ships in a dry pellet form, and will dissolve in acetone or virgin lacquer
thinner to form a waterproof base for dipping and sealing soft lure woods
like Balsa and Bass Wood. Once dissolved, the chemical will penetrate
and raise the wood grain after the first dip/soak and will dry very quickly
between dips, allowing you to get to your painting steps in less time.
Once treated, the propionate will also strengthen soft woods for sanding
without adding significant weight to the overall lure. Here's a quick
set of instructions that explain how to use this additive. NOTE: Always
follow recommended safety precautions when handling chemicals, including
the use of protective eyewear.
Items needed to start
- Protective Eyewear
- Propionate pellets
- Acetone (or Virgin Lacquer Thinner, not recommended)
- (2) 16 oz. glass jars with wide mouths. (Mason jars work good)
- Clip hangers and hanger rack for drying
Steps to make and use propionate as a Penetrating Sealer/Base
PREPARE THE MIXTURE
1) Fill jar 1 with approximately 1 oz. of pellets and fill jar
2 with approximately 2 oz. of pellets in the bottom.
2) Fill each jar 3/4 full with acetone, firmly screw
the top onto the jar, and shake for a while. (five minutes or so)
3) Allow the pellets to completly dissolve in the acetone.
This will generally take between 3 to 5 days, but you can spead this up
by stirring with a piece of unpainted metal, and shaking every few hours
or so. When stirring dig into the clump at the bottom of the jar to break
the propionate up then shake. After it is completely dissolved your solutions
should be as thick as 2% milk in jar 1, and like warm honey (thin honey)
in jar 2.
USE THE MIXTURE
Now you are ready to soak your wood in jar 1 to penetrate and seal the
pores in the woo, and raise the grain. All eyelets and weights should
be in place on the lure either before or just after the first soak (this
will insure your bait will be sealed tight and prevent air escaping while
painting and water entering while fishing)
1) Start by submerging your wood into jar 1 for 30 minutes
(and not longer than 6 hours). To hold it down, twist a stiff wire into
a spiral that will fit the jar, make a tag on top to hold a few egg weights,
and place the contraption on top of your wood. After the wood has soaked
for 30 minutes, remove it and let it dry untill all vapors are gone. This
should only take about 30 minutes at the most. (If you already have the
lip slot cut, you'll need to clean the slot after each dip and before
the lure dries. This can be done with a small piece of paper cut from
a brown paper bag.)
the wood dries, lightly sand the lure to smooth to smooth the surface.
3) Next will be another quick dip into jar one. Stir
it around slowly until most of the bubbles stop coming out of the wood.
Hang dry (about 15 min.).
4) After the wood dries, dip into jar 1 again, wait for
bubbles to stop escaping again, and hang dry. (If your wood has bubbles
on the surface, after it dries then give it a light sanding).
5) After the second quick dip dries, you're ready to
start dipping into jar 2. The higher concentration in jar 2 will build
a tough base coat for your lure. Dip it in swirl it around once or twice
and pull it out. Let it drip back into the jar for a few seconds and hang
6) Repeat the dip and dry process about 8 times in jar 2, alternating
your dipping between nose-first and tail-first.
7) If there is a white cloudy surface on your lure after
you finish dipping, you can remove it by dipping the corner of a cloth
into acetone and wiping the wood's surface in a circular motion until
the propionate is clear. (In ideal conditions the dip will dry with a
diamond-like shine and clarity. For this to happen, the humidity needs
to be low. A dehumidifier in their paint room could solve this problem.)
8) You're done! Proceed with your lure painting...
A couple of
final tips for propionate…
Keep a jar
of super thick mixture on hand. Add it to the thin mixture as needed to
keep the right consistency.
To get the
absolute best finish, use a very thin mixture and more dips. With the
thin jar, you'll get better cover and a very smooth finish with just a
few extra dips. Drying time is faster and any bubbles that may be on the
bait will pop easier when it is removed from the jar to drip.
To make the
super thick jar, add about 1 part pellets and 4 parts acetone. This takes
longer to dissolve but it will stay ready to add to your thin jar any
time you need to refill. All you need to do is add about 1 part thick
and about 3 to 4 parts acetone. Just a light stir will mix it in.
I have found Wide Mouth Mason jars work the best. The acetone can cause
the rubber seal under the lid to dissolve and fall into the jar of your
mix. To prevent this, take you new jar and add about 1oz. of acetone to
it and put the lid on and turn it upside down over night. When you open
it, the rubber ring will be softened. Wipe or scrape off as much as you
can off. To get the rest off, dip the corner of a rag in acetone and wipe