How to Set Fair Prices for Hydro Dipping Parts When it comes to properly pricing hydro dipping parts, there is no single answer. The market in your area might be different from the market 50 or 100 miles away. In general, hydrodipping parts are priced higher in urban areas with a higher demand compared to rural areas with a lower demand. However, you’ll also have to consider the cost of supplies and your operational expenses. These may be higher in hard-to-reach rural areas. Keep these factors in mind when setting hydro dipping prices. Consider the Time Requirement Some parts take longer to hydrodip than others. For example, dipping a simple stainless steel piece of trim for a truck is fast and straightforward. Dipping a wheel requires more accuracy and precision because of the openings, curves, textures and spokes. If you’re new to hydrodipping, it will take you longer to do a project than it would if you were more experienced. You may want to consider paying yourself an hourly wage in addition to the cost of the supplies and materials. Include the Cost of Preparing the Parts A brand-new helmet won’t require too much preparation for hydro dipping. A dirty piece of trim for a truck’s door will take more time to prepare. If you’ll have to spend hours scrubbing, cleaning, sealing and painting the part before you can dip it, be sure to include a preparation fee based on the part or by the amount of time that the preparation takes. Set a Buyer’s Premium Many clients will provide the parts to you. They may have ordered them already, or they may want you to dip something they already own. In this case, the finished work should cost less than it would if you supply the part. If you choose to sell parts for hydro dipping, you could add a buyer’s premium for the time that it takes you to do the ordering and maintenance of your inventory. Factor the Complexity of the Dipping for the Item Some items are more complicated to dip. A large item can be a challenge to dip, especially if you have an entry-level tank. Helmets can also be a challenge to dip. You don’t want to get the film over the visor or on the interior foam and liner or straps. The more complex the item, the more time it will take. Your pricing should be commensurate with your investment of time and the level of skill required for the project. Number of Items in a Set In many cases, a customer will have a set of items they want you to hydrodip. For example, they may have four or six cups that they want dipped into the same pattern of hydrodipping film. Most decorators will offer a slight discount for these sets. That’s because there’s no need to change the film. If you’d charge $20 for one cup, you might charge $75 for four or $100 for six.
How to Read a Paint Mixing Cup Often the simplest steps in a painting project are the most important. Starting out knowing what you’re doing is the best way to make sure you have a smooth and hassle-free painting experience. One of the most basic but potentially most critical parts of painting is knowing the ins and outs of using a mixing cup. In this quick guide you’ll become acquainted with what you need to know to start out on the right foot when mixing paints. Starting Out The first step is to take a look at the container the paint is in. On the front of the paint can, it should be clearly marked what kind of mix ratio is needed. For example, it should say mix two, three, four or more parts of paint to one part of the second ingredient needed to mix the paint into a mixture ready for application. This information will determine how you use the mixing cup. Understanding the Numbers Next, you’ll need to understand the numbers on the side of the mixing cup. All of these rows of numbers can be daunting at first sight, but it’s actually pretty simple. Before you do anything, you need to decide how much of the final paint mixture you need. It’s usually easiest just to eyeball how much paint you want once all the ingredients have been mixed together. Once you’ve decided the total mixture you want, (i.e. the cup totally full, half full, a quarter full, or another amount) take a closer look at the markings on the cup. First focus on the top row of numbers. These should look like a horizontal row of numbers at the top of columns, for example, a 2, followed by several ones. The next section (or table) of numbers should have a 3 followed by 1’s, the next a 4, and so on. If the paint can shows the mixture to be a 2-to-1 ratio, for example, you should solely focus on the vertical columns underneath the section for 2-to-1 ratios. Understanding the Columns Next, you need to read the correct vertical column. This should be the first column that has a “1” at the top instead of a “2” (or other number). Then follow this column down. About halfway down the column, numbers should start showing up. These usually begin with an 8, then count down to 1. Now pick the number that most closely matches the amount of paint you think you’ll need, for example a quarter of the total volume of the cup. This number is all you need to get the next steps right and mix up the perfect ratio of paint. Pour and Paint The final step is to make sure you pour the paint into the cup according to that number. For example, if you chose “7”, pour the initial ingredient up to the line just below the number 7, on the first vertical line (underneath the 2 at the top). Then add the additional component needed in the mixture, up to the 7 on the second vertical line (underneath the first 1 at the top). Now you’re all set to paint! Mixing cups are an easy way to get the paint mixing ratios just right, and once you know how to use them, they’re a great tool for making sure a paint job goes well.
What Products to Use to Prep Plastic Prior to Painting One problem with painted plastic objects is that the more they are used, the more they fade and chip off. Repainting these plastics can be difficult due to its smooth exterior. The paint may peel off even when you apply several layers. Unlike other surfaces such as wood, plastic is not absorbent, making it difficult for the paint to stick. However, there are certain products you can use and steps you can take to prepare your plastic for painting. Note that the painting of plastic requires specific products different from other materials. Here are some tips on prepping plastic before painting. Cleaning the Item Use soap, water, and a soft cloth in order to remove the surface dirt and create a clean surface. Lather the soap on the cloth or sponge, then wash the object. Do this to eliminate any particles that cause bumps for your paint to be applied evenly. It is important to use warm water to dissolve soluble chemical impurities. Once this is done, wash out the object to remove the lather, and let it dry. Roughening the Surface Rubbing sandpaper on the object enhances the surface’s grit, enabling paint to stick firmly on it. Sanding is necessary because the plastic is shiny and smooth, making it difficult for the paint to latch. Use fine sandpaper all around the object until the surface has a coarse texture. The next step is to remove the particles caused by the sanding. Still using water and a sponge, wash off the surface until all the particles are eliminated. Not doing this will cause unwanted bumps when applying the paint. Masking Off You need painters’ tape for this task. In case there are parts of the plastic that you do not want to paint, the tape will seal them off. Similarly, if you want to create clean lines, especially if you are using different paints, the tape will create that distinction. The different coats will not overlap, and the lines will be clean as long as you remove them carefully after each coat. Priming A coat of primer is the foundation necessary prior to painting. Not only is it the first layer before any painting is done, but it also gives the paint a surface to latch on. Cover your working area with a cloth or paper so that the primer does not spread everywhere. A paintbrush or an airbrush works perfectly for this task. Once the object dries, you can start painting. Conclusion Using the right products and following the right steps make it easier to paint your plastic. Whether you are repainting or painting for the first time, these tips will come in handy. Your furniture, equipment, or toys will have that perfect shiny exterior that you need. Ensure that your working area is well ventilated when spraying the primer. Lastly, let each coat dry first before you apply the next one.
The Best Way to Dip a Gun Receiver You may be wondering about the best method to use to dip a gun receiver. When you research this subject online, you will see that several techniques are used. Many of them are multi-stage and leave you with a gun that lacks the look and feel you are truly after. However, there is a technique that allows you to properly roll a gun receiver in one dip. This can save you money and time. General Basics of How to Dip a Gun Receiver While these principles will apply to just about every gun, we are going to be describing the process using a Super Black Eagle 3 Benelli shotgun for this explanation. We are going to be applying a camouflage pattern to the receiver. We will discuss the general basics of what you need to do to dip a receiver and the tools you will need to get the job done. Prepare Your Receiver and Film You will need to blast the receiver back down to bare metal. Make sure to tape up the inside of the receiver and plug the mag tube so it is not blasted or painted. Next, you will need to add primer to the receiver. The receiver should be painted with hydrographic paint before the dipping process begins. Once you have the receiver prepared, lay out your film. Once that is done, you start the process of laying out your film. You want your film to be laid out so that you have around one or two inches of overlap as you roll the receiver over. This gives you enough room to maneuver while dipping. Cut and Prepare Your Film Some people will cut the film so that it is just large enough to cover the area they want to roll. If you tape off the areas you do not want to be affected by the film, you can actually cut the film to the entire length of the receiver plus the length of the mag tube. This will usually make the process easier. You can run tape along the length of the film. The film will sometimes want to roll up, especially if you are using smaller rolls of film. If you put some 3/4-inch tape along the edge, it helps prevent the film from rolling upon itself. Once you have the film cut to the right size, lay it on the water. Make sure to set the film down on the correct side so the process works correctly. Set the timer for 60 seconds after it’s in the water. Next, move the dividers to help contain the film as much as possible. You will notice how the tape on the edges will prevent the film from rolling up. Make sure that the film is smooth and has no bubbles under it. If it does, you can blow them out gently or sometimes use your fingers to push them out. Dipping Your Receiver After the 60 second soak time for the film, you are going to want to spray the film with the Liquid Concepts activator. Depending on the film used, you will need to let it sit for around 20 - 40 seconds. After this time you will notice that the film takes on an almost mirror-like appearance. When you are ready to dip the receiver, put it in the water at an angle so as not to trap any air. You will want to normally start with the receiver slightly angled and pointing downward. Then slowly dip the gun in the water until you have about half of the receiver in the water. Finish the dip by rolling the receiver all the way around the film. Dip it in the water to remove any extra excess film. Gently rinse it off, and you will see a perfectly dipped pattern around the entire receiver if done correctly. Make sure to clear coat the dip with the proper clear coat made for the gun and hydrographics. Rolling a receiver is not an easy task, however, with practice and by following the above-mentioned steps, you will be on your way to dipping a fully custom gun receiver in no time.
When to Activate Hydrographic Film Hydrographics refers to a process in which you apply graphics to 3D objects and dip them in water without any damage. With this process, you can customize various surfaces, including hunting equipment, dashboards, automotive parts, and camouflage items. Below are the steps to a successful hydrographic film dipping. Remember to wear the right PPE for the hydrographic process and ensure that you spray in a well-ventilated space. Preparation Work After choosing the item you want to dip and the design you want, prepare your selection for dipping. Clean the object to remove any grease or old coating. Properly primer and paint the part to be dipped. Measure the object to identify the amount of film you need. Cut the hydrographic film to the appropriate size and (if needed) tape both the longest sides using masking tape. Fill a water-tight container with water. Ensure the water temperature ranges 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Activate Use the sticky side-down test to identify the side of the film that you should place onto the water. Place the hydrographic film on the water gently, ensuring that you put the sticky side down and avoid trapping any air bubbles. Wait for 60 seconds for the film to become soft, and gently smooth out any creases that might form during this stage. Remember that some films can develop wrinkles, but the wrinkles should disappear after about 30 seconds. Use a 1.3 tip and adjust your spray gun pressure between 10 and 15 psi. You will want the fan entirely out and the trigger set for the proper speed you will be spraying. You will also want to spray the activator around 6-8” above the film. With a pass of about 8-12 inches per second, apply the activator and ensure that you depress the trigger fully and that the water ripples gently. Wait for about 20-40 seconds so that the film gets fully activated before dipping. If you initiate it before the film is ready, it creates lines or creases that damage your film. You may require an extra pass if you have denser ink films. Do the second pass in the opposite direction of the initial pass to keep the pattern from deforming. Dip After you have painted the object, ensure that it is dry and ready to be dipped. Dip the object in a steady, downward motion. Dip it at an angle of approximately 30-40 degrees to avoid trapping the air. You will determine this angle depending on the item you are decorating and the surface you have to cover. Rinse After dipping, remove the object from the container and rinse it with lukewarm water until it stops feeling slippery when touched. Ensure you touch the object gently to prevent possibly smearing the hydrographic film. Rinsing may take 3-5 minutes, depending on the water temperatures. After rinsing thoroughly, allow it to dry with compressed air or sitting on a rack. Avoid drying with a towel or cloth. If you spot any shiny spots after it dries, rinse until the slimy residue is off. Top Coat After you have dipped and cleaned your item, now it’s time to apply the topcoat. The clear coat helps safeguard the finish and gives your item a shiny appearance. We recommend two or three coats. One light coat and one or two medium coats ensures that the item gets fully covered and achieves the desired coating thickness.
Learn How to Hydro Dip a Motorcycle Gas Tank Have you ever wanted to have a bike with customized painting on the tank? Customized paint jobs communicate a lot about the bike and the owner. Fire graphics can indicate the bike’s power, and so forth. The process is easy and doesn’t take much time. All you need to do is follow an expert guide on how to make a perfect dip. Smoothen the motorcycle tank Before you begin hydro dipping, the first process is to ensure the original paint is either removed or scuffed up if it is not chipping or flaking off. You want to start off with a paint-free tank for the best results if possible. You can scuff the existing paint but you may risk having a failure down the road if the coating is not properly adhered to the surface. The best approach is to use paint remover to remove the paint from the tank. Removing the paint ensures the tank is free from any existing coatings. Plus, the original paint will not affect the new one. Spray paint in a uniform color After removing the original paint, you can repaint the tank in a uniform color. The color white is preferable because it blends with most all films. Make sure to primer the tank for the best adhesion. Then, paint the tank with a lighter coat of white to avoid having excess paint. This will help in reducing any sags or runs that could possibly occur in the paint. Prepare the tank for dipping If you have a shallow water container, you can divide the tank into two sections. Lay tape down to mark the middle of the tank horizontally. Then cover the other half with a bag, tape or even paper. Dividing it into half prevents the stretch on the film and the tank. This will also ensure it comes out uniformly despite dipping the tank at different times into the water. Dipping the custom film with backings into the water If you are using custom printed hydrographic film, it will come with two sides. Peel off the backing from the film and throw away the clear liner. The side that the backing was stuck to is the side that goes down onto the water. Lay the film down at a slight angle to help in preventing any trapped air underneath the film. You can blow it in order to remove any trapped air bubbles. Setting the dividers and spraying the activator Set the dividers in position and make sure they can cover the area of the film. The custom film water temperature should be at 80 to 90 degrees for best results. Let it sit for 60-90 seconds on the water to hydrate. Once the timer goes off and the film has soaked in the water for the allotted time, start spraying the activator on the custom film within the divider area. Dip the tank into the water Now place the entire part that’s not covered into the water. After dipping the first part, rinse it, dry the tank, and tape the already dipped side. If you dipped the whole tank, rinse it, and allow it to dry. If you have a deep enough container there may be no need to divide the tank into two dips. You can possibly dip the whole tank into the water. Conclusion A hydro dip gives your bike tank a perfect and attractive look. It can also communicate your love and commitment to the bike. A perfect hydrographic covering on the tank also makes the bike completely unique. Need water transfer printing supplies? Contact Liquid Concepts.
Measuring the Size of Hydrographics Film Recently, there has been an increasing trend of hydrographic printing. Hydrographic printing is a method of design that involves the application of designs and patterns on three-dimensional surfaces. Any object on which a base coat can rest and can be submerged in the water safely can be used as a substrate piece for hydrographic painting. Objects such as automotive parts, camouflage items, dashboards, and hunting equipment are easy to use as hydrographic surfaces. The process of hydrographic printing is straightforward to learn and do. The process of hydrographic printing starts by cleaning the surface thoroughly in preparation for the artwork. You will then primer the item before applying a base coat on the surface. All these are steps for preparing an item for hydrographic printing. Once the item is ready, you will dip it in a dipping tank with water. A hydrographic film with the desired artwork or pattern is placed on the water’s surface. Finish up by rinsing the item either by hand washing or passing the item through an automatic wash station. Let the item dry or pass it into a heated room with sufficient air and finalize the process by applying a clear coat. How to Measure the Size of Hydrographic Film to Use Any item that can be dipped and submerged in water is suitable for use in hydrographic printing. Hydrographic printing allows for customizing items such as guns, wheels, cups, and helmets with beautiful designs and patterns. When choosing the right hydrographic film to use, you need to consider quality and one that will be easy to use on a variety of items. Hydrographic films come in a wide variety. They differ in terms of texture and design. Designs range from camouflage, animal prints, wood grain prints, stone, skull, metal, flame, flag, etc. You can also customize designs according to the desired result. These may include cartoons, country flags, music, money, flowers, etc. Hydrographic film textures, on the other hand, include carbon fiber. The film’s size depends on the size of the item undergoing the hydrographic printing process. You will need to place the item on a piece of film and cut the required size. The film is one of the cheapest items used in hydrographic printing. It would be a good idea to make sure that you get the desired results by providing enough film for stretch and even possibly redos. For rectangular items, which are the easiest to work on, the appropriate room for stretching is about one to two inches of film on all sides. Items such as helmets, which are rounded, make it a bit complicated to measure the appropriate amount of stretch to account for when laying out the film. In the case of a helmet, you need to place it horizontally across the film and tilt it on both sides.
Rolling a Gunstock in a Woodgrain Pattern Even guns deserve some beautification to make it attractive. Decorating a gun is a gesture of how much you value it, or you can treat it as a souvenir. Guns come in plain colors; however, sometimes they may need a little sprucing up to make it look better or back to the original condition when it came from the factory. Disassemble the Gun If a customer brings in a gun, the first process is to disassemble the gun to ensure all internal components are removed. The next process is to ensure you remove the outer coating (if any). Sometimes you may have to soak the gun in a chemical stripper or even sandblast the gun to get it back to the original metal finish. Take caution to never soak any plastic or wood in any chemicals as it could melt or deform the substrate. After that, you need to repaint or spray the gunstock in a uniform base coat that can absorb the new graphics. Make sure to use the correct primer to allow the base coat to bond correctly with the substrate you are applying over. You can paint it in a plain white base coat or the correct color that the graphic suggests from the manufacturer. Ensure the color is uniformly applied to the gun and no light or dark spots are present. Prepare the Graphics Film To get the proper amount of film, roll the gun over the graphic film to cut the right size that you need. You only need to roll over the film once to get the right size. Cut the size of the film you need, then take it to the water. Ensure that as you roll the gun over the film, it is straight and flat on the table. You can also use tape on the edges to help the film from rolling up onto itself. Preparing the Film in the Water Lay the film over the water and blow air over it to remove any bubbles that may have gotten trapped under the film. Afterwards you can set the sectional dividers and ensure they are of the same size as the film. Make sure the water is around 80 - 90 degrees before laying the film in the water. Leave the film in the water for about 60 to 80 seconds depending on the film that you are using. Spray the activator on the film and make sure you get a glassed-out look. It may take 1-3 passes of activator to get this look. Rolling the Gun Over the Film Once you spray the activator, dip the gun from the side. Start dipping the gun from the bottom side and shift it slowly until half of one side is fully dipped in the film. After one side is on the film, carefully roll the other side around until the film overlaps the initial dip and the wood grain pattern is fully covering all sides. Once the film is fully covering the gunstock you can take it back out of the water and start rinsing the stock. Once rinsed, completely dry it off and do any necessary touch-ups. Then make sure to use a good clear coat that is made for the hydrographics. After the clear has set for around 12-24 hours, you can enjoy the benefits of a new woodgrain stock for your gun. Wood grains are sometimes better suited for double dips compared to single dips. This will greatly depend on the contour of the stock as well as the grain and look the pattern has. You can also dip other gun sections, such as the scope, to ensure the whole firearm has a uniform and unique design.
Hydrographics Safety: Proper PPE Tips Safety is a key concern when using hydrographics. Many people ignore the safety concepts due to the perception that hydrographics is not dangerous. There are many unforeseen effects when handling hydrographics, such as the effects of activators on the skin and the long-term damage to skin cells that can result in tumors or cancers. Here are some tips to keep you safe when you are using or having fun with hydrographic. With hydrographics, you are required to paint the parts, spray the activator, rinse and dry the parts and so forth. These activities put you in danger, so you need PPE. The level of PPE required depends on the activities you do. Gloves There are different types of gloves on the market, and not all are suitable when dealing with hydrographics. Get a latex or nitrile glove to keep your hands safe. These gloves have tighter surface membranes and are more effective at keeping harmful substances from penetrating your skin. Your hands are involved in many activities, such as dipping, spraying and rinsing, so you’re bound to come into contact with a lot of chemicals when creating hydrographics. Face Protection You should use transparent safety glasses to keep your eyes safe. Safety glasses are effective when doing activities such as spraying activators or painting your parts. They protect the eyes from paint or evaporating activator particles. Ensure they are large enough to cover the entire eye when working with vaporizing chemicals or those likely to splash. A face shield is more effective than safety glasses. They cover the entire face, protecting various parts such as the nose, mouth and lips. You can select between the glasses and the shield, depending on the situation. Face Mask Face masks for handling hydrographics should be different from any other masks. The most effective masks are the ones with disposable cartridges to enable you to change the cartridges. They help you breathe the fresh air while keeping the chemicals away. They are effective when spraying out with a paint gun. The mask is necessary to prevent chest and lung problems when you breathe in the chemicals. They are also perfect for those with allergic reactions to certain chemicals, activators, and sprays. Inspect the mask to ensure they have the correct filters; check the filters you need by understanding the chemical composition of the chemicals you are using. Respirators and Paint Suits The use of a respirator or a paint suit depends on the activities you are involved in. The large-scale industrial handling of hydrographics and painting requires you to have the suit and the respirator due to contamination within the facilities. Painting or working with big items requires a paint suit. The paint suit helps you keep your clothes from stains. The suit covers the entire body, reducing skin contact with the paints. The suit also prevents you from any dust or chemicals that can fall off your clothes. It prevents you from transferring the chemicals to the people you will interact with after work. It also keeps your hair safe to avoid the side effects of paints on the hair.
How to Properly Set Up Your Activator Gun Many painters have a problem with under activation or over-activation of the spray guns. The gun is always blowing dots at each end or hardly anything in the middle on most occasions. Such problems affect the spraying process since certain parts of the spray are likely to receive less material whereas other parts receive more. Spray guns should be reliable whether they are expensive or not, so if you face any challenge with your gun, consider the following gun set-up steps and procedures. Preparing to Set Up the Gun Depending on how you are spraying the activator, you should hold the gun in a straight position. Before you begin setting the gun, spray a point on a piece of paper to determine the shape it makes. If the pattern has round edges, widen the fan to see if it disperses. A good activator gun should have straight margins and a wide open fan in most cases. Adjusting the Needle When you spray the shape on the board and there is too much fluid in a certain area, it indicates that too much fluid is coming out of the gun. The shape may be even, but the fluid may be too much. This means the needle is releasing too much fluid and needs to be backed off. Slowly turn the needle about one turn inwards (clockwise if you are looking at the gun from the back side) to reduce the fluid release. You can try spraying the paper again and if you still get some excess liquid flowing, turn the needle until you get the perfect spray with the correct amount of activator. As you turn the needle in, the fan may also get smaller. The spray out of the gun should be even from the top of the fan to the bottom of the fan. This will produce an activator spray with even atomization across the entire fan pattern. The even fan pattern is what you should look out for to determine whether the fan is set up properly or not. Adjusting the Pressure Pressure is one of the factors that is crucial for a spray gun, and it also plays a significant role in how the spray needle releases the activator. The pressure should be set anywhere between 8-12 PSI to be able to spray the gun around 6-8 inches above the water. Because every activator gun atomizes better at different pressures, you may have to spray multiple pieces of paper to see how well the gun is atomizing to help set up your activator properly. Just remember at the lower PSI, you will be around 6-8 inches As the line becomes finer, the pressure drops, and the activator produces a very fine and even shape. As the pressure drops, the activator may be too much, or the shape of the fan may not be even. Too much pressure deters fluids from coming out of the gun and makes the middle of the fan very light while the top and bottom of the fan is much heavier. Adjust the air pressure to ensure it is moderate, not too much to over atomize fluids, and not too little to release thicker and overflowing fluids. General Setting Tips While using the gun, ensure the activator is atomizing properly by the settings that we have discussed above. Depending on how you set your gun, ensure that you hold it straight and set the fan and the needle accurately to get sufficient activator fluid atomization and even shapes. Ensure moderate but enough pressure to release enough activator for the way you will be spraying the gun. Ensuring you have properly set up your gun will be the first step in making sure you have a perfectly activated film for the hydrographics process.
Tips for Choosing the Right Primer Before building any building, the first thing to consider is the foundation. This is also the case when repainting any surface. The foundation in painting comes in the form of primers and sealers. The most challenging part is deciding the type of primer you need for different projects. Whether you are working with plastic, metal or wood this guide will help you select the best primer for the project. Why Is It Essential to Use a Primer? Primers help you to come up with a consistent paint finish. It improves the adhesion of your paint’s topcoat, which becomes more durable and appealing. Besides that, primers block substances like grease, tannin, smoke and water from damaging the original substrate. How to Select the Best Primer There are different types of primers: urethane and epoxy primers. Finding the best primer can be difficult, mainly because the market is full of varying primer coatings. To make things easier, we will look at each of these primers and when you should use them. Urethane Primers Urethane primers are designed for a high film build with excellent sanding, adhesion, hold out and fast-drying properties. It’s perfect for properly prepped metal, wood and fiberglass surfaces. Urethane is only a surfacer primer and you might need to use a sealer over the top of the sanded urethane primer before you paint. Urethane primers also come in handy when you want to smooth anything out. They are an excellent choice to use after you’re done with any bodywork. Epoxy Primers An epoxy primer is ideal for bare steel. It will help improve adhesion and prevent rust and corrosion. This primer can also be applied to properly prepped plastic substrates as well. It is the best standard base when bonding the paint with metal surfaces to bring out a quality finish. It’s normally also designed to be sprayed as a sealer so you can paint directly onto the primer without having to sand the primer first. Basically, an epoxy primer works as a sealer that produces a good finish on a substrate. You can count on an epoxy primer to prevent the oxidation of bare metals and give you excellent durability and flexibility. Factors to Consider When Selecting Primers Flexibility When picking a primer, it’s essential to check the firmness or flexibility you need. For example, urethane primers are more hard and prevent movement of the surface. Although a urethane primer is strong, it will eventually crack on moving surfaces. Epoxy primers will still retain flexibility. It’s perfect for surfaces that expand and contract over time with changes in temperatures or seasons. Sanding The choice of primer to use depends on how smooth or textured you intend the surface to be. Urethane primers are the best when it comes to texture. They can help fill in the areas that need sanding and smoothing out. Surfaces that are already smooth normally work best with epoxy primers as they remain smooth after being sprayed. Chemical Resistance Everyone using a primer normally wants to develop a chemical-resistant surface. Sometimes you can’t stop the surface from coming into contact with acids and bases. Epoxy doesn’t react very well with acids and bases however, when comparing epoxy and urethane in terms of chemical resistance, epoxy performs way better. Urethane primers tend to have a slightly less chemical resistance than epoxy primers. Picking a suitable primer for your project is not a one-size-fits-all undertaking. It depends on the type of surface, durability and the desired results. With this guide, you should have all it takes to pick the best primer for the job.
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.
The Best Way to Hydro Dip Carbon Fiber Hydro dripping or hydrographics is a decoration technique that allows you to give your instrument, tool, or asset a look you desire. A hydro film can be applied to various materials—not limited to metal, plastic, and wood. Unlike the regular painting and graffiti decorations, hydro dipping’s uniqueness is that you can make wood look like metal or metal look like wood. This applies to any object that can be dipped into a pool of water containing a hydro film. This article will look into the definition, uses, advantages, and the best way to hydro dip utilizing a carbon fiber film. What Is a Hydro Dip Fiber Carbon Film? The carbon fiber film is a roll of film that contains the desired designs or images to be applied to the object. These designs may be unique diagonal lines, selected ideas, or branding techniques available in different colors and sizes. Why Choose a Carbon Film Decorating your gaming device, vehicle dashboard, or instrument using a carbon film is an economical way to give it a longer-lasting look. Carbon films can be effectively used on any object despite the size, shape, or make of it. Because the film is permanent, You can not conveniently peel off the carbon film if you decide to change it after a long time. This process is a permanent coating that is meant to stay on for the life of the part. The Best Way to Hydro Dip Carbon Fiber Film Before you dip your object into the water for a subtle pattern imprint, we recommend you take precautions. Getting your design of choice doesn’t mean you risk your safety or that of your coworkers. Ensure you have the appropriate personal protective gear that includes gloves, mask, and eye-protection glasses. The following are the steps of applying a carbon film. 1. Cut a Small Piece of Carbon Fiber Film Depending on the size of the object you’re dipping, cut a film close to your object’s size - allowing in most cases 1-2” on all sides. This avoids waste and reduces the margin of error by preventing the emergence of bubbles. The size of the film should also be in line with that of the tub. 2. Apply Masking Tape on the Side of the Film Most films are delivered in rolls that sometimes curl up when unpacked. To avoid this, use masking tape on the sides to prevent it from rolling up when floating on water. 3. Gently Align the Film at an Angle When placing the film on the water’s surface, put it at an angle of 89 -90 degrees to reduce bubbles accumulating due to trapped air. You may opt to use pressure from the air gun to remove the trapped air, or gently blow the film with your mouth. When you’re placing the film in the water, make sure the sticky side faces down onto the water. You can check this by wetting your fingers and holding both sides of the film at one time. The side that sticks to your finger, goes down on the water. **Remember that it is never shiny side up or shiny side down.** Always test the film and be sure which side goes up and which side goes down on the water. 4. Let the Film Soak Don’t hurry to spray the activator. Let the film soak for at least 60 seconds. During this time make sure your protective gear is set. 5. Spray the Activator Wearing a mask gently spray the activator covering the entire piece of the film for maximum coverage. If applied correctly, the film should glass out on top of the water. . 6. Dip the Object Proceed into the water at an angle of 45 degrees. Dip your object gently and smoothly into the water. When the object is fully immersed, move it back and forth along the tub without creating many waves and remove it to reveal the dipped pattern. Dipping an object, however, depends on the shape and complexity of the item. Take time to learn the extensions on your object and creatively determine the angle and side you will use. The final result is an object with a carbon appearance pleasing to the eye with outstanding clarity and taste. We recommend you take the time to train and prepare well before attempting to hydro dip, or seek professional assistance.
How to Properly Price Hydrodipping Parts Like any other business, pricing in hydro dipping companies is a critical element that affects revenues and profits. The price of a product or service can lead to the survival or demise of a business. Adjusting the price in any direction has profound impacts on sales, marketing strategy, and cash flow, which are crucial business growth indicators. As a business owner or a marketer in a hydro dipping business, failing to set a price that complements the operation cost and objectives contributes to how clients perceive a service or a product. High prices indicate high-quality services by invoking luxury in a client’s mind. Similarly, low-cost providers charge low prices, and in turn, consumers know what to expect. This article digs deeper into the factors to consider when pricing the hydro dripping parts of your business. Location A hydro dipping company located in a city with a large population is likely to attract a massive client flow. This is contrary to a business located in a town with a low population. Pricing in a large city uses relatively different strategies that aim at reducing the costs of operation. Operational Cost Setting up a business in a city with high land rates and renting charges will require you to improvise on pricing. The need to improvise fills the void of high operation costs that reduce the profit margin. Job Basis Depending on the market’s flexible pricing, some businesses charge depending on the square inches covered by the film. Therefore, the price must cater to the material cost and additional costs associated with decorating different materials. Nature of the Item Nearly any item that can be dipped into water can be hydro painted. This means that the item’s nature dictates the amount of film used and, ultimately, the price. It isn’t easy to come up with a general price list of items. We recommend that you individually scrutinize the item and price it according to expenses incurred. Net Profit The motive behind every entrepreneur’s mind is profit. Whether you inherited the business or are doing it as a hobby, it all trickles down to how much you have gained at the end of the day. Net profit is the total of all earnings minus operational cost, material cost, and additional costs. Price an item depending on its material cost. Customer Expectation If you are operating a business in a high-end region where customer retention is dependent on the quality of work, your prices must be in line with the services. Experience Operating as a hydro dip expert comes with customer retention. The prices you charge your regular customers could possibly be different from new customers. Nature of Clients Pricing services rendered to people with high-end automobiles and tools require more employees to match the required effort. The charges for decorating a luxurious item need better quality film and techniques. This calls for different pricing as compared to less expensive items. There is no single way to describe the best way to price hydro dipping parts. As a business entity, you must survey your market, analyze client needs, and price according to the factors we have explained.
How to Double Dip a Custom Gun Stock Double-dipping a custom gunstock allows you to make your firearm look however you want it to look. While you will need to invest in the proper tools and equipment to customize your own gun stocks, the process itself is relatively straightforward. It’s important to know what sort of gunstock you’re dipping. The process itself is the same when dealing with both a competition stock or a general use stock but it’s vital to understand the difference in dipping a wood stock vs a fiberglass stock. When dipping a rifle for competition use, it’s important to remember not to get any coatings where the lugs are seated from the action to the stock. This will ensure you keep the same accuracy and reliability when the process is done. Prepping the Gun Stock You can choose any color for the base layer and any film you want to use, which allows you to create a fully custom gunstock. Once you’ve chosen your combination for the base and the film, you will want to put a gunstock holder into the end of the stock. This will make coating the stock much easier when spraying the coating. Use a high-quality tape that won’t come off when it gets wet and tape the entire length of the bedding of the gunstock. You’ll want to be sure that all of the internal areas of the stock are well covered because you don’t want to have any sort of buildup inside them. Once you’ve taped over all of the internals, completely cover one entire side of the stock in tape. Roll out the film that you will be using for your gun stock and lay the stock directly in the center. Cut off enough film to completely overlap the stock. Dipping the Gun Stock Prepare your dipping tank by getting the water between 80 and 90-degrees Fahrenheit. Once the water has reached the required temperature, lay the film gently into the water while being sure to avoid wrinkles or bubbles. Before you dip the gun stock into the film, let it set for 60 seconds. Then spray your chosen activator over the film and allow the film to glass out correctly. Pick up the gunstock by the holder you put in place and smoothly dip the stock into the film. Start with the muzzle and slowly submerge the entire stock into the activated film. Gently move the stock left to right as you slowly pull the stock back out of the water. Holding the gun stock flat to prevent dripping and runs, take the stock over to your rinsing station to rinse it off before drying it. You can lay it down on the tape side and rinse until all the PVA is rinsed off the stock. Dipping the Other Side Once the first side has been dipped, rinsed and completely dried, simply do the same process to the other half of the stock. You will want to tape up the dipped portion of the stock and leave around ⅛” to 1/16” line so it will overlap from the first dip to the second. Once everything has been taped, repeat the entire process with the undipped side of the gunstock. After rinsing and drying the stock, spray with the clear coat of your choice and Congratulations! You have a fully customized, double-dipped gun stock.