No more UV curing flashlights
So, we’ve all tied some cool flies that require UV resin, whether a strong head, a streamline body or something of that nature.
It takes forever. Applying the resin, holding the flashlight over it for seemingly a half hour, and still getting some tackiness (depending on which resin you’re into), it just isn’t efficient.
Well, I’m a lazy designer, and I take pride in finding “shortcuts” or as I like to call them “efficient solutions,” and I thought, “how can I make this easier because this kind of sucks?”
Answer: UV Gel Nail Curer
I remember seeing these on some TV shows or something my better half and I watched, so instantly the idea popped into my head. After a short time scouring the prime section of Amazon, I found one… FOR UNDER $30. Here it is, in all it’s glory (related products should work just the same, just make sure they come with replaceable bulbs). I also bought these mini clampy things to hold the flies inside the “oven”.
Here’s how I did it
First, I needed to assess how the flies will be placed inside, and how they’ll the maximum light exposure, with the minimal risk for resin distortion (like setting because of gravity or lack of skill on my part, yeah it happened once). It came to Ray and I that I needed a wooden block, cut at an angle on two sides (I used 30 degrees) with the clamps staggered on each side, set in at a slight angle.
As you see, I cut this triangle out of an old 1×3 I found in the garage, about 6″ long. After that, I measured (roughly because it’s literally just drying flies), drilled 5 holes and placed the clamps inside.
Then, I repeated the steps above on the opposite side, but staggered and drilled only 4 holes. After that, I glued them all in place with just plain old zap-a-gap. Now it’s ready for production.
Next, I went inside, placed the jig on the middle of the sliding tray just to see if everything went smoothly before I applied resin.
Then, I placed the flies in the clamps, applied resin and slid inside.
Finally, the finished product, some Pliva Pergidon. I ran these through twice (there’s a 180 second timer) and there was virtually no tack.
I am extremely impressed with the curing process of the light, it cures faster and stronger than the normal flashlight, with minimal effort. The resin application was easy, and I really didn’t have any distortion or lopsidedness, other than a few user errors of neglect, that weren’t too bad. The clamps could be improved, but it works pretty well.