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Old 04-25-2012, 08:30 PM
BigWoodLures BigWoodLures is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Baltimore
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Default Sealing Techniques?

So just back from a trip to the Jersey shore, wish I had pix of cows, but I don't. Guess you gotta take the good with the bad. Took my latest batch of topwater pencils and bottles with mixed results. Seems to be my biggest issue is sealing, had a few that were clearly taking on water as the epoxy topcoat fractured or all together cracked. I'm looking for different sealing techniques as mine clearly aren't working. The failures were all sealed with shellac, primed, painted and topcoated. I've heard suggestions of urethanes, wondering if they're referring to polyurethane? Also heard that you need to thin, as much as 50%, to allow penetration? Anyone try marine finishes for wood on boats? I'd like to hear any other options for sealing as well. Thanks for any advice.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:13 AM
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Roccus Roccus is offline
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Default Re: Sealing Techniques?

Your sealing results are predictable.. I believe in one of your other posts, i recomended that shelac was not your best option as a sealer... but, I like that you tried something on your own.. failure is the best teacher..

the tried and tru, old way to sealing is with boiled linseed oil, cut 60/40 with mineral spirits, it's drawback, it is slow drying, and can bleed into the finish with time, also rags used to wipe or clean up must be soaked in water to prevent spontanous combustion...

New technology, has guy's that build small quantities of plugs sealing with heated 2 part epoxy, warm the plugs in a toaster oven and slather the inside and outside of the plug with warm epoxy.. let it drip dry..

for most a mixture of oil based polyurethain thinned with about 20% mineral spirits does a good job sealing plugs...

I use a proprietary mixture of Polyurethain, mineral spirits and tung oil... the the plugs are soaked in the mixture for 30 minutes, allowed to drip for about 10 minutes and then wiped clean on the outside... they are cured for priming in about 3 days in a 65 degree room..

here is a few pictures of my set up...
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:10 PM
BigWoodLures BigWoodLures is offline
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Default Re: Sealing Techniques?

Roc, as always, great advice. I did heed your warning about the shellac, the ones that failed had been sealed and painted prior to the post. I'll try the poly and post the results. Thanks again.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:45 PM
Tman1 Tman1 is offline
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Location: West Sayville, NY
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Default Re: Sealing Techniques?

I've used the Linseed oil/spirits mix with sucess but the wait is killing me...I'm going to try the poly/spirits mix... thanks!!!
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:24 PM
Chunkah Chunkah is offline
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Default Re: Sealing Techniques?

I've used a mixture of Val-Oil, polyurethane, and mineral spirits with great success but find that over time it can bleed a bit into the finish. I've been using wood hardener for the last year or so with excellent results, no bleeding, and minimal soaking time. I always let my plugs dry for a week after sealing just to be safe....I'm in no real hurry anyway.
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:32 AM
Herringchoker Herringchoker is offline
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Location: Maine
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Default Re: Sealing Techniques?

Waterlox marine for me has been awesome! Expensive but worth it, it has tung oil at its base but other good stuff in it as well.
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Old 05-31-2015, 06:15 PM
workhorse workhorse is offline
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Default Re: Sealing Techniques?

I read an excellent water penetration study a long time ago, that compared alot of different sealing methods, with variations of dipping vs spraying, cut or uncut, amount of time in water etc. My personal favorite method has given me tremendous results over the past few years.

I use rebar wire to hang and handle the plugs. Can be found in the masonry and concrete sections of most improvement stores. Generally I do batches of 8 to 12 lures depending on lure size. After I drill and epoxy in my belly wts, I wood fill over the belly wts and sand down. I use a gallon of uncut Spar Eurethane to start the process. Dip plugs and bang lid down to hold em under and prevent too much air hitting the eurethane. Let them sit for a few mins, remove from can and wipe off excess eurethane from lures and hang to drip dry for approx 24 hrs in a warm dry area. ( I like to hang them with the nose end facing up so any drips run to the tail end of the lure, making them easy to wipe or sand off). Be careful to keep soaked plugs away from any kind of flame or sparks.
The following day you can quickly remove plugs from the rebar wire, give them a light hand sanding. place plugs back on rebar wire to be hung during priming portion.
Then, using a 60/40 mix of BINZ cover stain primer cut with mineral spirits, dip each plug for a few seconds and hang to drip dry for 48 hrs. As I dip, I usually use small thru wire cutoffs to help stir out any excess primer from the eye and hook holes.

This combination of sealing technique gives great results, with affordable and easily available products that are pretty safe.

I know many builders prefer to spray prime their plugs and even skip the eurethane process because it can be time and cost prohibitive but I feel like dipping plugs really seals the inside of wood lures and helps to minimize water penetration and logging.

After the primer dries, I sand em lightly on the lathe using 150 to 200 grit sandpaper or emery cloth and hand sand any plugs afterwards that need to get smoothed down a bit ( usually around the eyes or hook holes).

This is just my method and there are certainly plenty of different substitutes and variations that can be used.
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