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Fish eyes in finish
Posted by: Paul Wood (---.columbus.res.rr.com)
Date: March 11, 2017 08:18PM

I'm new to this addiction, but have read dozens of threads on this forum about ways to prevent fish eyes in my finish. That being said, I have a few... I'd already planned on adding a second and maybe third coat to my butt wrap, but would like to know how these coats will remedy the fish eyes, and if I need to do anything special to prep for them? I hope I'm not breaking any rules, as I know the products I've used are common to many of you, and the problem isn't with any of them and I have no intentions of switching to something else, but in case it will help with any suggestions, here's what I did. I used Madeira polyneon thread, with Flex Coat CP. I applied three soaking coats of CP, and wicked the excess as necessary (the third coat might have been overkill, but...). I allowed 12 hours between each coat of CP, and 24 hours before applying finish. I used Pro-Kote finish, and added about 6" of thread to my shot glass while mixing. I hand turned for about 15 minutes, and applied just enough heat to get rid of the bubbles and wicked away the sags before placing it in the dryer. It looked level with no bare places, but when I checked it an hour later, I had 4 small fish eyes. The threads didn't discolor, and have the sheen of finish, just not like the rest of the wrap.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts, and for all I've learned from your previous posts!

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Re: Fish eyes in finish
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---.lightspeed.lsvlky.sbcglobal.net)
Date: March 11, 2017 09:01PM


What was your heat source? By chance was it a DNA plastic bottle torch?

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Re: Fish eyes in finish
Posted by: Paul Wood (---.columbus.res.rr.com)
Date: March 11, 2017 10:32PM

It was.

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Re: Fish eyes in finish
Posted by: Paul Wood (---.columbus.res.rr.com)
Date: March 11, 2017 11:06PM

I cant wait to hear how DNA in a plastic bottle torch might affect my finish, but I don't think I did anything to over heat the finish.

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Re: Fish eyes in finish
Posted by: Jay Lancaster (---.triad.rr.com)
Date: March 12, 2017 08:10AM

I've used Prokote for two rods now, one I just finished up 2 days ago, and have had no issues. So far I have not seen any reason to apply heat. I've had no bubble trouble...even though I whip in millions of micro bubbles when mixing. They release beautifully...just like they always have with my traditional go-to epoxy that starts with aft & ends in co.

I can't help with any reason as to why a DNA torch would cause issues...mainly because I don't use one.

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Re: Fish eyes in finish
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: March 12, 2017 08:14AM

Most likely these weren't "fish eyes" but rather bubble craters. It happens.

You have to keep a check on the rod for that first hour or two. Just walking away and leaving it allows the errant bubble or two (or four) to rise late in the game and release, leaving behind craters that won't be filled as the epoxy is set enough that it's no longer flowing easily.


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Re: Fish eyes in finish
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---.lightspeed.lsvlky.sbcglobal.net)
Date: March 12, 2017 10:27AM


Did not mean to imply a DNA torch in a plastic bottle was necessarily the cause, but I recently experienced fish eye after its use and was curious. I don't know if the occasional "sputter" caused unburnt DNA to be deposited in the finish, if as Tom K suggested I over heated the finish, or something else was the source of my affliction. Nonetheless, the DNA torch is now permanently retired in favor of a box of soda straws.

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Re: Fish eyes in finish
Posted by: Richard McCluskey (---.restechservices.net)
Date: March 12, 2017 10:45AM

Do this first - watch Tom Kirkman's "Applying Epoxy Finish" on youtube. Then, before you do any work on a rod wash your hands with soap and water and rinse real good. When it is time to apply finish be sure and pour the finish on aluminum foil or in an aluminum foil pan. Most all the bubbles will disappear. After the finish is applied per the youtube video low heat from a heat gun will release any remaining bubbles. The result is an absolute perfect finish.

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Re: Fish eyes in finish
Posted by: Matthew Paul (---.lightspeed.milwwi.sbcglobal.net)
Date: March 13, 2017 06:44PM

lost of reasons for fish eye of finish most of the time when you get fish eye is when you have thinned you mix to much either with chemical or heat as it is self leveling but does NOT always have even heat distribution on the rod,
mixing it way to long you should be able to get a good mix in 2-3 min. and then do as everyone has been saying and that Tom posted pore it on a piece of aluminum foil and apply the bubbles will pop on the foil, I prefer to apply with a spatula as some times a brush can cause bubbles ,
I my self also mix small batches( as many as 4 dependent on rod length and size of wraps) which is easy to work with and do a part of the rod at a time as the curing action is working having to much or enough to finish the entire rod is like trying to empty the ocean with a thimble.
mix a second batch identical to the first and finish the rest of the rod while doing the second half I watch for any issues like fish eye or latent bubbling, drips, footballing and fish eyes. any finish that drips or foot balls I never try to re use just fix the problem and wipe the excess on a piece of paper towel as it is not needed and will impair the self leveling aspect of the finish.
I also never preheat the components an have rarely ever had to use any heat after applying or during the cure.
temperature will play the biggest part of curing the finish and if it is a bit cool less than 60 degrees just be patient and let it turn and let the finish do it's thing and cure. I guess what all this says is hurry up and slow down to achieve perfect finish.

The best day to be alive is always tomorrow !!
Think out side the box when all else fails !!!

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Re: Fish eyes in finish
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: March 13, 2017 07:30PM

x10 on richard's comments.
But, for the first hour or so, keep a vigilant eye on the finish, using very bright light and a magnifier. As the time goes by, if you do see a bubble crater appear, you can always add just a touch of finish, and then use low heat to let the finish flow in with the rest of the finish in the first 30-45 minutes. After that time, the finish will have set enough so that the finish will not blend well.

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Re: Fish eyes in finish
Posted by: Paul Wood (---.sub-174-233-16.myvzw.com)
Date: March 13, 2017 08:34PM

Thanks for all of the input! I did a YouTube search, and found Tom's video on applying finish, but not the one which referenced using a heat gun. I had poured my finish on foil for the first coat, but used a small brush, left it unattended after about 15, and used a DNA torch after applying. After watching the video, I bought a bigger brush, and didn't apply heat, as I saw no bubbles. I kept a close eye on it, and it leveled nearly perfectly. Thanks to all, and to Tom for the great video!

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