy soon flattens and after 24 hours the application is hard and good to go. I have been using flexcoat from day one.
  9. Wayne Kohan

    Wayne Kohan fish-ician

    I'll let you know. It's a small fiberglass rod, and I'm anxious to get 'er done. But I'm working on my fly swap now. Have 6 flies done, 6 flies 2/3 done, and 6 flies 1/3 done. Football playoffs are great for tying. But tomorrow I plan to fish.

  10. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    It think this was mentioned, but *never* mix less that 2cc's of the materials, as a bit of slop one way or the other greatly affects the mixture. Also, when you say that the mixture is thouroughly mixed, what does it look like, and how long do you mix it for?

    As for the Flexcoat itself.... Has the resin or hardener started to crystalize? If they have, zapping them in a microwave (5 seconds at a time) until the crystals breaks down is a good way to get them back to good as new. Also, if the resin or hardener has been chilled enough to freeze, throw it out as the finish has been ruined.

    As for measuring, try to use the syringes sold by flex coat or by U40. They have plungers that don't have silicone in them, so don't end up ruining the finish.

    As for flaming, *only* do that with stuff like Flex Coat. If you flame U40 Duragloss, you'll end up with more bubbles and a smokey mess!

    I myself am a U40 duragloss kinda guy. I think it creates superior results, but it is no less sensitive to mixing issues than flexcoat.

    Hope this helps!

    -- Cheers
    -- James
  11. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Thanks for the feedback. I just finished a St. Crox SCV which turned out absolutely awesome. One thing I've added to my wrapping/tying room is a small space heater. I got things nice and toasty (house usually around 60F), I probably had the room at 70F...made me start looking at Florida Tarpon trips the next day! I still use the plastic cups and add from the bottles (used syringes before...but don't like as well). I mix for at least 2 minutes until no milky styrations are visible...really important. I really think the ambient temp and humidity are important in the equation...if a sweatshop makes the difference in future finishing sessions, bring on the heat!

    Also, I saw your reply on my other post regarding Steelhead trip. I'm looking into things and will keep you in mind.
  12. Wayne Kohan

    Wayne Kohan fish-ician

    Well I did the PermaGloss fininsh this weekend on my rod. It was easy to use, no mixing of course since it is a one part finish. I did not use color sealant, but the color held better than I expected or wanted. I ended up putting on 6 coats all together. However you can repeat coats every 1 -2 hours so it didn't take too long. I did spend a lot of time cleaning my brush though (6 times.)

    I've never had problems with bubbling with flexcoat, but had to be careful with this. It's thinner and brushing it on caused bubbles to form, but they all seem to disappear without much help. Made me nervous though and I kept checking previous wraps constantly.

    The finish is not nearly as bright and is much thinnner than Flexcoat. I don't know if this is better or worse, just different.

    For the first time, I did put on some trim wraps on some of the guides. I did what I thought was a nice job. I buried one end of the trim wraps under the regular wrap. However when I started to put on the finish, it made the wraps somewhat transparent, (which is the effect I was looking for.) However that made the buried end of the darker trim wrap show through. I discovered this on the first wrap I did and I was able to remove the trim wrap without disturbing the regular wrap and then removed the rest of the trim wraps before finishing the other wraps. I guess that counts as poor planning.

    Over all, I think it was easier to work with, but it didn't give what I felt was as slick of a finish as you get with two part epoxies. I might be tempted to use it again on a light weight rod, but woud probably stick to Flexcoat for my regular and heavy weight rods.

  13. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    Most people describe the Permagloss finish as an "eggshell"? I've used it on some rods of mine, but overall I don't like the look.

    It is a useful finish though for a variety of other purposes, and it's really useful when you want to fish a rod quickly. I've wrapped a rod, finished it with Permagloss, and fished it the next day, then a week later finished with 2 party epoxy!

    -- Cheers
    -- James