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.