Making bills/lips

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I recently read a post about making diving bill/ lips and thought I would show how I do it. These are Muskie bait size bills out of app. 1/8" lexan. I draw the shape I want on 5/4 quarter sawn oak. I used quarter sawn because it does not change as much with humidity, however any good hardwood should work. Keep it thicker so you have something chunky to hold at the top. I cut it on my bandsaw and carefully sand to the finished shape. I then counterbored for and attached the handles with a small finish head screw from underneath with glue so the handle will not spin. Seal the bottom of the pattern with sanding sealer or anything that will leave a decent finish for the two way tape to adhere to.

Before attaching the tape I trace a master on to a piece of 1/4 lexan. temperboard or a non grainy material should work fine as well. I trace the master on to the protective film on the Lexan with a smaller Sharpie and cut just on the outside of the line on the band saw or scroll saw. I try to stay inside of 1/8" or less of the actual pattern so the router bit does not try to catch. it is a little scary sounding and usually leaves a less than perfect part.

I then attach double sided tape used by wood turners to the pattern bottom purchased at Woodcraft. I do not cover the entire bottom with tape which leaves room for popping the part free later. 3m grey double sided works well too but the thicker white foam tapes let the part move to much sometimes. The wood turners tape is pretty cheap for a lifetime size roll. One application of tape will make quite a few parts if you keep it clean. After applying the tape to the pattern touch the tape to your Jeans a couple of times so you can remove the finished part easier.

Peel one side of the protective film off the lexan lip and stick that side centered up to the pattern. I made a sub table out of an old cutting board for less friction that allows me to put good down pressure on the template with one hand and still follow the part around the bearing easy with the other. The hole in the table for the router bit is close to a zero clearance to keep them from feeling tippy near the hole. A down cutting spiral flush trim bit leaves a beautiful finish however they are a lot more expensive that your standard flush trimming bit which still leaves a nicer finish than a die cut bill. I let the bit come through the table only a little ways for extra safety. You want have good down pressure and commit to holding the template pretty firm for safety and should always wear safety glasses.

After you cut your master or part you will have to hook the tip of tool of choice between the lexan and template to pop it free. I then use the master to trace parts on the lexan sheet for cutting in the quantity desired and do all the routing at once.It is fairly quick once set up. Save the protective film off the lexan and stick it to the two way tape on the pattern to keep it clean. The photo was staged to show a little of everything at once in one picture. hope this is useful to someone.

bill fixture.JPG

bill fixture.JPG

bill fixture.JPG

bill fixture.JPG

bill fixture.JPG

bill fixture.JPG

bill fixture.JPG

bill fixture.JPG


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