Q. We have been receiving PF for many years and hope to continue for many more. Your recent article in Painting Clinic about finishing fishing tackle hit the spot right on. One of our businesses is producing fishing lures. We started in 1960, manufacturing high-end products from solid brass and have the usual machinery for tumbling and polishing the parts to get a jewel-like finish. We closed the factory during the business down-turn in 1980 and continued in our other business areas.
We were using a dipping lacquer and curing it with infrared lamps at about 180°F. This was followed up with an intermediate coat, which we call an adhesion coat, and then the products were painted in various colors using automotive enamels. We then applied the various designs to the lures.
We are planning to reopen the factory and would be very pleased if you could update us on the latest painting procedures and paint materials used today so we can be competitive in the coming years. L.B.
A. It sounds like you have an excellent finish system. My only suggestion is applying an electrocoat finish as a first coat. They are available as clear as well as pigmented coatings. The use of electrocoat finishes will also eliminate the drips usually associated with dipping lacquers. With this scheme, you may also be able to eliminate the intermediate coat, saving both time and money.
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Electrocoating tanks come in all sizes. Shortly after Dr. George Brewer invented the process, we installed a small, 50-gallon tank in one of my laboratories where we conducted experiments, which eventually led to commercial applications in several of our Westinghouse plants. Electrocoat tanks can be operated manually or they can be automated and conveyorized. Suppliers of this equipment can be found through a search here.