Balsa Bait Lip slots
11 replies to this topic
Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:46 PM
After reading several threads and especially those by very experienced balsa bait makers, it seems that cutting the slot is done after completing painting and after applying the final seal coat. This seems tricky to keep the cut straight and avoid chipping or damaging the paint.
Do I understand this sequence correctly? How is the cut made straight at this point in the process? Why is this the desirable point to make the slot?
Thanks, (the more I read and learn the more my novice status is solidified)
Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:10 PM
I always cut my lip slots while the wood is still square, before I even cut the bait out. This way your lip sot will be square. For myself its easier than trying to cut out after you round the bait over and miscut with a bad angle.
Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:12 PM
Yes, but this is more often the case as it is less labor intensive for people doing repeat production of lures. often these makers may dip sealer and/or base coat or colors as it is faster, but this messes up a lip slot. If you're making a lot of the same bait, then you can make a jig to cradle the bait in the right position for duplicating the saw cut correctly.
For building one off prototypes, or for the hobbiest, it's generally easier to align and cut while still squared off.
Hope this helps!
Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:58 PM
Clemmy, I always use a bib that I insert while painting. A peice of masking tape on the bib will wedge the lip in place. I would hate to take the time painting to only cut a bad lip angle at the end. I guess it would really matter depending on how you seal your baits.
Edited by jamie, 06 July 2009 - 06:00 PM.
Posted 06 July 2009 - 10:07 PM
I eyeball cut all my lip slots after shaping using a hand saw (I just draw a line on one side and cut - you can see the line). No problems other than occasionally (1 out of about 5 baits) I will need to fine tune the lip by filing. Rapala used to do the same thing (fine tune action by filing lips) when they were made in Finland. Here is my first and only balsa bait (AC Shiner 450 Clone). It was an awesome bait catching 4-5 fish in 30 minutes, before my line broke after a big tug. I'm getting into the balsa minnows! Working on another 450 and a 375. The reason it doesn't look like balsa is bc I was messing around with some paint.
If you cut the slot when the block is still square, how do you know you will shape it symettrically about the slot cut?
Posted 07 July 2009 - 12:06 AM
BTW if I had a band saw, I would try out your way for sure. I do it the way I do it out of necessity.
Posted 07 July 2009 - 05:11 AM
Right now I'm cutting the slots with a band saw while the bait is still flat. Regarding the shaping of the bait around the slot, maybe a centerline along the length of the bait would help with symetry.
Clemmy: Would a band saw crack a hard finish like D2T if the cut is made at the end? I may have to just try this to find out. I'm lookin' to find a faster way. Its amazing how much time I spend on new wrinkles each attempt; mostly fiddle diddling.
I did view the Video by the Finnish artist (several times actually).
Posted 07 July 2009 - 11:10 AM
I cut my lip slot while I still have a flat side to work with as this helps keep the lip slot square. However, I go one step further. I don't worry so much about getting the exact size for the lip with the saw. Once I cut the slot on my bandsaw I use a diamond bit (which looks like a very small drum sander) in my Dremel to size the slot perfectly. If your lip is 1/8th-in thick, just use the 1/8th diamond bit and run it through the slot. The bit will follow right along in the slot. No wandering off track. The final cut makes a nice snug fit. Same size every time. And it takes less than a minute to do.
The diamond bits are not true Dremel bits. They are made by several other manufacturers and come in different styles, sizes, and shaft sizes and are almost indestructible. The bits that I use for the lip slot look like the ones in the link below. You can find them at flea markets sometimes as individual bits for around $2.00 a piece. Harbor Freight sells a set of 20 assorted bits for $4.99. If you need more information, just ask and I'll see what I can do for you.
Edited by Lincoya, 07 July 2009 - 11:58 AM.
Posted 07 July 2009 - 01:29 PM
Well, since i dont have a table saw, I have gone to using a mitre box. There are some that have a 45degree slot at the end that cuts horizontal instead of vertically down on wood. It I want to reduce the angle from 45 degrees I can shim and clamp the bait to the mitre wall. Here is the pic of the one I use, you can see the angle I use all the way at the end of the box. If you like to vary your lips you can just get a series of shims to go under your bait like, 20 degree, 30 degree , etc.
Posted 07 July 2009 - 07:10 PM
Lincoya; thanks for the generous offer! I'm currently using 1/16 in. thick Micarta and the band saw cut kerf is a good match. I am a frequent visitor at the local Harbor Freight; I will look for the bits you mentioned.
Posted 07 July 2009 - 07:55 PM
I use a center line and I also mark a line on the top and side of the bait to show what I need to trim off, that way you will trimm the same amount of wood off each side of your bait. This helps when making smaller cranks because every mistake magnifys a negetive action to the bait when dealing with smaller baits. Each side of the bait should be a mirror to the other side,The larger the bait bait the more you can get away with as far as imperfections.