Float making.

nottskev

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Wilkos still sell plastic straws, not sure on the thickness etc, let me know if you want me to have a look

Thanks, Rich, I've not been to any shops for a long time, so if you happen to see them in Wilkos, let me know.
 

markg

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I have some old floats, part of a lot I bought off a woman locally. They are cork, balsa, quill etc. I want to get rid of all the old paint first. What is the best way to do this, I don't want to sand them, it will take ages and I have not got the patience, I guess some sort of paint stripper but I don't want to damage the cork etc. Be nice just to leave them to soak in something, any ides...thanks
 

ian g

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I imagine paint stripper would work , dry them and give them a light sand after . Funny enough I found some crow quills when I was our at the weekend so I've making some crow quill toppers . Must be down to my last couple of hundred
 

markg

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I imagine paint stripper would work , dry them and give them a light sand after . Funny enough I found some crow quills when I was our at the weekend so I've making some crow quill toppers . Must be down to my last couple of hundred
Any brand that's best Ian?
 

peytr

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I guess some sort of paint stripper but I don't want to damage the cork etc. Be nice just to leave them to soak in something, any ides...thanks

The language barrier might get in the way but I'll try to tell what I have used. You could try the more aggressive thinners around. Look voor toluene and xylene as prime ingredients in the mix. We have stuff here that's actually called thinner (which is clearly an English word) but it isn't white spirit. It's more like cellulose dope thinner. There is a very good chance the paint will dissolve or at least soften if you can soak the floats in it for some time (I'm guessing the paint must be one part). Try to get some large test tubes so you can leave them in there for some time. Needless to say any plastic and/glue will also be attacked by the solvent.

I tend to leave the paint on and repaint after degreasing and lightly sanding. If the paint looks nice but is leaky a matt or satin clear varnish could get you a float that's showing it's vintage and isn't sinking after ten minutes.

I got my hands on a 200+ old floats and boxes with all kinds of surprises, some time ago. I think I'll fish with one or two but I tend to also restore and care for these like they're the greatest treasure ever discovered :p! Same with my old reels: they get better care than the modern ones but hardly ever see any use.
 

markg

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Thanks Peytr, last time I tried to sand or leave old paint on floats I found it laborious, I dont want to retain the integrity of these floats, just end up with some nice "new" floats, the easier it is the better. I will look out for some paint thinners.
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ian g

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Hi Mark , I wouldn't like to say as I haven't really tried it but cork is fairly robust so should be ok to use paint stripper on
 

rayner

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Just received this morning, from eBay a selection of float bodies. Some balsa some foam cost 8 quid, I have cane for the tips and either cane or wire for stems. I've quickly put one or two together with no glue to get an idea of how they look.
Truthfully they look like the tripe on eBay that purports to be hand made. They'll be OK for the deepwater I intend fishing at 1.20 gram.
 

Ray Roberts

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Thanks Ian, I will see if I can get some and give it a try.

Detol can be used to strip paint, you need to leave it in for a couple of days. The guys who restore fishing reels use it as it doesn’t cause corrosion to the metal.


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markg

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I have just paid £8 for a bottle of paint stripper from Dyers, too late now. Always bloomin expensive that place but not much else to spend money on for now.. Still, if it works I can do up a lot of floats.
 

markg

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Experimented with one of the floats with the paint stripper, two 24 hour soaks. Messy stuff, best to wipe it off with a tissue I found rather than trying to wash it off. However, the result is not too bad, I have to put a bit of filler in where the join is as it is a bit damaged but then should be ready for sanding and painting. Got two more in soak now.
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wetthrough

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If they're old floats and likely enamel, paint stripper shouldn't take very long at all, possibly minutes. Modern poly/urethanes/esters take longer, if it works at all. If you find one that's refusing to strip, put the stripper on then put it in a plastic bag and leave it overnight. That's from my experience stripping paint in general, not floats in particular.
 

Ray Roberts

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I hate stripping paint, when I was an apprentice I once had to strip an old vintage Bentley back to bare metal and the bloody thing had at least three previous resprays and was huge.

I’m not trying to teach my grandmother to suck eggs, but be careful not to get it on your skin, particularly the more sensitive areas. Most of them are caustic and can cause chemical burns that you don’t realise you’ve caused until you feel the itching then it’s too late.

I would wash the floats thoroughly before you paint as any trace of the stripper could react with the new paint. When we used it on cars we had to grind out any filler etc as it was porous.


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ian g

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Glad it worked , as Ray says it's not pleasant stuff . I remembered using it on the old paintwork when we moved in to our house 20 years ago .
 

markg

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I am using an old Pyrex dish to soak them in, it says on the tin leave for one hour and redo if necessary but I left it for 24 hours. It seems there is two or maybe three different type of paint on them and I noticed one bit had melted but not the other but after two soaks of 24 hours it did melt eventually. Heads up about washing my skin after, I do this straight away and will wash the floats as well before painting, good point Ray. I am not after perfection but don't like sanding away at something so delicate, I will end up breaking them as this I did before when I tried it; a bit of a cack hand.
I have some clear varnish which I will coat first to seal them and then add the color paint, I have several tubes of this and that from my art. Then a couple of coats of varnish after that. Just some old cracked floats I picked up once, not after perfection but if they look nice and are usable, I will be happy. I don't want to go ordering loads of different specialists varnishes etc., just what I have around. Thanks for the tips, when I am done I will show the results.
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markg

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All done then, not perfect but usable/visible floats and I do like a bit of cork. The paint stripper worked well enough once i sorted out what I was doing, better than lots of sanding in my opinion. Lots of flaws but good enough for me. One thing I found out, don't dry the floats on a hot radiator, I found it creates a bubble in the varnish. Despite that I enjoyed doing these during this latest lockdown and I will enjoy using them once I get on the river again.
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