Lock down Hydrodip

April 3, 2020

Dipping Tips

For the dip you want your water between 26 – 28 degrees Celsius. This can differ based on your film. It is hard to gauge the perfect temperature and also the perfect amount of activator to use, you don’t want to over activate and you also don’t want to under activate. This can be a very tedious trial and error process.

When preparing your film, give yourself twice what you need for your dip. This will allow for imperfections during the placement of the film on the water. As you will see in the following video, there is a large bubble after placing the film on the water but I have enough area to work around the film without any impact to the dip result. If my area was only the bear minimum, I would be forced to re cut the film and start again. Don’t dip if there are any imperfections on the film as your dip result will not be pretty!

When placing the film on the water, wait about 1 minute for all the creases to disappear. It is better to wait longer then no long enough. I have left the film in excess of 2 minutes before dipping with no issues!

When activating make sure you get a even coverage over the film. Make sure there are not areas of the film that are more or less activated then others. Again, the activation process can differ largely based on different films but I generally give 30 seconds and sometime up to 1 minute to ensure the film has fully activated! Over and under activation is very hard to tell the difference between as the end result is usually the same. These are usually fading of the film, and cracks in the film upon final inspection.

When prepping the film, use masking tape around the edges to keep it taught and it also stops the film from expanding too much. It also makes it a little easier to place in the water. It is important to cut slots in the corners and the sides when doing this to allow the film to expand. If you don’t, the film will just shrivel up when activated.

When dipping, it is preferred to dip as one unit. Ideally, place both the top and bottom molds together and dip them as one piece to get a even finish across the item. I didn’t do this as it is quite challenging and I’m not sure how it comes apart, weather it sticks together but if you are game enough to give it a shot, I would definitely recommend this for a professional and even finish. If you dip both the top and bottom molds separately, the pattern will not be consistent when they are re assembled.

In my experience, dipping is an art! It is extremely difficult to get things perfect and I have even had things dipped professionally that have come out with flaws and a pretty average result. This is when I realized how how it actually is! If your dip comes out with imperfections, I wouldn’t be too upset. Just learn from it and try to do the next one better! There are so many factors to take into account when dipping. Every film is different and requires different soak times, soak temperatures, different amounts of activator and different amounts of time to actually activate!

If you get cracking or fading in your dip, it is likely that you have either over or under activated the film. Basically, this means you have either sprayed too much activator or too little and its almost impossible to tell the difference between under and over activation in my opinion. Try again with less, and then try again with more!

When storing film, make sure you store in a warm, DRY place. If it gets damp, even the slightest bit of moisture, then the film is a write off. Keep it warm and even vacuum seal it if possible to eliminate the chances of moisture getting to it.

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All Comments

  • Looks awesome! I want to give it a go. What are you using a clear coat and what have you found produce the best results for clear coating?

    ethgaratis November 19, 2020 2:03 pm
    • Thanks mate! I found definitely the 2K clear coats are the best by far! Best finish and best protection just a pain in the ass as you need to reduce and they are a 2 part mix. I suggest using a proper 2k clear coat and a spray gun rather then anything in a can! Grab something from your local automotive shop 🙂 Good luck!

      deanfourie November 19, 2020 2:25 pm

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