kxbat

Where to buy wood?

22 posts in this topic

I am new to this. where do you guys get your wood. what types do like to use? and what woods are better for which bait?

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I order wood on the internet from sources I find in Google. The source usually changes between batches as prices change and businesses start-fail, etc. You can often find some wood at home centers and hobby shops (balsa, basswood). Personally, I use 3 types of wood: Basswood, a hardwood with a density of about 23 lbs/cu ft. It's good for many types of baits, its grain structure is negligible, and it's easy to shape and sand. Paulownia is another hardwood but less dense at about 18 lbs/cu ft. It has sometimes difficult grain that can be hard to shape and sand, but it is a very buoyant hardwood and makes a lively bait. Balsa is the most buoyant soft wood with a density of anywhere between 6 and 18 lbs/cu ft. Balsa is easy to shape, makes the most buoyant, lively baits, but its softness requires thru-wire building techniques to make baits durable. The more dense (and therefore harder) balsas are favored by lure builders. It's worth specifying density with your supplier to get harder balsa between 12-18 lbs/cu fit. Generally speaking, the softer and more buoyant the wood, the more popular it is for shallow running baits that are going to be fished through and around cover. The less buoyant and harder the wood, the more often it is used for medium and deep diving baits where buoyancy is limited, and is often counteracted by ballast to get diving depth. You want kiln dried wood with limited moisture content.

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Depends on what your building. The most agreeable wood I have found to work with is just poplar. I have tried basswood and balsa and those are good for round crankbaits etc., but I like the strength and smoothness poplar gives. It sands really smooth and is pretty easy to seal. Balsa and basswood are good starting woods though because they are easier to cut into shapes. The more you learn what shapes you want, i move more toward poplar for minnow, swimbait, lipless crankbaits, and flat sided cranks.. It is all up to you though, the thing with softer woods also is, using a through-wire construction. With poplar I can just expoy the screw eyes in and know the woods density will hold.

I get 1/2"x 2" slats from homedepot for a $ or two. can also get 3/4"x 3".

I repeated what Bob said a little, but just another perspective.

Edited by atrophius

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I get my balsa from www.nationalbalsa.com I got it fast and it was good wood.

Well I have gotten two orders from NationalBalsa the first was great and the second had a mix of some very grainy balsa that I have not been wild about, but overall pretty good, plus reasonable prices. I tend to order larger blocks and rip it down to size.

Basswood, I have gotten from a couple of places but Hobbylinc had about the best prices for the sizes I wanted to order and it has all been top quality.

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I use aspen and birch a lot for musky lures. There's enough waste wood in the forests that I just set some aside a year in advance for it to dry, or sometimes stumble onto a piece that's dry enough to use as is. Key word for me is FREE.

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I really like using cedar. It is very bouyant, and sands easily. Most of the old antique lures were made of cedar over the years. A lot of woods will want to rot once water gets to it and if your fishing for musky their teeth will surely get to your wood. But cedar doesn't really rot like other woods when exposed to water. Most old telephone poles were cedar for that reason and if you know anyone who works for a power company when they replace poles you might be able to pick up a few. I've tried a few different types of wood over the years and to me cedar is one of the best. just my opinion.

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Is there a concensus on the type of cedar? Eastern, Western, Red, ???

I have stripped down and redone a few older large pike/musky topwater and prop baits and they were cedar, and dipped in I don't know what, but they were hard as rock compared to raw cedar. So is there a concensus on sealing them when using Cedar for Musky?

Is there a spot to order cedar or if I go to the local lumber yard here in North Carolina will they have what I need? I would like to try making a larger prop bait for my northern friends. So suggestions on length and patterns to paint as well as which cedar would be appreciated.

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The two types of cedar that I hear most commonly referred to over on SurfTalk by guys making muskie/striper/bluefish lures are western red cedar and alaskan yellow cedar, if that helps. Western red is easier to find and cheaper but everyone I have read posts from who uses AYC gives it glowing reviews but it is pretty damn expensive.

Maybe fatfingers will chime in. He makes alot of muskie lures and he seems to use western red cedar frequently.

Edited by SmokeyJ

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I use aspen and birch a lot for musky lures. There's enough waste wood in the forests that I just set some aside a year in advance for it to dry, or sometimes stumble onto a piece that's dry enough to use as is. Key word for me is FREE.

I'm new here so "Hello" to you all. I have to say that I agree with the FREE bit above. Cedar is nice to work with and wherever you can find a stand of them growing, there are bound to be a few that are dead, but still upright. Get the necessary permissions and chop, chop, chop. Most decent lumberyards will have a fair selection of woods in various forms (fence posts, dowels, etc.) that you could choose from. As earlier stated, birch is good, but in my experience, is too soft and rotted when found dead in the woods... but a trip to the local firewood supplier might get you some well-seasoned chunks to use. As for the "best woods for which kind of lure" part of the question, I'll leave that for the experts... as I'm still learning that one myself. Anybody out there ever try yellow pine for lures??

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How much free wood do you want? Every time that you go to the lake fishing how much wood do you see on the banks? Besides making my own lures I also carve human faces and I pick up all of the wood I could want for carving. All you have to do is pick it up, take it home, cut it into usable pieces and make lures out of it. You will need to learn a little about what your picking up, if that important to you though. If it doesn't make a difference, you're set. The wood is also cured and ready to use. In other words, no long wait for drying. If you want cedar (eastern red) or juniper, they aren't hard to spot once you know what you're looking for. They are usually very slick and a silver gray color on the outside. Around Percy Priest Lake alone here in Tennessee there is enough eastern red cedar to keep all of us in lure making wood for the next several years. No joke! Besides, while you're out there collecting wood you can restock your tackle box with lures that other fishermen have lost throughout the year.

Gene

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where in wal-mart did you find blocks of basswood?? I looked around this evening and didn't see wood of any sort.

I checked the michael's next door, for a 4x3x10 block, they wanted $30! Little pricey, eh?

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If you want basswood try this link: Heinecke Wood Products . They have excellent quality basswood at the best prices that you can find anywhere. No, I don;t get any kickback from them.:lol:

Gene

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where in wal-mart did you find blocks of basswood?? I looked around this evening and didn't see wood of any sort.

I checked the michael's next door, for a 4x3x10 block, they wanted $30! Little pricey, eh?

craft section, by the paints and yarns and such.

its not a block though. its a 5"x7"x3/8" plaque of basswood plywood.

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I'm with Captain and Wayupnorth, free is my favorite 4 letter "F" word. I come about it a little different though, there is a small time saw mill just down the way from my house so I drop off a few 5 gallon buckets from time to time an then go back and pick them up a week or so later and have more Cedar, Oak, Walnut, Sycamore, Yellow Pine, Poplar.... heck I've got lots of crap from those guys and because they know me so well and they know I love to play with my lathe if they find something interesting that they normally would throw away they hold onto it for me. They actually just gave me a 25lb dried hickory burl that the guy who dropped off the tree said cut it off and throw it in your wood stove this winter:eek:!!! I am new to the lure craft stuff but I use lots of this stuff for reel seats in rod building and basically just playing around with so I really can't tell you what is good or not but I can tell you if you befriend a small saw mill they can keep you supplied in cut off pieces for a lifetime and a half.

Steve

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I will be making my first wood musky lures soon and was wondering if anyone had used/thought of using a light soft wood and covering it with something like fiberglass resin. This would add weight, but also strength the lure and make it less penetrable.

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I will be making my first wood musky lures soon and was wondering if anyone had used/thought of using a light soft wood and covering it with something like fiberglass resin. This would add weight, but also strength the lure and make it less penetrable.

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Tuma2, I like working with polyester resin. I think it makes a good prep for painting and fixing hardware, twisted eyes etc. It is dificult to get a good level top coat, because it sets very quickly and gives an uneaven surface, not pretty. Maybe I have not found the right method yet.

This resin is brittle, so over a soft wood, would be prone to fracture. Over a hard material, like molded resin, it would have more support.

The big problem is water absorbtion. If you do some googling on the material, especially boat sites, you will read that polyester resin is NOT water proof and so could possibly be problematic in the long term. As I only do prototyping, I have not tested this problem out. I suggest you do some soak tests, before committing to this versatile and cost effective material.

Dave

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Thank you for the information. So is paint with a clear coat the best way to seal up a wood plug?

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Hmm, use soft wood and coat it? Or just use harder wood? Sometimes it seems to me that too many guys try to ice skate uphill.

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