philB

Rounding of hardwood lures

85 posts in this topic

Hi

A while since my last posting so here goes.

I have searched for advice in the archives as to what is the best way of rounding off the backs of flat sided jerk baits but not really been succesfull. At the moment I am cutting out the shapes and then sanding by freehand the backs with a dremmel type drill with one of those tiny sanding drums. This is quite succesfull and gets the result I need but I just feel there must be a quicker, better and more efficient way of doing it. I bought myself a router and mounted that in a bench thinking I could just smooth the lure along the blade :eek: NO NO NO this has to be the worst idea in the world, my advice is dont do that its deadly!!!!!!! (I still have all my fingers but only by pure luck).

I am using Beech.

Regards

philB

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I'd like to hear some answer as well. What I have been doing is cutting out the radius profile on a small block of wood and then put my sand paper in the block. This can be complicated though if the lure has several taper areas. I made one for the side, one for the belly and one for the back. The best way so far that I found to ruff one in is to use a scroll saw.Draw the top profile and side profile on a block of wood. Cut the top profile and then tape it back together then cut the side profile. Make sure you leave some wood on the outside edge of your drawing to help support the piece when you're cutting it. In other words dont draw the nose or tail of the lure on the very end of the wood .

Then you can use the blocks with different radius curves to round over the sharp corners. Hope this makes sense.

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Hi Skeeter

I have a scroll saw but find it very difficult to control accurately, to be fair it is probably the way I have it set up but I only use it for cutting out the shapes roughly for which it is ideal.

I can only sand by hand for finishing also cos beech is such a hard wood I think it would take a week to round off by hand :lol: .

Thanks for your reply Skeeter.

philB

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The easy, quickest and most accurate way is to use a router. A couple words of caution here, make a fixture to hold the bait, do not even attempt fingers, and use good quality router bits. The baits pictured were done with a router.

baits0409.jpg

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I'm not much of a woodworker and don't own a router (so far) so I still use Dremel sanding drums. First, I taper the tail and head on a disk sander. Then, before rounding with the Dremel, I lay out sanding lines on the sides, top and bottom with a compass. That makes things much more symetrical than whacking away freehand. Fast? Not especially. But if you aren't gonna use a router or a duplicating lathe, there really don't seem to be many options.

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I use strips cut from belt sander belts to round the edges on flat sided baits. I put a bait halfway into a wise and then using the strips as if you were polishing a shoe I round the edges.

Got the idea from this site but found that the belts strips were more sturdy than the recommended strips cut from sheets from sandpaper.

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Hi Wittler

How do you fix the lures ? It had occured to me to do that but I could not come up with any ideas other than drilling a couple of holes through them and screwing them to a board.

philB

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I've got a combination disc/belt sander. I set my disc table at 45 deg. & knock off the edges equally, then round off with a dremel or rasp. Really saves alot of time.

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Hi again fellas

Firstly many many thanks for your replies, these pearls of wisdom are really priceless, where but the TU could you get such advice ?. Anyway tonight I have taken the plunge and screwed a couple of baits to my workbench and succesfully routered the rounding. I could not see any other way of holding the baits firm without getting in the way of the blade other than screwing em down.

Thanks again

philB

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I haven't tried it yet, but they make a vacuum type holder that is supposed to work. a variation is in the woodworking depot magazine, but I was told to make one myself with an old refrigerator motor.

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PhilB, using about a 6" section of a large dowel drill two holes in one end slightly smaller than a small finish nail. Now cut the heads of the nails of and using a little epoxy push the nails into the dowel leaving about 3/16" exposed. You can now take your bandsawed blank and push the nails into the blank and using one hand on top of the dowel and the other to turn it round over al the edges. this must be done on a router table. You will have a couple hole to putty but it works great, just remember quality router bits.

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I have found that corner shaping and radius routers are a lot more forgiving than cylinder, profile cutters, but it is still an accident waiting to happen.

Whittler's solution will work, but you should make sure that you are alone in the work shop, because I doubt whether a 3/16 tack will hold the wood if it snags or bites in. That piece of wood will be ripped off those nails and fired across the shop at a high rate of pain!

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If you are worried about your fingers and the router table why not lay out your baits in a similiar fashion as this then cut the line of baits out with the scroll saw then router the entire line of baits then cut apart then you would just have a very small section to freehand on each individual blankkeybait.jpg

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Router table...........but be careful!!! I haven't been hurt by a router but it scares me everytime I use it.

RM

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Router table...........but be careful!!! I haven't been hurt by a router but it scares me everytime I use it.

RM

Being scared is why you still have all of your fingers Jed! :)

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Do most of the lures you guys make have a flat side?. I have been trying to make my sides Round. The router would work well to start the round over on the edges. I'm doing balsa now so sandpaper is doing fine.

Also it was mentioned here about duplicators on a lathe. I read a post on this on this site. If I am trying to make shad shaped round lures, can they be copied with a duplicator. It does'nt seem possible to me?

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Blackjack's idea is a good one for those making bass lures with balsa. Without being able to round the nose and tail though would leave me with a ton of work!!

Jed

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Hey Blackjack

What an ace idea it never entered my thick head to do that. I'll give it a go.

cheers

philB

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Riverman - I used to rout my 2" lures like this10 years back (30 at a time) and never had a problem, saved heaps of time, I used to sell them then. You just have to make a table to hold the plank and get an appropiate size 'round over' bit, I used a 20mm one. Cedar or some sort of pine is better than balsa , but I suppose balsa would work. Pete

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I use a belt sander. I have the type the sits on your bench.

I take the bait and make four passes on the "corner" of the bait and then make four passes on the other corner of the bait. It is a very fast process and once you get the hang of it (which takes no time at all), you can eliminate about 90% of the sanding normally required to round the bait and smooth it.

Here's a shot of how I start making each pass of the bait on the belt sander to round it off:

BaitTutorialbody013.jpg

Then I sort of roll the edge of the bait along the belt sander until I've ground off a little of the sharp square edge:

BaitTutorialbody012.jpg

You can round off flat portions of the bait by simply pushing the bait against the belt sander and moving side to side a bit:

BaitTutorialbody011.jpg

An huge additional benefit of the bench belt sander is that it allows you to make the bait taper toward the head and the tail. In other words, the tail portion of the bait is thinner than the middle of the bait and the head can also be narrowed.

Here's a top view of a bait that I rounded with the belt sander. Note the taper towards the tail and head portion of the bait:

GoldenperchRocketShadbackviewresize.jpg

To taper the bait toward the tail, you simply lay the bait flat on the belt sander and push down on the very end of the tail. Then flip it over and do the other side so that you remove and equal amount of wood stock from both sides with the sanding belt.

You repeat the process for the head, by pushing down on the "nose" of the bait and let the belt sander do the work for you. Before you begin rounding off the edges or tapering the head and tail of the bait, you should add a center line as a guide. I use a compass for this. By adding a center line, you see at a glance how much wood you've removed from each flat side of the bait, when you are tapering the head and the tail.

BaitTutorialbody005.jpg

Later this winter, I'll try to post some video footage of this process. Its fast, easy, and as I say, a big bonus is that you need to very little sanding with a piece of sandpaper in your hand.

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Nice pictures of the process. Very helpfull. I'm still working on a way to get the side of a wide bait round and uniform. The side profile has a tapered round radius and if you're not careful you will end up with a flat spot. I'm kinda wondering what a lure will do if one side has a flat side and the other is round.

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First let apologize for not being more clear on how I use a router to shape and roundover baits. If a picture is worth, well you know the rest, then three should clear it up. Pic 1 On the left in first picture is a flush trim bit, with bearing which is used to shape the bandsawed blank. Pic 2 Shows the holding fixture and pattern with the nails through it and two baits,, a blank and a filnal shaped bait. Pic 3 Is what the device looks like while rounding over a bait, with GUARD in place.

baits0419.jpg

baits0423.jpg

baits0421.jpg

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Fatfingers. It looks scary having your fingers so close to a fast moving cutter. Apart from the odd flat spot on the knuckles, which serve to remind you to be more careful next time, a belt sander is by far the safest solution. From a design point of view, you just have to avoid negative curvature, although some belt sanders allow you access to work at the curved end of the belt, but I remember my woodwork teacher was not overly impressed with that technique.

Safety - loose clothing is a huge danger here, I don't think anyone has ever mentioned that one. I've seen the mess that a dremel can do to my sweater!

Skeeter Jones. The lure will swim to one side, to such an extent that tuning the tow eye is unlikely to stop it.

Whittler. Aaahh! That will work!

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