Tierce12

Wood Questions

11 posts in this topic

Im starting to get into carving crankbait's kick, i've already begun with some ruff sketching and creating with great success, boating several fish in tournaments over the past coulpe of weekends. But im kinda limited with the wood i've got (which is some small balsa blocks) its not as big as i would like and im not exactly sure its the type i want as far as bait action goes. so my question is what tpye of wood do most people use? Whats the best? and where can i get it from?

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"What type of wood do most people use? What's the best?" = What type of women do most men marry? Which type is the best?

Just have the patience to read this site for a couple of weeks, and you will find out there are many preferences among lure builders. Some prefer balsa because it is very light and thus the lure is livelier in action. But if you are after muskies or sharks, balsa is not the best choice. Usualy big toothy fish requires hard wood. There are many types of wood available, and you surely have throwen away pieces of wood you thought you did not need anymore.

So I think you should try first a medium type of wood, like basswood, which is enough buoyant and very strong. Or poplar which is lighter but still strong enough. Try other types of wood, and then you will have your opinion on the matter.

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"Best" depends mainly on 2 things; the density of the wood, which determines its bouyancy, and its hardness, which determines some build parameters. Guys use all kinds of wood as long as its density is less than water (62.4 lbs/cu ft). Here are some "standard densities" of popular woods measured in lbs per cu ft. The density of a particular piece can vary quite a bit, but this gives you a general idea:

Balsa 11.2

Paulownia 16.0

White Cedar 21.0

White Pine 21.8

Basswood 23

I build bass baits and mostly use balsa, paulownia and basswood. Others like cedar. If you want balsa, you'll do better with "hard balsa", which can be special ordered from a supplier up to 16 lb/cu ft density. Standard soft hobby balsa is intended mainly for model builders and you need "heroic" measures to reinforce it sufficiently for bait building. Paulownia is fairly hard and bouyant. It holds hardware well but often has significant grain structure. In the true hardwood category, I like basswood due to its almost invisible grain and ease of shaping.

As to "where to get it" - I order online but sources change all the time as business get bought, go broke, etc. Do a Google search for suppliers. Maybe some other TU'ers will chime in on current sources. You can buy white cedar and white pine at local home centers or lumber yards. Whichever wood, I recommend sticking with it for awhile so you can refine your design and techniques to produce better crankbaits with that particular wood. It takes time and some baits to get a handle on how much to ballast, how to get the best finsih, etc, for each wood.

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We like to hand select the wood in person, balsa, etc,... since all pieces are not created equal. I use this local business: http://www.hardwoodgroup.com/index.html . They are also a router lover's heaven.

They offer a good selection of quality woods. They have a good number of stores on the east coast and southern states. Hopefully they will be a similar store in your area.

Edited by kellure
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Tierce12,

Where are you located in Alabama? I'm headed down to the Florence area this weekend. If you are close, I can bring you some balsa, pawlownia, and basswood for you to try. Free of charge!

Gene

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Tierce12,

Where are you located in Alabama? I'm headed down to the Florence area this weekend. If you are close, I can bring you some balsa, pawlownia, and basswood for you to try. Free of charge!

Gene

Lincoya its exactly things like this that make me want to contribute and continue growing with this site.....I just thought I would say thanks.

Tierce I use basswood and use a similar store to above to get all my wood. It seems to hold up great even to using screw eyes and epoxy.

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Basswood is hard to beat, it is a wonderful wood. I also like poplar which is easy to obtain about anywhere.

RM

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Lincoya,

Im located in Piedmont (just west of Gadsden)......Thought I'd put a picture of a few I'm working on. One on far right is balsa, one in middle is oak, one on left is cedar. All have circuit board lips. What do you guys think?

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Hey Tierce,

Im from gadsden. There is a hobby lobby were the old walmart use to be off george wallace dr. They have balsa blocks and sheets. They have basswood too in blocks and sheets. Didn't really look at the prices but i dont think there prices are to high for convenace. If you dont know where that is let me know something, I could meet you or i could pick you up some and bring it to you. Just let me know something... I order all my wood from mc masters carr. i can order it and have it 2 days later. They are quick.

By the way i love the cranks looking good!!!!!!!!!!

Edited by BJBarron
forgot

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Tierce12,

I'll be coming down I-65 and crossing Hwy 72 sometime in the morning. If you would like to meet me somewhere around there, I'll bring the wood.

Gene

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