Another 2 Lip Aligners – this may be another ‘Whacko’ post but it works for me!!! Sorry about this but there is a limit to posting photos and I thought I would need plenty of detail, so I have provided a link to “Photo Bucket” as there is a heap of photos and photos DO speak louder than words. http://s206.photobucket.com/albums/bb290/hazmail/Lip%20Jig%202/ I assume everyone has the same problem with aligning lips on new lures – including me. It’s frustrating to spend hours painting and finishing lures, gluing and then eye balling the lip for a nice square fit, to find when tested the lip is 1mm out of whack and we then have to spend more time bending tow points, grinding lips etc, in the hope that we will eventually get it right. You can’t beat your eyes, but if you are like me and they are fading this may be the next best thing. Unlike the other lip jig and other jigs / tools I have posted here, I have not rushed posting this one and have spent the past 2 months proving/improving this jig, so it should work for anyone without having to modify it too much. I have used aluminum angle, as it is very square and easy to work (file, cut etc), flooring glue holds it good, can be released by heating with a heat gun and is a bit flexible, so if you drop it, it should not move or break. Don’t use super glues with aluminum, it’s too brittle and cracks with expansion/ shock etc. I have made two different versions, my first one was a ‘Fixed Post’ version, which can be used for lips of the same width, no matter what lure size, it is easy to construct. A deluxe ‘Adjustable Post’ version which I needed for the two or three different width lips I generally use (20mm to 16mm) and is a bit more complicated. If you make big lures, just use a bigger Al angle, the lures I make are 16mm wide (5/8”), the Bagley’s lure pictured is 25mm (1”) so I used 20mm (about 7/8”) Al angle, for my purposes this size will easily cover these two size lures and anything in between. I took 3 new lures fishing recently, all ran true “straight out of the box”, absolutely no tuning needed, so I was pretty impressed (unfortunately did not catch any fish with them). As we all know, if you start with (and you should) the lip slot square to the vertical and have the bottom/ rear hook hangers dead centre and straight, you can’t go wrong. If your lures are symmetrical (round, flat or tapered) with this jig, the lip should finish up smack in the middle of the lure. To make the ‘Posts ‘ I found “U” channel Aluminum (3” x 1”) worked, just cut 2 pieces to the width you want, cut one vertical leg off each, file or sand down to exactly the same width/length – clamp together (vice grips) and drill pivot holes ( to rivet size) exactly in centre with a new bit ( a drill press is best, but mine is busted). “Exactly” is good, but we will never get close with our normal tools, but have a go anyway, the nearer the better, you can fix “off-centreness” by filing the track, as shown in pictures. I think the rest is pretty straight forward, if not ask and I will answer and post some more photos if needed. Pete Materials (Fixed Post) Flat aluminum plate (Length 1’ x 6” x 1/8”). Al angle, (Length 2’ x 1/8 x whichever size you can fit your lure into). 2 x 1” x 1/8” steel or brass pegs. Flooring glue and “Devcon 2T” or “Lock Tite”. Tools. Hack saw, Vernier Calipers are really handy, set square, small straight edge, various files, drill press or cordless drill and new bits. Materials (Adjustable Post) - Aluminum angle (length 4’ x 1/8” x size to fit lure into), Al “Sail Track” (length 6”), you should be able to buy ‘sail track’ at a boat chandler or camper trailer supplier, Al “U” channel (length 1”x 3”w x 1”h), flooring glue, ‘Plaster of Paris’ rivets. Tools. Hack saw, Vernier Calipers are really handy, set square, small straight edge, various files, ‘Plaster of Paris’ rivet gun, flooring glue, drill press or cordless drill and new bits, good eyes, a couple of spare hours. Sorry having trouble with the photos for the “Fixed Post” version- will try and sort it out and post tomorrow. Pete
as a newby carver my first attempt to set a lip was... well, horrible. its not even close.
I have no access to a bandsaw so I attempted a coping saw. That might have not been so bad but I cut a notch far thinner than my lexan. Now carved, I then realized I had some major excavation to do. full of curves and with no reference marks left, the excavated notch is not even close to even and I'm pretty sure the uneven bill will cause the bait to corkspiral through the water....
so what next?
here is the game plan. I intend to excavate it even further so that it is wider in every dimension. the fill it with wood sandable wood filler. If I had a lip aligner perhaps at that point, I could insert the lip while it is still soft and have it set perfectly strait? or perhaps I just need to fill the hole and try to cut it, once the wood filler has set...
an actual lip aligner is an interesting idea though. and I might see if my feeble woodworking skills are up to the task of creating something.
Has other people besides haz attempted a lip aligning jig? I'd appreciate your experiences in getting this tricky procedure right, espacially if you are building without access to a bandsaw, dremel or scroll saw..
(there's got to be an Old school way to do this right?).
First I'd put a front to back centerline on the lure, and another line crossways on the lure's face, square to the first centerline. Close counts, so take your time to get it as close to square as you can.
Then put masking tape onto the lip, and a centerline on the lip.
Wedge the lip into the sloppy slot using toothpicks as temporary wedges, trying to get the centerline on the lip in line with the centerline on the lure, and the lip surface parallel to the cross ways line.
Trust your eye. There is no way to get it perfect, but you should be able to get close.
Once you've gotten it so it looks right to you, remove the wedges and lip, fill the lip slot with epoxy and wipe some onto the part of the lip that'll be inserted, and reinstall the lip, again using the toothpicks for alignment wedges.
Wipe off the excess glue, and let it set up. Cut off the toothpicks, if they won't come back out, and seal the cutoffs.
Test the lure.
Next time, take the time to make a wooden miter box to hold your lure blank so you can cut a squared up slot while the blank still has flat sides. You can use a coping saw for this, too. To widen the slot for your lexan, remove some more material from the bottom, so you always have the flat, square upper cut to use to align you lip.
I cut lip slots on a scroll saw whose kerf is too thin for the Lexan lips I use. Cut the slot immediately after cutting out the basic lure shape, while the blank is still "square" and keep a scrap piece of Lexan by the saw so you can widen the original cut for a perfect fit. Another trick I found when installing a lip in a slot that is much too large (for instance if you're replacing a broken lip and have to hog out the slot to get the old one out): epoxy putty logs used for furniture repair and available at your local home center work great. Fill the slot with putty and then push the lip in. You have about 2 minutes before the epoxy begins to harden to adjust the lip. For lips that fit properly in the slot, I use slow cure epoxy paste (Rod Bond) that is sold for rod grip construction to glue them. The paste is thicker than liquid epoxy, not as thick as epoxy putty. It takes 4-5 hrs to begin hardening, giving you plenty of time to fool around with lip adjustment, but it is stiff enough when mixed to hold a lip in position, and it will not leak out of the slot like liquid epoxy can. Liquid epoxy, paste epoxy, epoxy putty - all great stuff for building lures!
Installing the lip is really when you find out how symmetrical your bait body is and whether all the hardware is centered as is should be. If the body is not symmetrical or the hardware is not centered, it's almost impossible to get a lip aligned properly. I've tried several alignment methods. If your lip has a centering dot marked on its end with a Sharpie, you can sight down the tail and belly hangers and the line should hit the dot if it is centered. I sometimes use a laser level light to do this. More often, I just flip the bait over on its belly and make sure that equal amounts of lip protrude on each side of the bait. And if the protruding lip segments aren't exactly alike in shape, that's an indication that the lip is angled up or down on one side.
I found that getting the back of the lip slot square to the lure is key. Then all I need to do is bottom the lip in the slot and adjust it by eye side to side. You could easily cut the slot by hand before you shape the lure using a homemade miter box (as mentioned above).