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Anyone Tried Hydro-dipping?

Discussion in 'General Tool Chat' started by Smoggie, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. Smoggie

    Smoggie Well-Known Member

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    So the weather has been terrible here and i've been bored so i got to thinking i might try my hand at Hydro-dipping. My trusty Spektrum DX18 was the first thing that came to hand, so here's the end result:

    IMG_0520.JPG

    What do you think?
     
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  2. Admiral

    Admiral I Support Rc-Help! Rc-Help Supporter

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    Looks great, defiantly unique.
     
  3. liquid1

    liquid1 Member

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    Smoggie , Are you serious man that’s a nice look looks like carbon fiber . I need to do my bike and a few guns like that looks awesome. Is the process hard and expensive.
     
  4. Admiral

    Admiral I Support Rc-Help! Rc-Help Supporter

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    I had to look it up, found this video of a bike guard being done, though it may be of interest.

     
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  5. liquid1

    liquid1 Member

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    Admiral, Thanks for posting looks like something I might give a try. He’s using the same fender our shovel has cool stuff. I’ve heard of this process just never paid it much mind.
    Smoggies TX really brings light to possibilities..
     
  6. Smoggie

    Smoggie Well-Known Member

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    yeah, the video shows how i did it. It'ts pretty straightforward but like anything it takes a little practice. I had a couple of abortive attempts that I had to scrub off with a metal abrasive pad an denatured alcohol! Probably would have been wiser top practice on some old junk first but I got there in the end.

    For me the couple of things that helped were NOT using a masking tape frame like you see in some of the videos, including the one above. I found it better to just use a piece of film couple on inches smaller than the container I was using. This allows the film to expand slightly as it liquefies which makes wrinkles less likely. Be generous with the activator spray, if you dont use enough the film doesnt fully liquefy and you get wrinkles and bubbles. Tape the edges of the part to form a 'skirt' around the sides so that the film breaks over the edge of the tape rather that the edge of the part. What you do the actual dip do it slowly, the part should enter the water close to 45 degrees. You need to really thoroughly rinse it at the end to get all the sticky deposits off.

    It's actually a lot of fun to do, I recommend giving it a go. You can gt a vast range of different film patterns. mine was just plain black carbon pattern but to give it a bit of interest I used a candy-red base coat rather than silver.
     
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  7. liquid1

    liquid1 Member

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    Good info, how long did the process take after you gutted the radio electronics , what type of film did you use instead of tape is it sticky like tape. It’s amazing at the experience and different projects that goes on in this forum. You guys and gals rock !!
     
  8. Smoggie

    Smoggie Well-Known Member

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    It took me a day , working on and off, then a couple of hours the following day to re-assemble. This included having two attempts on two parts of the case (the case is in three parts) and stripping off the abortive first attempts. If I had to do it again today I'm pretty sure i'd get it right first time.

    Like any painting/coating process preparation is most important, you have to rub down the part to give a good surface for the paint. If it's plastic you need a special plastic primer. You then need a base coat, the colour of which varies according to the film you are using. In my case i had to use a silver base coat then 'candy red' lacquer. The paint was very quick drying so it didn't take very long to apply, ten minutes between coats and an hour before being ready to dip.

    The actual hydro-dipping film as it comes off the roll isnt sticky at all, it only becomes sticky once you float it on the water and apply the activator spray. Once you hit it with activator is almost liquefies. At that point you 'dip' the component and the floating liquid film layer transfers to it. It's almost a magical process, the film easily forms around even complicated shapes. It's very hard to remove once applied. It even sticks strongly to your skin so use latex gloves.

    Once it's rinsed and dried you put clear cote over the top to seal it and give it a glossy finish, though you could also use satin or mat clear cote if you prefer.
     
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  9. sneezy007

    sneezy007 I Support Rc-Help! Rc-Help Supporter

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    Looks awesome Smoggie. There is a guy in town that does hydro dipping. He does some amazing work.
    Dino
     

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