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Im' in a Rut!
18 replies to this topic
Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:59 AM
I have been building cranks and jerkbaits for about 3 months and have hit a sudden halt. I know my painting skills aren't what they could be and I feel it is because I try to get the paint job done quickly. The results are less than optimal for me. How long does it take you guys to crank out a quality bait with drying times and epoxy layers if you do that? I am thinking about spraying a layer or polyurethane in between each color change to preserve what I have just done as best as possible. It will also give me more time to think about my next move or to clean up if I made a mistake. I am wondering if a thin layer of this stuff will add too much weight to the baits? If anyone has felt like this, please respond!
Posted 12 February 2008 - 10:47 AM
I only make big baits that get hammered by rocks and brush, and are totally reaction lures. I stress about the paint job as I'm doing it (I'm not in the same league with some of the guys here), and on getting the epoxy just right, but then I patch them up with Sharpies and 5 minute epoxy when they get dinged up, and it works just fine.
I get hung up sometimes debating what paint scheme to use, or just don't want to go out into the Garage and do anything. But then I'll crank out six swimbaits in a week, and the world is good again.
It comes and goes. The up side of having it as a hobby, not a job. Not like the passion of having to fish every weekend!
Posted 12 February 2008 - 11:33 AM
I'm just starting out as well, I've only been making baits seriously for about 2 months. I kinda played at it for two years but I'm getting much more serious now. I am finding each bait takes about 2 hours to make, not including the drying time for paints and epoxy. If I take drying time into account I have no idea, but I can make a bait in two days within that 2 hour build time.
My process is pretty simple. First, I draw the bait on my squared up block of wood (I use Eastern Red Cedar). Second, I carefully cut the shape, both from the side and the top/bottom, and the lip slot on my scroll saw. If the block is perfectly square the lip slot will be, too (saves time later). Total time here is about 5 minutes. Third, I use a 1 inch belt sander and I sand the rounded shape of the bait. I am real careful here and check the shape from every angle ofte. If I'm careful here it only takes 5-10 minutes of shaping, but being careful will saves lots of time later on at the next step. Fourth, I go to the dremel tool with a fine grit sanding drum and perfect the shape of the bait. Again, I check the shape from every angle for symmetry and the better a job I did on the belt sander, the less time I have to spend here with the dremel, and it usually only takes about 10-15 minutes. Fifth, I now perfect the lip slot with a small file and cut and shape the lip. I use lexan for my lips, cut on the scroll saw and perfected with the sanding drum on the dremel. I check it for fit in the lip slot and make sure it is perfectly centered. This is about a 10 minute job. Once the lip is perfect, step Six is drilling the pilot holes for the line tie and hook hangers. Again, I use the dremel tool with a 1/64" drill bit. Also, if I need balast or want to add a rattle I use the dremel drill bit and carving bits to do that now. Any holes for rattle chambers get covered up with stick marine epoxy. These holes and chambers take about 10 minutes to do. It takes about 10 minutes for the marine epoxy to dry and then sand flat with the dremel drum sander. Step Seven in sealing the bait with the virgin laquer thinner+plastic cups mixture I learned from this site. This usually takes 3-4 coats and maybe 10 minutes. Now, Step Eight is test the bait in the bathtub to make sure it will swim the way I want. I don't count this time because it is so much fun to do. Once that's good, Step Nine is base coat of flat white spray paint and let dry maybe 10 minutes. Step Ten is the various colors for the finished paint job. This may take anywhere from 10-30 minutes depending on the complexity of the paint scheme. Also, if I want to add any decals (sometimes I use a waterslide decal to put the name on the bait) I put it on once the paint is dry. Step Eleven in the first coat of Devcon 2-Ton, a quick 5 minute job. I will put the bait on a drying wheel to let dry for at least 2 hours. Step Twelve is to add the 3-D eyes, hook hangers and line tie (I use screw eyes), and the lip. I always coat the threads of the screw eyes before I screw them in. This takes about 5 minutes. Then I give the entire bait another coat of Devcon 2-Ton epoxy with at least 2 hours of drying on the wheel. Once the bait is dry I inspect it real well and, if necessary, will give it another coat of epoxy. And that is pretty much it. Add it all up and the total build time of 120 minutes, about 2 hours. This is, of course, if I don't make any major mistakes, which rarely happens.
I hope this helps and I would love to hear anyone elses step by step process.
Posted 12 February 2008 - 11:39 AM
I see a pictureless tutorial on my screen. LD you should add some pictures nd submit a tutorial.
Posted 12 February 2008 - 12:20 PM
Sorry, I'm at work right now, not at home in the shop. I will try to do a tutorial soon.
Posted 12 February 2008 - 12:21 PM
I didn't mean now. Hehe. It was just a sugestion when you have time. You don't have to, I just know many people that would appreciate it. ;D
Posted 12 February 2008 - 12:30 PM
A good practice would be to use white PVC pipes for practice paint. Cut a bunch of them and have it where u paint and try out ur paint schemes on that. Don't like it, just pick up another piece. Or u can base coat it white for use another day.
How long does it take from start to finish for my lures? Maybe 1 week at the very least figuring in the drying and curing hours I prefer.
Posted 12 February 2008 - 03:12 PM
Posted 12 February 2008 - 05:22 PM
It usually takes me 3 days to complete a batch (2-6 in number). How many hours of actual work? It depends! As I gained experience over several years as a hobbiest, the realization came that I should let it take as long as it takes to get the result I want. That's the only way you can make baits that meet your expectations. What's the point of anything less? Regarding paint specifically, some of us (certainly including me!) will never become "crankbait artistes". But you do get better as you paint more baits and eventually you will get to be satisfied with the results. Not all the time on every bait, but your percentage will rise. I personally like to do the whole paint job in one session, heat setting the colors as I go. If I make a mistake, I can sometimes wash it off without ruining earlier colors. If not, cest la guerre, it all comes off and I start from scratch. No sense ending up with an ugly duckling that nobody wants to fish. BTW, I find the bass are usually much less critical of paint than fishermen tend to be
Posted 12 February 2008 - 05:55 PM
It's a deal... let mer know if you need any help.
Posted 12 February 2008 - 06:39 PM
Wow! Lots of helpful and inspiring words here. I ordered a new Badger 360 off of the Garage sale and can't wait to get it fired up. I was contemplating a lot on which path i should take: 1. Produce many baits that might not have the best quality, or 2. Spend an entire day or two making on magnificent bait that really will give me a sense of achievement and not give me a sense of having to keep up a quota. I chose path two and can't wait to start making some intricate musky and bass baits. I was thinking of doing a series of lures. here's how it will play out...
1. LOTW Perch, to appeal to the large amount of fishermen that fish this lake. (I would only sell a few to people I know) and pretty much every other lake that holds em
2. Hayward Cisco, for those trollers that look for hogs in fall
3. Eagle Lake Walleye, those things are very common in Eagle Lake, Ontario
4. Kentucky Shad, for the Southern states that have a heavy gizzard shad Plaster of Paris. in their lakes
5. Oklawaha River Shiner, for lunker bass in Florida
6. River Chub, Lots of guys hit the rivers for muskie and pike
7. Sucker, applies to pretty much every musky lake
This seems like a fun way to put in a rotation of different shapes and colors to keep me excited. I would always try to mix up the color schemes and add foil here or take it away there in order to change effect. And I could always make something new if it pops into my head!
Posted 13 February 2008 - 07:30 AM
c;mon anyone see any flaws or have any suggestions about this?
Posted 13 February 2008 - 08:25 AM
My only suggestion is to concentrate on the action first, and then the paint job.
Someone said the action catches the fish, and the paint job catches the fisherman.
I know that's an oversimplification, but I weight action over perfect paint job. If the action is wrong, the paint job won't matter.
Your lures look fine. If they catch fish, they're perfect.
Posted 13 February 2008 - 08:33 AM
Nothing wrong with what you have written. It is a comprehensive plan. Personally, I try to take the projects one at a time. I find that if I get distracted by another project, which does happen, I end up staring at the wall or finding excuses not to do anything.
Sometimes it takes days before I go down stairs to the test pool, even though the prototype is weighted and ready. I think that is apprehension, fear of a failure. Time is wasted, but I am definately not in a rut.
If my jobs pile up too much, I take a time out and make a list of things to do. Once it is down on paper it frees up the mind and makes concentration much easier. I think this is a left brain problem.
Hope your enthusiasm gets rejuvinated by the good response to your plight and that you post a few new ones very soon.
Posted 13 February 2008 - 02:25 PM
Three months and already in a rut? I've got the opposite problem.
I think of a new lure to make and I'm off like a rocket, forget about the ones I still haven't finished, I'll finish them later - I am very undisciplined grasshopper. I've got two glide baits, a pike topwater, two sucker swimbaits, a shark swimbait (for my 5 year old nephew) and a bass sized top-raider all in the works.
As for painting, I have an artistic side so the artist in me just isn't happy with "good enough". I also hand paint so that makes the process a lot longer.
Your idea of rotating shapes and colors is a good one. Do something that will challenge you. Just don't do it all at once like me - not recommended
Posted 13 February 2008 - 06:39 PM
I guess the rut was really just me getting overwhelmed with the possibility and wondering what I should do and whether I am i able to do it. I guess I just have to set my own goals and not try to live up to the lures made by pros.
Posted 14 February 2008 - 12:21 AM
It's just like dock talk. You have to do your own thing.
Posted 14 February 2008 - 06:05 AM
TAKE A BREAK KRIBMAN!! if your overwhelmed that is a good sign to stop for a few days.. when you come back you will paint better and make better baits..
Posted 15 February 2008 - 10:00 AM
I've been making baits etc. for 50 + years. Always considered it a hobby. Can't make enough money to call it a job. Recently I can't seem to stay out of the workshop. Bought some different lead molds off Ebay and am pouring almost daily, then painting, assembling, etc. etc. But there have been times that my "creative juices" have not been flowing. "This too shall pass." Hang in there. Enjoy the ride.