A fluid bed allows one to paint baits a lot easier than dipping them into a 2 oz. jar. The lower chamber is filled with air and the air passes through the filter in the bottom of the paint chamber causing the paint to suspend and be lighter. Just a quick swish of a hot bait and it is completely covered with paint. It is a lot more consistent in application than the dip in the jar method because the paint doesn’t pack as long as the compressor is running.
MATERIALS FOR A 3” FLUID BED
LEXAN for the base
PVC coupler for the air chamber
3” schedule 40 PVC I used the stuff with the foam center to make cutting with a hacksaw easier.
3” PVC lids to cover then new paint containers
NEEDLE VALVE with an insert and sleve
CLEAR VINYL TUBING
FILTER MEDIA Most of mine are brown paper bags. Some of them are coffee filters and when I bought powder paint from Harbor Freight I had to use vacuum cleaner bags for media. They worked great. (Tackleunderground tip.)
AQUARIUM AIR PUMP
MAKING THE AIR CHAMBER
First you have to drill a hole in the bottom 1/2 of the coupler the size of the threaded part of the needle valve. Mine is 3/8”. Carefully thread the needle valve into the hole. Place the coupler on the lexan base and identify its location. I used a felt tip marker on the inside and outside of the coupler. Take your adhesive material (I used silicone from Wal-Mart) and put it on the lexan where the coupler will be. Put the coupler on the sealant and press it down. Add some weight to the top and go away for at least 24 hours.
MAKING THE PAINT CHAMBERS
Take your pvc and cut it into 4” sections. Then make sure one end has a flat surface. I rubbed mine on sand paper laid on the work bench. Clean it up and adhere your filter to that end. (I put it on a paper sack drew around the inside and the outside of the pvc with a felt tip marker, put silicone in the marked area and pressed the pvc down, then put a couple of books on top to hold it down.) Go away for at least 24 hours. Tomorrow take an exacto knife and trim the filter to fit the pvc.
Once you have the base chamber made and some cups made with filters, you are ready to put it all together. Put one end of your tubing on the pump and the other end on the valve. Make sure both are secure. Put a paint chamber in the top of the air chamber and put about 2” of powder paint inside it. Screw the valve closed and plug in the pump. Slowly turn on the valve. If you don’t see the paint raise then gently stir the paint. Air will lift the paint and you may see some paint volcanoes. If you do, lower the air pressure. You are ready to paint.
I got the pump at Wal-Mart for $15.
All the rest came from Lowes: valve $6, hose $.09/ft, coupling $6, 5' pvc $5, caps $.59@.
The total outlay is about $30. I heat my jigs a dz. at a time in a $5 garage sale toaster oven. Then bake the paint on after they are painted.