Here's a question from the July/August 1998 issue of RodMaker magazine:
"Every so often my two-part finish refuses to harden properly.
Even though I finish only when the humidity is low and use a
heated drying box, there are times when the stuff just won't
set up. Usually I wind up having to strip the guides off and
rewrap and refinish. Any ideas? P.B. . . Springfield, VA.
It has been my experience that whenever a two-part finish
fails to set up properly the problem can nearly always
be traced to an inexact mix ratio. It is vitally important
to get a near perfect one-to-one mix ratio and the only way
to do so consistently is to use syringes instead of graduated
cups or spoons to mix your finish.
Another thing that may help is to mix up a much larger batch
of finish than what you actually need in order to finish a
particular job. Let's say you're off on your mix by 1/2 cc in a
total 2 cc mix. That puts you off your one-to-one ratio by a full
25%. But if you mixed up a larger 10 cc batch, and were still
off by that same 1/2 cc, you'd only be off your one-to-one ratio
by 5%. By mixing a very small batch in an effort to save finish,
you reduce your margin for mixing error dramatically. I suggest
mixing a larger batch and not worrying about how much finish you
have left over or going to waste. What's a tiny bit of wasted
finish worth against having to redo everything?
One last trick worth mentioning if your finish fails to set up
is to try a second, properly mixed batch of finish, over the
first coat. Often a second coat will set up properly and solve
the problem with the first coat. But remember to apply it
thinly so you're not adding unnecessary weight to the rod.
~ Tom Kirkman
If you have any tips or techniques, send them
along! Help out your fellow rodmakers!
~ Publisher, FAOL