Author Topic: Fluid bed  (Read 482 times)

Offline NAC89

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Fluid bed
« on: 03/28/20 21:49 UTC »
So I have made the fluid beds out of 1-1/2” pvc and have used both Copy paper and brown paper bags as a filter media. I made them exactly as every YouTube video for DIY fluid beds suggest. I constantly get volcanoes right around the edges of the cup and don’t get that nice consistent boiling/bubbling fluid in the powder. I’m currently using a few different colors from Columbia Coatings and also using the matte black from harbor freight. Granted I can swirl the fluid bed cup and get it more fluid before swishing each heated jig, but it would be nice to heat and go as I almost need a third hand to complete each and every jig before I paint it. Any suggestions on fixes would be greatly appreciated!

Offline WALLEYE WACKER

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Re: Fluid bed
« Reply #1 on: 03/28/20 23:30 UTC »
Air pressure is to high and you may to much paint in the cup.
But some may have more ideas.
Should be able to paint with no problem.

Offline Fishermanbt

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Re: Fluid bed
« Reply #2 on: 03/29/20 03:29 UTC »
What air source are you using?  What I believe you might be running into is some colors are heavier than others due to pigments and how the manufacturers process their powders.  There are some general guidelines to negate these variables but ultimately it comes down to the individual’s setup. I tried using paper bags in my 2” pvc and it was ok with most powder. I have had decent luck with vacuum cleaner bags and coffee filters too. As for your Harbor Freight powder. If it is anything like the orange it is very heavy and is a beast to tame at least for me. I have also noticed that the automotive powder is considerably heavier than the CS powder designed for dipping jigs. In summary try different filter media and different air settings and see if that helps.

Offline NAC89

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Re: Fluid bed
« Reply #3 on: 03/29/20 10:41 UTC »
What air source are you using?  What I believe you might be running into is some colors are heavier than others due to pigments and how the manufacturers process their powders.  There are some general guidelines to negate these variables but ultimately it comes down to the individual’s setup. I tried using paper bags in my 2” pvc and it was ok with most powder. I have had decent luck with vacuum cleaner bags and coffee filters too. As for your Harbor Freight powder. If it is anything like the orange it is very heavy and is a beast to tame at least for me. I have also noticed that the automotive powder is considerably heavier than the CS powder designed for dipping jigs. In summary try different filter media and different air settings and see if that helps.

I am using a dual outlet aquarium pump from Walmart that seems to be what everyone is using. I thought maybe it was the paint but have read of many people using the Columbia Coatings with no problems, unsure of what colors there using though as I’m mainly running darker tones and maybe they are a heavier powder? It’s been the same with every one though, open the air valve and get a nice rise in the powder then bam a volcano or multiple ones. As far as adjusting air pressure goes I’ll either get a lot of volcanoes around the edge of the cup with higher pressure and with low the air just seems to only come through one or 2 spots in the cup, no happy medium in between.

Offline Fishermanbt

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Re: Fluid bed
« Reply #4 on: 03/29/20 17:55 UTC »
Give this a try. Put an eyeball measured amount of powder in your cup. Just enough to comfortably dip a jig in. Dial your air pressure up and down. If you get volcanoes add another layer of filter and try again. If you still have issues try two different filter types and see how that goes. You’re not out that much money or time if it doesn’t work.

Offline ctom

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Re: Fluid bed
« Reply #5 on: 03/29/20 18:49 UTC »
I'd try the coffee filter.

Offline NAC89

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Re: Fluid bed
« Reply #6 on: 03/29/20 19:38 UTC »
I'd try the coffee filter.
Give this a try. Put an eyeball measured amount of powder in your cup. Just enough to comfortably dip a jig in. Dial your air pressure up and down. If you get volcanoes add another layer of filter and try again. If you still have issues try two different filter types and see how that goes. You’re not out that much money or time if it doesn’t work.
Thanks guys!!! I’ll try both these suggestions and see how it goes, I do have about 8 different protec powder colors getting delivered later in the week so I’ll also test and see if it’s just the difference in paints as well. I’m going to have to pick up some some more pvc fittings to make up some more cups as well.

Offline ctom

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Re: Fluid bed
« Reply #7 on: 03/29/20 19:43 UTC »
Protec and Rosies are great paints. The volcanoes around the edges of the cup make me think that air is being forced to the sides of the paper and being forced up where folds or uneven paper thickness doesn't allow the sides to seal well. Just a thought here though. You may find that Protec is a much finer powder to work with and what you're using as filter material now works well with it. Good luck and let us know how the Protec behaves.

Offline bigjim5589

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Re: Fluid bed
« Reply #8 on: 03/29/20 22:02 UTC »
Any fluid, including air, will seek the path of least resistance. If that's up the sides, then that's where it will flow.

There is a myth about the "volcano" affect of powder, that you need it to get the desired coating and that's simply not true. You want the powder to be fluid, and flow, and be "fluffed" up, so it's not clumped together. So as long as you get enough air thru the powder to accomplish that, that's all you need. Those volcano's are just excess air.

Fine powders of any type have a tendency to absorb moisture, even if it's only from humidity in the air. That can cause clumping and a thicker coating on whatever your painting, as can too much heat.

You want the powder to be as dry as it can be, so keep it in sealed containers when not using it, and add silica gel packs to limit moisture. A lot of fluid bed problems are created because the powder is not as dry as it should be. Unfortunately, the only way to tell is visual based on how fluid it appears. Moisture content can be measured, but it takes appropriate test equipment to do it and most folks who paint lures won't have it available. 

Fine powders also have a tendency to compact, particularly with vibration, so keeping it stirred is essential. However, in a small fluid bed cup it's also possible to be compacting the powder some depending on what you're using to stir it. Ideally, you only want to keep it fluid. So, a tool that stirs but doesn't compact is what you want. A spoon for example, may not be a good choice. A stout wire may work well.

The fluid bed I use has 4" diameter cups and are about 4"-5" high, with porex filters in the bottoms. I get very good air flow with an aquarium type air pump. Each cup will hold about a half pound of powder, without overfilling, and I don't get the volcano's too often, but I can tell when the powder is fluid. When the air is adjusted properly, the level in the cup rises up about a 1/4". I use a stir that is a heavy wire and has a looped end, so it won't compact but will stir up the powder.  I don't have much problems with getting a nice even coating when painting most jigs, and I powder coat jigs from 1/100 oz, up to 20 oz. When I do have problems, it's 99.9% of the time heat related.

When I first started using a fluid bed, I believed that stuff about the volcano's and was using a larger air compressor with oil & water traps and a regulator in the air lines. Even with the slightest amount of air, it was too much. I was blowing powder out of the cups trying to get that "volcano".  I switched to the aquarium pump that I use now, and found out that the powder was fluid enough, with minimal air passing thru it, and that as long as what I was coating was within a good temperature range, I was getting nice, even coatings and no drips when I would cure them.

I do have one powder that no matter what I did, I would get a coating that was to thick and would drip during the curing. I use an oven and set the temperature with a calibrated thermometer, and have a diffuser to keep direct heat from the heating elements from causing hot spots. I still got problems with that powder. I finally figured out that it was due to excess moisture. That powder was the oldest that I had, and I had not taken necessary precautions to keep it dry. Lesson learned.

If I get dripping with any other powder that I use, it's been because I had the oven set to the wrong temperature. Powders have a recommended cure temperature and time frame, and that temperature is for the material that you're coating. So if the cure temp is 400 degree's for 15 minutes then the lead needs to get to 400 degrees and stay there for 15 minutes to obtain a proper cure.  But, since powder coating was not intended for fishing tackle to begin with, and was intended for coating much larger areas, sometimes you will have to make adjustments. It's one thing to coat a sheet metal panel that may be several square feet in area, and another to coat a jig head that may be less than a 1 square inch in area. All powders are not the same either. 

So, be sure to keep powder dry, and fluid in the fluid bed and stir it frequently. Then make sure your heat is proper for the size of what it is you're coating. Following these suggestions should give you the best coating and most durable result when cured properly.

Here's a few jigs that I've powder coated.

Offline Apdriver

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Re: Fluid bed
« Reply #9 on: 03/30/20 07:40 UTC »
Amazon sells a cheap vibrator with some feet on it they call a pot stirrer. About ten bucks. Get you one, throw the feet away and zip tie the body to your cup. Use about three or four sheets of newsprint for filter. Your problems will be solved. Vibration is the least frustrating way to fix fluidizing issue. Cheap too.

https://www.amazon.com/YHCWJZP-Electric-Automatic-Blender-Supplies/dp/B082WB4YY1/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=Pot+stirrer&qid=1585571681&sr=8-8

Offline NAC89

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Re: Fluid bed
« Reply #10 on: 04/01/20 19:27 UTC »
I received my Pro Tec paints today and also tested my other paints with different filters. The Pro Tec is perfect! Completely fluid! I tested many different filter media types with the Columbia Coatings paints and I just couldn’t get it to be nice and fluid, it still fluffs up enough to get a decent finish but nothing like the Pro Tec. Here’s an Arky style and a Brush jig finished with the Columbia Coatings paint color is called black olive.

Offline Kasilofchrisn

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Re: Fluid bed
« Reply #11 on: 04/10/20 02:24 UTC »
I use Tyvek in mine for membrane.
Or fluidizing plate I bought years ago on eBay.
It works great but some powders just act up on me and volcano no matter what.
I've tried everything and those powders just don't fluidize properly.
Most paints fluidize properly even running in my tall cups that are 2"x 12" tall no problem. But there's those few colors.lol
Protect super glow orange is one problem powder for me.
So I built a dual vibratory fluid bed.
Burned up one set of vibe motors so just switched to another type.
The switch in the middle is a speed controller so I can adjust the vibration.
The motors are 12v so I run them off of a regulated power supply.
Going to test the new motors soon on some Laker jigs.
But the old motors worked fine until they burned up.

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