4 Tips to Improve Epoxy Finish
August 02, 2017
Read these tips to get the best results from your epoxy finish.
Learn Easy Ways for the Best Results with Thread Finish
From the thread and epoxy, to the application, curing time and working time, there many helpful techniques and tricks to give your custom fishing rod the perfect finish.
Catch these 4 Tips for epoxy finish below:
1. Don't Overdo Guide Wraps
Thread wrapping definitely isn't difficult, especially with CRB HWS-1 Hand Wrapper, however when it comes to wrapping guides, some rod builders have a tendency to wrap too much thread.
Wrapping thread up the correct distance on the guide foot is incredibly important once you start to apply finish. For instance, if you wrap too far up the guide foot and onto the frame, epoxy can run up from the thread wrap to seal off the guide's eye.
The image below shows a guide wrap at risk.
Although there is a way to fix it, it is much easier to just avoid sealing off guides altogether.
The following example is a quality thread wrap ready to epoxy without any worries.
Looking for high-quality thread? ProWrap comes in countless colors and is pressure dyed for color consistency, so pick up yours now!
2. Preparing and Applying Epoxy
For preparing a two-part epoxy, the wrong technique can interfere in both the curing process and the epoxy's final appearance.
Some rod builders stir the hardener and resin together quickly, but this won't speed up the process. Instead, it will increase the number of bubbles in the mixture.
Easily avoid the bubbles by using the right technique and supplies. Start by stirring the mixture slowly and rotating from clockwise to counterclockwise every few turns. This works to churn and fold the two parts together, while also removing the air bubbles.
Stirring slowly and consistently will result in epoxy that is thoroughly mixed. Next, pour the epoxy into an aluminum dish to preserve the epoxy's life and release any remaining air bubbles.
Now the epoxy is ready for action!
If this mixing technique is too involved or time-consuming, consider the Finishing Kit with Epoxy Mixer Kit for all these supplies and an essential hands-free epoxy mixer. The best tool for blending any two-part epoxy, the CRB Epoxy Mixer preserves the working time of your epoxy by continuously churning and folding it into itself.
But if a shaky hand or a hard time with straight edges is holding you back, there are also some simple methods to make your application of epoxy easier than ever.
For example, many rod builders softly press their palm onto the blank as it turns. This works to steady both your hand and the brush as you apply epoxy.
This works well, but make sure you avoid resting against the blank and applying too much pressure.
Other rod builders will often take their off-hand and use it as rest or level for their brush hand. This helps keep the brush steady as you epoxy over each thread wrap and its edges.
Mixing and applying epoxy with these methods will not only improve your epoxy's finished look, but also boost your overall rod building experience.
3. Check on Curing Epoxy
With your thread wraps epoxied, the finish is now in its earliest and most crucial curing stage. This is why checking on the finish is highly recommended.
Monitoring your finish to make sure each thread wrap is not only covered, but also curing correctly.
For instance, to release any remaining bubbles in the epoxied thread wraps, you can use a flamed finish technique. Simply waft an alcohol burner's flame to heat and then remove the bubbles from the epoxy.
Never hold the flame too close to the finished wrap or up against the wrap for too long because this will damage the finish.
After checking in on the epoxy finish a few times in its first 3-4 hours of curing, you will want to have a gauge to determine when the epoxy is hard enough to touch and of course, fish. To start this test, just keep the aluminum dish with some of the excess epoxy handy so you can check its hardness as the real epoxy cures.
This allows you to avoid harming the actual finish on your thread wraps.
Most professional grade two-part epoxies, like ProKöte Thread Finish, must cure for a full 24 hours before fishing, but having the excess epoxy nearby helps confirm when the finish is truly ready for the water without leaving fingerprints on the epoxied thread wraps.
4. Shielding your Curing Epoxy
Double-checking your epoxy is just one step towards a high-quality finish, the next step is adding more protection over your finishing rod. Whether it's damaging temperatures or contaminants like bugs and pet hair, the CRB Drying Tent and Heater is one of the greatest tools to shield your curing epoxy and maintain the optimal curing temperature.
Regardless of where you build your rods, CRB developed the Tent Drying System in order to keep all your unwanted debris out. A total of 110" in length (2 x 55" segments when assembled), can fit up to 9ft fishing rods.
This tent is a basic "Dryer Box" that fits over your existing power wrappers, CRB aluminum base stations, and CRB single and triple rod dryers. Just assemble and drop it over—it's lightweight for single person operations, features windows to keep an eye on your rod when drying, and collapses into a convenient carry bag for storage. The CRB Tent Drying System allows for a controlled environment so that your rod build can dry safely within the enclosed tent.
In addition to the Tent Drying System, this CRB's mini Work Bench Heater features a compact design perfect for warming up a chilly workspace or regulating the temperature inside a CRB Tent creating a perfect drying environment. The CRB-HEATER is powered by a 50W heating element with a 3500 RPM Fan Motor. Each unit utilizes incorporated safety features to prevent overheating.
Along with the CRB Tent and Heater, the CRB Tent Kit includes a handy peel-and-stick thermometer that has an easy-to-read temperature gauge to let you know when your work room is the ideal temperature for finishing your custom fishing rods. The sticker also includes useful finishing tips to make sure your wraps come out just right, every time.
Get the Perfect Epoxy Finish
Use these 4 tips to improve any epoxy and take your skills, experience, and finished rods to the next level. Nothing gives your custom fishing rods that sleek, professional look more than a sharp epoxy finish that seals the deal.
Stock up on all your Finishing Supplies at Mud Hole today!