Big Bass Man

My 1st Crank Carved Out Of Basswood

18 posts in this topic

I tried my 1st shot at carving a lure out of basswood. Tools I used were a scroll saw, dremmel tool, dremmel engraver, drill and sandpaper. I have a few questions , if someone dont mid answering them. The fine lines around the gill plate area, waht is best used for those? I used the dremmel engraver on those, but didnt come out as smooth as I would have liked. What is the best way to mark the eyes to get them exactly even? What is the best way to cut the lip slot without having a bandsaw? What will be the best ballast weight to use on a crank this size? Sorry for all of the questions, I still have a lot to learn about bait carving. Here are a few pics of my first carved crank.

Thanks,

Patrick

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I'll try to help with a couple of your questions Patrick. I use the formula that Dave (Vodkaman) posted a while back to determine how much ballast to use. The formula will give you the amount of ballast needed to make the lure neutrally buoyant. To make it a slow, medium or fast riser/sinker just subtract or add to that amount.

I always draw a centerline all the way around the perimeter of the bait using a drafting compass right after the lure blank is cut out and before I do any shaping. This gives me reference points for marking hook hanger holes and also helps me in aligning the lip. The center points for the eyes can also be marked off of this line. I find a location on the centerline that will give me the distance back from the nose of the lure to the eyes that I want and then use that point to locate the pin on the compass. Then it's just a matter of adjusting the compass to the desired radius and marking the distance down from the top of the lure to the center of the eye. You can then move the compass to the front of the lure, being sure to keep the pin on the centerline, and marking the distance back from the front of the lure. This makes sure both eyes are on the same centers in both the vertical and horizontal position.

Here's the link to the ballasting formula.

http://www.tackleunderground.com/community/topic/22200-archimedes-dunk-test/page__p__165612__hl__%2Barchimedes+%2B__fromsearch__1#entry165612

Ben

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Thanks Ben!!

I still have a long ways to go on my carving skills. Just thought I would give it a shot, to see how it would go.Nothing like getting out on the front porch and carving!! My dad would have loved it, He used to sit on the front porch and whittle all evening, when I was a teenager. Not sure that this one will swim straight or not, but I am going to give it a try.

Patrick

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If I start from a rectangular block, after gluing the template and rough cutting the profile shape, the first job is cutting the lip slot. If you non't have a bandsaw or scroll saw, a hacksaw does the job just fine. Just keep checking that all the angles are right. It is easier to see if the cut is square from a block than from a carved body. Insert a steel rule in the slot. This magnifies any discrepancies. Slots can always be corrected later, using a Dremel and cutter disk.

The second job is a through drilled hole, 1/16" diameter at the eye position. Again, insert a piece of straight wire through the hole, to magnify any angular imperfections, especially if you are hand drilling. If the angle is off, you can move the block around on the drill bit and make the alignment perfect. The hole is useful if you are using brad point bits to cut an eye recess.

Some members use a folded template to mark the eyes and gill plates. This too, works well if you are just painting eyes.

Dave

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If I start from a rectangular block, after gluing the template and rough cutting the profile shape, the first job is cutting the lip slot. If you non't have a bandsaw or scroll saw, a hacksaw does the job just fine. Just keep checking that all the angles are right. It is easier to see if the cut is square from a block than from a carved body. Insert a steel rule in the slot. This magnifies any discrepancies. Slots can always be corrected later, using a Dremel and cutter disk.

The second job is a through drilled hole, 1/16" diameter at the eye position. Again, insert a piece of straight wire through the hole, to magnify any angular imperfections, especially if you are hand drilling. If the angle is off, you can move the block around on the drill bit and make the alignment perfect. The hole is useful if you are using brad point bits to cut an eye recess.

Some members use a folded template to mark the eyes and gill plates. This too, works well if you are just painting eyes.

Dave

Thanks Dave!!

I have a scroll saw, but wasnt sure that that would cut the lip slot wide enough, never thoght of the hack saw. I am definately going to practice more and try to learn more as I go. I will post results and anything new I learn along the way. I never would have tried this without you guys helping out, Yall are great!!

Patrick

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Thanks Ben!!

I still have a long ways to go on my carving skills. Just thought I would give it a shot, to see how it would go.Nothing like getting out on the front porch and carving!! My dad would have loved it, He used to sit on the front porch and whittle all evening, when I was a teenager. Not sure that this one will swim straight or not, but I am going to give it a try.

Patrick

Patrick it's funny that you mentioned you carve on the front porch because that's where I do most of my carving. Keep up the good work.

- joe

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Patrick it's funny that you mentioned you carve on the front porch because that's where I do most of my carving. Keep up the good work.

- joe

Thanks Joe!!

Brings back memories as a kid growing up. Now to find a comfortable chair for the porch!! Lol Thanks Again for the tip on the fine lines!!

Patrick

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A bandsaw, scroll saw or a hacksaw are all unlikely to give you a slot to the correct width of your lip, depending on what lip material you intend to use of course. My lip material is 2mm thick polycarbonate sheet. I make two parallel cuts and a little bit of jiggling. Parallel cuts are much easier with a machine, such as a bandsaw or scroll saw, as you have more control over the work piece.

It is not a job stopper if the slot ends up too big. You can always pack it out with wood shavings. I prefer to make a small wedge, fitted rear centre, to hold the lip in place. It can be pulled out after glue has set and the top coat will take care of the small hole. I have only recently started using the wedge, but it works very well, especially if using a slow setting adhesive, like D2T.

Dave

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Just remembered something that Dean (Lure_Professor) told me about cutting lip slots without a band or scroll saw. After you cut out the lure profile, while it is still flat, clamp it in a vice so that the lip slot rides on the top edge of the vice. That way you have a square surface that will help guide your hand saw. Just let the blade of the saw follow along on top of the vice jaws making sure the saw is touching both jaws of the vice.

hope this helps,

Ben

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I tried my 1st shot at carving a lure out of basswood. Tools I used were a scroll saw, dremmel tool, dremmel engraver, drill and sandpaper. I have a few questions , if someone dont mid answering them. The fine lines around the gill plate area, waht is best used for those? I used the dremmel engraver on those, but didnt come out as smooth as I would have liked. What is the best way to mark the eyes to get them exactly even? What is the best way to cut the lip slot without having a bandsaw? What will be the best ballast weight to use on a crank this size? Sorry for all of the questions, I still have a lot to learn about bait carving. Here are a few pics of my first carved crank.

Patrick, I always cut the lip slot with the scroll saw immediately after cutting out the basic blank, while everything is still square. It's the only way to insure it will be square to the axis of the bait. I use either epoxy putty or epoxy paste to mount lips because the epoxy will fill any gaps as needed in a sloppy slot and will not drip out like liquid epoxy. In addition to the standard Dremel tips, I also use 1/8" shank bits from other manufacturers, often ordered from texaswoodcarvers.com. A tungsten toothed cylinder shaping bit is handy for drilling neat eye recesses. As for the gill plate recesses, it's hard to do a neat job with a Dremel due to differences in wood grain and hardness. I haven't found a perfect way to do that. Personally, I just paint gill plates with red paint through a stencil because it looks neater and to me, just as realistic. I know lots of 3D features are popular but real fish don't usually have much 3D variation. Ben gave good advice on laying out a center line to locate the ballast and hardware. I also use a compass to lay out "shaping limits" on the shoulders and belly before I start rounding it over. That helps in getting the bait symmetrical, which is really important to performance.

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Hi Patrick

Nice work! Carving takes time but fun.

I just wanted to add this bit on cutting the lip slot. If you need a large one, a table saw does a nice job. One cut and your done. i use a wood clamp to hold my work while cutting. The clamp will need app 1/4 inch of padding to keep from maring your work. I took a foam place matt like one finds at hobby lobby for kids to decorate their own dinner mat to make mine. Cutting and glueing together until thick enough to protect the work. I slide the piece into the blade off the top guide rail. I also added a wedge between rail and blade for support. I can adjust the angle of the slot by simply moving the rail closer and farther away form the blade. Once you find the position and angle just mark the top of the saw and you can go back to it again and again. If you can cut before shaping, great, if not then this works pretty good.

Vic

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Thanks guys!!

All advice greatly appreciated!! Going to get out and practice on a few more Today.

Patrick

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Patrick,

You mentioned that you have a scroll saw. Cut you lip slot with your scroll saw and don't worry about the width of the slot. After you cut the lip slot you can use a 1/16th inch diamond bit in your Dremel to widen the lip slot. It will follow the cut made with scroll saw and give you a perfect fit for .060 Lexan lips. Don't try to make the cut with the bit in one pass. Make three or four passes with the bit for best results.

Gene

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Patrick,

You mentioned that you have a scroll saw. Cut you lip slot with your scroll saw and don't worry about the width of the slot. After you cut the lip slot you can use a 1/16th inch diamond bit in your Dremel to widen the lip slot. It will follow the cut made with scroll saw and give you a perfect fit for .060 Lexan lips. Don't try to make the cut with the bit in one pass. Make three or four passes with the bit for best results.

Gene

Thanks Gene!!

It was your tutorial that got me interested in giving it a try, Thanks for sharing it with us!! I have been buying up my tools over the last couple of months to give it a try. What is the best knife for carving? I carved out a few more Today, using all of the advice given, I appreciate everyone helping out!! I know I was thrilled when I caught a bass on something I painted, cant wait to catch one on a bait I carved, How awesome would that be!! Here is the few I did Today:

This one is more flat sided than the one above

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I used egg shaped weights for my ballast weight. The rest of my hardeware should be in sometime this week, so I can finish them and test them out. Thanks again for all of the help!

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Patrick

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Patrick,

You're welcome. I hope the tutorial helped.

For the money, the best carving knife that you can buy is a Murphy knife. It will cost you between $11 and $15. There are several places that you can buy them but Smokey Mountain Woodcarvers is one of the best. Make sure to ask them to sharpen it for you.

Gene

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Patrick,

You're welcome. I hope the tutorial helped.

For the money, the best carving knife that you can buy is a Murphy knife. It will cost you between $11 and $15. There are several places that you can buy them but Smokey Mountain Woodcarvers is one of the best. Make sure to ask them to sharpen it for you.

Gene

Thanks Gene!! It definately help me to get started.

I will get one of those Murphys and give it a try, I will let you know when I carve one with it. The day absolutely flew by sitting outside whittling away, no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!! I think I an HOOKED!!

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Thanks Gene!! It definately help me to get started.

I will get one of those Murphys and give it a try, I will let you know when I carve one with it. The day absolutely flew by sitting outside whittling away, no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!! I think I an HOOKED!!

I bought one of the Murphy knives at Gene's suggestion and am really pleased with it. This knife will get sharp enough that you can cut shavings so thin you can just about see through them.

I also bought one of the Super Hone Strops from the same place. It's basically a rectangular block of wood with a different grit abrasive on each of the four sides. And the abrasive films are replaceable. The way this strop is designed it keeps you from sharpening a double bevel. Just lay the knife flat on it's bevel and draw it to you.

Ben

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I bought one of the Murphy knives at Gene's suggestion and am really pleased with it. This knife will get sharp enough that you can cut shavings so thin you can just about see through them.

I also bought one of the Super Hone Strops from the same place. It's basically a rectangular block of wood with a different grit abrasive on each of the four sides. And the abrasive films are replaceable. The way this strop is designed it keeps you from sharpening a double bevel. Just lay the knife flat on it's bevel and draw it to you.

Ben

Thanks Ben!! I went ahead and ordered the Super Hone Strops along with the knife.

Patrick

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