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Tuffleye


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17 replies to this topic

#1 JSzymczyk

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 07:57 PM

This Tuffleye light-cured acrylic stuff has me very interested. I did some searching on the web and there are several good threads in various saltwater fora about it, not all of them positive. It seems the company's website is down, but on at least one SW forum one of the owners of the company has posted some very informative and helpful info. Also apparently they are willing to work with some of the people who posted they are having less than good results with it.

So, has anyone been using it? From a few posts I've gathered that they are marketing it as NOT being UV cured, but you need a special visible blue light, which of course they sell and they are VERY proud of it. ($$$) That is the major expense in fact. All blue light has a UV component, so,

Does anyone know if a "normal" UV light will cure Tuffleye?

I have a high quality, powerful, 380nm UV LED light which I use at work. Wife would definately have an issue if I bought ANOTHER special expensive flashlight, this time just for fly tying.

Also, how does the Loon Knot-sense UV cured goo compare to Tuffleye? I know the Tuffleye comes in at least two viscosities, and the Loon doesn't.

Does anyone know

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#2 TxEngr

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 08:24 PM

I had a chance to try the tuffleye and have used the uv cured knot sense, so here's my two cents worth....

I have the small uv light with the loon product, so it takes a while to cure it (30 sec to 1 minute) but it provides a very nice finish. It has a slight tackiness right after its done that I don't like, but it works well. The viscosity is good for most applications and it spreads nicely.

I was using some of the tuffleye product of a friend just to see if I liked it. I was a little mixed at first but in retrospect, I think it's probably equal. I agree the light costs way too much but I don't know if any alternative is available. I didn't try to cure it outside in the sun either. The product spread well and cured in about the same amount of time as the loon product, so no difference there. I tried the thicker stuff at first and realized after the first fly I should have been using the thinner stuff.

Like you I've read the reviews and the comments of users and advocates like Bob Popovich and I feel like their about equal. I'm still seriously considering getting one of the tuffleye kits, but that $85 price tag just keeps holding me back.

You might get a tube of the thinner stuff (only $10) and try your light with it. A fairly cheap investment if it does work and you can let us know the outcome. Since the originator of this stuff was a dentist, I suspect that the light is of the same frequency as what cures the dental stuff. You might be able to look the wavelength up online.

Let us know what you find out.

TxEngr

#3 rockworm

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 08:47 PM

I have tried the Tuffleye product and I think it has great potential for fly tying. I don't know the basis of the blue-light activation, but I suspect neither UVA nor UVB would have the right wavelength. The Wet A Hook company (who I purchased my kit from) assures me that natural sunlight (which contains plenty of blue light) will catalyse the reaction.

My only problem with Tuffleye is the surface tackiness. This can be removed with alcohol, acetone, and other solvents, and the company suggests a surface coat of Sally Hansons Hard As Nails. That's fine for large flies, but becomes problematic when tying small flies. Especially those with hackle, quill wings, etc. which don't stand up to the solvents well.

#4 JSzymczyk

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 10:04 PM

I had a chance to do some online data mining about UV cure adhesives. Seems there are several types which will cure at a wavelength longer than 400nm which is considered on the long end of any harmful UV- but they will also cure at 320 to 400. Wet A Hook says their stuff cures with their Visible Blue light which is not precisely UV, which would put it longer than 400nm. The comment I read was they would not want to market a product which NEEDS a potentially harmful light source to cure. I would bet that Tuffleye is one of these products, produced by a major adhesive company, with a custom sticker on the tube. There is a company called Norland Products which manufactures so many types of UV cured adhesives that it would make your head spin.... It wouldn't surprise me if Tuffleye is one of their concoctions. I doubt there is some guy mixing chemicals in his garage and selling them to fly tiers- but I could be wrong. I'm wrong a lot. If I get the opportunity to buy a tube of it I will, and report what happens. Too bad JStockard doesn't have it!! A special order fee, or a one-off order from somewhere for $10 plus 6 or 7 shipping quickly makes it too expensive.

the basis of the blue light activation is that a certain range of frequencies (contained in the UV spectrum) excites certain molecules in the mixture to "do their thing" and combine with other molecules to change into the cured product. UV is the catalyst- compared to epoxy, where the "hardener" part of the mixture is the catalyst to the "resin" and they only cure when mixed together. That's why the UV stuff is only one tube of goo, and epoxy is two tubes of goo. Sunlight contains a lot of UV, that's why you get a sunburn, so it makes sense they would say that Tuffleye will cure in sunlight.

Does anyone know

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#5 DoubleHaul

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 02:13 AM

Its been awhile since I looked at tuffleye's web site but I remember shipping alone was $25.
Bears Den sells the whole range of stuff and charge actual shipping.
I haven't bought some yet but I may. It's disappointing to have my epoxy flies turn yellow.

#6 ridderbos3

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 06:52 AM

If I am not mistaken I just read somewhere that Renzetti just bought the distribution rights for this stuff from wet a hook technologies. Personally I think the stuff looks fantastic, I hate mixing epoxy!!!!!!

#7 ridderbos3

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 06:53 AM

yep, they are selling it right on their main page

http://www.renzetti.com/home.php

#8 Fred H.

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 07:23 AM

I have both products .Tuffle eye & Uv Knnot sense . And truthfuly haven't found an application that I prefer them over epoxy. I used a very similar product several years ago in my bussiness that was lauded as the next great idea. I bit to the tune of five grand plus . It now sits in a cabinet in my office as a reminder that if it sounds to good to be true it probably is.This material is just too brittle for 4000 lb per sq inch of bitting force.However it should have some applications in fly tying, I just haven't had enough time to play with them. One trick I did learn is to make a fly spoon. If you place a plastic sheet against the material(like the plastic from sliced cheese)when you cure it the material will cure slick as glass with little or no residue.As for the price of the tuffle curing light. There are ways around it. Order a replacement bulb only and get your own
flash light. Or get the specs off of someone who has one and go to a specialty light co.
sorry to get long winded and hope this helps.

Fred
"My head is a prison, my times on the water are conjugal visits" Fred Hannie

visit my website http://www.realisticflytying.net

#9 JSzymczyk

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 09:33 AM

QUOTE(Fred H. @ Jul 5 2008, 07:23 AM) View Post

I have both products .Tuffle eye & Uv Knnot sense . And truthfuly haven't found an application that I prefer them over epoxy. I used a very similar product several years ago in my bussiness that was lauded as the next great idea. I bit to the tune of five grand plus . It now sits in a cabinet in my office as a reminder that if it sounds to good to be true it probably is.This material is just too brittle for 4000 lb per sq inch of bitting force.However it should have some applications in fly tying, I just haven't had enough time to play with them. One trick I did learn is to make a fly spoon. If you place a plastic sheet against the material(like the plastic from sliced cheese)when you cure it the material will cure slick as glass with little or no residue.As for the price of the tuffle curing light. There are ways around it. Order a replacement bulb only and get your own
flash light. Or get the specs off of someone who has one and go to a specialty light co.
sorry to get long winded and hope this helps.

Fred



I believe the UV cured stuff migrated from dental work to fly tying. It's been a lot of years since I got a filling, but I remember them putting glasses on me and hitting my mouth with a blue light. At least I hope that was the dentist, maybe it was the alien abduction thing.... laugh.gif

I'm pretty sure the majority of the curing lights, except for the high-volume industrial stuff, use LEDs for the light source. Usually they are the most expensive part of the equation and aren't a direct replacement for a bulb in a flashlight - unless the LED module is specifically made to be drop-in ready. Then that's pretty expensive anyhow.

Does anyone know

Where the Love of God goes

When the waves

Turn the minutes to hours?


#10 Fred H.

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 10:24 AM

when my new fangled curing unit went down I took a bulb went to a lighting store ,bought a replacement and a fixture for under $50. Granted it didn't have the rotating table that raised and lowered the denture or the pretty blue plexiglass window but it cured just as well.The best part it was $5150 cheaper. If only the material wern't so brittle. I won a tuffle eye kit at a tying show. I'll take a look at it tonight to see how the bulbs are and time permiting tomorrow ,I'll see what a replacement and a fixture cost.
"My head is a prison, my times on the water are conjugal visits" Fred Hannie

visit my website http://www.realisticflytying.net

#11 JRG

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 11:32 AM

Hey Fred,

Does the plastic release from the cured material once it's done?? I was thinking of doing something like this but wondered if it stuck or not.... Do only plastics designed for not sticking to stuff work or would any plastic do?

Thanks,

Jeff

#12 Fred H.

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 11:51 AM

JRG, any smooth transparent surface will work. The celephane from a cigerette pack works better cause it doesn't have any cheese on it. :blink:And yes , it releases clean from the material.
JZ , I looked at the light last night. It appears they custom made it to prevent people from doing as I suggested.
"My head is a prison, my times on the water are conjugal visits" Fred Hannie

visit my website http://www.realisticflytying.net

#13 JSzymczyk

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 08:35 PM

QUOTE(Fred H. @ Jul 8 2008, 11:51 AM) View Post

, I looked at the light last night. It appears they custom made it to prevent people from doing as I suggested.


I figured the lights they sell specifically for the Tuffleye would be "custom" because they want to tell folks that it is "visible blue" instead of UV. I'm betting UV would work fine to cure Tuffleye.

Does anyone know

Where the Love of God goes

When the waves

Turn the minutes to hours?


#14 Martin Stout

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 02:24 PM

Hi,

i've got the tufffleye as well and it doesn't cure with the normal UV light it's just not the right spectrum. But i looked for a way around because the light to cure it is way to expensive and there is...

There are two types of blue light both they are in use of nailstudios. I don't know the color numbers anymore but somewhere around 70 i guess. These light cure the tufffleye nice but take a little bit ore time then the original light. I don't think thats a problem....


Martin

#15 Hardyhead

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 12:58 PM


My local shop had the Tuffleye kits in, and when they arrived the shop owner and I threw some on a muskie fly we like to use. A couple of things we noticed:

1) Even with their light, the thick compound never got hard, it got firm, but it always has a dried rubber cement feel to it. We tried a bunch of different things, but could not get it to harden the way epoxy hardened.

2) The thin compound seems to work better when it comes to hardening, but it still stayed slightly rubbery feeling.

The rubbery feeling may not be a bad thing, it did not seem to scratch or dent when we poked it with a bodkin, unless we really jabbed it. The main thing I don't like about it is the ridiculous cost, even if you already have the light, the replacement costs on the tubes are expensive when compared to a two part epoxy. There also does not really appear to be much of an decrease in time required to use the stuff. It hardens faster than epoxy, but not much faster.

The only real advantage is you can control when it hardens. We found it just as difficult to get a smooth body, especially with the thick compound. It does not seem to give off heat like epoxy does (epoxies are exothermic in general) but on a fly you are using such a small amount of epoxy that the heat generation is somewhat negligible.

Either way, there are certainly applications for it, but for me, I will stick to cements and epoxy, I tend to tie with all natural materials anyway, and use very little cement in any tie.

My advice to those who want to buy this stuff, just make sure it's really going to be more useful than what you currently use, otherwise it will just sit on your shelf.

Ryan