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Old June 28, 2013, 08:13 AM   #1
browninghunter86
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Join Date: November 14, 2011
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Hydro Dip

Did a search and only 1 thread for '09 came up....

Anyone get their rifle stock hydro dipped? I am considering getting this done to a competition rifle stock but was wanting feedback on how it holds up and if it protects the stock from weather/handling?

I have 2 companies that will do it for me, but was wanting "end user" feedback vs what those companies selling it to me will tell me
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Old June 28, 2013, 09:25 AM   #2
Dixie Gunsmithing
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To be honest, I don't think its any better than a cammo finish, or other look, when applied with an air brush by someone that knows what they're doing. Hydro Dip is an ink type print, and air brush is a paint, or could be ink if one wanted it. With a set of stencils, someone talented with an air brush can do digital cammo pretty darn good.
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Old June 28, 2013, 12:10 PM   #3
PetahW
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.

I've had two different rifles hydrographically film-dipped, by two different applicators/companies - and can tell you that the finish, if properly applied, is a lot more durable than any home-made camo paint job could ever hope to be, besides looking neater, and more factory-like.

I've found the covering to be very durable, and visually attractive - when applied to plain guns, it can add to their value beyond the cost of dipping.

I had one gun done in camo & the other in a fancy woodgrain.

The key is in WHO does the application, since I've found that all applicators are not equally adept in the process; and others yet, while decent applicators, are poor businessmen.

One of my gunstocks was done by Bell & Carlson in REALTREE, when they were still marketing their Special Effects Process.
The stock was done perfectly & returned to me in 3 weeks - whereupon I shot/hunted with it for 3 years w/o issue before selling the rifle for other interests.

Another was done by a small "company" in MI, which I found online (since B&C no longer offered dipping).
While the stock turned out OK, it took over 4 mos before I got my stock back, and only then after myriad phone calls, emails & other "chasing" the applicator - who only kept giving excuse after excuse, ad nauseum, for the delay(s).
It turned out that the applicator was running a few small business' at the same time, splitting his time between them, and getting down to business only when he found time - not good for the customer IMHO.

I would suggest to choose an applicator more by the size/popularity of their business than a purported low price - BT, DT (NTS).




.

Last edited by PetahW; June 28, 2013 at 12:20 PM.
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Old June 29, 2013, 07:02 AM   #4
Dixie Gunsmithing
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PetahW,

I looked into doing this, in my shop, but before I bought anything, I asked a friend of mine, who is a professional printer, about it.

The way the process was described is that you start with an ink design on a dissolvable substrate, that will float on still water. This is placed in a tank.

Next, an "activator" or solvent is sprayed over the floating substrate, and that dissolves it, allowing the oily ink to float on top.

Next, you drop in the part, that has had an undercoat paint sprayed on it, of the right background color. No special paint, just the right color. As the part is slowly submerged, the ink uses hydrostatics to stick to the piece and wrap around the part, thus printing the paint.

Next, the part is left submerged until the ink is cleaned off the top, and the the part is removed. Here, he said, you have to make sure to not smudge the ink.

Now, here is the catch that gives it its durability, a simple thick coat of clear-coat paint or finish. The same clear-coat that can be applied over an air brushed image, and the same stuff used on automobiles.

This is an okay process, if you want designs like skulls, or other things on a stock quickly, but I have seen some very talented air brush work applied, that was reminiscent of the old souped-up van days of the 60's and 70's, that will blow you away, and it can be protected the same. I wish I could do the cammo, without stencils, but I'm not that talented. This is why I don't think one is tougher than the other, as you have to protect either image for it to have any wearability.
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Old July 1, 2013, 09:48 PM   #5
browninghunter86
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Thanks. I do not want cammo. I am wanting a "cool" design on there that is different than what stocks you can get painted or off the shelf. Since the rifle is a custom built competition, the stock should equally represent this in style
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Old July 2, 2013, 01:29 PM   #6
monoxide
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Hydro Dip

I was gonna order another slide for my little ja22 and hydro dip it but they want the old slide back for some reason. I may just get a dip kit and do my Xbox controllers or some thing.
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Old July 2, 2013, 01:39 PM   #7
Dixie Gunsmithing
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browninghunter86,

If you can find a good air-brush artist, they can paint anything you want on it. I have seen some really amazing air-brushed images in my life. I also looked at a stars and stripe stock done with air-brush, and it was really sharp. Another, a guy has realistic looking wolves on it.
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