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Lurenerd

Wooden Lure Building Tools?

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After giving it a lot of thought I've decided to try my hand at making wooden lures.  There are several good YouTube video's on the subject and some that show a few of the tools needed to make wooden lures. My question is,  What basic tools are needed to produce wooden lures, and are there any tools specific to lure making that I'll need?  I'm primarily interested making my own in diving and vibrating baits.  I appreciate any thoughts on the subject.

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Hi, lurenerd, depends what how far you want to take it and which wood you intend to use. I can make cranks using just a chisel a file and drill. However if you plan on getting into making a lot of lures then the following is what I use a lot- bandsaw, combi disc/belt sander, pillar drill, standard power drill, carving knife(I use chisel) various drill bits including forstner bit for ballast holes.wood gauge or v.block for marking centre lines along blank length(various options for this, easy to make ).like I say, you can make blanks as good as any with just a saw for rough shape, a knife and a rasp or file.But if you think you might get into lots of lures of different types etc.then bandsaw, sander and drill are sound investment. I also use small router table a fair bit for rounding edges on some lures .hope this helps

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You can use a variety of tools, from very simple to "all power, all the time". A minimalist tool assortment might include a wood carving knife, sandpaper., and a drill. What's really important is that your tools and your ability allow you to shape a symmetrical body and install the hardware on the centerline of the bait.

Most guys appreciate having a bandsaw or a scroll saw and.some kind of powered sander (disk, belt, etc). I've been building crankbaits for many years with a scroll saw, a disk sander, and a Dremel as my power tools. More power tools make the process faster, but not necessarily better. Fewer power tools require more patience and more ability to hand shape wood.

After building the body and installing hardware, you also have to paint and topcoat the bait. About 95% of us use an airbrush to do that, but again, you can get by with aerosol paints. Putting the finish on the bait is the major topic of interest here on TU, so you should read posts on the subject.

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Bob is exactly right. Your ability and attitude to keep moving forward. Stopping and thinking how can I do this and that. Tools will get you there but learning will make you better each time.

Good luck,

Dale

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A bandsaw, a drill press, and a belt sander, for stationary power tools.  Cut your profile with the bandsaw, rough sand the profile with the belt sander, add a centerline all around the profile, and then use the bandsaw again to cut your lip slot, and the drill press to drill your belly hook hanger hole.

Sanding blocks with different grits, starting at 80 to rough shape down to 120 for shape tuning.  For PVC, poplar and pine, I do some rounding over on the belt sander, but for balsa I do all rounding over by hand.

120 to 180 grit sheet sandpaper for final smoothing, 400 grit wet or dry for smoothing your sealer.  

Exacto knives or carving knives for details.

A cordless drill to install your hardware.

Water intrusion is deadly for wooden baits.

Once you have them final sanded, seal your wooden baits before you add the lips and hardware with runny super glue, including the lip slot and hardware holes.  Then use the 400 grit to knock off any grain that is locked by the super glue.    

Once the lip and hardware are installed, seal again with epoxy and wet sand before you paint.

Use a good top coat to finish your baits, because it is the only protection you paint jobs will have if you use water based paints.

I hope this helps.

Have fun!

I would love to have those tools, and a lathe too! I cut the profile with a coping saw then sand at 90d deg. It doesn't matter how you get there, but this 90 degree thing is vital. I use a table saw. with an attachment that turns it into a disc sander. a 1" belt sander circa 1935 (newer than the table saw). Lip slot is cut in a jig with a few hack saw blades glued together (its in homebrew tools). For gill. mouth and socket details I use the three cardboard cut out method (seal with super glue). To through wire balsa blanks I use a hacksaw blade glued between two pieces of wood to match the thickness of the balsa. Where there is a will there is a way. 

 

You can achieve good results with just a few basic tools. The attachment shows what 3 pieces of cardboard do to add face/ gill details. Those who can't carve can still cut and paste! 

crappie, sum f hairball.JPG

crappie, sum f hairball.JPG

crappie, sum f hairball.JPG

crappie, sum f hairball.JPG

crappie, sum f hairball.JPG

crappie, sum f hairball.JPG

crappie, sum f hairball.JPG

crappie, sum f hairball.JPG

post-49113-0-28188400-1475539225_thumb.jpg

Edited by Chuck Young
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A lot depends on what you have already and many ways to go about it.  I will give you what I think is about the cheapest method to easily make cranks without spending a lot of precious time doing really non skill building work.

 

First I would recommend buying wood in correct thickness to avoid that issue. If not a hand plane is about the cheapest and quickest route.  Problem you need to sharpen and learn how to use a plane, some just can't.

 

A coping saw is about the cheapest route to go that will give you very good results cutting out blanks.  You can also easily cut lip slots and lips also.  If making bass cranks I would recommend using basswood, balsa, PVC and far last cedar (just me) but all these are very easy to cut, carve, shape, and sand very well.  

 

You will also want a few good solid clamps to help hold work stock, blanks, etc..  I would want a drill and a few good drill bits and forstner bits to drill holes for line tie, hook hangers, eye recess (if you go that way) and ballast.  These will give you the best results with the least amount of hassle.   

 

A good quality carving knife comes in very handy to shape baits and carve details.  Final shaping can be done with sandpaper but if you are decent with the knife really cuts down on the sanding.   Buying the adhesive backed paper and making your own sanding sticks works very well and makes it easier on hands and fingers but usually going to need to get in with the hands and paper at some point.

 

A pair of needle nose pliers is handy for cutting wire and twisting line ties and hook hangers. 

 

Going to be hard to get cheaper than this set up.  Guarantee you can make great cranks with just these tools and in a time frame you can actually make a few baits.

Edited by Travis
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This is not a high end tool but it's what I use to shape. I use a nice set of miniature files, not the expensive variety. Then I use sandpaper, 80, 120, 160, 240 & 400. It depends on what I'm doing which one I use. A hacksaw blade is useful also with a inline handle.

Yeah I have all types of power tools but I have really started to enjoy working with hand tools at a point. A center line and a good eye for symmetry. :) You will have failures but your temperament can pull you through.

Dale

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It honestly depends on the volume and consistency you are trying to achieve. 

 

Making baits for yourself, you can do 100% of it with one very (VERY) sharp knife. It will be an extremely tedious process, but sometimes that is what we are after, ha! 

I went from a full shop in my garage to a kitchen table in an apartment with no power tools apart from a Dremel. The results have not changed, but the volume of production surely has. I now have several small craft knives and gouges which I sharpen myself, a Flexcut (Flexcut is a brand) carving knife which I sharpen myself, several small files, a couple tiny Japanese style pull-saws used by finishing carpenters for dowels, some sanding sticks, and lots of little pieces of sandpaper. All my carving stuff fits into one 3700 size tackle tray... barely. 

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I would say it is safe to bet that if the task is truly tedious (too long, slow, dull, tiresome, monotonous) it would be most first and last crank they ever built.  

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I would say it is safe to bet that if the task is truly tedious (too long, slow, dull, tiresome, monotonous) it would be most first and last crank they ever built.  

 

I love using hand tools, partly because I'm so good with them that it isn't a chore.

But I use power tools whenever I can, if it makes my bait making process easier and faster.

I know there are people who really enjoy doing everything by hand, and have developed  a near-worship of hand tools.  I get it.  Some of my tools just fit my hands, and feel "right".

But I am trying to make something, and the process isn't the important thing.  It's the final result that I am striving for.

I don't want to sound dismissive of the building methods of others.

Whatever works for you has to be okay.  It's your labor.

But I want to produce a working lure with as little wasted effort as possible, and in the shortest amount of time, relatively speaking, because I make baits to catch fish, and I'd much rather fish than build.

If I built a bait that caught lot of big fish ever time out, you can bet I wouldn't build anything else, and would only build enough to keep me fishing!

Edited by mark poulson

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I have just about any power tool I want, this includes a duplicator. But when I finish a hand shape lure that does what I want and looks the way I like it. I have the biggest smile like I did today.

Yeah the weather is so bad I just hunkered down and put out a few baits today rather then fishing.

Dale

Edited by DaleSW

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I would say it is safe to bet that if the task is truly tedious (too long, slow, dull, tiresome, monotonous) it would be most first and last crank they ever built.  

 

Fair enough, and hard to disagree! Just pointing out that you CAN do it that way, not that most folks would WANT to do it that way. 

I think a lot of people are discouraged because they think you have to have a ton of nice kit to do this stuff, and that just simply ain't the case. 

 

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More than you would think, the members here do a lot of it by hand tools. Yeah maybe I worded that wrong, but the point is I do most of it by hand. What I was trying to get across was that I can use power tools but I don't like to.

It's not laboring to me, nor is it time consuming to me. I get rushed enough and when it comes to this I want to slow down. It is NOT my job. I'm here to learn and enjoy. I will make a statement to get a honest answer, even when I know what the answer is sometimes and why do you do it a certain way. Or let's just say a second opinion.

Point is don't worry about how you do it just as long you enjoy it at the end.

Dale

Edited by DaleSW
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I don't think anyone is saying you have to have shop full of high end tools.  Nothing wrong with hand tools I have  a lot of then and use the frequently even over the power tool equivalent I have.

 

Just honestly believe that for someone starting most will get much better results using a coping saw to cut out blanks than trying to whittle one out.  They will usually get better results using a drill and secured piece of stock than trying to do it with a dremel (even better with a drill press but), etc...  Yes several/many of us could make an excellent bait by eyeballing it with a knife and dremel just don't think that is the norm after the years on this site and others looking at baits newbies (even some seasoned makers) turn out.

 

Yes it can be done, sure some may enjoy doing it that way, but we are talking about very cheap purchases that most homeowners/renters should  have anyway that will increase the likelihood for most help make a good bait.    

 

I fully understand where some of you are coming from with hand tools but that is a skill many have a hard time picking up. 

Edited by Travis
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Your tool set reflects a number of things. How much money you have to spend. How proficient you are with various hand or power tools and how proficient you want to learn to be with them in the future. How many and how fast you need/want to turn out baits. What your attitudes and prejudices are about building baits. How much patience and time you have. Every one of us has different answers to those questions and as we develop as bait makers we refine the tool set and methods we use. There is no wrong answer. The usefulness of TU is it exposes you to tools, methods, and bait designs that are new to you. Things you had not considered or been exposed to.

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Thanks to all those folks who responded to my post.  Based on your responses I rounded up a set of tools that should work nicely.  The next step was to get my hands on some wood for lure bodies....easier said than done.  I found some balsa in 1" x 3" x 12" but no sizes or types of wood??  Couldn't find basswood in anything useable.  I was hoping to have a few different types of wood to get some experience working with them.  So the next question is "where do you get your wood for lure building?" 

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Micheal's and Hobby Lobby both carry basswood here.  Menard's also carries basswood in dowel section typically.  Use coupons for the hobby stores as expensive.  Menard's not much better.

 

I usually just ordered online for basswood or balsa and never ever any issues.  Can also order from Rockler, Woodcraft, Higlandwoodworking, etc.... Local wood working place should be able to also order you what ever you want.

 

Coworker gave me my last batch of basswood and won't have to get anymore until I make probably 5000 cranks or so.  I have also used big tooth aspen with good results and it was free with the basswood.Cedar I have bought big box stores or ordered also.  

 

 

http://www.heineckewood.com/blockwood1.htm

https://basswoodman.com/

http://northernwildwoods.com/basswood-products/basswood-carving-blocks-3-4-inch/

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We here debate heavily as you can tell, but when we do this you get our honest opinions. Then you can digest and do what works for you or change to another technique that will do better for you. I'm not going to lie, I will use a power tool in a second when needed. I didn't know what you have in money, just won't to say it doesn't matter.

Enjoy your new hobby and keep us busy with lots of questions. :)

Good luck,

Dale

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As for wood don't forget about regular construction timbers, around where I live pine/spruce is normal and as long as the section you are using is clear of knots then you are good to go. Maple, poplar and red cedar  should also be available at a typical DIY shop (at least in North America).

 

Though I have not done it  my father had an arrangement with a local woodworking shop where he could pick through their scrap pile.

 

Lots of time you can see wooden pallets as well pull some nails and you are good to go.

 

But nothing beats a specialty wood shop 10 min from your house :)

 

A local tool shop has a deal on a table top lathe and basic tools, so I am wondering if I incur the wrath of SWMBO or just try and sneak it into the garage :) we just started to talk about this years Mexico trip and I need some poppers :)

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Greetings from Lizzie...

I am a farm girl and proud mother of a son who lives & breathes fishing... particularly for muskies. 

I am wondering if someone would be able to please give me a simple list of power tools necessary for making wooden musky baits.

I read through all the great information posted here... much of it over my head, and it's difficult for me to narrow down the necessary items.  I realize there are tools for carving them by hand, but I'd like to start with power tools for now.

I'm afraid all I have to offer in return is a good, and truthful, fishing story. :)

I'm dating myself, but when I was little, I fished with a cane pole and worms.  My son, however, become thoroughly hooked when he caught his first legal musky at age 10.  When he was 16, he and his friend skipped out of school to go fishing from the shore of the Apple River in WI... all he had in his trunk was a simple small pole with a very lightweight test line, so he was only expecting/hoping for pan fish.  

Well, surprisingly, a huge musky went for his little bait...  it took awhile, but he managed to get her close to shore without breaking the line.  He didn't have a net, so he gave his pole to his friend, took off his flannel shirt, jumped in the water and nabbed her by wrapping his shirt around her to wrestle her safely to shore... and without feeling the wrath of her teeth.

As a parent, it was impossible to be upset about his skipping school -- and I smiled big with pride for his ingenuity in catching (and releasing) an amazing beauty with such minimal tools. 

Now that he's older, I'd like to get him tools for making his own wooden musky baits.

If someone could please give me a list of the power tools necessary, I would be very grateful!  Thank you very much!

Lizzie 

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