How To Make The Perfect Silicone (Caulk) Bead?

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Joined
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Glendora, CA
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Newmar
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Dutch Star 4369
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Well, here's a very curious question that I can't believe I'm obsessing over....

I've come to realize that Newmar does an AMAZINGLY perfect job of silicone beading!!

What brought this to my attention is that I have a section along the slide frame; referring to that trim/molding (maybe 4") that frames the slide on the outside. That bead is ridiculously smooth, even, and has NO feathering.

I "thought" I do a good job with the conventional methods, aka finger, and quickly realize I suck...at least in terms of matching Newmar's precision. So, me being a "gotta know guy"...now I'm dying to find out exactly HOW they do it. I wish I had paid more attention during my Newmar tour!

For, I bought a set of caulk-beading tools, and that certainly helped...but wondering if anyone really KNOWS how it's done!

TIA
 
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2013 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Crewcab / 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
The method I have used successfully is a 3 step process.

Step 1: apply an even line of caulk using a steady pressure on the trigger while using an equal straight motion along the path. The result should be a uniform amount of material in an even line.

Step 2: wet your finger and gently push the material into the surface. Once you have a large amount of extra, wipe your finger on a towel, re wet, and repeat.

Step 3: clean up the edges.

2019 DSDP 4369 * Active Air * NHSO
 
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YES, Ronnie...that's MY technique (and your's ;)), except that I don't wet my finger unless it's water based.

But that's DEFINITELY NOT Newmar's. Unless, of course, they've got special Amish peeps with perfectly shaped fingers. LOL

Thank you!
 
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They are good, I've noticed the same for the most part. There are areas a little more sloppy. I wondered if it was some type of electrical dispenser vs. manual that dispensed it more evenly but I think it's just someone doing a good job. I don't think they are using fingers, I think they are laying the bead down perfectly.
 
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It is called "practice." After you've done it a few hundred times, you get pretty good at it.

From my limited experience, how you cut the end of the tube spout (and how large a hole you create) makes a significant difference in how the bead lays down.

TJ
 
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Places that do a lot of caulking will use pneumatic guns, this gets the even distribution, I don’t recall what Newmar does. It is also somewhat of an art and depends on the day😳
 
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I had windows replaced in my S&B and the guy was an expert sealant applicator. One tip that he gave me was to always cut the tip square, not on an angle. Also, to be careful to keep it on the smaller size. Despite this I always seem to apply too heavy of a bead so when I need a real good look I apply painters tape on both sides where the bead will run keeping the width what I want to end up with. Once I have the bead how I want it I remove the tape.
 
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I put. little hand soap on the end my finger and smooth out the bead.
 
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I mask both sides of the gap with blue tape. Then spread the caulk with my finger, and pull the tape off before the caulk dries.
 
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I love this little world of our’s; where we can discuss and pontificate the virtues of the perfect bead of silicone. Hysterical!

Alas, I think the Amish have this one down to a science that I’ve yet to discover.

Any of our techniques would not produce the ridiculously “perfect” line/bead/edge of caulking on the trim pieces of my DS slides.

Now, the windows and doors and pretty much everywhere else...yeah...the ol finger would be fine.

Next time, take a look at these places and you tell me!
 

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Last edited:

JRS

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I also use painters tape and then thin plastic wrap (saran wrap) on my finger to smooth it out.
 
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I also use painters tape and then thin plastic wrap (saran wrap) on my finger to smooth it out.
Not gonna profile the perfect Newmar bead though. NO finger method will.

The closest I’ve come is with a caulking bead tool.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Dec 26, 2019
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Yes I’m sure. Applying sealant as a large portion on ones job will certainly make you an expert and if not someone else will be give the applicator.
 
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My process begins by finding a large diameter beverage straw. A large one likely found for slushees or milk shakes. Once found, I cut a 45 degree angle on the top half of an end. This leaves the other half still round in shape. Then, a THIN bead of caulk. The magic now involves the straw. You PUSH the straw into the bead holding it at somewhere around 15 or 20 degrees from the bead. As the straw is pushed into the bead the excess accumulates in the straw. Do not let too much accumulate. Take a cloth or paper towel and pinch the straw above the accumulated caulk. Pull the straw through the towel to remove the accumulation. Restart the push and repeat. It takes some time to get the angle and pressure correct, but it’s better than the finger schmere.
Not Amish approved!
 
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I mask both sides of the gap with blue tape. Then spread the caulk with my finger, and pull the tape off before the caulk dries.
I do the same, takes a little longer, but produces very consistent results, the key is removing the tape while caulk is still wet
 
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