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Plug Building - Got Wood? Got Plug?

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Old 12-14-2016, 02:26 PM   #1
pbadad
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Unhappy Weird System 3 problem??

Started using S3 at the tail end last season w/o issues. My last 2 batches are weird. Createx heat treated, dry a few days and epoxy coat is what I've done for years w/ e tex. Only difference w/S3 is no scratch coat of lacquer. The first coat drys nice and hard. Hung near furnace pipes like always. When you grab them and squeeze the plug and rub you notice your hands getting sticky. I thought because I did a small batch of epoxy, 4cc resin, 2cc hardener. Recoat with a larger quantity mixture 6cc resin, 3cc hardener. Plugs came out great. After drying a couple days I grab one and guess what, same sticky feel. You can actually dull the finish. Oddly the finger nail test proves it's hard. No denting. Anyone have a clue before I try again?

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Old 12-14-2016, 07:07 PM   #2
ed morini
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epoxy

It sound like to me the mix may have been off. I don't mean wrong proportions but the mix may have been incomplete. I use alot of epoxy and have learned that the best way to insure a good mix is to add the components to one cup stir as well as you can then transfer that mix to another cup and keep stirring that mix. It is usual that the next morning I will find an incomplete mix in the first cup while the second cup is as it should be.
Most of us that do boats mix this way. Epoxy, particularly the more expensive brands have more critical mix ratio and mixing procedures because they are used in structural situations. I have found products like e-tex much more forgiving.
I would wash this plug with denatured alchol or MEKS (not in the house)
and recoat.

Ed
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Old 12-15-2016, 12:39 PM   #3
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Ed oddly enough I think that may be correct. I usually transfer my rod epoxy and etex to a larger disc plate to disperse bubbles. I think that batch came right from the mixing cup. try another batch,thanks.You know as long as you do something, your always earning.

Billy D.
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Old 12-15-2016, 04:47 PM   #4
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With small batches of System 3 I found better success mixing by weight. Because of its long drying time I have had plugs that seemed slightly tacky harden further over several days. Because of this I started using a heated drying box and that was the end of that.
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Old 12-16-2016, 08:52 AM   #5
ed morini
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I dont use Sys3 epoxy so I am assuming that you are using their "Mirror Coat", which is 100% solids. That would allow the use of heat as a remedy for an off batch..even without heat eventually it will cure. The problem with the fixes is that the epoxy will not perform to spec. On a lure I don't see any problem at all with heat to cure. In a structural assembly I would be suspect. I would add that heating the area around the work is not considered a "fix". Epoxy is a great product but it has its moments.
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:42 PM   #6
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System 3 clear coat. Mirror coat is too brittle for plug applications.

Billy D.
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:11 PM   #7
ed morini
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I had assumed that the Mirror coat was similar to e-tex in nature, being their bar top finish, and I didn't realize it was too brittle. From what I can find out the Clear Coat is less viscous than the Mirror Coat. That being said Its 100% solids, so I will stick with what I said above.

I did do some searching around and it does seem that a few plug builders do not like Sy3, as being to fussy. Those objections i think are based on their present products use and it's familiarity.
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Old 12-16-2016, 08:53 PM   #8
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A lot of people don't like it because of the thinner consistency. They are used to e tex's thick consistency. A heated box is a must in my opinion for this not too hot. It does not like cool temps which we have in this area. Mike Fixter just hangs his plugs in his garage and has no issues becasue he is in California. Personally I prefer 2 coats too.

"A beach is a place where a man can feel he's the only soul in the world that's real"
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Old 12-25-2016, 07:45 PM   #9
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I finished 8 needles the only night. So far they are dry, hard and look ok. I mixed 6 cc resin and 3 cc hardener. Mixed in a mixing cup then transfer to a flat plate and stirred a bit. Used a soft camel hair rod epoxy brush. Didn.t use the heat gun like I do w/e tex. Hung and flipped with a heat lamp over them for a few hours. Once dry but slightly tacky put them on the rack next to furnace. Checked the next day and they felt ok. Today I fondled them w/o any issues. I hope this success holds for the next many times. Thanks all for your advice.

Billy D.
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:47 PM   #10
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OK HERE'S THE DEAL. I finished 22 wadd needles w/S3. Light coat using a total of 18cc (2 batches of 9). 6/3 ratio. Used 3 bulp lamps in strategic spot along the drying rack. enclosed the furnace room w/ tarp to hold in heat from burner. They were dry and hard in less than 12 hrs. One caveat the finish looks "orange peel". Not real bad but I would rather a smoother finish. I was thinking of doing another coat but they aren't that bad. For my own knowledge i will redo a few and not use that many lamps to cure. Maybe there was too much heat causing the curdling effect. Kinda looks like the old school Redfins of 40 yrs. ago. When my pikes need finish I think I'll default to e - tex if the results aren't acceptable. I hate to change back completely and feel defeated. yes this is a fussy product but I've seen plugs finished with it and I like the look and hardness of the S3. I have a darter from Numbskull and it still has a good finish with minimal wear. Maybe I need 2. LOL

Billy D.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:03 PM   #11
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It goes over itself much better and will give you that finish you are looking for. Sometimes one coat comes out like that but more often than not I use 2 coats.
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:09 AM   #12
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I'm doing 2 coats on a few to see. I'll let you know. BTW, did you find system 3 to be a harder finish and have more resiliency than e tex?

Billy D.
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:56 AM   #13
ed morini
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epoxy

Bill, all I can say is that with epoxy your mileage may vary. At the outset, this product is a sealing product and as I am sure you have noticed very thin. Looking at the specs on this sealer I would not recommend using it for plugs, but that's me, and I would add that it can be used with success with certain modifications to aid in the cure, as is your appreciation of Paul's and George's plugs.. I think here thin coats are a must, temperature control is a requirement given it long cure time (24 hrs for tack 72 for use). The substate should be as smooth as you would expect the finish to end up. I don't see any forgiveness here as you would with e-tex. " Bar top" and this product are not in the same category. From your description, I would surmise that there was too much heat that forced the gel time to alter from spec. Most of these "sealers" are formulated at a given time at 77* and in this case it 24 hrs for tack free.I would also recdommend using their "Tubro Cure" to shorten tack times. I would not get discuraged but would recommend you talk with Paul and George about their process. This is a product with a learning curve for use in plug building, doesn't mean it doesn't work, you just have to decide if it works for you, if it doesn't that's not a failure just part of the journey.
I hope to see you at Plug Fest, maybe we can talk further,

Ed
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:52 AM   #14
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Anyone tried any of the high end tabletop formulated Polyurethanes in lieu of clearcoating with epoxy?


It appears to be a harder finish and is a lot easier to apply (spray) I suspect BM uses it or something similar on his plugs. If one has a spray booth it should not be a problem to spray it. I have read that it can be applied over paint. I bet 2 or 3 spray coats of this product when dried/cured properly would out perform eTex or any of the commercial formulations that ETI sells.

http://www.rockler.com/behlen-rockha...ish-b603-28406

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Old 01-12-2017, 10:16 AM   #15
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Yes Billy I prefer it to e Tex. We will
Talk at plugfest
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:20 AM   #16
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Like Capesams says. Plugs are made to be disposable. Hooks eat all finishes. Too much worry by guys trying to produce plugs that look super pretty. 10 coats of epoxy will look great but not something I have interest in nor the time.
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:59 PM   #17
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a learning curve in which the patient one may benefit. yes pretty plugs don't catch fish, just the user. i did a redo . lets see what happens. less heat , .

Billy D.
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:01 PM   #18
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Ok the red o's look better but would need more coats to smooth curdling. The pikes with the first coats looks great. Less than 12 hrs and it's touchable . Real smooth. Could get away with 1 coat. Put the lamps farther away. I'm going to wire them up and put on the second coat. I did flip a few times within a half hour. Mixed 2 batches of 6/3 cc.

Billy D.
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:46 PM   #19
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I spin mine in a covered plastic container 2 small light bulbs and let temp get up to 85 to 90 but no more. Usually dry to the touch in 5 or 6 hours. I let them dry till next day 24 hours. No handling them. I then put on other coat. No scratching. I used to but way better results with no touching. If you need to wait longer I would put them aside and let them dry for several days then wipe them down with iso alcohol and apply second coat. It dries to a much harder finish than e tex . Epoxy is the worst part of plugbuilding. A PIA so pick something and stick with it. Each time it gets easier and more consistent. My 2 cents.

"A beach is a place where a man can feel he's the only soul in the world that's real"
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:21 AM   #20
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Paul I need as it seems to do a drying box of some sort. Here's the deal, I never have time to do things like that. With rods to build and plugs along with bats , I need to quit my day job.LOL I like to get a larger plastic tube work that into a drying box and eventually adapt into a vertical flipper. Since I flip now and results are ok, I think I could get more on a spin. I also see within an hour with some heat the system 3 sets up an there's no sag. I wiped down those "alligator " finish needles w/isopropyl prior to second coating too. My concern was establishing a chemical bond with the second coat and prefer not to do it more than 72 hrs out . Any problem with adhesion when you wait longer? I also don't want to scratch surface with a pad before recoating.

Billy D.
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Old 01-13-2017, 09:11 AM   #21
ed morini
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epoxy

the clear coat is "no blush" so no amine coating to worrry about. A light scuffing to insure a mechanical bond wouldn't hurt. If the second coat was appled before the 24 window was up a direct application would bond well. This is 100% solid epoxy, so there is no "bite"on cured surfaces resulting in a light scuff to help with adhesion.
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:15 AM   #22
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Mike Fixter only flips his plugs In his garage and gets great results using sys. 3. Different climate though SF Cali. area. So it can be done. I like 85 to 90 degrees but not more. I understand about finding time to build one.
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