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I'm trying to build a wood topwater without using paint. ''Trying something different''. I have the wood shaped how I want it but want to have wood grain thru the whole bait with staining techniques. I don't know how to put any effects or patterns on it because the stain seeps into the wood past the masked areas unlike airbrushing. The only way I know to do this is to stain the whole lure dark then sand down to lighter shades, and use different shades of stain , like dark on the back and cherry for the mouth and leave natural on the bottom ect. Any suggestions or ideas? I may use a small file to sand stripes or something. Also the lure has 4 inch body with 3/4 round head area tapering narrow to the tail with contoured sides, with popper type mouth. Using screw eyes, and 2 #4 trebles with a dressed one on the back. I'm thinking of using the 3D molded eyes and epoxy to the head. What size to order ? Or some other eyes. I want detailed eyes science the lure itself would be limited what I can do with it without using paint. Thanks

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you might want to try putting a sanding sealer on the bait after you make it then the sealer will help keep the stain from going under the tape,also try using less stain and do two or three coats letting it dry between coats to keep it from bleeding under the tape.The only other way i can think of is to try to inlay the diff. types of wood to get the diff. colors as there are a lot of colors to chose from that way

Edited by crankpaint
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Florida Strain,

     I've got a couple of "naked" baits that are in my gallery. I used different species of wood to  make designs in the blank then cut out the shape.

     The problem I have is that my stripes are all square. I tried a bleach process to lighten the belly and sharpen the stripes to a point, but the effects were very subtle. I too am afraid to use stain for the same reasons. I thought about a thinned coat of wood glue,applied with a wire, where I don't want the stain because glue prevents stain from entering the wood. This then creates the issue of sanding off the glue and damaging the stained wood and creating more scratch marks.

    Perhaps that "Friskett mask" that Ben was talking about using on the joints of hinged baits.

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one thing you might try is using different grit's of sandpaper. the heavier the grit the more stain it will take and the more fine it is the less the stain will soak in because you are closing the pores of the grain.

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Florida Strain,

    Here is a close up of the bleaching process I tried. No masking, just freehand bleach applied. It works but it is limited. Where it ran down to the bottom it gets lighter. Three applications.

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I like those - no paints kajay920, and I want to build one myself. Its difficult trying to make a piece of wood look like a fish with out using paint. I may try your bleaching in some areas ,is it just house hold bleach? Also the wood glue idea ..wouldn't that be similar to the sanding sealer crankpaint is talking about? Maybe spray a clear coat of gloss, through pattern material, then stain over that in hopes the stain doesn't stick to the clear coat and wipes off of it. 

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Yes just household bleach. The sanding sealer is something I don't have much experience with. I do like the clear coat idea though. Stain would wipe right off of a clear acrylic spray. All you would have to do is reverse mask. Porosity of the wood will be a big factor. What wood are you using?

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It's been years since I've seen this, but it might help you achieve what you want.

If you can find some, alcohol stains are more controllable than oil based stain because they don't penetrate as deeply, and dry really fast.  You will still get overlap and blending, so I suggest you practice before you touch your finished lure.

You could probably make your own using denatured alcohol and painter's pigments if you can't find any ready made.  Stain uses the same pigments as paint, but typically the pigment is finer, so it can penetrate, and the amount of pigment per oz of carrier, either oil or alcohol, is less, so you get a translucent effect instead of opaque.

 

Another way to approach this is to use a very light, thin stain as your base coat over the entire lure first as sort of a seal coat.  You could come back after that and add darker areas and details using JR Hopkins dry brush dawbing technique, or something else to put the darker stain where you want it.  Once the first coat of stain has dried, it will minimize the amount the darker, contrasting stains will penetrate, and you can control you coloring much more easily.

 

You might also want to look up Ebonizing on the internet.  That method produces some interesting effects.

Edited by mark poulson
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How about applying the technique folks use when making a sign for the lake place? First they stain the wood sign and then they router out the parts they want to look lighter. Or they do the opposite and router first, stain and then sand the whole surface.You could use a Dremel and engrave as well. That's what I used in the pic below for the loon. Note, this pic was taken during the process. Final picture is on my other computer.

 

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Edited by FrogAddict
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Thank you everyone, I have finished this project and posted the finished lure to the gallery.

 

I just checked your lures out.  They are beautiful.  Thinking outside the box.

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You could also use a small torch to shade the wood, bars and such, inset the eye sockets use the torch to give it a darker definition then set the eyes in, just a thought...finished product looks great.

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Sonoman,

I used to use a torch on basswood decoys to give a distressed antique look. It eats into the softer parts of the grain pretty quickly.

 

If parts of the lure are going to stay natural wood could you clearcoat those first then stain?

 

bill

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Sonoman,

I used to use a torch on basswood decoys to give a distressed antique look. It eats into the softer parts of the grain pretty quickly.

 

If parts of the lure are going to stay natural wood could you clearcoat those first then stain?

 

bill

I think the clear coat would mess up the absorption of the stain, probably be less than desirable, but you experiment on something first to see if the look is what you want....personally I  think if your lure works well the color is secondary, more about shades really and time of day that the bait is intended for, all those pretty paint jobs are for us, not the fish...lol

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