hybrideye

My Thread

27 posts in this topic

Well, I finally got a couple baits cut out and sanded. I used a piece of scrap 3/4" Plywood I had laying around as a starter piece. I have a lot of excitement about this new hobby but at the same time I am thinking how in the "bleep", what in the "bleep" "bleep" do I do now! For my first baits I chose the one piece body based on searching and a few tips from the guys on here. I think I can get the hang of the through-wire, but I think, or should I say thought the one piece would be easier to start with.

I found out quickly that sanding is a whole lot of technique, as I ruined the first bait. I am a big Lucky Craft fan so I want to make something close to a pointer style bait, I love the action of the pointers. I have 2 designs I am think about that will have a larger profile from the nose past the belly. I also have a standard crankbait, which actually turned out the best of all 4. I don't want to go on and on, so without further a-do.....I present my first attempt! Oh, and to the guys who use the Dremel to slot the bill.....you guys rock! As you will see my first attempt was anything but rockin!

2.25" Crank before and after

101_4666.jpg

My "rockin" attempt with a Dremel....holy crap! Yes it is just a piece of poster board....:blink:

101_4658.jpg

3.5" Jerk I lost most of the belly shape while sanding.....also figured out I need to scale by factor to allow for sanding overstock:rolleyes:

101_4661-1.jpg

This is a bait I named Lulu in honor of a fishing buddy's ex! 9"...... I don't know what to call it:P

101_4664.jpg

Edited by hybrideye

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Please comment and critique, I know I have a long way to go. I will be glad to answer any questions you have on how or why I did something. I didn't want to ramble too much initially. Thanks!

Edited by hybrideye

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Those are nicely shaped but considering the amount of hand work that goes into making a crankbait, I think it's worthwhile to start with a wood that has a consistent texture and more buoyancy. The glue laminations in plywood make shaping and sanding difficult and they lower the buoyancy of the material. A solid hardwood like basswood or cedar would be a better. Cutting a lip slot with a Dremel is a last resort to be used only on pre-formed store bought wood bodies. When I do it, I cut the slot extra wide so I have enough "slop" room to install the lip straight using epoxy putty. But it's way better to cut the lip slot with a saw (scroll, band, table, hand - whatever saw you have) immediately after you cut out the basic blank, while everything is still square - but hey, you probably figured that out by now! Also, you did not mention ballast. Just like boats, crankbaits require ballast to stay upright in the water and to stabilize them while swimming. The hooks are a form of ballast but most wood baits also require added ballast in the belly to stabilize the bait and keep it upright while swimming. You've come up with some very nice shapes. They should make interesting crankbaits.

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Those are nicely shaped but considering the amount of hand work that goes into making a crankbait, I think it's worthwhile to start with a wood that has a consistent texture and more buoyancy. The glue laminations in plywood make shaping and sanding difficult and they lower the buoyancy of the material. A solid hardwood like basswood or cedar would be a better. Cutting a lip slot with a Dremel is a last resort to be used only on pre-formed store bought wood bodies. When I do it, I cut the slot extra wide so I have enough "slop" room to install the lip straight using epoxy putty. But it's way better to cut the lip slot with a saw (scroll, band, table, hand - whatever saw you have) immediately after you cut out the basic blank, while everything is still square - but hey, you probably figured that out by now! Also, you did not mention ballast. Just like boats, crankbaits require ballast to stay upright in the water and to stabilize them while swimming. The hooks are a form of ballast but most wood baits also require added ballast in the belly to stabilize the bait and keep it upright while swimming. You've come up with some very nice shapes. They should make interesting crankbaits.

I definitely see your points on both sanding and the slotting. Thank you for sending me in the right direction in regards to ballast, I am in the process of obtaining a truck load of wood waste from a local shop. It will consist of a mixed bag of wood types, I actually just wanted to start on something so the plywood was available! I wasn't intending on making a finished bait from it. I am in the process of making a jig for the lip angles, I found a thread on here that gave me some ideas. Thanks again for the advice, I will keep at it and eventually come up with a finished bait.

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Something I realized after making a few baits - Don't skimp on the raw materials. The cost of materials are nothing compared to the work you'll put into building a crankbait. And if you skimp, all the hard work will be wasted because you really can't turn a sow's ear into a silk purse.

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Something I realized after making a few baits - Don't skimp on the raw materials. The cost of materials are nothing compared to the work you'll put into building a crankbait. And if you skimp, all the hard work will be wasted because you really can't turn a sow's ear into a silk purse.

So I shouldn't be using the wood from the shop? It is all kiln dried wood, oak, cherry, maple, poplar, etc. The left over or "waste" is basically cubes maybe 10"x3" and I can get it at a good cost.

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The most popular crankbait woods are balsa (11-18 lbs/cu ft), basswood (23 lbs/cu ft), and white cedar (20 lbs/cu ft). They're popular for good reason - they are lower in density than other woods and are generally considered to make better crankbaits. Low density = buoyancy = lively action.

Here are nominal densities for the woods you mentioned. Nominal means 'averaged from a number of samples with a standard moisture content'. An actual sample will vary somewhat according to growing conditions, environment, and what part of the tree the wood came from. But the nominal density is useful for comparing wood species.

Cherry 31.2

Maple 47.1

Oak 47.4

Poplar 26.2

Walnut 34.3

The density of water is 62.4 lbs/cu ft and all of these woods float. But when you add ballast, hardware, lip, and finish, you can get a sinking lure pretty quickly if you use wood that is too dense. Hope this helps!

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So I shouldn't be using the wood from the shop? It is all kiln dried wood, oak, cherry, maple, poplar, etc. The left over or "waste" is basically cubes maybe 10"x3" and I can get it at a good cost.

I love poplar wood. It is very tough, and still very buoyant, so the crankbaits can have a very lively action. And you have to bear in mind that a lively action of a crankbait is not solely the result of a very buoyant wood you have used to make it. It also depends on many other factors. Hope you will agree on this in some time ... :)

The wood, even if it was kiln dried, will take in moisture from the air. After I finished shaping and sanding the crankbait, I would install the hardware, then I would dry the blank in a dried, warm place, before I would put a coat of anything on the lure.

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I love poplar wood. It is very tough, and still very buoyant, so the crankbaits can have a very lively action. And you have to bear in mind that a lively action of a crankbait is not solely the result of a very buoyant wood you have used to make it. It also depends on many other factors. Hope you will agree on this in some time ... :)

The wood, even if it was kiln dried, will take in moisture from the air. After I finished shaping and sanding the crankbait, I would install the hardware, then I would dry the blank in a dried, warm place, before I would put a coat of anything on the lure.

Thanks for the input guys I have learned more from reading these posts than I could have otherwise for sure. I never really thought of the ballast aspect but I will keep that stored away in my teeny tiny brain. I am hoping to hear something back from the shop in the next few days as to when and how much wood I can get. I guess on the bright side I will have plenty of test blanks to play around with.

Fatfingers, I can definitely see how a flat bait will be easier to slot!!! That first attempt was merely an overly excited adult playing with a Dremel!

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Another concern is stock removal, I marked the center line of the plywood but it really didn't do a whole lot for me while I was rounding off the mid section of the bait and shaping it.

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Some guys say little inconsistencies in the shape of a crankbait give it character and make it better. Yeah, right! :nuhuh: You want your bait to be symmetrical and if you shape a bait by hand from a cut out blank as many of us do, it pays to mark up everything you can before you remove any wood. I can't eyeball a raw wood sanded bait and tell whether it is symmetrical. The compound curves and wood grain will fool you every time. What looks "straight" from one angle will look crooked from another. So I mark up everything I can. Mark and cut the lip slot first. You want a center line to locate the hook hangers, ballast, and line tie. You want to mark the head and tail tapers. I also mark lines to serve as limit lines where I will be rounding over the corners of the blank. A compass, a 6" plastic ruler, and a sharp pencil are your friends.

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BobP, according to the data you have, basswood is lighter than poplar. But the poplar wood I have is lighter than the basswood. In fact, I do not have basswood, but lime, or linden tree, as it is called in Europe, including England. They both belong to the same family, the Tilia.It took me a long time before I could figure out what basswood is. It seems that basswood is lighter than lime. Click on Tilia americana and then on Tilia europaea in the link below:

http://www.worldagroforestry.org/Sea/Products/AFDbases/wd/asps/SearchSimple.asp

The following link shows how much the density can vary for poplar and basswood:

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/wood-density-d_40.html

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I have just got my first piece of Atlantic White Cedar, I was a little kid on Christmas too! 48"x 6"x13/16"..... $3.70

Anyway, I have an idea for shaping that I want to run by you. Picture a contour map, each line on the map represents a certain elevation. What if I could do that with the shape of my drawings? Has anyone done this? I can transfer the drawing to computer and re-size smaller and smaller until I reach the desired "contour", print the final out on sticker which then will be put onto a flat sided bait. The lines will then be used as visual references for sanding.

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Well I finally got around to working with my piece of White Cedar. I cut out a stencil of the 3 baits I want to try. After throwing an 8" piece of the Cedar off the table saw I made my outlines and started cutting on the scroll. I marked my center, finish thickness, but was having issues figuring out how much taper and how to do it so I just guessed. I dont have any fine grit so i used a 200 grit belt and 400 (I think) paper. I am working on making a jig for this particular bait and will use it to put the bill slot in. I also tried the 5" jerk bait and completely failed on it as you will see, I ended up just goofing around with the sander until I got bored with it. Sorry for teh quality of the pics but our battery died in the digital and haven't gotten around to getting one.

Is there one more important than the other as far as symmetry and taper?

after cutting the blank, I broke the blade that was in my saw too!

scrollsaw.jpg

2 of the Shad bodies and my franken-jerk

3baits.jpg

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@ hybrideye

These new blanks are looking a lot better than your first ones of plywood !

But you really should have cut the lip slots on the shad bodies as long as they were still square .

I guess , that symmetry of a lure blank is always more important than the body taper towards tail and back , ............the smaller a lure blank is , the more accurate it has to be shaped ,......... f. e. little flaws in terms of symmetry on a 8" muskie crank won't have such a great negative effect as they would have on a 2" perch crank .

A crankbait lure blank , that it not sufficiently tapered or rounded, would not wiggle as much as a more streamlined blank , thus sport less action , .......simply because these tapers and roundings of back and belly of its body provide less resistance in the water .

This also counts for flat bodied glider jerkbaits ,......... models with thoroughly rounded backs and belly usually do perform a better glide than models with having only broken edges on the transitions of back , belly and its flanks .

Otherwise on a swimbait you will want the first head section not to be too streamlined , as it has to generate commotion and vortices in the water , that help to get the entire bait to do its typical "snake" motion .

These are just rules of thumb , that I 've learned about during my luremaking carreer , certainly there might be exceptions to the rule !

Always try to work as accurate as you can on your lures , ........guess if you are taking possible flaws into consideration right from the start , they would occur automatically ,............small blemishes and inaccuracies can be fixed with wood filler , anyway !

good luck , diemai :yay:

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@ hybrideye

These new blanks are looking a lot better than your first ones of plywood !

But you really should have cut the lip slots on the shad bodies as long as they were still square .

I guess , that symmetry of a lure blank is always more important than the body taper towards tail and back , ............the smaller a lure blank is , the more accurate it has to be shaped ,......... f. e. little flaws in terms of symmetry on a 8" muskie crank won't have such a great negative effect as they would have on a 2" perch crank .

A crankbait lure blank , that it not sufficiently tapered or rounded, would not wiggle as much as a more streamlined blank , thus sport less action , .......simply because these tapers and roundings of back and belly of its body provide less resistance in the water .

This also counts for flat bodied glider jerkbaits ,......... models with thoroughly rounded backs and belly usually do perform a better glide than models with having only broken edges on the transitions of back , belly and its flanks .

Otherwise on a swimbait you will want the first head section not to be too streamlined , as it has to generate commotion and vortices in the water , that help to get the entire bait to do its typical "snake" motion .

These are just rules of thumb , that I 've learned about during my luremaking carreer , certainly there might be exceptions to the rule !

Always try to work as accurate as you can on your lures , ........guess if you are taking possible flaws into consideration right from the start , they would occur automatically ,............small blemishes and inaccuracies can be fixed with wood filler , anyway !

good luck , diemai :yay:

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Well I finally got around to working with my piece of White Cedar. I cut out a stencil of the 3 baits I want to try. After throwing an 8" piece of the Cedar off the table saw I made my outlines and started cutting on the scroll. I marked my center, finish thickness, but was having issues figuring out how much taper and how to do it so I just guessed. I dont have any fine grit so i used a 200 grit belt and 400 (I think) paper. I am working on making a jig for this particular bait and will use it to put the bill slot in. I also tried the 5" jerk bait and completely failed on it as you will see, I ended up just goofing around with the sander until I got bored with it. Sorry for teh quality of the pics but our battery died in the digital and haven't gotten around to getting one.

Is there one more important than the other as far as symmetry and taper?

after cutting the blank, I broke the blade that was in my saw too!

scrollsaw.jpg

2 of the Shad bodies and my franken-jerk

3baits.jpg

Your shapes are great---the shape of the lips & positioning will also have a bearing on the swimming motion .......http://www.angelfire.com/tn/treetotreasure/lips.html is an earlier post on TU that helps explain how the lips will effect the motion.....www.crankbaitcentral.com....ABC's of the crankbait........www.lurecrafters.com has freedownloads for divelip patterns.....just another step in our addiction...LOL

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@ genekickinit

Nice site , that "crankbaitcentral" , .......thanks a lot for sharing !

greetz , diemai :yay:

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Demai, thanks for the advice!:D I sometimes get way ahead of myself, I now understand fully why it is easier with the square sides. Now you slot them with the table saw or what? I don't like the thought of that and was looking into modifying a piece of bar stock to make a chuck for a drill press, I can get a slide table with in feed and cross feed from a friend.

Gene,

Great links, I was on lurecraft and missed the downloads, Thanks again!

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@ hybrideye

Exactly ,what I am using , ........got a small hobby routing machine , nothing else but a drill press with feed and crosswise feed table and a machine vise fixed onto it !

I have an approx. 3" dia. round saw blade with a shaft to chuck into the drill ,..... that one takes care of any liplots , only make sure to set the vise in a way parallel to the feed direction of the table to have everything accurately angled .

Just draw a pencil line on the still rectangular blank where you want your lipslot to be and set that line level to the sawblade inside of the vise by eyeballing , .......if not sure about right level , you may just scratch over the blanks surface with the sawblade to determine about direction , possibly alter the blanks position in the vise , .........that little flaw would later vanish anyway , when finally shaping the lure body .

Since I am using this method for my lipslots , I don't have any issues anymore about inaccurate lipslots running out of plane and angle .

But you need to make sure to shape your blank symetrically afterwards , .........I always draw a center line around the blanks outline , .......this one is one of my references leaving it untouched until almost the final fine sanding of the body .

good luck , diemai :yay:

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Demai, thank you for your help. I will try and post up some pics when I get the mod done for the saw blade. I am also going to use it for attaching smaller sized drum to do more detailed radii (after I get comfortable with the basics!). Just picked up some more blades for the saw, am headed to the lake tomorrow for some Walleye and Crappie then will start fresh using the tips you guys have given me.....

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@ hybrideye

Good luck fishing , .........I'm envious , ....still got predators closing time around here , ....ends 1st of May :( !

greetz , diemai :yay:

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Well I have an airbrush, Paasche VLS, it is on loan to me from a friend. I just couldn't make up my mind on how far I wanted to go with the brush. he said he's never used it and I asked if I could break it in for him. I feel good about having the brush, I have been watching some tutorials and reading as much as I can on airbrushing. Once I got the brush in my hands I was kind of intimidated, but with practice I think I can do o.k.

I also took everyones advice on slotting my baits and it is definitely the way to go. I used my scroll saw, marked my angle and width and made my cuts. I will post up the pics of the bait later, but thanks again for saving me a bunch of headache and unnecessary work! I was very pleased with my new bait, and am progressively getting better at my sanding and shaping. I am terrible at the search option, what type of wire will I need for my line tie? Also, how thick is too thick for the lip? I have lexan that is .100 thick, which would mean my slot would need to be wider to allow for the epoxy to adhere and set up. Is .125 to wide for the slot? I have a bunch of lexan in that thickness and if possible would like to use it up.

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