Color Preserver and Blotches

By Tom Kirkman

RodMaker Magazine This question is from Volume 6, Issue #6 of RodMaker Magazine:
Q. My question concerns the blotches I get when using color preserver over regular nylon thread. This happens to me with any of the lighter colors but particularly with the reds and yellows over natural colored dark grey graphite blanks. I'm careful to apply two good flood coats of color preserver but no matter what I do the wraps come out with blotches and dark areas. I'm ready to throw in the towel on color preserver. I just don't see how anyone can use it to get good results. Any ideas before I throw it out and move to NCP thread for good? Matt...Longwood, FL


Wrapping light colored threads over dark colored blanks is a real test for any color preserver. It's sort of like trying to paint a black wall with white paint and hoping you won't get any bleed through or shadows. However, properly done, you can get some measure of success.

You didn't mention how much you thinned your CP. I hope you're not thinning it very much - color preserver has a high ratio of water to solids to begin with and if you thin it very much at all, you wind up putting nothing but water on your wraps. Thus, nothing is left behind to fill and seal the threads. Over-thinning of color preserver is one of the major causes of thread blotching.

The other main cause of blotchy thread regards how well you packed your thread winds against each other. This becomes even more important when using light colored thread over a dark blank. Take a look at the top photo (above). Both wraps feature the same thread (Gudebrod 340 Goldmetal) over a matte black blank. The same color preserver and epoxy finish was used on both wraps. The only difference lies in how snugly the threads were packed against each other. The wrap on the left saw each thread pushed snugly against the previous thread while the thread on the right was not treated to the same "packing." The blotches and darkening you see on the wrap at the right are actually the dark blank showing through minute spaces between thread wraps. The photo below is a 3X enlargement and shows supposed "blotches" on Gudebrod 209 Goldenrod thread.

As you can see, the thread itself is not "blotched," rather the dark areas are caused by the dark blank underneath showing through in those areas where the thread is not packed tightly against itself. The color preserver is not at fault. ~ TK

Publishers note:
If you have any tips or techniques, send them along! Help out your fellow rodmakers! ~ Publisher, FAOL

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