Here's a question from the Volume 4, Issue #3 of RodMaker magazine:
"After reading your article on color preservers in the last issue I have solved
most of my problems with my thread appearing blotchy or uneven in color once the
finish is applied. Thank you for an excellent article. I do have a quesion though
and it regards the penetration of the color preserver. I did some test wraps and
used unthinned Gudebrod 811 color preserver. It perfectly sealed the threads
and when I applied finish the color retention was perfect. But when I cut the
wraps off the test stick I found that no color preserver had penetrated through
the wraps and onto the blank. I would think this would lead to a weaker guide
wrap than if it had fully penetrated down the blank. What are your thoughts?
Michael . . .Richmond, VA"
You are correct in saying that the color preserver's lack of complete penetration
can result in a weaker guide wrap than would be achieved otherwise. It can also
result in finish getting underneath the thread at the junction of the guide leg/foot tunnel and
darken the thread from underneath. Although the primary purpose of color preserver is
to seal the threads and prevent penetration of the wrap finish, it would be nice to kill
two birds with one stone.
In the article we did on color preserver, it was stated several times that color
preserver should not be thinned except on the instructions of the manufacturer or if
thinning is absolutely necessary. So what constitutes such a necessity? If the color
preserver is not fully penetrating the threads through to the blank, some measure of
thinning may be necessary. It's usually easy to tell if the color preserver is completely
penetrating the wrapping thread by observing the coloration change of the thread as
you apply the color preserver. If the thread turns uniformly dark, much as you would
expect it to if you saturated any fabric with water, you are probably getting complete
and thorough penetration. If, however, the thread only turns dark in spots, or not at
all, the color preserver is not penetrating as well as we would like and can be thinned.
How much to thin is not easy to put in certain terms. In most cases, thinning of more than
20% is not recommended. If your color preserver needs to be thinned more than that in
order to penetrate the threads, it has likely solidified to the point where you would be
better off with a fresh bottle. In the case of your Gudebrod 811, I find that thinning
10% to 15% with denatured solvent alcohol is usually sufficient to get the stuff to
completely penetrate and bond the threads to the blank. (The Gudebrod 811 and
other urethane/acrylic color preservers dry much more quickly than most of the regular
water based acrylic types, which stay wet and therefore penetrate for a longer period
of time.) Try thinning by this amount and make another test to satisfy your curiosity.
The one thing rod builders should not do is to preform indiscriminate thinning of color
preservers for no reason. If it needs to be thinned in order to achieve better penetration,
so be it. But the common practice of so many builders to thin every color preserver
50% often results in problems that could otherwise be avoided." ~ Tom Kirkman
If you have any tips or techniques, send them
along! Help out your fellow rodmakers!
~ Publisher, FAOL