bassthumbs

Hard Bait Lumber!

21 posts in this topic

bassthumbs    2

Hi everyone, first things first this is my first post and like to say that TU is amazing for talent,help and info you guys are simply great artiists and a great community! I'm hooked!

So my question is I haven't heard or seen anything on carving with maple? I am a painter working for various cabinet shops spraying their products and have been doing this for a dozen years, so I have unlimited access to the most common species of wood found in your kitchens and furnishings. Maple,cherry,walnut,oak,fir,alder,hickory are most common unfortunatly no basswood or balsa! Maple is the most used up here in Canada eh, so very easy to get my hands on the cleanest blanks in any size I like. I fish for bass and want to create my own cranks hopefully as good as some of you guys on TU if possible once again amazing talent here!

I do realize the density of malpe but could that also be beneficial? It is tuff to carve but can be done.Will the weight difference be its downfall?

So any feed back would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks

Pete

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littleriver    75

I have never used the maple but plan on turning some on my lathe. I have even collected some from a few broken chairs. They use it for darters on surf lures for sure. Fir on your list of woods available would probably be better for carving and when a more buoyant bass lure is desired.

Vic

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bassthumbs    2

Thanks Vic, I thought that would make sense so I give it a try with some fir I just wasn't really pleased with the ease of splinters coming off was a little frustrating, could just be my skills at carving but I'll keep at it

thanks for your input!

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littleriver    75

Your welcome Pete

Make sure the grain of the wood is running nose to tail. Not top to bottom. Hold the wood with front or back of wood facing you, then carve from middle of lure to end as you shape it. You may either cut away or to you . I carve to me. I have carved many pine lures and the grain can be frustrating but not bad once you get the hang of it. Many use poplar. The grain is easier to work with and has decent buoyancy. The pine grain is difficult to cover in the end because of the varying density between hard and soft grain leaves uneven surface aftet sanding. Woods with no differences in grain densities finish smoother.

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bassthumbs    2

Thanks Vic, checked it out, great tutorial by Gene should help lots!

Finished off a 2" shallow crank today in maple, ended up using my sander for almost all the shaping.It actually worked out quite well for first one in maple. And like you said should finish super smooth. I'll try to post a couple after a littlte more practice and testing of the buoyancy and such! I'm a little anxious to break out my arsenal of airbrushes and autoair colors I've accumilated over the years! but first things first!

thanks again Vic this site is so helpfull

Pete

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BobP    834

Maple and oak have a nominal density of 47.1 lbs/cu ft, which is among the higher wood densities. The woods most often used for crankbaits are balsa, basswood, and white cedar. None of them have a density above 23 lbs/cu ft so your maple will be twice as dense. Is it possible to build a crankbait from maple? Yes, but you may have problems making it float after you add the hardware. Most of us prefer lighter woods so we can adjust the buoyancy of the bait with ballast. Lighter woods also give baits a more lively action. JMHO, the raw material (wood plus hardware) for a crankbait is dirt cheap compared to most craft products and is of minor note compared to the amount of work you will put into making a good crankbait, so it makes sense to use what you feel is the "right stuff". On the bass crankbaits I make, the most expensive component are always the treble hooks I hang on the bait after I finish it.

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diemai    228

Maple and oak have a nominal density of 47.1 lbs/cu ft, which is among the higher wood densities. The woods most often used for crankbaits are balsa, basswood, and white cedar. None of them have a density above 23 lbs/cu ft so your maple will be twice as dense. Is it possible to build a crankbait from maple? Yes, but you may have problems making it float after you add the hardware. Most of us prefer lighter woods so we can adjust the buoyancy of the bait with ballast. Lighter woods also give baits a more lively action. JMHO, the raw material (wood plus hardware) for a crankbait is dirt cheap compared to most craft products and is of minor note compared to the amount of work you will put into making a good crankbait, so it makes sense to use what you feel is the "right stuff". On the bass crankbaits I make, the most expensive component are always the treble hooks I hang on the bait after I finish it.

I can only second to Bob's words , .......most of the timbers , that you've mentioned in your initial post can only by used for sinking glidebaits for Pike/Muskie , also it's kinda hard to work on them by hand and even with power tools .

good luck , diemai :yay:

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crankpaint    30

Do you use any poplar/birch in your cabnit making? that carves good and floats well? the oaks really porous so it would take some filling of them to make a smooth bait

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bassthumbs    2

No don't come across it very often. Mainly maple cherry and oak are the most common. I picked up some basswood haven't had time to get into it yet. I'm going to find some balsa. Too.

I have so much maple for free thought I could put it to use.

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littleriver    75

I would try some longer stick baits. The bigger the bait the less trouble you'll have getting them to float. Not all baits are designed to float at all. Rattle traps for one catch many fish.

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RayburnGuy    1,338

If your building deep divers you could use the heavier wood to your advantage. Even with deep divers I still like the bait to have a slow rise to it. This helps against hangups when you run the lure up against a limb or stump.

Ben

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bassthumbs    2

Thanks everyone for all the insight I believe this is only the begining of many questions to arise! I'm going to try some stick baits and some divers with the dense woods And probbably some large pike and muskee plugs

I did get some basswood and ordered some balsa.

appreciate the info

Pete

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diemai    228

@ Bassthumbs

With balsa you should better go thru-wired , ......won't trust screweyes with that softer wood ,........if you wanna use screweyes for hookhangers on denser wood as well , you should use stainless ones only , no brass , .........I've learned it the hard way twisting brass eyes off in a blank I've made from European beech wood .

good luck , diemai :yay:

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capt mike    1

In Louisiana, Cypress is very popular for cabinets, fireplaces and such. I've been using some 1" thick planks with a lot of success. Don't really know how it compares to basswood and cedar..never used any. I have used some cypress root (similar to Balsa) and Tupelo Gum from the swamp and that stuff is too soft for me..hardware does not stay in well on bigger baits and it is hard to carve fine details. I use it for duck decoys instead.

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mark poulson    1,702

You can always lighten your lures by drilling a hole in the upper half, and capping them with a disc cut from an aluminum can and bondo, creating an air cell.

Just be sure to seal the inside of the hole before you cap it, so the air is trapped and can't bleed out into the surrounding wood.

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mark poulson    1,702

If you want to add rattles, you can do it in the same air cell. A couple of BB's don't weigh that much. Just be sure you coat the bondo with crazy glue, to reinforce it, after you've sanded it to shape, so the BB's don't knock the discs loose when they rattle.

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bassthumbs    2

Great ideas thanks guys, I picked up some little lindy floats in a tubular form for a $1 for 8 and was going to slipem in just like that. Wanted to mention I tested a 2.5"long and 3/4"w cherry crank in the tub and it bounced back up a lot quicker than i thought it would with 1/8 balast worked quite well and had a decent swim for first one that got wet! Have to say though the basswood is by far my favorite so far for hand carveing.

I'm going to continue sampling with the different woods and all the suggestions and repost after they take a bath, I have 6 I'm onto paint with Basswood, pine,maple,and cherry

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bassthumbs    2

wanted to mention I'm using 20g stainless for all my hook eyes and gurrilla super glue wich I cant pull out with pliers so far! Do most of install everything hook eyes and lips before paint and tape off just wondering? I haven't tried a through wire yet but wiil plan to thanks Diemai

thanks again everyone

Pete

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mark poulson    1,702

I install everything except the eyes before I paint. I know some here leave the bills out until after paint. I'm not that neat, and screw up the paint if I try to do it after I paint. I'd rather be able to play around and get the bill installed straight and true, while I can still use my centerline on the bait for a guide, and then mask off the bill before I paint.

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