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Slingin Eels

To Seal or Not to Seal?

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OK Gentleman I would like to hear your thoughts on this subject. I have spoken to numerous plug builders and I received mixed reviews. Is sealing a plug beneficial or not? I talked to a bassoholic plug builder and he explained to me that sealing a plug compromises the expansion and contraction of the wood? Thoughts please.

 

Secondly, are there certain types of wood that need the seal? I hear more answers directed to the non-sealing of the plug for the reason of the expansion and contraction. This makes sense but do you really need to if you have the right epoxy? Thanks.

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All woods benifit by sealing. Some woods such as red and white cedar will soak up water pretty quickly if not sealed making them water logged and not very useful in short order. Maple, if not sealed, will split. AYC seems to soak up water less than other woods that I use, though I still seal it. Only time I might skip the sealing is for a proto for me that I only need to last one trip.

 

Jigman

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I wouldnt even consider making a plug without sealing it. My preference is Etex sealing.

 

There is simply too much effort put in to these plugs to start it off by shooting yourself in the foot.

 

As a matter of fact, for me it is probably the most important step. I have fished sealed prototypes as-is and done really well without the primer, paint, topcoat.

 

 

good luck to you in your plugbuilding

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sealing a plug compromises the expansion and contraction of the wood?

 

Something to look in to: This may be true of some other finishes also; according to the information provided on the containers most bartop finishes such as Famowood & EnviroTex Lite and Spar Urethanes when fully cured allow for wood movement (expansion and contraction) without cracking because they have enough elasticity to move with the wood. Other more experienced folks could probably elaborate on the science behind this. THX - CB smile.gif

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Thanks, now when you seal the plug doesn't the seal raise the grain of the wood making the wood uneven? I would hit this with some fine grain sandpaper but how would you sand without compromising the sealant from sanding? I know you are using a light sandpaper but would you reseal the plug after sanding or just check it out and if it needs it go with it? I am not mentioning names but there are some high end plug builders who don't seal their work and I have fished their plugs and never seen any effect from them not sealing. The plugs I have are 10 years old and more with no slip in the grain or waterlogging. Must just be the epoxy or the type of wood their using.

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View PostIt should penetrate deep enough that sanding will not harm the sealer

 

photo316.jpg

 

Awesome pic/post. What sealer is that? Mineral/Linseed Blend?

 

I heat up my plugs and dilute etex with DA and brush on as much as the wood will soak. Still, I'd imagine i'm not getting as deep a seal as that, right?

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View PostThanks, now when you seal the plug doesn't the seal raise the grain of the wood making the wood uneven? quote]

 

 

Due to the nature of wood and its natural response to water, I think its wise to seal any lure that will stay in the water for extended periods of time either through endless hours of casting or used for trolling etc.

 

Unless it has water in it the sealer doesn't raise the "grain" of the wood, it will make the fine surface fibers lift up so they can be sanded off after complete drying. This step in the process helps level the surface and insure a nice smooth foundation for the next steps in the painting process. I use a light sanding with a green scotch brite pad. Then liberal wipe down with DA and ready to prime. That's the process I use. I think some of the best advice I've seen on here about this is from Jig Man - you need to take a systematic approach where each step of the process has a quantafiable purpose, personalized techniques, and adds a distinctive quality to the finished product.

 

To your other point I know of at least one lure builder, there's probably more out there, who does not seal the wood in a separate step but instead depends on the oil based primer he uses to seal the wood. He dips the lures in the primer, which is diluted 90/10 with quality paint thinner, lets them set (don't know how long but minutes not hours), then allows them to "drip dry". His lures must hold up pretty well as he says he has never had a complaint or an issue with the ones he uses himself and he fishes for peacock bass and stripers with his lures.

 

Nothing takes the place of personal experience in your quest for development of your own unique "plug building system" and process techniques. Explore, experiment, test, record, learn, do - repeat ... Gotta luv it! THX CB wink.gif

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