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How Does Everyone Carve Out Hard Wood Blanks?
19 replies to this topic
Posted 31 May 2010 - 03:48 PM
Hello everyone. How do you all Carve out your Uniform Wood blanks? I've had success at it on certain ways of grinding it away with a carbide tipped drum grinder, problem is it can take hours to get it perfectly uniform. Especially because its hard wood. Have any of you guys found a better way to have a little "Mass Producing" method to get a few Lure blanks to look exactly the same way? Thanks a lot everyone
Posted 31 May 2010 - 11:08 PM
I draw out all my shapes on my wood before hand, making sure the outlines are all the same. I just cut the rough shapes out with a scroll saw if it's softer, thinner material like 3/8"birch or poplar, etc. On heavier hardwoods I use a bandsaw. Once I have the basic blank I cut all my lip slots on a table saw, then do my initial shaping, rounding, & smoothing with a bench sander.
Posted 31 May 2010 - 11:51 PM
I've been looking for a band saw but I can't afford one right now. I was using a grinding head on my drillpress and I got the basic shape, But its very hard to copy it and make a second, also it takes a while to complete 1 blank.
Posted 01 June 2010 - 12:01 AM
I think if I was two piece I would either cut them out sandwiched in pairs on the band saw or glue them to a backer and cut them out on the mini mill then Plaster of Paris them off the backer. Then I'ld quick round the edges on the router table. Well, if I did them on the mill I'ld quick round them with a router bit in the mill chuck.
I guess it would be a decision between maximizing the number of blanks per board (bandsaw) or maximizing the number of cuts for my time (mill).
If you really want to do duplicates you want a CNC mini mill atleast to cut out your blanks.
Posted 01 June 2010 - 12:40 AM
It's still hand work , you won't get them all exactly the same shape , at least not in details , also different densities of the wood material(even within one single board or dowel) play their part .
Make ten lures "the same" by hand , and there will always be "the one and only" amongst them , that runs that tad better and wobbles that bit more intense than the rest does and that you'd always tie on constantly , neglecting the rest .
Anyway , I make photocopies of my lure sketches and glue these onto the wood board that(if neccessary) I previously take to required thickness by routing .
At least this way the outline and fittings for hook hankers and lip become the same , for the topview(tail and front taper) I can also use paper templates to work after , but most likely I just draw the pencil outlines by eyeballing after a few given reference lines .
good luck , diemai
Posted 01 June 2010 - 02:16 AM
The cranks you guys make amaze me!! How long does one Crank Bait Take??
Posted 01 June 2010 - 10:06 AM
If you are going to do do your lure in halves, just cut out your blank in one piece, sand both sides smooth, and then split the lure down the middle with your saw. After that you can reverse the halves and glue the smooth sides together. Carve the bandsaw sides to shape and you're finished.
Posted 01 June 2010 - 10:09 AM
I can cut out, hand carve with a knife, and hand sand a crankbait in about 20 minutes.
Posted 02 June 2010 - 08:48 AM
I make mostly jointed lures.
No two of my lures are exactly the same, but they all swim, so it's not as important as with cranks.
Making your lures from the same size stock, tracing patterns for both top/bottom and sides, and marking center lines to use as reference points is key in symetrical shaping, which is especially important in cranks.
Do as much work as you can with the blank still rectangular, so everything is square to the axis of the lure.
I rough cut the blanks on a table saw, trace the lure outline with a paper pattern and a sharpie, and mark where I want the joints. Then I cut the the joints almost through with the table saw, leaving enough meat in each joint to hold the blank together for shaping.
I drill a small through pilot hole for the eyes with the drill press while the blank's still rectangular, so the eyes are symetrically positioned.
I rough cut the profile with a band saw, fine sand to the line with an occilating belt sander, use a compass to mark a center line all the way around the lure so I can check symetry by eye as I shape, and then shape with the belt sander.
Once I've got it shaped, I finish the joint cuts with a drywall knife, or a dovetail saw, and then I lay out my hinges.
I drill out recesses for my screw eyes on the drill press, and enlarge them by hand with an exacto knife.
I drill pilot holes for the screw eyes with a cordless drill, and run the screw eyes in.
I drill the recess for the coiled tail attachment, and for my ballast, on the drill press, using the cutoffs from the initial shaping to keep the lure parts horizontal, since they're now shaped.
I drill shallow depressions for the eyes, and smaller through holes for the eye rattles with the drill press, drilling 1/2 way from each side.
If I had to chose one power tool out of all of them that really makes the process easier, it would be the occilating belt sander.
I can do the blank rough out, the joints, and the rough shaping with hand saws, and all the drilling with a cordless drill, but being able to shape the blank, working to a center line to keep things symetrical, is a lot of work with a sanding block. As it is, I still fine sand and shape by hand, but it's amazing how a 60 grit belt can melt away the material, and an 80 grit belt can smooth out things so fast.
For cranks, I do the same things, but substitute lip slot cutting for joint cutting, while the blank's still rectangular.
It takes me an hour to make a lure, a half hour to add the hinges, hardware, and ballast, and another hour to carve the mouth, fins, and gills, paint and top coat it.
If I have the blanks already roughed out, and the design is one I've done before, I can shape a crank in half an hour, and paint and finish it in another hour.
Edited by mark poulson, 02 June 2010 - 08:52 AM.
Posted 03 June 2010 - 01:02 PM
Wow, Thanks for the help guys, I had thought about Cutting out 2 pieces of 1/8th " Steal and Cutting it to the size of the blank and C-Clamping it and using a Bench grinder and running it along the metal until the wood is the same size as the Metal, Take the lure and run it along the Router Table (which I'm making). That should get it fairly uniform. Actually while writing this I had another idea on how to get the Lures and Screw eyes fairly uniformed. I'll post it when I get it figured out. Does anyone else have any Ideas?
Posted 03 June 2010 - 02:49 PM
I'm more or less just getting started but I have templates cut out of thin plastic (salad container lids). Trace the design on yoru stock, cut it with a bandsaw then mark your midpoint along the entire sawn edge. Take the distance from the edge to your centre line and use that as a gauge to mark a line around the entire face of your lure (on both sides) that'll give you a guide for rounding off your edges with sandpaper.
Sears, Ryobi and alot of the other major tool makers make tabletop/hobby version bandsaws. Usually have abotu a 3.5" to 4" throat on them, all you really need for cutting lure blanks and they usually run between $300 - $500. Just make sure you get a two wheel instead of a three wheel bandsaw, small three wheel bandsaws are hard on blades.
Posted 07 June 2010 - 11:05 AM
From what everyone has been saying I'm going to guess that the best way to do it is with a bandsaw. Do you all use a router to round out the edges?
Posted 07 June 2010 - 02:07 PM
No, you don't need a router.
Routers can be tricky (spell that dangerous) when you're doing small stuff. The bit can grab the work faster than you would believe, and all of a sudden you have a red lure blank, from your blood. Even mounted in a router table, a bit turning at 10,000 rpms is nothing to take for granted. There is a learning curve that can be steep and short, if you don't know what you're doing.
You can use hand tools, like a block plane and sanding blocks with both course and finer paper.
You can even do without the bandsaw. Hand saws or a table saw will do that part fine.
With softer woods, like balsa and pine,a carving knife works fine, followed by sanding blocks.
If you've got the money, an occillating spindle/belt sander does the work faster, and safer, than a router.
Home Depot sells a "cheap" one, in their Rigid line of power tools, that I bought years ago, used on the job, and now use for lures. It's simple, uses standard 4X24 belts, and is portable.
Posted 07 June 2010 - 09:29 PM
I start with a bandsawed blank, then mark a centerline all the way around the piece. Mark and drill all the holes for the hardware and cut the lip slot while the blank is still flat and square. Then using a Foredom high speed grinder with a Typhoon cutter shape the blank. A 2 1/2" to 3" bait can be done, ready for sanding, in about 3min.
If your making flatside baits the router is a perfect tool, easy and fast. You must however make a safe holder for the part, do not try using just fingers. They work great with a pattern and a straight cutting bit for production work, again the key to saftey is in making a holder for the blank.
Posted 07 June 2010 - 10:06 PM
HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMM- Yummy , I just had a look at their website, there is some good gear there- and amazing variety of cutting tools and sanders, can't wait to get back over there and do some shopping.
Posted 08 June 2010 - 06:40 AM
I make all my structural cuts with a table saw. Pretty easy with a good fence and fence clamp. Then I drill out the hinge post holes and test fit the hinges. When all that is done, I will cut out the shape with a scroll/band/coping saw (whichever is available to you) and carve/sand down to the final.
Here is my latest project.
Posted 08 June 2010 - 07:36 AM
Are you able to get a rounded edge with the spindle sander or does it just clean up the Bandsaw marks?
I'm not sure how a spindle sander works.
Edited by DanCampbell, 08 June 2010 - 07:37 AM.
Posted 08 June 2010 - 11:44 AM
The occillating spindle/belt sander I have has a shaft the rotates, and also moves up and down (occillation) so the sandpaper doesn't load up in one spot. There is an attachment with a free center shaft and a belt sander support for using the sanding belts.
I always use the sanding belt attachment, because the ends are circular, so I can get the same sanding shape as the spindle, but I also have the flat belt surface to work with. Basically, it looks like a belt sander on it's side.
The machine came with four different diameter sanding spindles, with removable sand paper, but mine have never been used.
I can shape a lure, with curves all the way around or even circular, if I want it, in five minutes, using a 60 grit belt, and refine it with 80 grit in another minute or two.
Once that's done, I drill for the eye recess, cut the mouth and carve the gills and fins, and then hit it with a hand held vibrater sander with 100 grit to remove any burrs from the last machining, and to further smooth the lure's surface.
I own at least half a dozen routers, including ones I use in router tables, as well as an old hand held router/shaper that was used in boat yards to round over wood handrails and deck trim, but I don't use any of them for lure making.
The Rigid Occillating Sander, from Home Depot, is just too much easier, faster, and safer.
Edited by mark poulson, 08 June 2010 - 11:46 AM.
Posted 09 June 2010 - 11:29 PM
Hmm. Has anyone made any kind of homemade belt sander? I saw on a show they have a Belt sander that's only touching the 2 spindles on each end and someone holds a wood block to the backside of the sanding belt and presses down until the sandpaper is touching what there sanding. I suppose if you put the Wood blank in Bench Clamp And do that It would work pretty good. You could get the top pretty good and then flip it and rotate the Blank however you need to. Mount the belt on a small motor and a Little wheel on the other side, It might work pretty well. Let me know if any of you have tried that yet. I'm going to ATTEMPT to build one =P
Posted 10 June 2010 - 11:29 AM
That type of belt sander, where the belt is run with the grit facing inward, and the work piece is on a table inside the belt, is called a stroke sander, and is used in cabinet shops. Or, at least, it used to be.
I don't think a sander like that would be very usefull for lure building.
If you don't want to buy an occillating sander, you can just clamp a belt sander on it's side to your work bench, and use it that way.
The advantage to a dedicated occillating sander, as opposed to a conventional belt sander, is that both ends of the occillation sander are exposed, so you can use the radius at each end for lure shaping, and not just the flat belt area. Typically, portable belt sanders have the ends either partially or completely covered.
If you decide to make your own sander, one tip I'll give you is to put a couple of wraps of electrical tape around the center of each spindle.
That makes the belt track better, because each side of the belt is trying to climb the bigger diameter in the center. It's the same reason bandsaw wheels are crowned, to draw the sawblade up onto the wheel's center.