Virginia Junkie

Cutting Lip Slots In Round Balsa Bodies

8 posts in this topic

I need help. I am trying to build some crankbaits for myself and a few friends and having trouble cutting the lip slots straight. I'm buying round bodies already cut and I'm screwing up about 4 to every one I get cut straight enough to use. I'm trying to do this on a bandsaw. I have preatty good success on the flatside baits that I make myself, I cut the slot on those before I do any carving or sanding. I have heard talk of using a jig to hold the round bodies but have no clue where to start. Any ideas you guys could shoot my way would really be great.

 

Thanks

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Go to page 3.And look for the thread Cutting slot for diving lip.Mark Poulson and the gang have your answers there

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Thanks. I think I will give this way that Mark posted a try. Sounds like it will work

 

 

One way to cut slots after the lure is already shaped is to put a temporary piece of stiff wire into the back and belly, drilled exactly into the centerline, and sticking out an inch. Cut two spacer blocks exactly half the thickness of your bait, and use them as guide blocks. Lay the wires of the bait on the two blocks, and your bait will be exactly square to the bandsaw table, and to the blade, too.
It's harder to explain than it is to do, but it's much easier and better just not to forget to cut the slot while the bait is rectangular. Doh!!! Hahaha

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The main problem is that whatever the method, you have to eyeball something to base the cut.  I use a straight edge of flexible plastic or a rubber band to guestimate the lip angle and position, and then just trace a line for the lip slot and cut it out freehand with a thin Dremel cutoff blade or by hand with a blade from my scroll saw.  Most of the time, with a little practice, that will be close enough.  When it isn't, I enlarge the slot until I can adjust the lip straight and glue it in with epoxy paste instead of liquid epoxy.

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Like Bob says in the end it will come down to your eyes and hands. On the really hard cases I like to draw where I am going to cut first. If you have several to do that are just alike making a plastic or thin cardboard jig will make the marking process easier. Now for the initial cut a small hand saw like this one really gives the cutter control of the job. 

 

http://www.hobbypeople.net/x-acto-razor-saw-blade-5-5x1-1-4-54tooth.html?gclid=CJmCrq-G5bQCFQY5nAodnxEAFw

 

These small saws can be found at most hobby stores. 

 

Once you have that first cut done you can do another with the small saw or move on to power tools to finish the job. Bob's answer of enlarging the slot with another blade such as one from the scroll saw is  a very good solution and one I have used many times. Just keep using wider saw blades till the desired width is achieved. 

 

No matter how you do it ; marking the placement and then controlling the cut are going to be critical. 

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Mark, I use U-40 Rod Bond paste epoxy.  I comes in 2 versions;  the original has a long work time, at least 2 hours.  When I'm doing a batch of baits, I like it because I can do the initial fitment, then mess around with the lips to my heart's content until I get them just right.  You know how that goes!  Rod Bond recently came out with a quick cure version with a work time of around 10 minutes.  I've seen several other brands of paste epoxy now being sold on rod building supply sites like mudhole.com but haven't tried them.

 

I got onto Rod Bond since I occasionally build rods and use it to glue up grips.  Decided to try it when I was replacing a broken lip and had to enlarge the slot to get out the broken lip.  It worked great!  No dribble, no voids, and very strong.  Since then, I often use Rod Bond whenever I need epoxy and am in no hurry to get the job done.  Mix a batch and you can use it to install all the hardware on a batch of 5-6 baits, without hurrying.  The lazy man's epoxy.

 

If I really bugger cutting out a broken lip and am left with a huge slot, or want to completely fill in a slot and cut one at a new angle, I go with an epoxy putty stick.  It mixes to a clay-like consistency and cures hard in 5-10 minutes.  Has a density similar to pine or basswood.  I've used several brands, all seem similar and are available at any home center.

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