In Chris's video on finishing cues he uses a torch to heat the cue cote sealerto remove air bubbles; does the G5 also need to be torched when applying as a sealer? Used G5 on an ebony forearm to seal and got little white specks in the sealer, couldn't sand it out and had to strip the forearm to restart. I waited 12 hrs from application to sand. thanx
Here are some things that will prevent the bubbles or spots you are talking about. If you follow them properly your will never see those problems again.
I am a G5 person for many years and finishing a cue is a long road to get it perfect. I hope this helps you get down that road a little easier.
Like anything in cue building there are tiny details and techniques that have to be mastered and observed before you can get repeatable results that will stand up over time with your cue in the field.
Last night at one in the morning a customer dropped buy my shop and he wanted me to put a new Moori on his cue. I built this cue 3 years ago and it was one of my first floating point CNC cue with a very expensive wood combo and it was loaded with ivory with silver rings.
While he was there I buffed his cue, did the tip and reconditioned his shafts. I gave the cue the visual once over and all of the silver rings were perfect without any popping whatsoever.
I use G5 for my epoxy substrate and understand the way it is to be applied for a repeatable end result.
Here is what I have found works and I will share these things here.
Since G5 is fast acting and has a short pot life you have to have a great plan for applying it here's mine.
1. When the cue is prepped for epoxy after sanding and is perfectly clean and dust free you must bring the cue to a temperature of 80 degrees. If you fail to do this you are losing the farm.
2. Before applying the material you must bring the G5 to a temp of +80 degrees.
3. The room you work in should be at least 70. If you shop is cold you will have problems.
4. Never spread out this material on with a card, brush or any of that kind of stuff. It may work just fine for finish cure, it will ruin you coating with G5. That simple!!
5. This one is very important
Since G5 has such a short pot life and gets hot pretty fast from the chemical reaction, in the first application you must not try to do the whole cue on one pass. I mix up two puddles the size of a quarter each on an index card and then mix for no less than 20 seconds and no more than 30 while I count in my head making sure I am getting a very good mix.
I do half the cue and I apply the material with my finger and press it in very hard so that it gets very solid surface area contact. I then mix up a new batch and do the back of the cue. Because it takes more time to apply this material over bare wood if you try to mix up a big batch and do the whole cue, you will find that it will be hot when you are doing the butt area and IMO you just screwed yourself big time.
Once you get the first full coat on the second batch can be mixed in two half dollar sized puddles and the material flows easy and goes on mush faster and you can do the whole cue in one pass.
6. I personally install 4 coats of G5 3 minutes apart and I can do the entire procedure to the cue in less that 15 minutes. 4 coats adds about .015 to the diameter. The 4 coats give me the head room to sand aggressively with 220 non clog sand paper to a lever about 4 or 5 thou over my sanding mandrel size where I change to 320 non clog.
I also use a right angled sanding block made of wood with a 80 durometer neoprene to cushion the paper. This gives me a perfectly flat sanded substrate that makes your cue as flat looking as a Florissant light bulb before your clear coat. If is is not perfectly flat before the clear, it won't be after clearing. This is the reason for 4 coats less than 5 minutes apart. By doing it this way you can get all the high spot down without worrying about burning through. When you are worrying about burning through, one tends to sand the high spots in small areas instead of full flat sanding the entire cue. The flat cue substrate suffers when you sand in spot areas trying to get high spots down, especially if you are worrying about burning through and having to start over. Believe me that used to happen to me all of the time. It is the dog chasing it's tail, at least that what I use to do before add the headroom layers. Since going to 4 coat, I and not burned through in over 5 years.
7. Facts about G5. I have had many conversations with engineers at West about this product and they explained to me that you can retain a chemical monolithic substrate without having to scratch sand between coats if you
apply it in less than 5 minute intervals. BTW, G5 takes 8 days to completely cure but you can usually sand in in 24 hours if the humidity is low.
There are many people that are uninformed about G5. Every time this subject comes up the same old people come up and say things like "Top Tier Cue Makers won't ever use G5 or they show a West web site that says, " G5 is not intended for structural use". This is collective reasoning and is evil in my view and should be avoided at all cost to those who see any kind of truth or enlightenment in any discipline. Bring facts a data to an argument. The reason West advertises that is it is a disclaimer because their structural system requires very thin slow cure epoxies that weep through fiber mesh to to form and aggregate structure and G5 won't weep and it cures too fast for that application. It is used to tac stringers in place on boat hulls before the mesh and slow stuff is applied.
When you talk to the engineers at West they are quick to tell you that is it the highest grade of Quick Cue Epoxy in the world and it's strength properties are unreal as a gluing agent, gap filler or surface coating.
Be sure of this one thing, I am not telling anyone to change to or use this stuff and it is your own choice what you do in your shop. It is much easier to spread on Finish cure with a spatula or what ever than it is to master the technique of applying G5 for sure. My mentor came from the Omega DPK Shop here in Illinois and they used 5 minute epoxy for the gluing apps in their cue making joinery. If you read DPK's book you will also see he used it too.
So it is very amusing to me when I hear the same old same old comments here knocking some product they don't know how to use because of urban legend that has no basis?????:deadhorse:
Using and learning all of the things about 5 minute G5 is all about proper planning, temperature control and confidence to work within it's pot life window for application and is a hard skill to master and requires work to a exact procedure control methods. If you screw any of this stuff up it can bite you. If you rush and forget to do some the right way you will pay. But I guess that is true in most everything. Haste make waste.
Like any other skill set in cue making or in life, Rome was not built in a day and it is through practice, repetition and observation only then can one be enlightened concerning any discipline. If you try it once and don't understand it can't be applied like a material that spins on the lathe to cure your going to see problems for sure. Like the Priest said to Kane on Kung Fu, "When you have walked on the the rice paper and not have left a trace of your footprint, then you shall have learned Grasshopper".
My very good friend is a CM and he has been using G5 for over 11 years on his cues and I have seen his cues go for as high $ 7500.00. There are virtually 100s of his cue that come through my pool room that I see all the time. The finishes on his cues are out of sight and there is no problem with the substrate under the finish lifting it doing anything funky. So if you have tried G5 and had a bad result I am sure if you review the precautions and limitation & actions from my procedural steps I posted here, you will find that you doubtless missed some thing I have pointed out.
There are trolls here in the forum that are going to take whacks at me and quote the WEST Website and say the same old same old stuff about top tier CM not endorsing this material for one reason or another but I say let them say and do as they do. If you want to argue against it that's fine and it is always welcome and if you do please bring some evidence not urban legend or innuendo without basis. Let share information with data and science not bull crap. We all gain when this occurs.
BTW, I could care less what any top cue maker does or says, it's their business and I don't remember any of them coming out here and making that case. If you haven't noticed, Top Tier CMs don't post here too often from my point of view.
The use of and choice of the product you use for your substrate is a big choice and it is the foundation on which you build your finish. So one must go with one of the methods that CMs use and then stick with that method and refine your tricks over time. If I personally changed from using my method right now. There would be no way that I would sell that cue as it must be obsered by me for a long period of time in the field. And one cue would never be enough. If you don't do this they will come marching back to you for a re work job.
Last week I was in the shop of one one the best CM in the world and he shared with me his method of finishing that totally blew my mind. It was way beyond my epoxy and Automotive clear coat and someday I will make that change to save 3 hours per cue in labor and get a finish that is world class ++++++. Then again I am not getting 6 to 30 grand per cue or I would go off for the 30 grand it takes for capitol plant equipment.
Again all this info in JMHO and to each their own.
PS: I don't own any West Stock and this opinion is 100% without prejudice. LOL
As far as luster from a substrate, G5 is water clear and it creates a deep wet look through the spotlight magnification of the clear coat. This is a very important consideration. There are many other epoxies that cast an amber tone.