Duratec Coatings and Precision Board Tooling

Coastal Enterprises, manufacturers of Precision Board HDU, is proud to host guest blogs written by some of the industry’s biggest movers and shakers, posted to the Precision Board Blog.  This guest blog is written by Jody Wyse, Western Regional Sales Manager for Hawkeye Industries, manufacturers of Duratec polyester and vinylester coatings, headquartered in Bloomington, California.  Jody talks about trying different Duratec coatings on smaller size samples of Precision Board tooling board to decide the best finish possible and avoid costly hiccups before ordering materials or starting on a new tooling project.


In Jody’s own words…

Almost every time I meet with a customer about building new tooling out of Precision Board, they say they want the best finish possible. “The best finish possible” has a different meaning to almost every customer, so this is followed by a somewhat lengthy conversion about how they can achieve their individual desired result.

Depending on the exact product being built, they may need to make hundreds of parts that need a near perfect mirror-like finish, or it may be a one-off, sanded and post-painted part. “The best finish possible” is very different for each of these projects.

My suggestion is for them to make small Precision Board samples using several products and methods to determine exactly the finish they want prior to doing any actual building, or ordering materials for the project. Coastal Enterprises offers no-cost or low-cost samples in all their densities, which can be used for this purpose. I normally make these samples with them to ensure the tooling department understands each product and how it fits into the quality of the finished part. In tooling, unexpected results and surprises are not a good thing.  The tooling department should know exactly how each product works and what the finished tool will be like before they take the first step in building the tool.


Many tooling products require different techniques or handling to achieve the desired result when compared to similar products typically used in production. Understanding them can be the difference between a very successful first tool, and starting over from scratch with lengthy delays and cost overruns. Small investments of time in testing and training upfront can lead to huge savings of both time and money quickly. Training and assistance is normally provided at no charge by the supplier, so I always recommend that a representative from each supplier all meet at the customer’s location at the same time at least once prior to starting the project to discuss the available product options.

After the customer has used these products a few times and understands them, the interactions with the suppliers become less frequent, unless new requirements come into play.


This was built from Precision Board tooling board and cut to the shape of a hull.  I then coated it with our Black VE Primer. 1/2 of it was then coated with our Clear VE Top Coat. Left side of pic is the sanded and polished primer, the right side is the Clear VE Top Coat.

Both will achieve a gloss.  The Top Coat’s gloss will be better, and an important aspect is that the Top Coat will retain that gloss after multiple parts are made from it. The primer loses its gloss quicker.  This can work well for one-off parts, or situations where a high gloss isn’t needed.

Still have questions about using Duratec with Precision Board tooling?  You can reach out to our team at 909-546-1160 or send us an email.

Hawkeye Industries is proud to be the master distributor of the Duratec line of putties, primers, sealers, and topcoats.  Duratec Polyester and Vinyl Ester products are famous for their ability to cure completely when applied to plug/pattern surfaces.  That thin-film, air-cure capability makes Duratec ideal for the composites industry.  Check out their website or give them a call at (909) 546-1160 0r (800) 977-0060 if you are interested in more information on how Duratec products work with Precision Board tooling board.

Coastal Enterprises manufactures Precision Board, a versatile, cost-effective and eco-friendly urethane material used extensively in the tooling industry.  It is a closed-cell, rigid, dimensionally-stable substrate that is ideal for use in a number of different tooling applications.  Request free samplesget a quote or sign up for weekly e-blasts packed with helpful information.

Announcing the February Instagram Contest!

February is Customer Appreciation Month here at Coastal Enterprises and to celebrate, we want to give two Precision Board HDU customers their choice of one of our companion products (primer/filler, adhesives, textures and coatings).  Entries will be accepted all month long on Instagram with the potential winners being randomly selected the first week of March.

Contest Rules

The contest will run from February 1st through February 28th.  All entrants must reside in the contiguous United States, including Canada and Mexico.  Prizes will only be shipped to those geographic locations.  Potential winners will be randomly selected from all eligible entrants and contacted by email.  They will have 48 hours to respond with a valid mailing address located in the contiguous United States to claim their prize.  With the exception of EP-76 (due to shipping restrictions), prize winners will have their choice of one (1) companion product offered by Coastal Enterprises.  They will also potentially have a blog featuring their project posted to the Precision Board Blog on our website and shared on our social media channels.

How to Enter:

Follow the @coastalenterprises Instagram account.  Post a photo/s on your Instagram account of your project done using Precision Board HDU. Use the hashtags #precisionboard and #hdu.  You can enter as many different projects as you like during the contest entry period.


Ready to get creative with texture? We have the solution.

Here’s a little something you might not know about Coastal Enterprises. Not only are we the Precision Board Plus manufacturer, but we also have other great products that you can take from ordinary to extraordinary! Today’s focus is our TSF-45 Texture Surface Finish.

If you have been searching for a coating that is tough, yet flexible, to create an authentic looking texture like stone, wood grain, or any textured look.  You’ve come to the right place!

Look no further! TSF-45 is the solution.

tsf-45TSF-45 has been manufactured specifically for Precision Board Plus HDU.

One of the great things about this product is that it can be applied directly to Precision Board Plus – NO PRIMING!!     It also adheres to concrete, wood, steel, glass and even galvanized metal.

We’re not the only ones that think this stuff is amazing, but so does Jim from Synergy Signs says! ” TSF-45 is a game changer!”  Below are a couple of their projects using this creative product.


“This is a PVC Pipe… looks like the real deal!” – Jim Dawson from Synergy Signs

            tsf4                                          tsf1


Interested in learning more? Check out our How to video.

If you have questions about this product, or would like information on other Precision Board Products, call us at 800-845-0745 and our technical department will gladly assist you.

If you have any projects you would like to share with us where TSF-45 has been used. We would love to hear about them!

Keep a look out for the next blog on TSF-45, ” TSF-45 for Beginners”.

Remember… with Precision Board Plus, Creativity has no Limit!

How To Make A Sandblasted Precision Board HDU Sign

Sandblasting HDU can allow for many more interesting and subtle textures than a wood sign. In addition to sandblasting much quicker than wood, it allows the sandblaster to move much closer to the surface. Because of the low blasting pressure, the detail and shapes can be much more subtle.

This sign was sandblasted and finished by Insignia, a full service sign shop based in Anaheim, CA. Having sandblasted signs for over 20 years, they are sandblasting experts!

Step 1: Masking the Precision Board

Sandblasting HDU is done by applying a vinyl mask weeded from digital coordinates that are input into a plotter, or weeded by hand. All parts of the sign that will be sandblasted are cut from the mask, protecting any smooth surfaces you wish to keep.

Several different types of sandblast mask are available, from low, medium and high tack. Use a medium tack mask for pre-primed HDU, and a high-tack mask for unprimed HDU.

Step 2: Sandblasting Precision Board

Sandblasting Precision Board is just like sandblasting a lightweight wood. Recommended blasting pressure must be approximately 60 psi max. at the pot. This will allow for the unique textures only available with HDU.

Since the blasting pressure is low, the grit moves slower and takes out small pieces of the background instead of pulverizing the surface. This also means that a smaller compressor can be used, allowing almost anyone to make their own sandblasted sign.

Popular types of sandblast grit include clay sand and aluminum oxide. The density of the grit depends on which type of texture you desire. A larger grit will allow for a rougher texture, and finer grit allows for a smoother texture. Joseph Westbrook, owner of Insignia, specified that this sign was sandblasted using a 60/90 blend of Red Ruby Garnet, which is a great media to blast with because it is sharp, cuts nicely and is uniform in size. Background texture largely depends on the size of the medium.

Step 3: Priming the Precision Board:

Since not all paints adhere to raw HDU for the long term, it is necessary to prime Precision Board prior to painting. Coastal Enterprises manufactures FSC-88WB, a single component water based primer/filler. Any primer that is made for HDU will also work. FSC-88WB is a high build primer, able to be used on materials other than HDU and can be sprayed, brushed or rolled. We also have an excellent step-by-step video on priming Precision Board.

Step 4: Finishing the Precision Board

Any type of paint can be used on Precision Board once it is primed with FSC-88WB. Many of our customers use 1-Shot Paints. Coastal Enterprises also offers a complete line of applicable textures and coatings that allow the priming step to be skipped.

This is an example of a sandblasted Precision Board HDU sign:

Step 5: Send Us Photos Of Your Project!

If you send us pictures of your Precision Board project, we would love to feature your company in a blog or a newsletter! You can submit your work here.

Additional Tips:

  • Practice on test sheets. Request a free sample here.
  • Move the nozzle as evenly as possible.
  • Re-using old sandblast media can allow for better control and more detail
These are all Precision Board HDU sandblasted signs by the experts at Insignia: