I'm gonna loose it and just burn it all!!

I have read every forum I can find, I've watched every video I can find, I have even called both companies that we ordered product from. I dont know where to begin. We have so many issues going on.
#1. I have tested various temps of water. From 85-92 degrees.
#2. Out of 7 prints only one ( oil print) seems to actually stick and look seamless. All of the others either dont stick when I start rinsing or they are distressed looking like you would distress paint, or they dont cover the entire object even something as small as a dang keychain! We've tried shaking it under the water after the dip for the excess ? We've tried going in at angles , going slower, going faster...you name it. I am beyond frustrated.
We own a spray rig but I do not want to jump into breaking it all out and getting it to go until i can get at least one dip to work. Plus I saw how expensive the activator can be and I wasn't sure if it could be left in the rig or had to be cleaned out every time like if you were using it to paint. So of course we have stuck with spray cans. Yes, I am aware this can be part of the problem more than likely. But even with different brands We're still getting the same results 90% of the time. So my guess would be that its something that we are doing wrong.

Just and insight of what we dip. We make pig whips for FFA and 4-H around the entire U.S. So we are venturing out and dipping the handles. I have tried dipping at an angle and rolling and I'm still getting the same result. We have a huge deep tub so room isn't an issue. But I have tried to dip other things from tiny to cups. And each time the pattern looks like I rubbed with sandpaper , IF it even sticks during rinse. Most of it comes off. We also get this string of slimy pattern ( We laugh and call it placenta) hanging off of whatever I'm dipping. I think its just the outer edge of the pattern. Or it'll be a clump of pattern. Ive posted some pics of things that we've done that came out just okay and others that are our typical turn out of a dip. I'm dying to not waste anymore print and money. PLEASE HELP! This print ain't cheap just to be wasting it over and over and re-painting and priming. I have done literally everything I've been told. Waiting a min or so, some prints a few seconds longer, spray and wait 30-45 seconds depending on the print. But like I said nothing has turned out well but the oil spill print. The Cheetah print is by far the worst one to try and stick or even have the full pattern. It has yet one time to come out just like the pattern. It distresses immediately as soon as the activator hits it.

Lastly, after i finally got one done and let it dry I notice how easy the print will just scratch off with a fingernail even. Should we do 3 med. coats of clear coat? That seems to help a ton but it still scratches off with just a little bit of effort.



  • SpinnerSpinner Posts: 227Member ✭✭✭
    First, Welcome to the forum.

    You didn't mention your part preparation or the paint products you are using. Those first two steps are 80% of your entire endeavor.

    Your technique in the use of the activator and the actual dipping of the part needs to be a methodical, learned, and repeatable. If you share a video of how you are activating and dipping, that would be a big help. You have alot to unpack...
  • TroubleTrouble Posts: 409Member ✭✭✭
    Since you are making a item and you need to learn fast I highly suggest you attend training. Training will be the fastest way you can catch on to this process however it will still take a very long time to master. Another option is to send your pig whips to someone to be dipped.
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,963Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    I am going to try to predict the future here... "Aerosol paint by Rust-Oleum or Krylon, and SEVERE under activation due to aerosol activator
  • PagesHydroDippingPagesHydroDipping Posts: 656Member ✭✭✭
    ^^agreed. As you are starting to learn this process is nowhere near as easy as YouTube makes it out to be. Unless you are ready to spend a lot of money and time to learn and practice you would be better off paying someone to do it for you. Not trying to scare you away just the truth. With that being said this is an amazing process once you get it down and the options are endless
  • TrayersSlayersTrayersSlayers Posts: 269Member ✭✭✭
    @MidOhioHydrographics he might want to get in contact with @onehitwonder JJ has some new leather products for base and topcoat of leather. 
  • Agproducts1Agproducts1 Posts: 7Member
    I've felt like I'm either over doing it with activator or under . ( most of the time over . I prepped the cup with a clear primer. I have also used full kits from southern hydro. I have prepped the surfaces with the kits from start to finish. The cup in the phot was taped off at the rim and inside. That was the final effect after the dip. You can see on the whips and cup where the cheetah print distorts. The whip handles are a molded hard rubber. The print with the "Don't tread on me is the best one I've done yet but it isn't near perfect. I finally got tired of ordering expensive kits and wanted to just at least get the dipping technique down and I ran out of primer that came with my kit so I painted it just a white yes lol rustoleum paint and primer so it would have a white base. It hasn't scratched off or anything after i applied 3 clear coats.

    The black and white i did the same. It is supposed to be checkered flag but its obvious its nothing like that. Even when I used the kit components when I go to rinse half of it will wash off and look distorted. The whip handles are less than a 1/2 " diameter. There isn't anyone around here who dips. Because believe me I've thought about that and I'm to the point that I would love to talk to you @MidOhioHydrographics about just possibly doing them. We have one other product we were wanting to do as well. I am seriously interested in getting with you. It could save me time and headache. My number is always open to text or call 940521800 email [email protected] These two were the whole reason we wanted to dip and the only ones we wanted to dip to set us apart from the rest.
    I have tried rolling the whip handle like the cup. I have tried dipping at an angle and the angle works better because they're so long 31,33,36" . But like I said no matter what prep and product I always get the same result. I have no idea what it would cost to have them dipped because we are the first in this industry to do it. I wouldn't mind posting a video if that helps anyone. I see where its hard to see exactly what my issues are.
  • TrayersSlayersTrayersSlayers Posts: 269Member ✭✭✭
    @Agproducts1 I actually have video somewhere of setting a role of provil reaper buck on fire. When I first started dipping. Dont give up brother!
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,286Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    Alisha, simply buy this hydrographic basecoat paint from one of our forum sponsor and your problem will be solved. The basecoat paint you are using is too hard for your activator/ink to burn into.

    Also, wait 5-10 minutes before you rinse. If you were to let it rest those 5-10 minutes underwater, the rinse time will be really really short. :)
  • PagesHydroDippingPagesHydroDipping Posts: 656Member ✭✭✭
    @Agproducts1 where are you located ?
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 9,959Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    @Agproducts1 at less than 1/2” diameter you should be able to dip them like a rifle barrel. Hold a 30-40 degree angle and dip straight down pretty quick. But that’s after you make sure your prep, paint, and activation are perfect. We do thousands of duck and goose calls this way. Not to mention rifle and shotgun barrels.

    I will get with you next week. I would be happy to dip a couple samples for you. But first I would want to run them through our standard adhesion testing to make sure we can get proper adhesion of paint to the substrate. What type of hard rubber is it specifically?
  • Agproducts1Agproducts1 Posts: 7Member
    I'm located in Texas , I would have to dig back through production emails to find the components of the rubber. The shaft is a PP blend material. I haven't even attempted to dip the shaft. My ultimate goal in the end was to dip the entire whip. But I'd be happy just to have the handles because we have various colors of shafts now. I'm going to do a video of my dip and upload it tommrow. We also have wooden and plastic spray bottle we are trying to dip. It seems easier but again the pattern always looks distressed or I didn't get it completely covered. I'm to the point that if I could just send the stuff prepped and painted with the prints to them dipped I'd be more than happy . I'm that damn frustrated and ready to be the first on the market as this is our busiest part of the season. We have customers and locations nation wide just waiting y'all have been awesome. .
  • Agproducts1Agproducts1 Posts: 7Member
    I knew it wasn't going to be easy. The lid comes off of the spray bottle and we just dipped the container itself. It's a 2 LT
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 9,959Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    That spray bottle is most likely HDPE and won’t hold paint well. I would just avoid those unless you’re willing to pay for the extra prep involved. Most likely not worth it. The polypropylene will be fine, but Polyethylene is a more difficult substrate.

    As a business decision, I decided early on not to accept parts that have been prepped and painted by another person. They need to come to us bare, and we will prep, paint, and dip. I will purchase new film also. It’s nothing against you personally, but just a general rule for my company. I don’t trust any prep, paint, or film that we didn’t do. Then if something ever fails, it’s 100% our fault and I will stand behind it. Too many variables if those things are outside our control.
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 9,959Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    @Agproducts1 actually why don’t you get with @smedlin since he is already in a Texas. Will be cheaper for shipping. I have a lot of things going on right now, and @smedlin does fantastic work. I will gladly do them if you prefer to ship to me, but it may save you a bit going w Shane.
  • Agproducts1Agproducts1 Posts: 7Member
    @MidOhioHydrographics I completely understand. Thanks for the info I will get with him and see what works out.
  • Agproducts1Agproducts1 Posts: 7Member
    @MidOhioHydrographics I have tried to get in touch with him. Could you give me a call so we can discuss getting them to you?
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 9,959Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    I just got in touch w/ Shane (@smedlin) and he will be on here shortly. He got held up on the east coast bc of the weather. He will be in touch soon.
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 9,959Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    He's about to take off on his way to Houston. He will be in touch as soon as possible.
  • Agproducts1Agproducts1 Posts: 7Member
    Awesome Thanks a ton!
  • smedlinsmedlin Posts: 2,108Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Agproducts1 , I got your message.

    I called and left you a message

    Sorry it took so long, i was out of town, and weather caused me to miss a connection flight.. spent 5 hours sitting in Richmond Airport, then 14 hours sitting in Atalanta Airport.

  • onehitwonderonehitwonder Posts: 2,794Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    If you use OHW products, we are happy to help fix your problems over text. We do it all day.
  • smedlinsmedlin Posts: 2,108Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    So, to give y'all an update. @Agproducts1

    I've spent the last few days just experimenting with different prep methods.

    As far as the spray bottle...standard plastic: sand blast, flame treat, OHW

    that passes my adhesion test all day long.

    I dipped it in wood. This is post rinse. A few touch up spots. A very slight distortion. Even putting water in the bottle to counter the bouncy and doing test runs, I didn't get the rotation 100%.

    (in self defense, never done one of these shapes before)


    Now the whips, which only the plastic/rubber part handle is getting dipped...these I've spent some time on

    The client, @Agproducts1, sent me 3 different versions of the handles; 2 silver colored, 2 gold colored, and a hand full of black ones.

    The colored handles are a different looking material than the black ones.

    The client stated that the colored ones they had no trouble getting film to stick to it...but nothing would work with the black ones.

    Because of that, I've worked ONLY with the black ones, which would be the "worst" ones.

    I'll attest I've run the gauntlet on them and can't get a full adhesion test. I tried it all; AP with nanochem, sand blasting with OHW, flame treating with OHW...

    The best I could up with is using a 2K Epoxy Primer. As you can see picture below, doing a cross hatch test with Duct Tape, a small portion of it DID come up.

    But that was the best results I could get. Everything else pulled up in huge giant patches.

    I decided to dip that whip to see how it behaved.

    It stays on during rinse..

    This is post rinse

    This is right after the dip dried. NOT cross hatched... just doing a simple pull test

    So, maybe not to bad, but I'm still not really happy and I worry about long term adhesion.


    So, after talking to the client this eve, I found out the handles are made from TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethanes)

    @WileECoyote or @onehitwonder , do you have any recommendations on how to prep TPU?


  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,963Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    @smedlin So again... Science spends millions of dollars developing a plastic that nothing will stick too, and we gotta figure out how to get something to stick to it...

    First question is, can they get the handles made in a different material?
    Second, did you try to flame treat it?

    I would say that that adhesion test on the whip is a fail, and I wouldn't put much stock in the one without crosshatching. Always have to keep in mind that you are doing one at a time right now, and if the adhesion is questionable, it might be terrible during production.

    Gonna keep looking around for info.
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,963Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    Apparently it matters if its a polyester or polyether based TPU as well. Polyester coats WAY better. The reason they use TPU's is for flex, so everyone's answer is to use flex additive. Problem is, that flex is gone after a few weeks, and if the base didn't hook up it's still gonna crack.

    I would try a few things. Flame treating and then scuff with scotchbrite. Flametreat and scuff with scotchbrite soaked in Acetone (or MEK if you are feeling adventurous and have good gloves) and then I would coat with a 2k urethane. Not speaking for @onehitwonder but I have easier access too that paint.
  • smedlinsmedlin Posts: 2,108Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    @WileECoyote , I did try flame treating. But I don't think I flame treated and then scuffed.

    What would the acetone do?
  • versuspaintversuspaint Posts: 227Member ✭✭✭
    The acetone might open/soften it up and allow paint or film to bite, similar to ABS. But it also could do the opposite, trial and error...
  • smedlinsmedlin Posts: 2,108Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭


    So, this was that dip I did last night.

    This was flame treated and then used OHW.

    And then dipped.

    NOT clear coated.

    I used a cross hatch test with duct tape

    While a bit of the film itself came up (resulting in all those little white spots).. the paint itself stayed.

    (I should note, I did it over and over.. after about the 6th time, the paint finally started to slowly come up. But not in huge patches)

    I wonder if sitting for basically 24 hours helped?

    i wonder if the activator helped?
  • loochlooch Posts: 1,866Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    @smeldin i think @onehitwonder recommends waiting up to ten days for adhesion test.
  • smedlinsmedlin Posts: 2,108Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    looch said:

    @smeldin i think @onehitwonder recommends waiting up to ten days for adhesion test.

    Interesting. I hand't heard that one (that I remember)
Sign In or Register to comment.