Film glasses over but looks grainy after activation — K2Forums.com

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Film glasses over but looks grainy after activation

bondsmanbondsman Posts: 21Member
Been at this for a few months now. Taking on small jobs but mostly doing things for friends while I get this technique down. Let me give a little background. My son and I decided to get into this for fun. We went to the first Ohio Class in 2014. Learned a lot and went into this with just enough information to almost get into trouble. We built our own tank (a monster of over 13ft long), built our own rinse station as well. We started dipping anything we could get our hands on. Hard hats (those suck if your a perfectionist), couple guns, switchplates, toilet seats. At first we were in such a hurry while dipping. Seemed like we placed the film, fixed the wrinkles and bubbles, once 60 seconds were up, spray the activator and scramble for the part and throw it in there. It usually came out a mess with holes everywhere. Now we have slowed down and concentrating on the angles and movement of the dip. It is working a lot better by being patient and visualizing the dip to minimize errors.
Our hardware and supplies: Devilbiss Tekna Copper for base coat, Iwata LPH400 for clear, Airgunsa 1.8 for activator. The base and clear are dialed in perfectly. We use automotive paint and clear. The activator (hydrovator) gun is set up with 14(ish) psi at the gun while the trigger is pulled, fan adjustment (top knob) is all the way in and then turned 1.5-1.75 out, material is all the way out, turned in until it touches while trigger is pulled then an additional half turn beyond that.
Here are some of the issues we are having with activator and maybe some here can offer up a solution.
When spraying the activator (as Jim would say - "just tickling the water") the occasional bubble of activator will form on top of the film. Sometimes it will be a few bubbles. It is annoying and seems like it happens in the middle of the pattern.
Another issue is once sprayed, the film glasses over but looks grainy. Like it is dusty. This is pretty much on every film. It turns out ok in the end still looks grainy on the product. The clear kind of hides it though.
I have only bought films from BigBrain and TWN so far. They have worked out great. I had a friend that bought some on ebay and tried to do this in a tote and he couldn't get it to work so he gave me his film. I tried it and the majority of them just cracked after it was dipped. Don't know what caused that either. I just practiced angles with those but almost everyone resulted in cracks all over like dried crackling paint.
Come on gurus....what can I do to make this all better. The grainy issue after activation is what I need to fix.

Comments

  • PTC_HydroGraphXPTC_HydroGraphX Posts: 1,107Member ✭✭✭✭
    I am no guru.... =) But it sounds like underactivation to me. Also I've run into a couple of films that seem to like to hide trapped air until they have been activated. I recently went through almost 5 meters of a brand of steam punk, for a small project, that simply would not cooperate. My fix? I took a hair dryer on low heat and warmed up the film to make it a little more pliable and problem solved.
  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 13,081Administrator El Jefe
    Hydrovator is a pretty aggressive activator...might try switching it up with SuperBrew...also pictures would help...
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 2,948Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    Speaking from experience, the cracking part is most likely from the activator not having enough dwell time to melt the ink thoroughly.

    If you were to go with superbrew (slower) and let the film have about thirty seconds after the activator is liberally applied before the part is dipped, that would help a lot. Also, the film itself may be too dry from age. Humidify/steam it a little bit before laying it on the water. That also will help with old dried cracking films.

    The "bubble of activator" is probably caused by water in your air line....
  • TsunamiTsunami Posts: 4,952Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    There is a thread by @Sac_Hydro thats proves cleaning your tank can be the solution for some films.
  • bondsmanbondsman Posts: 21Member
    @Tsunami I do not believe it is the water. I have maybe run half a gallon of activator through it since it was filled up in November. I have run some bleach through it twice. It is a rather large tank at over 13ft long.
    If you picture the layers..... water, pva, ink, activator. could something in the pva leech through the ink and cause the activator to sit funny on the film? Maybe I need to up my pressure to the gun and raise it up higher for better atomization. I will be doing some test hits on some cds in the next couple of days. We will see what happens.
  • TsunamiTsunami Posts: 4,952Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    I use a 1.8 also. I have never experienced what you are fighting.I use bleach all the time. And I have not had an issue with it. Have you tried to let it settle in for 15 to 30 seconds before dip. Also could this be some bad film. I know it was an Ebay buy, but do you know who sold it. Maybe they have a technique that works for their film. Just saying. Bubbles are my nemesis also. They dont show in the print if you go slow and let the dip push them out slowwwww.
  • bondsmanbondsman Posts: 21Member
    @studebaker , I am not too worried about the old cracking film. I have not run into it lately. It was an issue I had with some donated film. I doubt there is air in my lines. I have a separator at the regulator on the wall and all the lines in the hydro shop are about 50 feet from the compressor and reach elevations of 14ft with many drops. Every drop has been dry with no indications of condensation.
    @Tsunami The bubbles that form are weird. It is kind of like an activator bubble on top of the film. This has been happening on Big Brain films. I think it has to be a technique thing. I tried angling the gun instead of shooting straight down and it reduced the bubbles somewhat. Don't get me wrong, I am not getting tons of bubbles, just the occasional one or few that appear during activation. The grainy stuff, well.....I am going to try and let the activator settle a bit and see if it improves. All of my dips are done in 88-91 degree water. Maybe I will try a cold hit with longer soak. So many variables..... What is your activator gun setup?
  • TsunamiTsunami Posts: 4,952Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    My gun is an Air Gunsa with fluid needle 5 1/4 out air 2 1/4 out and 10 Psi. with trigger depressed.
  • Archer0545Archer0545 Posts: 806Member ✭✭✭
    Pics of the grainy dips?
  • my4boysdadmy4boysdad Posts: 138Member ✭✭✭

    @Tsunami. Don't mean to jump in the middle here but I experienced the same thing this evening on a gun stock I was dipping.  The forearm came out decent but the butt stock has a million little hairline cracks in it.  Water-92°, TWN's 3502 activator, 1.3 tip, needle all the way out and back in 1.5 turns.  This was TWN's 310 Next Camo Vista.  I've experienced the same thing on their 801 camo as well.  I dipped a dash bezel just minutes after with TWN's 756 camo and the results were almost flawless.  Any ideas??
  • NotSoFastNotSoFast Posts: 3,192Member, Moderator El Moderator
    @my4boysdad Small cracks sounds like not enough activator.
  • TsunamiTsunami Posts: 4,952Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭


    @Tsunami. Don't mean to jump in the middle here but I experienced the same thing this evening on a gun stock I was dipping.  The forearm came out decent but the butt stock has a million little hairline cracks in it.  Water-92°, TWN's 3502 activator, 1.3 tip, needle all the way out and back in 1.5 turns.  This was TWN's 310 Next Camo Vista.  I've experienced the same thing on their 801 camo as well.  I dipped a dash bezel just minutes after with TWN's 756 camo and the results were almost flawless.  Any ideas??

    You need more activator. The film is not liquefying and its tearing. At least that what it looks like. Never used that film. Let me know
  • PTC_HydroGraphXPTC_HydroGraphX Posts: 1,107Member ✭✭✭✭
    I know you asked Tsunami but it looks underactivated to me. With a 1.3 did you use tic tac toe pattern for your activator passes?
  • my4boysdadmy4boysdad Posts: 138Member ✭✭✭
    @Tsunami @PTC_HydroGraphX Thanks guys. I thought it was bad film but looking at it closely before ever putting it on water it looks great. I'll try another dip with both this weekend and hopefully post new results.
  • TsunamiTsunami Posts: 4,952Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just try to slow down your pass speed.
  • onehitwonderonehitwonder Posts: 2,706Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    Get a 1.3, text me, and we'll set up,your gun on text - problems gone
  • my4boysdadmy4boysdad Posts: 138Member ✭✭✭
    @onehitwonder. So I tried a little bit of everyone's advise here and tried again.  3502 activator, water temp 91°, 70 sec soak, 1.3 tip using slower passes plus a tic-tac-toe pattern, TWN's 310 Next Camo Microprint, film glassed over nicely, no bubbles, and yet same results.  I dipped a rifle stock using a different pattern and it came out beautifully.   Any advise is appreciated,  if you'd still like to offer setting up act gun via text, I'm in for it some time tomorrow.  I've closed up shop for the night.  Thanks again. 

  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 9,205Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    Still looks a bit under activated to me, like the film isn't fully liquefying.
  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 13,081Administrator El Jefe
    Switch to SuperBrew and it will take care of that problem...
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 9,205Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    Yeah almost all of the TWN films seem to like the super brew. We have only found a couple that didn't like it. That woodgrain on the RV interior and Boggy Vzion from Liquid Print didn't.
  • showtime73showtime73 Posts: 82Member ✭✭
    I had similar issues today with a snake skin film, small cracks in the film.i tryed super brew with 60 sec soak with 1 pass= cracks, sec with 2 pass= cracks, 90 second soak with 4 pass ans 20 sec wait still cracks, thinking its could be old film,cant get it to work at all
  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 13,081Administrator El Jefe

    I had similar issues today with a snake skin film, small cracks in the film.i tryed super brew with 60 sec soak with 1 pass= cracks, sec with 2 pass= cracks, 90 second soak with 4 pass ans 20 sec wait still cracks, thinking its could be old film,cant get it to work at all

    What size tip on the gun and what air pressure? My guess is a 1.3 or 1.4...
  • my4boysdadmy4boysdad Posts: 138Member ✭✭✭
    SuperBrew ordered... Thanks for the advise. I'll post results once it comes in. Thanks Jim @K2Concepts, @MidOhioHydrographics, @Tsunami
  • BradBrad Posts: 57Member ✭✭
    What was the end result here?
  • NotSoFastNotSoFast Posts: 3,192Member, Moderator El Moderator
    Brad said:

    What was the end result here?

    He hasn't been active here in 3 months.
  • rknaplerknaple Posts: 2Member
    not to grt off the subject but im new at this and id like to start off as unproblematic as possible .I seem to get mixed answers on water temps and soak times ? ive tried different waiting times and different amounts of activators. I cannot seem to get carbon fiber to work very well. most of the time as soon as I spray on the activator the film just falls apart! I leave a inch around the border I cut the tape in the corners and ive I tried different different water temps and different amounts of activators . any ideas that might be helpful? up until now ive been using aresol activators from dipstick coatings along with jims films hes been very helpful hopefully its something im doing wrong and not any of the products. soon I will have my comp and real gun up and running will this make a difference? sorry for all the questions guys this my first time on here and I have lots of questions thx
  • rknaplerknaple Posts: 2Member
    oh yeah what do you do with the bleach exactly as far as cleaning? lol! sorry
  • DeviousDipsDeviousDips Posts: 1,585Member ✭✭✭✭
    @rknaple the bleach is just to kill the smell of the water after it starts to smell. As for the carbon aerosol is very inconsistent so it is very hard to know how much activator u are actually spraying. I personally run most films at 90 degree water 60 sec soak 
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 9,205Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    @rknaple best to start a new thread for your individual issue. This was an old, dead thread that may or May not be related to your particular problem. Describe (in painfully specific detail) what you did in every step of the process and how exactly you did it... and include photos. Then we can start diagnosing what the problems are.
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