Bass'n'Cast

round body..how to??

16 posts in this topic

ok i have no idea on how to start making round body cranks. so i cut out the pattern first and then do what..?? i dont know where to start rounding. any help is much appreciated.

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Are you talking about a cylinder type lure like a Zara Spook? A picture if you can find one would really help. There must be something in the gallery or from a tackle shop to use as an example. Just trying to help...

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If you are a hobby builder like me and doing a few (not hundreds of ) baits, I suggest scribing contouring guide lines with a compass along the top, bottom and sides of the lure (just after you cut out the blank of course). Then use a Dremel sanding drum to knock off the edges down to the lines, and lastly sand the 4 resulting bevels into a rounded body. It takes abnormal skill at shaping/sanding to "freehand" a crankbait so that it is symetrical. Wood grain distorts your perception of what is symetrical and what isn't. Better to use any and all available "tricks" to eliminate guestimation and get measured results. If you're building 100 of the same crankbait, you'd want want to take the extra trouble to build a set of shaping jigs to make sure you get them symetrical. If you're just doing a few, the scribed lines will usually get you "close enough". BTW, while you're scribing, get a center line drawn all around the bait too. It really helps to locate the hardware and serves as an index during the final sanding.

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i think i understand what your saying but if you could the next time you make a crank could take some shots of your process? i dont mean to sound selfish if you dont want to you know its ok. im just more of a visual person. :)

Edited by Bass'n'Cast
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Bass, you said you had already cut the profile out, right? Then mark the centerline of the lure all around the top and bottom of the lure. Then look at the profile and draw a line on the profile sides of the lure where you want the fattest part of the lure to be. Those are your guidelines. Use a knife or dremel know the corners off between the lines, then round from the "fat" lines on the profile sides to the center lines on the top and bottom of the lure.

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Try using a profile gage to assure you achieve symmetry from side to side. It also works well for spray bar patterns of various sizes and spacing on the lures

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It also works well for spray bar patterns of various sizes and spacing on the lures

Genius! I'm throwing away all the old combs as we speak :lol:

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A sanding block with 36 or 50 grit paper, and a couple of coarse files, or finer wood rasps, will do the shaping you need pretty quickly and easily. I find doing it by hand gives me more control when I'm not sure what I want it to look like, and am just feeling my way on the first one. After that, once you have a shape you like, you can do more, quickly, using power sanders.

The main thing is to go slowly. It's easier to remove wood than it is to grow it back.

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The symmetrical lines and center line are very good for freehand shaping. The circular line marking the fattest part on the side of the bait is also very helpful. The other thing you should do is go ahead and cut your lip slot while the blank is still square. Lip slots are almost impossible to cut after the bait is carved.

Wood sanding blocks, wood rasp, Dremel, knife, or X-Acto are all good shaping tools for the hobby builder.

Cut 3 or 4 blanks out, cut the lip slots and draw the lines. Then just start removing wood from the first blank. Once you have carved 2 or 3 bodies you will start to get a feel for it.

Pick a soft wood to work with. I started with poplar and basswood. Both of them are able to be carved but still not easy to work with. Try carving on woods like Paulownia or Balsa. They are very easy to carve, very buoyant and both will hold hand twisted eyelets if you epoxy them in.

The symmetrical lines are easy to mark on the blank. All you need to do is put the blank on a flat surface. Then find a pen with a flat side (so it won't rock up and down) and lay it on a thin book or something elevated so the point is near the middle of the bait. Hold the pen very still and rotate the bait along the tip of the pin and mark a line around the bait. before you move the pen, flip the blank over and run another line around the body. This will be a good start for a center line. Now mark a couple more carving lines around the bait. Move the book from under the pen and make another line on both sides. This will give you a visual aid to check your progress against when carving. Once you carve to this line you can start using the sand paper to finish the rounding of the back and belly.

When you are cutting you lip slot make sure your saw platform is level. Reading zero on the gauge isn't always zero. Just cut your lip slot where you want it and flip the blank over and re-cut the same slot. This will let you know if the deck is level.

Good luck and if you mess one up, throw it in a box and grab another piece of wood.

After you get it shaped you will need to look into ballast (weighting), lips, eyelets or through wire, sealing, painting, and topcoats.

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I don't have any pics or I'd attach them. It's really straightforward; you want a centerline running all around the bait, plus some guidelines for beveling off the body edges, plus some lines to show you how to taper the tail and head of the bait's body. Start by cutting the lip slot while the bait is still "square". Next, measure half the width of the bait and put a small tic there. Adjust your compass so it hits that tic, then run a centerline all around top and bottom the bait to give you an index for sanding and installing the hardware. Draw the same centerline from the opposite side to double check the centerline is actually in the center. Next, measure the amount of taper you want on the head and tail from the centerline. Put small tics at the head and tail on the top and bottom of the bait. Draw a horizontal line across the back and belly of the bait from which you will taper it toward both ends. Use a piece of flexible acetate to draw the taper lines on the top and bottom of the bait, then sand down the sides of the bait to the taper guidelines. Now for the sanding/shaping guides. Adjust the compass to about 1/4 the width of the bait (more or less) and run 2 lines on the top of the bait, one on each side. Do the same for the bottom of the bait. Now scribe a line around the circumference of each side of the bait. When done, all you need to do is remove the wood at the edges of the bait down to the guidelines on the top/sides/bottom to bevel all the edges equally. I do that with a Dremel sanding drum. From there, I use the Dremel sander to soften the beveled edges into the top, bottom and sides of the bait, ending up with a rounded shape. The whole point is to keep the body symetrical. You can't freehand a perfectly symetrical body with hand tools, especially in wood that has a grain pattern. The grain pattern fools your eye and leads you to make the bait lopsided. Symetrical baits run straight and perform well. Lopsided ones don't. Hope this helps.

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@ Bass'n'Cast

When I started out luremaking long time ago , and I never had a lathe , I used to carve round lurebodies( "Spook" , "Heddon's Wiggler" , "Lucky 13" , some poppers and other spindle-shaped designs)out of round pinewood dowels , widely available over here in diameters of 18 , 23, 28 and 32 millimetres .

I'd first pencil-mark the center at each end of the already sized dowel piece and draw a circle of about 8 to 10 millimetres dia. around it .

This circle is the reference not to carve away .

Then I draw lines around the circumference of the dowel ,parallel to the end planes , on either side to mark the transition of the dowels(lures) greatest diameter to its head ,-and tail taper .

I'd start carving with a carpet knife on the ends first to hit the circle line , so that the ends would already be round .

Then , step-by-step , I'd move my cuts further towards the circumference lines .

It is extremely important , to always equally turn the workpiece a little further around with each stroke of the knife , and also one must take care about always cutting away about equal sized woodchips from the dowel at about same distance and angle to the end .

This way it is possible to achieve a reasonably round , tapered blank , that is finally sanded smooth , also by constantly fondling it and take off material equally .

Lip slots should be cut at first on the yet untouched dowel .

The plane ends within the marker circles are also sanded round finally .

When you use balsa for your round lures , and they are not too large(up to 5" , 1 1/2" dia.) , you might as well try to turn them down on a drill press !

I have made countless balsa floats this way .

Take your square balsa dowel and roughly carve a centered round notch onto one end , that you can clamp tightly into the chuck of the drill .

On the table of the drill press you must somehow fix a nail upright under the center of the chuck , either in a rigid vise or in a sort of homemade jig .

The fixed dowel is now guided onto the nail with the feed of the press and fixed(off course in its center) , so that it can't slide upward anymore accidentally !

Use a knife to break the edges of the dowel first , after switch on the drill at highest speed and you can work the dowel into any desired round spindle-shape , first with coarse sanding paper , then getting down step-by-step to about 600 grit .

Wear googles and dust protection mask !

The lipslot must be cut after the body is finished , I'd use a "Dremel" cutting wheel for it , previously I'd pencil four kinda "quarter lines" down the length of the lureblank , leading from the center of one end to the other .

These are for reference for the lipslot and hookeyes location .

I haven't yet made lures that way , but for balsa floats it works perfect .

Harder woods are impossible to work round this way :(.

Any questions ? Feel free to post:wink: !

Cheerio , diemai

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To round off Balsa baits I use a "Revlon" emery board. You should be able to find one in your wifes purse. It will wear out after a bait or two, but you can buy more at the local drug store.

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How about keeping your eyes out for old chairs and bed ends. They have plenty of nice lure shapes already carved out for you. A couple of quick cuts with a saw and plenty of elbow grease with sandpaper and you have a great looking lure.

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To round off Balsa baits I use a "Revlon" emery board. You should be able to find one in your wifes purse. It will wear out after a bait or two, but you can buy more at the local drug store.

hehe not old enough to be married

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