aaron4mvp

Rounding Crankbait Bodies

25 posts in this topic

To remove the edge right after I cut out the body shape I use a belt sander to round the edges, but after that for removing less, does everyone use wood rasps or wood files? I have not yet found a definitive answer to this question. Any help is appreciated.

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After cutting out the profile I use a carving knife to rough out the shape and then sand it by hand to finish it.

Ben

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After I've finished shaping on the belt sander, with an 80 grit wheel, I use a small vibrator sander, first with 100 grit and then 150 grit, and then I hand sand.

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Ben, was it you who put me on to Smoky Mountain woodcarvers Murphy Knife? If so, thank you from the bottom of my heart!! That thing is awesome! Aaron, look into this knife and you'll be glad you did.

Edited by bluetickhound

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Ben, was it you who put me on to Smoky Mountain woodcarvers Murphy Knife? If so, thank you from the bottom of my heart!! That thing is awesome! Aaron, look into this knife and you'll be glad you did.

I'm not sure BTH, but it was Gene (Lincoya) who first brought it to the attention of myself and a few others. If anyone deserves thanks it's Gene.

Here's the link if you want to take a look at it Aaron. http://woodcarvers.com/murphyknives.htm

Ben

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I use a Dremel tool with a fine grit sanding cylinder or a Foredom rotary tool with a 220 grit sandpaper cylinder for 95% of the shaping on baits, followed up by 220 or 400 grit hand sanding. Whatever you're comfortable with.

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Ok thanks. Yea I was looking at a Foredom just because of the amount of detail that can be added. But for now I think I will get a murphy knife or something similar made by flexcut.

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I have tried the rasp but prefer the carving knife myself. You may have to try a few methods before finding what works for you.

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Ok thanks. Yea I was looking at a Foredom just because of the amount of detail that can be added. But for now I think I will get a murphy knife or something similar made by flexcut.

If you go with a carving knife be sure to keep it sharp. If it doesn't scare you it's not sharp enough. You won't need to put nearly as much pressure on a properly sharpened knife and that helps us keep our fingers intact.

Ben

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Can't go wrong with a good carving knife Aaron. There are so many ways to cut and shape wood, it can be confusing. Harder to say what not to use than what to use. And sometimes it depends on the material you are are cutting.

Balsa and cedar disappear fast on belt sander. So when I cut balsa, I grab something like this......

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I'd say 90% of that stuff, I don't even know what it is! You got a plane, an az, a sanding block, different handles and a bunch of blades.

I use the red handle and the curved carving blade. Sporadically, I use other things. Never use the az that I remember. But it''s there.

There are times I grab one of there......

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A razor knife is good for just about anything. I do use the two edged rasp on pine, and cedar and basswood.

And I use small files depending on what I need.

That blue handled knife is not for wood. It is for cutting lexan.

You have to experiment and see what is comfortable for you. But you can't go wrong with a good carving knife.

G

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Aaron4mvp,

Being a woodcarver, I have several knives (including quite a few that I made myself). For the money, the Murphy knife is, by far, the best carving knife you can buy. Flexcut also makes a great carving knife but will cost you almost three times what the Murphy will. Regardless of which knife you buy, you will also need a fine stone to hone your edge with occassionally and a strop to add that razor edge. You'll ONLY use the stone when the strop doesn't give you the razor edge or if you damage the edge. A strop can be made with a good piece of clear-grained hardwood such as maple, poplar, or cherry. Avoid soft woods such as pine, spruce, or some cedars and woods with pronounced grains as these will not give your knife the proper edge it needs. Glue a piece of THIN leather onto your wood with some contact cement, add some extra fine polishing compound (found at Lowe's or other improvement stores), and you're set to go.

Gene

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Gene

Thank you so much for putting me on to the Murphy knife. I thought it was Ben but after looking further he is right. You first mentioned it and it has been a Godsend for my lure making. I visit Townsend two or three times a year an cant BELIEVE I haven't stumbled across Smoky Mountain Woodcarvers before now. I've been to the dulcimer shop but that's the only place at Nawger I've been to.

BTH

Edited by bluetickhound

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On larger flat sided baits i use a roundover bit on my router table and it makes quick work of it most of my baits are made of poplur wood thou so i dont know about balsa should work thou

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In my experience, balsa machines differently than poplar. Even though it's classified as a hardwood, the grain tears so easily I've never had much luck getting a router to cut it well.

It sands so fast, I just use a piece of PVC pipe, split in half, with sand paper on the inside, to round balsa baits.

Hazmail was the first one on TU to use this method, that I know of, and it works like a dream. Plus it's cheap, and so am I.

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Thats brilliant (in a DIY kinda way)

I thought the same thing... As lazy as I am I can't believe I didnt think of something like that!!

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Personally, never used any power tool on balsa. You can go from a block to good copy with just an exacto knife and sandpaper, in about 30 minutes

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Of the woods I have tried, balsa is the easiest. Then I'd say basswood, cedar, white pine and poplar.

Poplar is a good clear wood with no knots and a tight grain. White pine is softer with a wider grain and quite a few knots.

Its pretty much a trade off.

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I have recently been doing lot of work on small, flat sided cranks, 2" length. I bought a 1/8" radius round over router bit for the job. I built a small platform that fitted the router bit and gave good stability to the wood blanks and it worked perfectly, with no snagging or tearing. I was very happy with the result.

Still, it is not good having your fingers so close to the cutter and I will be making some sort of holder, like many that have been published here on TU, it is just that my first attempt at such a device did not work. When I return to Indonesia and get back to my shop, the holder is the first job on my list.

Dave

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Havn't got the patience to hand carve them (or the skill) , I get my jollies out of painting - try making one of these -- 'The Aussie Wheel' :oooh: Pete.

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Edited by hazmail
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Havn't got the patience to hand carve them (or the skill) , I get my jollies out of painting - try making one of these -- 'The Aussie Wheel' :oooh: Pete.

Pete I have to tell you... Your baits have been the basis that I have gotten started off with in my lure making. I have made several "traditional" Big O style crankbaits since but when I was just getting started a few months ago your work really caught my attention in the "making lure eyes" thread. The bass in my area (Atlanta Georgia) certainly agree that your style is tempting!! Thanks for the inspiration and I hope you don't mind me basically totally copying your work!! I'm not in it for money, but if I ever get to that point I promise i won't sell any of your copies.

BTH

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You showed that to us a while back when I was posting about a potential sander purchase. I think I remember you having a huge disk sander also?

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