Otshawytsha

Origin and Basis of the Classic Sealing Method of 40/60 Min Sp./Spar Mix

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Is there any basis any at all for the 40/60 ratio? What about a much smaller amount of thinner? Poster Lurch says he does 10% Min Spirits. I just mixed up some 40/60 and boy is it thin as all get out. Watery really. 

 

Does thinning the sealer thin the protection? Or does it thicken the protection? Woodbuster's experiment seems to suggest that thinning the SPAR thins the protection considerably. 

 

I'm just curious how did we get this 40/60 ratio and whether it's grounded on any thing. 

 

There's talk of the thinned sealer penetrating deeper. Can that be observed? 

 

I'm thinking that if the thinned stuff doesn't penetrate deeper than the hooks will on a plug, then deeper penetration isn't all that useful. Right or wrong? Is the hook rash the main route for a plug to soak up water? And chips on the hard edges at the nose and tail? 

 

Also concerned about the interior of the plug, the drilled out cavities. Seems like it could really use the best protection and only needs the surface protection. Is surface protection good enough here? Does the thinned or uncut SPAR seal these areas best? Woodbuster's experiment suggests that a dipping in primer will provide an extra layer of sealing protection in here that you won't get if you spray on youfr primer.  

 

I'm thinking uncut SPAR is the way to go. But the question remains if 15 minutes in thinned SPAR would provide any additional protection from hook rash. 

Edited by Otshawytsha

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This is a great question as I always wondered the same thing. I mixed up a batch of 75/25. I had it sitting around in a sealed paint can for a month or two. When I opened it to seal more plugs, it had become a can of jelly where as the spar alone wasn't. Instead of running out and buying more spirits, I sealed is plug with straight spar. So far all I noticed was that the coating didn't seem to be thick. I'm going to try and dip it again and see what the outcome is. Hopefully the experienced builders can explain.

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This topic is tough, there are many mixed feelings. Spirits evaporate quickly and aid in drying time, and promote penetration. There is no level of hardness that can be obtained by this process that will prevent hook rash or teeth marks. The necessity of sealing greatly depends on the type of wood used. I did a season long test with a bare AYC plug a while back, which showed relatively no water absorption during prolonged fishing, and nothing that ever negatively affected the performance of the plug. The same plug turned from red cedar turned into a lifeless turd after an hour in the water because it soaked up so much water. Use a thin epoxy made for sealing rotted wood, it's easier than you think, and hardens the wood dramatically, The lower the viscosity the better it will penetrate, and will give you a well sealed lure. It will flow through the belly and thru wire holes without clogging them as well.

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There's a thread on here from maybe 8-10 years back by woodbuster I think (Ron from lordship lures) he tested all the popular methods in crazy detail, dry weight of wood, density, soaked weight of wood, different soaking times, the list goes on, and he had people conduct the same experiments

 

Basically it didn't matter, as long as the plug was sealed in something they all had similar results

 

It didn't matter if the plug soaked for an hour or 2 minutes, the absorption rate was very close.

 

Most important things are to make sure the thru hole and cut ends are sealed well.

 

I use to do 50/50 spar/spirits just cause it was easier and fool proof.

 

I find the spar works good for soft woods but the hardwoods seem to do better with epoxy sealing, which is now what I do.

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Like you stated the sealer doesn't really penetrate more than a hook will.

 

I think after a good sealer coat, primer, paint and top coat epoxy (1-2 coats) is as good as you're going to get without buying commercial grade clear coat (automotive) or some of the higher end epoxies

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Thanks for the responses. Chefchris Woodbuster's experiment found uncut spar to perform considerably better than 40/60 mix. That's why, to my mind, the only performance reason for the thinning would be if it provided some kind of sealing protection against hooks or general abrasion of the surface of a plug that has lost it's clear coat protection. 

 

As BigRock says the performance of the plug can really be affected quickly by water gain. Maybe the only answer is to use wood that isn't thirsty like AYC? 

 

But as far as SPAR goes, it seems like uncut is the way to go if there isn't demonstrable penetration protection. Especially in light of Woodbuster's data which show thinning SPAR impairs sealing. 

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On my iPad the thread title appeared as "Origin and Basis of the Cla..."

 

I was hoping against hope that this thread was going to be about the origin and basis of the clambrella rig.

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Use a thin epoxy made for sealing rotted wood, it's easier than you think, and hardens the wood dramatically, The lower the viscosity the better it will penetrate, and will give you a well sealed lure. It will flow through the belly and thru wire holes without clogging them as well.

^^ This. ^^

 

I switched from the spar / mineral spirits mix to an epoxy designed to do precisely as described above and have seen vastly improved results. I mostly use AYC anyway, but red cedar, mahogany, and birch make it on the lathe from time to time and the epoxy sealing I have found far superior than previous methods. Birch would eventually take on water and split. The red cedar would eventually take on water as well and would push the finish off from the inside (I am always very careful to seal the plug through the through drill, hook holes, weight holes etc)...these failures are now a thing of the past and my finish is even holding up much better. That might be due to my change to a UV epoxy coating, but that's another subject.

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When you say 40/60 ?? Which percentage is which? I always used a 60/40 mixture. 60% boiled linseed oil mixed with 40% mineral spirits. That mixture never really seemed to be "very thin"

 

Sorry. I did not see that you are talking Spar urethane.

Edited by Charleston

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Well, I sealed a WRC darter with my unscientifically measured 40/60% min spirits/SPAR. Took it down to test it. The thing was not sealed. Within a few casts, I could see the tip of the throughwire cavity at the nose becoming darker as it soaked up water. This sped up the diving plane about an inch. Then part of the darkened wood tore out (doesn't matter, I was trying to figure out how much of it too cut out anyways)! On top of that, I am watching the plug dry right now, you can see the dark spots where it's still wet.  

 

So I'm going back to SPAR 100%. I may have made a mistake in my mix of thinner and SPAR. But what this shows is that at some point (the point which is whatever mix I had made, pretty sure it was more SPAR than min spirtits) the mixture just doesn't work at all. 

 

I should note that I've tested two other plugs cut from the same length of WRC. These were sealed in uncut SPAR. And they stayed dry during testing, as far as I could tell. There were no signs of water soakage, so to speak. 

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Update, five hours later most of the plug surface looks dry, but you can see visible wetness at the lip, nose of the throughwire slot, and a strip of wetness between the nose and the belly hook hole, about 3" long. Also around tail hole. So, that's interesting. 

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So, you all sealing w/epoxy.

Are you thinning it ??

Got any off-the-shelf stuff preferred ??

How do you get a big plug immersed so all is coated ??

 

Been using 60/40 Minwax Lacquer Sand Sealer, 2-3 minute dip & brush off excess & dry for 24 hrs.

Light hand sanding & prime w/unthinned BM Enamel Underbody - takes forever to dry & seems much softer than it was BITD.

Gone to a sandable rattle primer - 2X Rusto so far,

 

And still looking for a better final coat over my Molotow graffiti colors.

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think end grain...hundreds of tiny straws running from end to end of a pc. of wood...this is where the water seeks out to work its way into the wood...nose..tail..eye...swivel holes all end grain...there is what you need to seal up the most..even hook rash you have end grain ....the "surface" of most woods and i say most because there are a" few woods that are very porous" don't

  take on but very little water or sealer...if any...

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