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Posted 20 December 2008 - 08:42 AM
I am gearing up to start making balsa wood crank baits and will start with using blanks. Was wondering what may be the best way when cutting the slot for the lip to ensure that the cut is true? Do I need to create a form to place the blank in while cutting the slot? If so, what is the best material to build the form with? By the way, I have been logging on for a few weeks now doing some research and the info here is incredible. Any help is much appreciated. thanks.
Posted 20 December 2008 - 09:20 AM
I cut the lip while its still in block form with a table saw. I use 1/8" lips so the table saw blade is perfect for the job.
Posted 20 December 2008 - 09:31 AM
I also cut my slots while in stock form, using a scroll saw! I have cut them with hobby saws and coping saws. You just have to take your time and make sure to cut them straight. I used a vise to hold my bait while cutting!
Posted 20 December 2008 - 09:51 AM
Yep , like said before , when blank is still in a blockform , its the most accurate way , that you could go .
When not utilizing a bandsaw but just handsaws , you could pencil-mark your slot by means of a geometric sketching triangle or an 90° angle gauge and strictly follow the marker lines with your sawblade .
Take care not to clamb that softer balsa too hard in the vise whilst cutting , since it might get squeezed too much , probably support it with your free hand .
good luck , diemai
Edited by diemai, 20 December 2008 - 09:52 AM.
Posted 20 December 2008 - 09:53 AM
Thanks for the tips. I guess should have been a little more specific with my post. When I said I was going to start with using blanks I meant that I was going to use the pre-cut blanks that are already shaped and sealed. Eventually I want to cut and shape my own, but am just learning. So with that said, do you suggest placing the bait in a vice or should I have a form to place it in. Thanks.
Posted 20 December 2008 - 10:08 AM
In this case you might also utilze a "Dremel" with a cutting disc or a round sawblade(if the baits are not too large , since you could only go about 2/3" to 3/4" deep with that tiny tools) .
But this requires very accurate eyeballing , you have a little option to enlarge parts of the slot a fraction bigger as the lip thickness to fool around about getting the right angle for glueing the lip in .
This "Dremel" operation I do just by my two hands , without fixing the workpiece somewhere .
When I have to place readily shaped blanks in a vise , I'd put a piece of very soft grained balsa on either side of the vise's clambs , so the lure won't get squeezed , you might as well tape some pieces of cardboard box together for that purpose !
Greetz , diemai
Edited by diemai, 20 December 2008 - 10:14 AM.
Posted 20 December 2008 - 10:10 AM
If the blanks are bought, then they will all be the same size, so some kind of former would work. I intend to make my blanks with a duplicator, so in a few months I will be in the same dilemma as you.
My plan is to make some molded cradles, using a mix of polyester filler and resin to make it pour able. It is very cheap and sets up hard and quick.
My plan is to make a wooden mold box only slightly larger than the body. I will take great care to cut a lip slot in the lure body, this may take a few attempts to get it perfect. I will then fit a balsa lip, square, so that it touches the side of the mold box.
Wax up the box and body, pour the resin mix and push the lipped body, nose first into the resin, so that the lip is square to the box and the bottom edge of the lip touching the side. Taking care not to push the body too far in, or it will be locked and very difficult to remove.
On a belt sander, remove material from the bottom lip side, until the balsa is visible.
Offer it up to a squared band saw, if the angle of the lip is slightly off, the cast block can be adjusted on a belt sander, until square. This operation will be made easier if four feet are molded into the casting, by drilling 4 x ½ inch dia shallow holes into the wall of the mold box.
Now the slot can be cut in the cast block, following the balsa lip. Once this is done, the original body can be removed.
Like I said, this is my plan, it has not been done yet, as my duplicator is far from finished.
If you choose to cut the slots free hand, insert a 6 inch steel rule or length of lip material. This will magnify any errors in angle and allow you to make corrections.
I will be very interested in reading other solutions to this problem.
Posted 20 December 2008 - 10:18 AM
I'd make a jig out of a shallow wood tray and bondo.
You can adapt it to any type saw to cut the slots.
I was typing at the same time you were, and had tried to say the same thing, but my explanation came out as jibberish.
You said it all.
Edited by mark poulson, 20 December 2008 - 10:20 AM.
Posted 20 December 2008 - 10:21 AM
Man!! it took me 20 lines to say the same thing. Mark, I'm sending you all my posts for editing from now on.
Posted 20 December 2008 - 10:23 AM
It's because I'm typing in the morning, and you're typing in the afternoon.
Are you still in the UK, or are you back in Indonesia?
Posted 20 December 2008 - 10:29 AM
I'm in UK for six weeks. But timing is irrelevant, everyone knows that I cannot explain things clearly.
We need more ideas on this one.
One of the duplicator videos showed briefly, a cradle with screw heads, to locate the body. Easily adjustable. Could be an efficient solution.
Posted 20 December 2008 - 10:41 AM
How long will it take you to thaw out once you return to Indonesia?
I'm impressed you can type at all with frozen hands.
Seriously, it's a bear to cut lip slots freehand. Only truly talented people, like Dieter, can do it. When I've tried, I've found that I have to make the slot sloppy, position my lip in with toothpick wedges, tack it in place with crazy glue, and the flood the slot with epoxy. A real pain in the rear.
So some kind of a jig to hold the lure body is the only way to go.
The good news is, once you make a jig that works, it will last you forever.
Posted 20 December 2008 - 10:48 AM
Much thanks to everyone that has replied. I had thought about making a form using bondo or fiberglass resin but just wasn't sure if this was the best way to go.. Sounds to me like you guys have thought this one through a bit already. I will be attempting to do a thru wire construction on my baits also. After I get started and have completed a few baits I will be sure to post some pitures. Am very interested in what somebody will come up with for a duplicator that can either be purchased whithout having to give up an arm or a leg or can be built at home. Thanks guys for your time and info.. Happy Holidays.
Posted 20 December 2008 - 01:44 PM
@ mark poulson
Thanks , Mark , but I guess , it's not talent about my eyeballing , I just got used to it from my work in the metal industry .
I am grinding carbide hobs within tolerances of just a few 1/1000s of a millimetre , and to have it easier to set the grinding wheels into the hob's profiles(and also other work-related operations) , I have practised my eyeballing abilities for many years , it's just faster that way than handling different measuring devices .
But that doesn't mean that I am also as accurate as that few microns , lol:lol: !
Greetz , Dieter