thorium06

Need help with making crankbaits

11 posts in this topic

Hi I am new to lure making. I love to fish so I decided that making lures would be something to do when the weather is bad and I cant make it to the lake. I bought a scroll saw, belt/disc sander, and airbrush. I have made a couple of bodies but it took forever to do. I was wondering if anyone has tips or tricks that could help me. I am having problems getting the bodies to be symetrical and getting the lip to be centered. If anyone has any suggestions I would really appreciate it, thanks!

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To keep your lip straight you need to make the cut while the wood is still flat and square before you cut the lure body out. Cut your wood in blocks just big enough for your baits profile to be drawn in. This will give you a flat square surface to make your cut. The scroll saw could be the other problem depending on the wood you are useing. Hard woods and thickness of the bait will make the scroll saw harder to use. I like the band saw but try cutting just on the other side of the line of your baits profile and use the belt sander ,and sand,to trim the rest of the wood to the line if control of the saw is a problem

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With a set up similar to yours, it takes me about 20 minutes. That is from cutting a blank, pasting a template, cutting profile, cut lip, mark centre line around profile (essential), drilling and shaping.

I drill all my ballast and eye holes before moving to the belt sander for shaping.

The secret to symmetry, is the centre line and remove small amounts of material from one side then the other, then check symmetry and adjust, before making the next cut.

All my shaping is done on the belt sander. The first operation are the length ways tapers. Then deep chamfers all round. Then rounding off. I usually finish off with a flap wheel on the drill press.

Dave

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@ thorium06

For your start out , do not attempt to be fast , try to be accurate :yes:!

Experience you make with your first baits would let you be faster and more effectice later , anyway .

If you don't or can't use a bandsaw for your lipslot(the fastet and most accurate way) , cut it by hand after a marker line , it requires a woodsaw saw with a wide(high) blade , that would guide itself through it's cut , a narrow bladed saw would tend to wander . Fix the still rectangular workpiece in a vise .

Do all marking work on the still rectangular woodblank , also cut the lipslot and slot for internal wireform or you may also already drill the pilot holes , if you intend using eyescrews .

If all marking(with measurering gauges like 90

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I shape baits by hand with a Dremel or a Foredom sanding cylinder. The main tool I use to keep the bait symmetrical is a good quality draftsman's compass. After you cut out the blank and the lip slot, mark a center line all around the bait. Draw it from both sides of the bait and you'll be sure that you actually have the center line centered. It shows you where to put the hardware and ballast.

If the bait is going to have a taper on the head and tail, use the center line as an anchor point and, with a ruler, mark dots on the nose and tail, top and bottom, where the tapers will end (8 dots total). Then draw lines around the circumference of the body where you want the tapers to begin. Use a piece of flexible plastic as a guide to draw 4 lines on top and 4 lines on the bottom of the bait, from the edges of the circumference lines to the dots on the nose and tail. I use a large disk sander to sand the tapers according to the lines I've drawn. With the taper lines on the top and bottom and the circumference lines, you can be quite accurate.

Next, use the compass to mark shaping limits on the top, bottom and sides of the bait. Before you begin shaping and sanding, drill small holes for the hook hangers and the line tie so that if the centerline is sanded away, they'll be set. Because of the tapers, the shaping limit lines will converge too soon at the nose and tail of the bait, so you'll need to take less material off at both ends than the lines will indicate, but they nonetheless help keep you symmetrical on both sides.

All this line drawing takes time - 10-15 minutes per bait. If you build 100 baits a week of the same design, it would be "not very smart" to do a layout for each bait; you'd have templates and jigs to shape your baits quickly and accurately. But if you're a hobby builder who builds in batches of a few baits and changes bait designs to suit your whim, you still need a guide to get a symmetrical bait, and this method will help.

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Hey IPOCK, I got a Dremel routing table to try for rounding over baits - until I discovered that the only round-over bit Dremel sells is 1/8" diameter. That's just too small for me. Do you use that bit or have you found other bits to use?

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Thank all of you guys for your help. I do have a couple of more questions. One is to ipock, where do i get the dremel router table and how well does it work. Should I invest in a band saw? Will it really make that big of a difference. What about a lathe? Where do I get the right angle gauges and a good compass? Once again thank everyone for there help. :)

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I use a Staedtler-Mars compass (got it from one of my kids when he decided an engineering degree wasn't for him!:(). I've seen them in Michaels hobby stores and college book stores. It has 2 arms and a wheel in between to adjust the spread. Each arm has a small clamp to hold either a steel point or a lead. I haven't tried the cheap stamped steel student compasses in which you clamp a pencil. IMO they seem a bit flimsy for accurate work on small objects like crankbaits - but they might work OK.

I found the Dremel routing table works OK but the biggest bit is a 1/8" round over bit, which is too small to be useful IMO. It's also a little fussy to clamp the Dremel tool into the table, so you might want to dedicate a Dremel tool to the router table if you try one.

Your scroll saw is OK for cutting out blanks and lip slots; it's what I use. If I had it to do over, I'd get a small band saw instead because it's much faster. But the scroll saw does a good job and it's safe - just much slower on thick hardwoods. BTW, I suggest using the "big" .187" wide blades with 10 TPI. They don't break, bend less and are still thin enough to follow the contours on a crankbait. Tip - the kerf on this blade is perfect for cutting the lip slot for a .032" circuit board lip in one pass. 2 blade widths for a 1/16" lip slot for Lexan.

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Like Bob said, the compass with the wheel to spread the legs (springbow compass) are the best. You can buy a really cheap pair, without the wheel, but you will be forever re-checking your work, because they easily slip.

I've just come up from my workshop, after trying to draw a 125 radius arc. It was a disaster, because the legs kept moving (no wheel!). In the end, I had to make a template. The pain.

Dave

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@ thorium06

Any bigger toolshop should have all the stuff , that you need .

Like BobP said , a bandsaw is the fastest and most accurate way to go cutting out blanks from rectangular stock , also for lipslots .

A lathe is another basic machinery for the luremaker , but yet not absolutely neccessary , really depends on the style of lures , that you want to build , flat-bodied ones or rather more spindle-shaped blanks .

There are tutorials and threads about lathes in here , about which type to look for and also how to work with them , just do a search .

good luck , diemai:yay:

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