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Color Preserver Test


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#1 Carlin

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 03:58 PM

I was finally able to find a can of the often discussed Varathane 900 at our local Home Depot, and it got me thinking I should do a test using some commonly recommended silk color preservers.

I took a prototype discard butt section and wrapped 6 guides (12 wraps) of Antique Gold Pearsall's Gossamer on it. The plan is to apply 2, 3 and 4 coats of each type of CP to the test wraps, then dip the section. This should give us an idea on how well the different CPs preserve the silk colors, as well as how many coats are needed to get a good seal. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get ahold of a bottle of Al's Silk Rite, though I know AJ Thramer as well as others have highly recommended it. It can be purchased from Angler's Workshop.

I'll be applying the CP for the next day or two and will post some pics and other impressions when I'm done dipping the section.

The four CPs I used are as follows:

Varathane Diamond Outdoor # 2500
Water based gloss spar urethane
Item # 250041 (Quart)
UPC # 026748250040
I have had a lot of experience using this product as CP, and I find that thinning the finish about 10% with tap water works better than using it straight.
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Varathane 900 Professional
Oil based gloss polyurethane
Item # 90041 (Quart)
UPC # 026748090042
According to the company, this is the same as the original formulation, though that may not be accurate. See this post on Clark's for some more information.
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Midwest Aero Gloss
Gloss Clear Lacquer
Item # 65-4 (3.5 fl. oz.)
UPC # 091157006540
I have used this stuff before for coating blued ferrules but have never tried it as a CP, though I have seen quite a few recommendations for its use.
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Classic Thread Lacquer
This is a several year old bottle of Mike Brooks' thread lacquer I've had kicking around. I'm not sure what is in it, but it is labeled as a "Color preserver for opaque silk wraps".
user posted image

Chris

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#2 Carlin

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 05:06 PM

Here is the first set of wraps after 2 coats of CP and ready to dip. The top photo is without a flash, and the bottom is with a flash.

From left to right - Varathane Diamond, Varathane 900, Aero Gloss, Classic Lacquer.
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Though it is hard to tell from the photo, the Varathane Diamond is just a tad darker than the Aero Gloss wrap. Both of these keep the color of the silk very close to the original. The Varathane dries pretty fast, as is ready for additional coats after 2-3 hours, depending a lot on ambient temperature and humidity. If applied too thick, it will collect in the middle of the wraps and result in slight bulges and bumps, so you do have to be careful how thickly you spread it. I've found that more, thinner coats is better, which is one reason for thinning it a bit before use, and if you don't use enough coats you'll get streaks and blotching. Very little odor.

The Varathane 900 wrap (2nd from the left) is significantly darker, and even a bit transparent as you can see if you look at the guide foot, or closely at the power fibers through the wrap. Not a very good CP at all, though it may be a decent wrap finish. dunno.gif I'm guessing from the volume of user's recommendations for this as a CP that this formulation isn't the same as the older variety. The 900 dried fairly quickly and I'd guess you could apply additional coats after a couple hours. The odor was noticeable but not too strong.

Again, it is hard to see in the photo, but the Aero Gloss preserves the color the best and is an almost perfect match against the spool color. There may be a very, very slight bit of darkening, but it is not much. It dried extremely quickly, so much so that it was getting gooey before I was even finished coating the wrap! It was ready for another coat within an hour or so. The only down side so far is the smell, which is quite strong so use good ventilation.

The Classic Lacquer wrap came out very poorly. There is blotching and significant darkening to the thread. However, the blotchiness is likely my fault as the lacquer was fairly thick and went on heavy. A thinner mix would've allowed a more even coating, but would've still resulted in a darker wrap. Dried in about 2-3 hours. Strong odor.

Chris

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#3 Mark Shamburg

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 05:06 PM

Sweet Chris,

I can't wait to see the results. I just finished dipping a rod 5 minutes ago that I finished the wraps with the same Varathane water based poly you show and I got some serious blotching in a few of the wraps.

I'm thinking when I test cast it the hard poly cracked in a few places, but was undescernable. Then the cracks allowed varnish under the thread.

Mark

#4 DJD

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 05:35 PM

Chris,

Great experiment! The kind of thing everybody wants to do, but then no one gets around to it hahah.

Mark,
I used that type of Varathane on my last rod as a color preserver and I didn't experience the blotching, maybe it was a bad batch? I did about 5,6 coats over the thread prior to dipping the rod

Dan


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#5 jaybird

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 06:13 PM


Hey fellas:

Useful information. Would it make sense to put a coat of thinned flex coat lite on top of the color preserved wraps to seal out the later finish coats of varnish and thus reducing or eliminating the chance of wrap blotchiness?

#6 mossycreek

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 08:31 PM

Hi guys, I've got a can of Varathane 900 that is 10+ years old so I'm assuming it is the old formulation. When I used it as a CP on my first rod the effect was very similar to your test Chris. FWIW.

Bob

#7 adgaffney

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 08:48 PM

Chris,

I've used varathane diamond as a cp (per your recomendations) for the last year. I love it. Like you said, dries fast and no odor.

One question for you.

I had a problem on the the only rod that I've tried dipping (the rest were finished with tru oil prior to wrapping). The varnish (helsmans) refused to dry over the wraps finished with diamond. The wraps were still tacky days later. What do you think went wrong? Did I not let the wraps dry long enough? (How long to you let them cure?) Should I have sanded them? Suggestions?


Aaron

#8 Carlin

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 09:53 PM

QUOTE
The varnish (helsmans) refused to dry over the wraps finished with diamond. The wraps were still tacky days later. What do you think went wrong? Did I not let the wraps dry long enough? (How long to you let them cure?)

I had that happen to me once before as well Aaron, and from my best guess and the fact that it hasn't happened since, it was because I didn't let the Varathane dry long enough. I now let the wraps dry at least a full 48 hours before dipping.

Also, the varnish over the wraps on that rod did eventually cure. I don't remember exactly how long it took but it was at least a week. wink.gif

QUOTE
Useful information. Would it make sense to put a coat of thinned flex coat lite on top of the color preserved wraps to seal out the later finish coats of varnish and thus reducing or eliminating the chance of wrap blotchiness?

I would guess that the FC would cause the same blotchiness that the varnish does as it would simply wick its way into the incompletely sealed silk the same way the varnish does. dunno.gif

Chris

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#9 Darrin

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 06:04 PM

Thanks again for taking the time and experimenting for us . Cool results.

#10 Fly1

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 11:20 PM

Thanks for posting your sampling Chris. I'm going to pin this one wink.gif

Ken cool.gif
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#11 Carlin

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 09:49 PM

Here is the last photo before the section went into the dip tank. This picture is of the wraps with 4 coats of finish on them. The Aero Gloss wrap (3rd from the left) is extremely close in color to the original thread and is a very low build. So low in fact that it looks like the wraps have no coating at all on them. The Varathane Diamond is a little bit darker. The difference is more noticeable in lower light conditions, but the photo is fairly close. Both Varathanes build up fairly well and result in smoother wraps.

user posted image

The sections have been dipped and I'll post the interesting results as soon as the varnish is dry enough to get some pics. thumbsup.gif

Chris

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#12 Darrin

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 10:21 PM

When using the aero gloss is there any special way to apply it ?? and how picky where you on the amount applied ? (I guess I mean did you apply a light coat and then the second after drying??)

Thanks

#13 Carlin

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 11:49 PM

I just sort of globbed it on to the wraps using a bodkin like I do with the Varathane. It was thicker than I felt comfortable applying at first, but after I realized how fast it cured and how much it shrunk, the thickness of the coat wasn't an issue. It also didn't go on especially even, though again it cured thin and flat.

Chris

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#14 Carlin

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 05:11 PM

Here are the results of the test after the sections have been dipped in MOW. Again, from left to right: Varathane Diamond, Varathane 900, Aero Gloss, Classic Lacquer.

The first 2 photos are of the wraps that had 2 coats of finish applied. I was careful to pull some finish over the edges of the wraps, and I did what I could to fill in the tent by the guide foot, which was impossible with 2 coats of Aero Gloss as it was so thin. As a result you can see the bleed through in many places. I was surprised the Diamond sealed so well as it usually takes 3-4 coats to get a good seal.
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The second pair of photos is of the wraps that had 3 coats of finish applied. Again, the Diamond looks good. There is still some bleed through with the Aero Gloss, especially at the guide foot (tent problem again) and at the edges of the wraps where I must not have had a good seal.
user posted image
user posted image

The last two photos are of wraps with 4 coats of finish. Again, I didn't get a good seal along the edges of the Aero Gloss wraps so there is some bleed through there. Also notice the light 'smudge' on the Diamond wrap. This sometimes happens when initially applying the finish and is usually remedied by using a more thinned down version of the finish. Unfortunately, once it occurs you either have to live with it or rewrap.
user posted image
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So, the lessons so far seem to be:

Aero Gloss is the best preserver of color, but be sure to apply a minimum of 4 coats and get a good seal along the wrap edges and guide foot tent.

Varathane Diamond is a good preserver of color, takes fewer coats (potentially), but builds thicker (not necessarily a bad thing) and can be temperamental with the viscocity of the finish.

Varathane 900 (the new formula at least) seems to be a good wrap finish, but not a good preserver of color. If I were to use it as a wrap finish I'd be concerned of the lack of UV inhibitors.

Lacquer, well, the stuff I used was just plain bad across the board.

I'll do some destructive testing in the next day or two to see how the finishes adhere and hold up to stress.

Chris

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#15 FlyDoctor

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 09:57 AM

Chris--can you explain a little more about the viscosity issue with the water-based Varathane. Just how thin should it be, and does temperature matter? Do you goop it on, flow it on, or really work it into the thread?

As for the bleed through with AeroGloss, would applying a coat or two of MOW by hand before dipping help to seal the wraps?

Thanks for doing this, I had my own section of cane ready and had just gotten a shipment of Gossamer and was planning a similar test, so you saved me the trouble. Now I think I'll just focus on the difference between CP and non-CP versions of the same thread combinations. Now just have to decide on Varathane or AeroGloss--Larry



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