BrianB

Scales on a prototype bait?

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I have a prototype swimbait that i carved out of PVC board that I want to make a mold of and make my baits out of a resin of some type. HOwever I would like to have a scale pattern of some type etched into the PVC board prototype before making a mold. You guys have any ideas which would be the best method to do this? By scales I mean small 8 inch Herring or gizzard or shad size scales.

Brian

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Maybe you could make a plaster of paris (POP) mold first, line it with scale cloth, and then make a pour which would have the imprint, and then another final mold.

Getting the cloth to follow the shape of the mold without folds is probably the hardest part. If your swimbaits are flat sided, it shouldn't be too hard, but rounded bodies might be a challenge.

That's probably what I'd do. It sounds like a lot more work, but, if you're going through the trouble of making a master mold for a bait, it seems like, if this method worked, it would be worth it.

If I were doing it, I'd probably make a small POP test mold, and do the lining and pouring on that, to see if it would work.

Let us know how you finally solve this problem.

Edited by mark poulson

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Mark, If I understand you correctly your method will give me a raised scale effect. I'm looking for a scale effect that is not raised. If you have seen some of Jerry Rago's work you will know what I am talking about. He uses netting to get the scale effect but I can't figure out how he got the netting not raised? By Not raised I mean the threads should be lower than the actual gap between the threads. Make sense? I think it needs to be the reverse of what you are saying but not sure how you reverse it.

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Wrap netting around your proto and cover the netting with plaster, drywall compound or bondo. Cover the netting completely and uniformely. When it dries, sand the material down to the netting. If done properly you can remove the netting and you will have a nice scale pattern.

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Raised/lowered*******Just stick the netting on the proto, trim it up and cast it.

If you used a watered down POP/drywall solution to stick it, when it dries and shrinks, you should get a very subtle scale effect - I think. pete

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Their methods sound much simpler than what I suggested, but I'll try to explain it more clearly.

What I thought might work was taking your prototype and making a POP mold of it. Then glue some scale cloth to the inside of the mold, and make a POP casting, so you have your prototype's shape with the scale lines cast recessed into the POP.

Then use that plaster prototype to make a master mold out of whatever rubber you choose.

There are a ton of tutorials and threads about how to make molds, including what rubber to use, and how to make the finished mold.

It should give you a mold with the scale lines proud, and castings with them recessed.

Clear as mud? Sorry I can't explain it any better.

I hope it works for you.

Let us know how you finally solve this problem.

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You will have the scale protruding with the lines between below the level of the scale if you remove the netting from the body of the proto. In effect the results would be the same as the way you attempting. However, with plaster and netting on the proto prior to casting a mold you will only have to cast one mold.

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You will have the scale protruding with the lines between below the level of the scale if you remove the netting from the body of the proto. In effect the results would be the same as the way you attempting. However, with plaster and netting on the proto prior to casting a mold you will only have to cast one mold.

You're right. If that method works, it's much simpler. Certainly worth a try. Just be sure and let the drywall mud or whatever you use dry really well, so it's bonded to the prototype before you remove the netting.

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I don't guess using those fish carving/etching tools wouldn't be an option with PVC board?? :(. The thing with swimbaits is gee you even get off a little off balance and the thing swims wrong. It swims great as it is and it took me a ton of time to get the carving to where I want it and it does swim so I'm kind of afraid to do the POP method and screw it up as I have some good fin details on there as well. Just missing the scales...

Brian

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Brian,

I haven't had that problem with jointed swimbaits, as long as I leave plenty of play in the hinges. The only one I made that didn't swim had joints that were too tight. Balance hasn't been an issue for me so far. That may be because I make them taller than they are thick (2 1/8" tall, 3/4" thick) so, with split rings and hooks, weighted hook hangers, and ballast in the belly, they are bottom heavy. Even the floaters, which I try to make just barely float.

I use wood, mainly poplar, which is fairly buoyant, so my baits fall slowly in a horizontal, top up position. PVC may have different characteristics though, so I am guessing when it comes to your lure.

Carving a scale pattern sounds like a lot of work.

I'd really try hard to find another way to get the scale grooves into the lures by making a raised scale pattern in the mold.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you're going to go to the trouble of making a mold to cast a lot of lures, take the time to get the mold to do what you want before you begin pouring. A little time spent now will save hours later, hours that can be better spent on exotic paint jobs, and super top coats. :wink:

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Oh you could use checkering tools or a rotory tool with the appropriate bits. But I think it would require more of a precise skill to accomplish a nice scale pattern. Being the first attempt, I would take the simplest method first.

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I agree with Kc. A master should be a masterpiece. Best is rotary tool with a carbide bit and carve it out. Just make sure you practice first. I'm sure you have scraps of the PVC left. You want good results, spend the time to do it right.

Any foul ups on the master, you could patch it up with epoxy, epoxy putty or bondo then re-carve. I've got no experience with PVC so you need to find a carvable patching material that adheres well to PVC.

Edited by LaPala

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Dang, Doesn't look like this is going to be an easy project LOL. hmmmm. My checkering will prolly end up like this guy ------> :teef:

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BrianB, you gotta try out the ideas, these are original ideas and we need someone to report back. I really hope you are up for the challenge. Even if you don't, good luck with the project.

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