HYDRO DIP TIPS 3
Frequently Asked Questions about Hydrographics
There are some major mistakes being made when hydro dipping a gun or rifle stock. You have to approach each project differently and decide what is the best coating for each job based on what item you are dipping. I would give you a much different coatings layout for a custom interior carbon fiber dip on a Subaru WRX. The biggest mistake hydro dippers make is thinking you can coat firearms with the same as you would on a custom car job. WRONG! There is a reason so many different coating options are out there for you to use. As you learn and grow as a dipper you will start to realize the different uses for each coating.
For this education we will be covering the best practices for hydro dipping a gun stock or bow and many other outdoor sports equipment. Like anything you will want to log what you used and how you used when you take on a new project. So we have a blueprint we like to call our “best practices”. We know there are so many different ways and I’m sure you’ve seen them all on youtube until the late hours of the night. What the videos don’t show you is if that customer was happy and if that hydro dip they did actually lasted. We want to give you the options available to make your hydro dip as dependable as possible. What is the best way to get repeat customers? That’s right do good business and do good work. When their rifle holds up 2 years plus because you took the extra steps, that’s 2 years worth of referrals every time they pull it out.
SO WHAT IS THE BEST WAY?
First thing you know about a gun stock or rifle or even a slide is they can be tough to get back together. This is why the type of coating you use is VERY IMPORTANT. If you were to use standard automotive grade paint on a rifle do you know what would happen? Again you got it….after you spent all that time getting the perfect dip you realize the parts won’t come back together without some damage. That is definitely not what you want because if you break the seal on a clear coat job it opens it up to start cracking.
This is how you make your life easier. There are specific coatings made for military specifications. Simply put they are a very very thin coating designed to protect and reduce the coating profile to millimeters. This is how you are going to provide a very durable product without adding thick layers to your firearm making it very difficult to put back together.
WHAT PRODUCTS SHOULD I BE USING?
One of the best products out there for firearms coatings is Duracoat which I explained earlier they specialize in military spec coatings. The cool thing about their product is you do not need to primer and base coat. It works as an all in one primer and base coat. This is a definite plus when it comes to saving time and money. They sell in many different sizes.
For a standard dip a 4oz bottle will last you for quite a few dips. Because it is hardens quickly and is very durable there is a dip window. If you wait too long it can harden up and reject the hydro dip film. Normally you want to dip after about an hour and not later than 12 hours. You may get lucky and get one to stick if it has been more than a day, but not something I would take a chance on. Also because it is a thin coating you will want to use a 0.8 tip on your gun and no bigger than 1.0 tip.
Lets assume you got a perfect dip and you are ready to put a fresh clear coat on there. For this process we are going to change to another type of coating called Cerakote. Ask them for the type made to us with hydrographics and I would recommend using the satin finish for beginners. If you have used similar coatings you can move to the flat finishes. This is another great coating to protect the item from not only wear and tear but it will also protect against most chemicals. This helps because it lets you clean the firearm with the proper cleaners without damaging the item.
The same rules apply because it is a thin coating no bigger than a 1.0 tip on your spray gun. Keep in mind it is a thinner coating and does not need to be applied very heavily like a thick high gloss clear coat. You also want to note that you do not want to continually spray over the same spot as it can start to build up and powder. Keep a consistent and even spray and don’t over do it. This coating is an air dry cure so you do not need an oven.
DIP TIP RECAP
Step 1: Scuff down your item removing the shine and any existing coatings.
Step 2: Wash off with soap and water then dry with air pressure to avoid water spots.
Step 3: Apply Duracoat coating with desired color.
Step 4: Hydro Dip your Gun Stock (I will do a rifle stock how to coming soon)
Step 5: Apply Cerakote coating and let cure for required time.
Step 6: Enjoy the look on your customers face!
Step 7: Enjoy the satisfaction of knowing your products are going to last!
Thank you to everyone who finds this information helpful.
If you have any subjects you would like me to cover please let us know.
Hydro Dip Store