Livefreeordie

A New Re-Finish Thread?

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 I was gonna do my showing off the correct way, and post a picture of these 4 plugs I just re-finished in the 'Showtime' thread. But, since it's been a while since I've seen discussion of the matter, there are new builders on the forum, and great/scary pictures of burning plugs exist; I thought I'd start a new thread to discuss re-finishing old plugs.

 

The darter took my biggest fish on homemade. The glider did exactly as I hoped (great distance and caught fish) but lost epoxy/paint on one side soon after I started using it. The Mag Darter imitation caught many fish over 2 seasons, never came out of my bag, and eventually became a chewed up mess. The one that sort of looks like a Bomber lost epoxy on one small section, was still in good shape, but I chose to include it in this process, because I liked the way it swims. Out of a dozen plugs that will eventually get the complete stripping, I chose these 4 to go first, and hopefully by June, I'll have a good idea of whether it's worthwhile to do a total strip.

 

 

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I've been without use of a lathe for a while, but will eventually pick one up when I find the perfect deal. So, my plugs almost all fall into the hand-carve, fully sealed category. While I enjoy building this way, it's important to note that shaping the bodies takes forever. This is the main reason I've gone into this total strip-down venture. If I were building lathe plugs, shaping the bodies takes much less time, and I might be more inclined to turn another, as opposed to spending a couple hours per plug removing topcoat, paint, primer, sealing.

 

I did try Winch's set-it-ablaze method, to loosen the finish. It worked, but I had better luck and control hitting the old plugs with a heat gun. When I saw paint/epoxy bubbling, I turned off the heat gun, and scraped off what I could get off. In some instances, with the heat gun, I was able to remove finish down to sealer, and in other cases primer still clung. The set-on-fire method left me with some burn marks on lumber, which I was unable to sand out. I felt the heat gun method (for me) was safer and I could target one section at a time.

 

After heat stripping/scraping, I put the plugs in a vice, and did the shoe-shine method, with strips of sandpaper, to get closer to bare wood.

 

In truth, I could not remove all old sealer. There were low spots that were far enough down, that in order to sand off the old sealer, I would have needed to change the shape of the plug. So, while I did get to fresh wood (you can tell by the sanding dust) some old sealer remained. Also, in the case of where I used plumber's putty for a taper over the tail wrap, I sanded old epoxy off until I got to putty, but between the wood body and putty taper, old sealer remains. I've found that paint and epoxy stick very well to plumber's putty, but because it shrinks/expands at a different rate than wood, I often get a ring cracked in topcoat around the plug, close to where the putty meets lumber. This crack has not been an issue, though, and the lures have not shed epoxy in this area as a result.

 

Removing paint from eye holes is simple enough, just re-drill a little bit deeper. I've been also increasing diameter . I've started using forstner bits, too....much less 'chipping' around the perimeter, and flat bottoms perfect for the press-in eyes I generally use.

Edited by Livefreeordie

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I took this one out for a day, sealed but no paint for some may bluefish. when I got home I filled it and resealed it.

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9 mins ago, Livefreeordie said:

... I often get a ring cracked in topcoat around the plug, close to where the putty meets lumber. This crack has not been an issue, though, and the lures have not shed epoxy in this area as a result...

I get that too. I have since have drilled an oversized hole in the tail going roughly two inches so that i make a loop for the rear with a couple of wraps that fits in the hole. I pull the tail loop as far forward into the body as i can then finish forming the front loop with no wraps but leave a good tag end then pull the wire back into position hiding the tail wrap in the hole. i then fill the oversized hole in the back with the putty. i hope that makes sense.

Edited by rollincoal

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4 mins ago, rollincoal said:

Nice stuff, especially like the minnow.

The Bomber-ish one? I'll send it to you, if you can make a decent attempt to use it and give me feedback. I personally have trouble putting new lures into my rotation, and in this case I'm experimenting with whether it's time-savvy to refinish or just build new. I built 4 and put slightly different lips in each...this one has a wider shorter lip than the other 3. I'll talk to you PM, have always enjoyed doing 'business' with you. But it does irritate me, when I show someone my wall of plugs, and the first one they pick out is one you sent me...your dip finish looks great

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1 min ago, Livefreeordie said:

The Bomber-ish one? I'll send it to you, if you can make a decent attempt to use it and give me feedback. I personally have trouble putting new lures into my rotation, and in this case I'm experimenting with whether it's time-savvy to refinish or just build new. I built 4 and put slightly different lips in each...this one has a wider shorter lip than the other 3. I'll talk to you PM, have always enjoyed doing 'business' with you. But it does irritate me, when I show someone my wall of plugs, and the first one they pick out is one you sent me...your dip finish looks great

I'd definitely use it, sounds great! Thanks about the finish, you're not seeing the **** ups though. 

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6 mins ago, rollincoal said:

I get that too. I have since have drilled an oversized hole in the tail going roughly two inches so that i make a loop for the rear with a couple of wraps that fits in the hole. I pull the tail loop as far forward into the body as i can then finish forming the front loop with no wraps but leave a good tag end then pull the wire back into position hiding the tail wrap in the hole. i then fill the oversized hole in the back with the putty. i hope that makes sense.

It makes sense now. When I first read about this method, I could not conceptualize it. Eventually, once I 'got it', it was like so many other things: too complicated, and then suddenly "duh, this is actually easy". A solid wood body taper is definitely better than a wood-to-putty taper.

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4 mins ago, Livefreeordie said:

It makes sense now. When I first read about this method, I could not conceptualize it. Eventually, once I 'got it', it was like so many other things: too complicated, and then suddenly "duh, this is actually easy". A solid wood body taper is definitely better than a wood-to-putty taper.

If i wire plugs this weekend i'll take pictures.

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I too love restoring old beat up plugs......I get alot of inspiration from some great builder here on SOL and there are MANY !  Here are just a few i re-did from old crusty plugs.

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Thanks.....I buy, beg, or steal old beat up plugs that are ugly and non-wanted....Strip them, sand em, seal, primer, and paint em back to life.......keeps me busy during the winter

 

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