stumpjumper16

Proper Assembly For Pre- Cut Flat Sided Balsa Blanks

8 posts in this topic

I have dabbled in the past several years making my own flat sided crankbaits out of basswood.  It is very addicitve to do, but time consuming.  Recently, I saw where lure parts online has flat sided bodies that are already pre- cut so I purchased several.  My biggest question to you fellows is how to acheive proper wire allignment with the belly weight and lip line tie.  Normally with the basswood blanks that I made in the past, I would pre drill wire hangers and cut the lip slot first.  But, I am trying to research the best possible way to cut the most accurate lip slot along with drilling the correct hole for wire thru construction.  I have seen a few tutorials and read especially where ed chambers of zoom puts plastic inserts in the tails, and cuts the lip slots last, but this guy has the latest technology and years of experience to go with it.  I am thinking that I should cut the hole for the belly weight first. Then, I thought that I would drill the hole for the .035 wire to go thru next before I cut the lip slot since I will be using circuit  board material.  I also thought about using a small diameter hand saw to saw from the belly to the back after reading a few pieces of info on wire thru assembly for wood minnow baits.  Any information would be greatly appreciated.

 

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This is JMHO, but I've never used thru-wire construction on a hard wood bass bait.  I've built several hundred basswood lures and have never had one fail due to lack of a thru-wire harness.  Simple hand-wound screw eyes epoxied into the body work just fine.  Cutting a lip slot on a truly flat-sided bait should be just like cutting one on a squared blank as long as you can hold it down to the table of your band or scroll saw while cutting.  For locating the belly ballast, I grip the bait with calipers and use that as a base against which I hold a millimeter ruler to find and mark the center point of the belly.  Where I have trouble is cutting the lip slot in round store-bought blanks!

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Sorry, I missed the point that you were working with balsa rather than basswood!  I need a refresher course in reading comprehension.  But that doesn't necessarily change my point about thru-wiring.  Many commercial balsa baits are not thru-wired and I haven't used it either on store-bought blanks.  For small balsa bass baits, I just use longer screw eyes and reinforce the body with an epoxy undercoating.  When I thru-wire, I split the bait in half and epoxy in a wire harness.  Splitting a small bait accurately is difficult unless I can scribe a center line all around the bait while it is still "square".  You can probably mark a center line OK with a compass on a flat sided bait - though I've never done it because I've only built small 1 5/8" fat balsa shallow runners on store-bought bodies.

 

In my experience with balsa, the "point of failure" has almost always been slapping the bait on the water to remove weeds, breaking off the head of the bait at the lip slot.  Thru-wiring will not cure that.

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I've built balsa baits with just long twisted wire hangers, and so far the only failure that I've had was when I hung it in a tree top and pulled the boat to it (To experiment with the strength of the bait of course. lol).  I straightened a front hook and cracked the wood around the lip. So for bass, I don't see a need for a thru wire.

 In other words, I agree with Bob.

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Learned about gluing in poplar dowels here on TU, and aint looked back. I tried to pull a hand twisted screw (.03 dia) out of this setup with a small cable wrapped around a pipe. Nada chance. Almost turned the bench over.

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Thanks guys. All of this information is very helpful.  Now all I have to do is put it all together.  It will take some time but hopefully with luck I'll figure it out.  Just for kicks do any of you guys use lifetone lacquer paints and if you do; how well does it work with a paasche vl double action gun?

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I do not know how big your lures are, I build muskie lures . I have a method to install Hard wood dowel pins in my baits with epoxy than put the screws and the tow line screw in the hard wood, this would work for balsa. I use 1/2 dowel pins but on smaller plugs you could easly use 1/4 and 3/8 dowel pins. I have a tutorial how to do it on another site here is the  the  site  www.muskie.outdoorsfirst.com   go to the baement baits and custom lure painting. Do a search, the title is,  An alternative to wire through construction

It used to be on this site, but not showing up any longer

Hopefully this will help

 

Gino

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I use a drop or two of runny super glue to seal/strengthen the wood around and inside my hardware holes, and then epoxy in twist wires.

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