Where to buy balsa & Punchout Lips
8 replies to this topic
Posted 03 December 2008 - 09:40 AM
What is a good source to buy balsa for crankbaits and how can I cut out or punch out lips from polycarbonate .060?
Posted 03 December 2008 - 10:12 AM
you can get balsa in most hardware shops (ACE) and hobby stores in a variety of lengths widths and depths. as for the lip punchout, i wish I had one of those. I cut my lips out w/ a fine tooth bandsaw. The hard part is getting that perfect arc... don't worry after a few dozen you start gettin good at it
my recommendation for cutting lips out is to lay a template on your lexan. Since it comes w/ that plastic sheeting you can spray glue a sheet of crankbait lip outlines down. I had a buddy make some for me on his computer so that they are perfect. The more accurate your outline, the less sanding you will have to do.
Posted 03 December 2008 - 05:20 PM
If you don't have a bandsaw for cutting out lips , a jigsaw works as well , but takes longer .
Thinner lexan I also cut with shears , the fine shaping I do on a 40 grit sanding disk , chucked in a drill .
But at first I'd mark the outline of the lips with a steel marker needle and an aluminium sheet template or a readily made lip from a lure component store .
I make these aluminium templates by first drawing a paper sketch and glue this one onto the sheet metal and cut it out with shears , after file it down accurately to the rim of the paper cut out .
The trick about that initial paper template is , to fold the paper sheet first in the center and then sketch and cut out one half of the lip's shape , after unfolding you get an absolutely symetrical cut out .
Prior to glueing that paper template onto the aluminium sheet , I mark a center line on the sheet with a ruler and the marker needle , the kink of the paper should sit absolutely flush on that line , so that later you can check symetry of either side of the lip template with a geometrical sketching triangle , even if the paper template should be removed already .
Sorry , if I should have failed to use the right terms for some things , but English is not my motherlanguage , hope , its still understandable:huh: !
Here is a pic , that might help to understand what I mean , its about spoon making , but the aluminium template affair is the same procedure !
greetz , diemai
Posted 03 December 2008 - 07:02 PM
To get your lip perfect for the arch.... Trace out your lip outline with a marker onto the plastic or lexan. then cut the lexan out with your band saw or whatever you have to cut it with....cut as close to the black line as you can without cutting the black marker line..the more you cut off the less you will have to sand off later... then get your dremmel and put a sanding bit in... Now just use your dremmel to finish off the lip and sand it down to the black marker line.. takes some practice but you can make them all the same when you get the hang of it.. After that I take a polishing bit and try to shine it up a bit... Dean told me about that trick..
Posted 04 December 2008 - 12:02 AM
Cutting lips - You can also do rough lip cutouts with metal shears sold at any home center for $8-15. I like the Wiss brand with the yellow handles (yellow=straight cut). It's faster and easier than cutting them out on a saw in my experience. Finish off the outline with a Dremel sanding cylinder like Rookie and Dean said. The variety of lips sold by suppliers is somewhat limited so you may as well roll your own and get exactly the shapes you need. Staminainc.com and Janns Netcraft sell a few models. I'd buy only Lexan (polycarbonate) or circuit board lips. The plastic variety just don't hold up. If you settle on one lip and plan to do many baits with it, you may find someone to machine a lip die for you and punch out a few thousand. Ain't cheap!
Posted 04 December 2008 - 06:55 AM
Balsa USA is a good source for "hard balsa", I say hard
because it makes the better balsa baits. Just give
them a call and tell them you want hard balsa blocks.
In the past I have used the 3"x3"x6" block and traced
my pattern out on the side, cut the block and then
with a bandsaw, slice the baits off the thickness I want
to start with. Just make sure to keep your saw blade
and table at a perfect 90 degrees.
Balsa that has a density of 11 to 14 lbs/CuF is considered
Posted 06 December 2008 - 05:08 PM
Where can I buy lexan in the UK? Is it different to what I am using? At the moment I use polythene plastic for my lips I have noticed they become very brittle when I put the glue (superglue) to stick them on. Is it the glue causing this? Also I find that it's got alot of scratches.
Posted 06 December 2008 - 08:31 PM
Lexan is a brand name for GE's polycarbonate. Polycarbonate was invented back in the 1940's by GE and the brand name Lexan stuck, sort of like "Kleenex" for tissues. Here in the US, you can get polycarbonate from glaziers, home centers, or it can be ordered online from several sources including McMaster-Carr
Posted 08 December 2008 - 11:57 AM
Well, I got some Lexan sheets. I found out a guy I go to church with works for a sign company where they silkscreen on lexan to make signage for restaurants and small companies. I asked if they have scrap clear pieces sitting around and he shows up to church with some in the .060 thickness. Perfect! Now all I have to do is cut them out or punch them out. Maybe this will help out those who are looking for lexan.