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What type of Cedar do you use?
13 replies to this topic
Posted 22 February 2008 - 11:18 AM
Let me start buy saying you guys that make these hardbaits are amazing to me. The quality of these baits is unreal. I have been reading all the posts here for the last two weeks and have learned a lot from you guys. I am thinking about trying my hand at crankbaits. I am a carpenter by trade and have all the tools you use. An unlimited suppy of wood. I see some of you use Cedar for this, but is it western red Cedar or is it hard red Cedar like the Cedar trees we have here in the Ozark hills.
Posted 22 February 2008 - 01:34 PM
I use Western Red Cedar, would love to try some White Cedar but can't find a source.
Posted 22 February 2008 - 01:43 PM
Is one any better than the other, as far as lure performance or is it just workability with the wood? Also thanks for sharing.
Posted 22 February 2008 - 01:56 PM
Maybe someone else can chime in here, but I only know 2 cedar types - red and white. Both types have a density of 20-23 lbs/cu ft, which is similar to basswood. Some well known bait companies make white cedar baits, Stanford for example. Whichever, prime with a solvent or oil based product (Kilz is an example) to prevent oil from migrating out of the wood and staining your finish. I don't like Kilz because it has a smell that tends to linger on the bait (and your crankbait box) forever. JMHO, if you're hobby building baits in small volume, choose wood and other materials you think will be best for the bait. The finished crankbait's worth will be 95% effort and 5% materials, even if you use the most expensive stuff money can buy.
Posted 22 February 2008 - 03:37 PM
I use three types of cedar depending on the baits I am building. I use Western red cedar, Eastern white cedar and Alaskan yellow cedar. The Alaskan yellow cedar is heavier and denser than the other two and is really awesome to work with and my favorite but hard to find and expensive. Many saltwater/striper builders use it because of its non-absorbing properties. I love it for musky baits.
Posted 22 February 2008 - 06:01 PM
Alaskan Yellow is my favorite, a pleasure to work with, and many other salt water plug makers. Pretty easy to get here in the NE. I also use red once in a while and white, being my second favorite, lighter than AYC. Cypress is also a very nice wood to use. AYC is actually a cypress.
Posted 22 February 2008 - 09:26 PM
I am using a variation of Western Red Known as old Growth. It is a select grade with no knots (clear) and has very tight consistant growth rings making it a little more dense than regular Western Red. In outdoor applications it does not cup or twist like regular red will. My family ran sawmills, my dad was a lumber grader,lumber salesman turned Builder in the 70s and I have been building cutoms for 32 years and I just discovered it while building a very unique home. It is expensive compared to standard grade Western Red so I would not use it for learning or prototype parts. Good luck starting out and have fun.
Posted 22 February 2008 - 09:59 PM
Thanks for all the info. I have a lot of western red and eastern red cedar. I will try make some from both.
I like the idea of the old growth cedar that Fishthanks mentioned. Do you get from a local lumber yard? I have never seen any other than what we use for decks and exterior trim.
Posted 23 February 2008 - 12:52 AM
I use Northern White Cedar. It grows locally here in upper Michigan and I did tongue and groove in my basement. All of my floating crank baits are made from left-over tongue and groove from that project.
Posted 23 February 2008 - 12:55 PM
I do get it from one of my local suppliers. It is roughly four times the price of regular western red. They specialize in higher end products for custom homes. there are many species of Cedar and then grades of some species, C and better, d and better, clear etc. I have attached a picture of the end grain showing the mill stamp. It is Clear hrt, MLGA. They also refer to it is as I believe vertical grain or straight grain. I also attached a picture showing a Northern White Cedar blank from upper Michigan like Yake Bait posted next to the old growth Red to show the difference in the grain structure. If the blanks look unusual, they are sanded and ready for a third dip in Propionate before machining the bill cut, body joint and counterboring the eyes. An old lumbermans trick is to cut a three inch long section of the Cedar, take a draw off a cigarette and see how easy the smoke blows through the end grain to show how porous it is. I use some of the white as well and it bubbles more intense and longer on the first soaking in propionate. The white is a lot less expensive even after working your way through the waste from the knots. it also machines well,and sands nice. Some of the St. Clair local guys also use white Z baits and Zing lures. I would recomend only using the .092 screw eyes in the white. hope this is helpful, have fun.
Posted 23 February 2008 - 02:21 PM
That is some tight rings. I can't find it around here right now but I am going to keep looking. That has to be better. Thanks for taking the time to show me the differance. You have been very helpful.
Posted 23 February 2008 - 05:34 PM
we use western red. you have to sort lumber for the best wood. densitys do matter in the wood chosen. cedar is user friendly. you do need a dust system if you sand or turn the wood.. its great for sealer absortion and holds paints very well.
Posted 24 February 2008 - 11:10 AM
try some poplar too. more dense than cedar and sands down nicely.