Great looking Dreads for ~$50!

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grindy

New Member
So as many noobs know finding out how to make your suit is like a scavenger hunt. You find one good idea in one thread and then another in some thread from 8 months ago. Stickies ain't so sticky sometimes. And doing things the wrong way and scraping your work sucks.

So here's a definitive thread to give you great looking dreads for about 50 bucks total cost and there are loads of places you can shave that number down depending on what you have access to.

So lets start with my materials and what *I* paid here in Canada...

5/8" Backer Rod $6.50
1/2" Backer Rod $6.50
Plasti-Dip Spray $15.00
Latex Oops Paint $14.00
1/2" Rigid EMT $6.00
3/8" Rigit EMT $6.00
Total $54.00

For dread rings I strayed from PVC and went with metallic Rigid EMT conduit. It gives some heft and it already has a brushed metal look. If you're hoping for a brass look you could paint them or use copper pipe (but it's more expensive)

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Now take your backer rod, cut it into sections, taper it with a scalpel/utility knife and heat it a heat gun on low or a hair dryer on high to seal the foam (make it smooth)

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You might want to take a grinder or file to the edge of the rings to keep them from tearing your backer rod. Slip the rings into position and then cover them in masking tape since you'll be dipping them soon.

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Ooops paint is found at the counter of your local hardware store. I was fortunate to find someone's oops paint that was ridiculously dark green. I once read a guide that said this alone would make a flexible coating for your backer rod dreads. That's a lie! However use the acrylic latex paint as I do in this process and the results will be much better! This gives some extra weight to your dreads and improves the overall movement.

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Now that you've dipped the dread you can hang it up to dry. Overnight works well, I'm doing my paint and plastidip drying on two different lines here.

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Now we plastidip! This stuff makes all the difference in the world. It will prevent the underlying latex paint from drying out, give a heavy protective layer, add weight and flexibility. It is however made from death so I strongly recommend good ventilation... as you can see.

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Once your first coat of plastidip is done add another if you can see any of the underlying latex paint peaking through. When this coat is done carefully cut along the edges of the dread rings and peel away the masking tape, remove any extra paint with some sand paper. Here's a crappy picture of the finished product.

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In reality they look dark and glossy and move like tentacles, I am ridiculously happy with how they turned out and I thought I'd share for the other budget builders out there so they don't through the hell I went with when my household latex paint dried out and cracked putting me back to square one on my dreads. Those dreads had to be scraped clean so I could start this project. Figured you guys might as well do it right the first time.

Happy hunting!

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dreadsworkinprocess.jpg.png


dreadssafetyfirst.jpg.png


dreadsplastidip.jpg.png


dreadscomplete.jpg.png
 

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Extreme Gravity

New Member
So to paint the dreads, did you use Oops paint or acrylic latex paint?
I tried looking on Google Shop and I could only come up with Oops Latex Paint Remover when searching 'Oops latex paint'.
This looks like a great idea and I want to try this on a future bust.
 

skull collector

New Member
for $54 its a good deal for someone on a buget..and they come out realy cool...
i tell ya ive learned so much here in the lair...with the huntorials.. by the time im ready to make something i know ill be well prepared do to all the cool stuff ive learned and will learn here on the lair
thanks ... :p
 

grindy

New Member
"Oops paint" just means paint that was mixed at the store that (for whatever reason) the customer didn't want. It's usually sold at 50% off which is good. Acrylic latex paint is what I used.

After sitting around for a while these dreads aren't as rubbery as they one were, they don't move as well, still look pretty good though.
 

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Bovine13

New Member
The make another backer rod thats not as dense as this type. Its soft like upolstery foam and will move a lot better. You may have to call a weathersealing/caulking company/supply hose to find it. I used it for years along with regular backer rod while I was installing commercial skylight systems.
 

Extreme Gravity

New Member
The make another backer rod thats not as dense as this type. Its soft like upolstery foam and will move a lot better. You may have to call a weathersealing/caulking company/supply hose to find it. I used it for years along with regular backer rod while I was installing commercial skylight systems.
This?
Soft Backer Rods

Grindy- Ive never heard the term "Oops Paint" before so i thought it was just a brand name. Thanks for not calling me a nub though :]
 

Extreme Gravity

New Member
The soft backer rod looks the same (texture wise) as the stuff I bought. Still I'll keep my eye out for it.
Yeah, i dont know if its any different than a regular backer rod, perhaps its just a description. But it was just showing it to Bovine so he could confirm if it was indeed the soft foam he worked with a couple years ago.
 

ofak

New Member
Yeah, i dont know if its any different than a regular backer rod, perhaps its just a description. But it was just showing it to Bovine so he could confirm if it was indeed the soft foam he worked with a couple years ago.
It is the same, they have open cell or closed cell. Will the plastidip adhere to the rod without dipping it in a latex paint first?
 

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grindy

New Member
It is the same, they have open cell or closed cell. Will the plastidip adhere to the rod without dipping it in a latex paint first?

Well you might find them a little light with just the plastidip but the metal rings would take care of that. As for adhering I'm sure it will that stuff is sticky as hell when it's wet
 

biofreak

New Member
wut i found that works even better than using a scalple to tapper the ends of the dread was a belt sander.most have a lockin buttom to keep it running with out holding the trigger down.with it locked i turn the belt sander upside down so the sand paper was facing up and layed my dread on that and applied a small amount of pressure to it kinda like wen u roll clay into a dread shaped tube.this makes a perfect gradation from stock diameter to the tappered tip.then follow the coating and painting rules as above.plus this way cause the tapper line goes up the length of the dread farther than just 4 or 5 inches it makes it more floppy and dread like.even a 80 grit piece of sand paper on a board and then run your backer rod across that.doin this does leave a "fuzzy" finish but a heat gun and plasti dip will make short work of that!

hope this helps!
 

ofak

New Member
I am using these electrical conduit connectors from braids. They have a good shape and they also have a good weight to them. I had to brick lay them on the dreads because they make a clinking noise when they hit eachother. I painted them gold. Here is it in the raw form, you have to grind off the screw holes but they looked good when they were done. They held down the dreads to a more uniform shape.

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