borderbasser

building baits out of Bondo

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I am thinking of doing some experimenting and building some baits out of bondo body filler/fiberglass resin mix and wanted some input. I don't want to make a mold of a bait, but would like the benefit of using a material that does not have to be sealed prior to painting. I was thinking of making an open top one piece mold that would produce a block of the material to be roughed out and finished just like a wood bait. I only do swimbaits and like to do carving on the head and I figured it would also be nice not to have to deal with any wood grain.

I looked the Bondo body filler up on the internet and the specific gravity is 2.75...I believe water is somewhere in the neighborhood of .9? How would you figure out how much of the microsphere material it would require to at least get the material to a neutrally bouyant state and how would the microspheres affect the strength? Does anyone know how this stuff would compare to some of the other resins that people use (ones like feather lite) as far as strength and other qualities? Thanks.

TJ

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i think it would be MUCH easier just making it out of wood :o

if you are THAT AGAINST wood, then you could try making a mold and using some kind of urethane like Alumilite. but that stuff gets pretty expensive.

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I think you will run into several problems. One is that bondo is toxic, you should not be breathing the vapors or dust from this stuff anymore than you have to.

Secondly, I think it will be far too heavy for the swimbait to work properly. If you use a material that is too heavy the swimbait won't be able to properly right itself in the water. I know this because I have experimented with various plastic woods that were too heavy. The reason wood works well is that it is light enough so that when you add lead to the belly the bait sits properly in the water.

If you want to use some kind of molding process why not use liquid plastics and molds?

Jed V.

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Not a good choice for material for various reasons. In addition to those already mentioned, if you pour a solid block of bondo/ resin there will most likely be voids that you encounter as carving and to correct you will be required to fill sand. In effect, you're creating more work.

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I am not concerned with any voids...I think they can be eliminated some what. I have made molds for soft plastics and lead out of this stuff in the past and it works quite well if you mix the fiberglass resin in with it to thin it out into a pourable state. The trick is not to mix in any air bubbles. I realize it will be heavy, but I was under the assumption that products like alumilite were also, thus the need for adding the microspheres. Then weight can be added in the belly for ballast. Ofcourse, it very well may take more microspheres than is practical to get it to work properly at least for a floating bait. It very well may even make the bondo mix too weak for anything but thru-wire...I don't know. That is why I asked the question if anyone knows how to figure out how much of this stuff to add to the mix based on the specific gravity without having to do much trial and error. I am really not interested in going to the expense and trouble to make actual bait molds since I don't sell them and have no need to mass produce them at any level. I'm mainly interested in building a composite bait that doesn't have to be sealed and doesn't have the downfalls of wood grain to deal with. Plus, the filler and the resin are readily available here localy at the hardware store. Anyway, just thought I would put this out there to ponder. Thanks for the helps guys.

TJ

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If you want the carvability of bondo why don't you do a rough carving of wood to float the bait,seal it,prime it,and then add a layer of bondo to your liking. That way you can always add and subtract based on your carving skills. In theory this should work however I believe bondo can dry out and crumble over time if not sealed.

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Specific gravity is a ratio between the density of a specific material and the density of water, which is exactly 1.

If that stuff has a specific gravity of 2.75, it means it is 2.75 times heavier than water. The material for a swimbait must have a specific gravity of less than 1, because you need to add hardware, epoxy (heavier than water), lead for stability, etc. The decision is yours.

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