How to Hydro Dip Curved or Contoured Parts
Hydro dipping allows you to put a completely custom finish on your firearm. Fortunately, the process can be completed even if there are curved and contoured parts on the object you’re wanting to dip. While it does require more special care when dipping say a standard, straight rifle stock, the process is still relatively simple and provides a unique, one of a kind look for your part.
Cutting the Film
Once you have chosen the finish that you want to apply, lay the piece that you’re going to coat in the center of the film and cut it. It’s important that you make sure that you cut enough film to prevent any sort of stretching or the finished product will have a distorted, fuzzy look. Leave a small amount of excess film on all four sides of the piece that you’re dipping.
Dipping the Piece
It’s important that you have your water at the right temperature before you put the film into it. Water has to be between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit in order for the film to activate and hold to your curved or contoured part.
Once the water has reached the required temperature, you are ready to lay your film in it. Make sure that you lay the film flat, ensuring that there are no wrinkles or bubbles. Wrinkles and bubbles will transfer onto the part that you’re hydro dipping and will be very evident on the finished product. Once the film is laying flat in the water, you’re ready to spray the activator onto it to make sure that everything bonds correctly.
Now comes the part that requires some care. Since there are curves and contours in the piece that you’re dipping, you need it to go into the film at the right angle. Hold the piece that you’re dipping at approximately a 45-degree angle and slowly submerge the piece, starting with the bottom, moving it slowly downward into the film.
As you get near the curve or contour at the top end of the piece that’s being dipped, you will need to tilt the piece backward in your hand while still moving forward through the film. For instance, if you have the piece tilted from right to left, you will have to slowly shift the top from left to right while still moving in the same direction in the water. This ensures that none of the contours or curves capture any air
Once you are done dipping the piece that you’re putting in the water, you’re ready to rinse it off and dry it thoroughly.
What Happens If You Don’t Tilt?
If you don’t get the tilt right on both ends of the curved or contoured piece, you will end up with air bubbles trapped in the curves. If that happens, you do have some options. You may have to “black” in the piece after it’s dipped, try to touch up the area that was missing or remove the film and completely redo the process. While this can be frustrating, it’s important to know that you can redo the process until you’re satisfied with the finished product.