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Swimbait Hinge Slots
13 replies to this topic
Posted 02 April 2011 - 10:01 AM
I am making a few swimbaits at the moment, to try out different ideas, experiments to decide how I am going to build all my swimmers in future.
Two of the operations are a real pain:
1 - forming the hardware wires. I have solved this one with a Vman special jig, LOL.
2 - cutting the slots. I really hate this operation. Currently, I dremel out the slots with a combination of drill, mill and a metal abrasion bit. The results work, but not very pretty, difficult to control and time consuming.
I have just fired up the CAD to try and design a solution. Could be an all-nighter, got some beers in.
So, how do you cut your slots?
Posted 02 April 2011 - 03:40 PM
As I have never made one, I would think it might work to cut the notches while the stock is still square. I would make a jig to stand the piece up right and cut it with a table saw for accuracy. Or I would cut it on a band saw for ease, but not quite as accurate. And it could be I am missing the whole concept without knowing the type of joint you intend to make, I'm assuming a simple finger joint with wire through for movement. They also make a dove tail attachment for a router that would make a tight fit which could be sanded looser. Then there is the hand saw straight cut and chisel out the rest of the wood. Could you show a sample of the type joint you intend to use. Musky Glenn
Posted 02 April 2011 - 11:34 PM
Thanks for the input guys.
I did not explain myself clearly and misled you. The slots do not go right through the body, they are hidden or blind hinge joints. I know blind joints are not essential to how the lure works, but I really like how they look and would like to stick with them.
Musky Glenn - the body will be carved to shape (duplicator machine) before cutting into sections, so the square stock is not an option.
Dsaavedra - I have that attachment, it is ferrrrocious. (I like your swimbaits).
Posted 03 April 2011 - 08:46 AM
I drill two 5/16" holes at the drill press, and then enlarge them with a dremel and sanding cylinder.
I use sst screw eyes, not twist wires, so I can bend the eyes slightly to limit the amount of vertical play as I need to. I'm not sure twist wire would be stiff enough to hold a bend like that, so smaller pilot holes might be needed.
Posted 03 April 2011 - 08:57 AM
That photo clears up a lot of questions and throws my ideas out the window. I agree with Mark Poulson on the easiest way to make the holes. A holding jig for the lure part would make for consistent duplication of the boring process.
I have a question concerning the through pin, how far is it from the front or back end of the lure? Musky Glenn
Posted 03 April 2011 - 09:10 AM
I build with PVC, so my pin holes are about 3/16" from the joint face. Err on the side of too far in. You can always sand off some material to get the joint looser, but you can't replace material once it's lost.
I use a small bit to drill a pilot pin hole, correcting alignment as needed with it, and then use the pin sized bit to ream out the holes once they're positioned correctly.
Posted 03 April 2011 - 12:04 PM
My holes start out 8mm in, after the parting of the segments and shaping operation, they are around 6mm to 7mm. I think this is more than enough, especially with the denser woods. It is on my list to do some pull tests on much smaller gaps, to see what the safety margin is.
As for the slot, I like the two holes and clean out in between. I am using 1.5mm diameter brass links and 2mm dia brass pins. I am folding them rather than twisting. They passed the pull testing with flying colors. They can hold the bend to adjust the hinge OK, but only a big fish test will tell all. I have just bought 10m of 1mm SS wire and the 1.5mm brass is stiffer.
I am considering a router solution for the slots, but the jig that I designed last night, is a major build. If I was going to build hundreds of these, it would be worth it, but I don't have any plans for those kind of numbers. Respect to those that build a lot of these monsters, they require a lot of effort. I estimate five cranks equals one swimbait.
Edited by Vodkaman, 03 April 2011 - 12:06 PM.
Posted 03 April 2011 - 12:25 PM
I would try making a jib for a drill press in order to drill the bulk of those oval holes out. Either a L or U shaped jig that would let you hold the lure in place vertically. Drill first hole, add a shim, repeat until oval is complete, then flip lure around and start over. It will probably require a bit of clean up within the oval to get them perfect.
Posted 04 April 2011 - 03:41 PM
I simply use a carving knife to start the slot by chipping a small "V" where the slot will go. Then use a cylinder shaped dremel bit and go as deep as necessary. I attached a picture of the joint.
Posted 04 April 2011 - 11:36 PM
looks like the wood you are using is similar to balsa ( judging from the picture ) and reasonably soft. try this, get a screwdriver approx. the size of the slot you want or something
similar. heat it with a propane torch and press it into the wood where you want the slot. you can wiggle it around to enlarge the slot. it may take a couple of heatings. i just tried it on the edge of my work table ( old door, haha ). two heatings and i could get it in about 8mm.
p.s. any luck with the free sample of azek from vintage woodworks?
Posted 05 April 2011 - 12:15 AM
You guys have given me lots of ideas to think about and try.
Thanks for the feedback. I will report back on what I decide on.
Posted 05 April 2011 - 04:34 PM
This will not help with wood, but with casting/injecting I utilize removable inserts in the molds and after the material is cast I simply remove the inserts leaving the hole. I use this technique to eliminate all post processing (drilling, cutting, etc.) for the joints on my swimbaits.