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Al, how long should I wait before applying a second coat of Flexcoat? Next question, I put a sticker/decal of a weakfish and a largemouth on the last 2 rods I built. the first one I cut away from the background which is very difficult as they are quite small with many contours to follow. The second one I left the fish on the black background but when I applied the Flexcoat the edges lifted slightly any suggestions regarding this problem?

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I wait about 12 hours between coats.


Here are some tips when applying decals:


Lightly sand the area with 600 grit paper to just break the finish where the decal will go. Then clean with alcohol.


Trim the decal. Do not try to follow all the contours in detail.


Apply the decal and press it down firmly.


Apply a coat of color sealant over the decal and wick off any excess. Take a hair dryer and dry the area. Apply a second coat of color sealant in the same manner. Let the sealant cure for 48 hours.


Apply a thin coat of finish in the same manner as the sealant. Put it on and wick of any excess. It should only be tacky to the touch. No hair dryer. Let this dry for 12 hours.


Apply a second coat of finish with a full brush. Brush along the axis of the blank to level the surface. Gently warm with an alcohol lamp to remove any remaining bubbles.


That's it.







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The following is taken from our web site and was provided to us from the manufacturer of the decals. They don't really recommend scuffing the surface of the blank prior to applying the decal or using color preserver over the decal.



1. On dense black blank only, clean surface and scribe light centerline where you want to apply decal.

2. Using single edge razor blade or Exacto knife, rough trim approximately I /8î around full perimeter of fish.

3. Using end of blade, gently lift decal from the sheet - head first.

4. Attach to blank surface along scribe line by touching tail of fish, then gently smooth decal toward the head and press firmly in place.

5. Decal is now ready for application of polymer finish. If you are going to have trim bands, apply before painting. We apply a thin coat and allow a day before next step. You can apply light heat to clear polymer bubbles without affecting decals.

6. After finish of first coat is dry, inspect edges of decal for areas that may show shiny edges of the pearlescent base material. Using a drafting pen with India ink, cover these shiny areas. Allow ink to dry and apply second coat. Let dry for a day.

7. Repeat Step 6 if needed and apply finish coal.


All of the black base decals should be installed on a black background. If your blank is any other color than a dense black, it is suggested that you wrap blank with 001 ìAî non NCP thread where decal is going to be installed. If under wrap is required, a coat of polymer finish must be applied and allowed to dry before beginning Step 4.

The above gives you an idea of how we install these decals. While there may be other ways, we have found that this procedure works best and eliminates any air bubbles.

If you use full width decal without trimming, you may have trouble with air entrapment causing air pockets especially on small diameter blanks. These are very difficult to remove.

Alcohol may be used to clean decal. Do not use Acetone as this may affect color of decal.

Decals may also be applied to belt buckles, cigarette lighters or whatever you may choose.



The same basic installation applies with the following exceptions.

1. Do not scuff shiny surface on blanks or coated underwrap.

2. Do not scribe centerline and install decal over centerline marks as this line will show at ends of fish margin not covered by 4-color.

3. Trim net on fish outline when possible. This will eliminate any shadow areas caused by adhesive showing around outline of fish body. (These may not be noticeable except against a dark background.)

4. A pre-coat is required prior to application of decal if put over a thread underwrap.

5. To eliminate any haze area around the clear 4-color decals, it is best to apply them to a shiny hard surface.

6 For black background decals is not required for clear background decals.



Hope it helps,

Tom McNamara

Mud Hole Custom Tackle & Rod Building Supply

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