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JR

Laminated Diving Lips

18 posts in this topic

First of all I would like to say hello to everyone. I found this site some time back and have been going crazy trying to read as much as I can. I am so impressed with the knowledge and willingness to share information here.

I have been playing around with building my own diving lips by chemically welding three lexan layers together. I am doing this to try and get the strongest, sharpest, lightest edge I can. These lips are large surface area lips, almost 5 square inches, for deep diving baits. I have been using 3/16 inch lexan but am needing to hold water on the leading surface longer than the flat lexan will permit.

Has anyone here played around with something like this? Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated. I have purchased 3 or 4, commercially available, models but all have a very thick outer edge and the quality has not been the greatest.

Jack

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I've used PlexWeld (Methylene Chloride?) to weld plexiglass together before and it does a good job. I've never tried it on lexan though. Could you not router or dremel the edge of thicker lexan?

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I would use thicker material and bevel and polish the edges and dish out he middle with a dremel tool. A belt/disk sander will make quick work of the beveling. Then sand the deeper scrathes out with fine sandpaper. A felt wheel and some polishing compound on a bench grinder will shine the lips right up.

this also works good for removng paint or epoxy that may have been spilled on the lips.

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I have beveled the back edge of the 3/16 “ lexan. I can round it off to a nice sharp edge and I believe it does give me an extra foot or so in depth. The sharp edge seems to slice into the water with less resistance than the blunt edge. I was thinking that by creating aconcave effect in the center of the face I could hold the water there, and hopefully get extra depth.

I have ground the face of the blade in several different concave shapes but the process really clouds the clear blade. Even when I polish the area with jewelers rouge or fine glass polish in does not look good.

The commercial blades I ordered from a Canadian supplier were by far the best looking Blades, but were brittle and crystallized when I tried to thin the edges. I have some sample blades from a supplier of salt water components in Australia and they look fine on the edges but are a touch over 5/16” thick on the mounting tang.

I will work on this for awhile longer and most likely go back to my 3/16” lexan. I should learn to leave well enough alone.

Jack

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Cheesehead, after reading yours and out2llunges suggestions maybe I am

being too cautious. I have been doing the polishing by hand and lightly with

a dremel tool. This weekend I will use my bench grinder and some polish

and see if I can polish the face of the blades out.

Thank both of you for the input. When two people send me the same

direction I need to listen.

Most of my friends from Wisconsin just call me the FIB and then laugh.

Jack

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Hi guys, the polishing compound and buffing wheel worked to get out

the heavy scratches on the diving lips. I had to use more pressure than

I normally would have, but it really did a nice job.

I went with a friend to visit his son, a polymer engineer. When I asked

him about shaping lexan or plastics and grinding a concave depression

in it, he showed me a neat trick. He took a small piece of lexan and

placed it between two small heated sand bags. He clamped a rounded

piece of steel in the vice and took the lexan and held it to a heat gun for

a minute or two and then pressed it over the end of the steel.

It formed the same shape I had been trying to get in the diving lips. I

told him I had a heat gun so he gave me four of the bags to take home

and practice with. He also warned me to always wear gloves when

playing with this stuff. If you get it hot enough it is amazing the shapes

you can bend it into.

Jack

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JR: Can you please explain what the heated sandbags are for? I'm a little bit lost there. Is the lexan heated & then placed in between the sandbag or it's placed there to pre-heat it. Thks.

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Hello LaPala, I have read your posts with great interest. Your explanation of

building the balancing device was most informative. I now use your device to

balance spools and arbors of bait casting reels. It is far superior to the

commercial unit I have.

The sand bags were used to pre-heat the lexan. They are heated in a

microwave oven and cut the heating time needed with the heat gun. They

also serve as a place to store the lexan while making adjustments to the form.

You do not lose the heat if you need to move something around.

I was amazed to see how they mold the lexan into windshields for airplanes.

Jack

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Thanks for the explanation JR. I've been having trouble shaping lexan and pelexiglass b4 cause I usually overheat them & cause bubbling and the short working time too. Now maybe I can try more complex shapes like the Rapala SSR lip :) Thanks

Didn't think of using my jig for balancing spools & arbors, cool B) BTW, I cover the whole jig in a transparent plastic container cause the jig is so friction free a little draft will cause my lure blanks to swing.

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You will be amazed at what shapes you can get, with a little practice. I have

made a set of steel mandrels for three different shapes and am getting better

at bending the concave shapes.

I found out about needing the cover when I first used the device. I put a

lazer level on top of the unit to project a straight line on the spool edges. At

first I was using a straight line made of thread but had a hard time marking

the spool by reaching under the thread. With the lazer beam I can mark

through it. I have made a set of electro magnets for it. They are much

stronger and I don’t knock the spool off but touching it. Great item you came

up with.

Jack

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Thanks jaime, give me a little more time to get better at it and I will try to put together a tutorial. I learn a bit more everytime I work with it. I have found that bending a true 90 degree angle is one of the tuffest to do. The next hardest is getting two lips exactly the same. I am really looking for consistency in the shapes.

Jack

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JR, I've come across this sort of thing before, what you need is a mould of sorts to get 2 lips the same.

If you can make a metal (or even plaster) mould of both sides of the lip shape you need then you can get them all the same.

Think of a 2-piece mould and instead of pouring into it you heat the lexan place it on 1 part of your mould then quickly place the other part on top then using some force (a vice perhaps) force the 2 parts together, when cooled it should be the shape you want. Then every lip should be exactly the same.

Ive seen this tecnique used in model building before using plastic card, there is no reason why it shouldnt work with lexan or polycarbonate.

My 1st post, Ive been lurking around for the last week or so, so much info i'll be staying a long time.

Scott.

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Scott, first of all welcome to TU. I lurked here for some time and was hesitant to speak up. I enjoy making lures but am not an expert at it. I didn’t want to say something wrong. I should not have worried and would encourage all lurkers to join and say hi. The people here are some of the friendliest I have run into and always willing to help.

I think I understand what you are saying. If I build a two part mold, one side a is positive and the other side is a negative of what I want to end up with, when the pliable lexan is pressed between I will have the same shape every time. I am glad you spoke up, it seems much more exact than hand pressing the lexan over a mandrel. I will also be able to work with warmer lexan and I think this will help with the clouding as the lexan cools.

I have a small hand press that should work to press the two sides together. I am not sure I would have thought of this without prompting or a lot of experimenting.

Jack

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Thanks for your kind words Jack, I'm really enjoying this forum. I havent done much in the way of lure building but have made many things that will help me as I start, plus of course I have this wonderfull source of knowledge here to help me.

I was talking to a friend today that has tried what I suggested, his method was to put a sheet of lexan (or similar) over his mould then place it in the grill (not sure if the USA meaning is the same, Grill is the bit in the oven that has the element at the top and cooks the food below it) to heat it up, as he saw it melting he would quickly remove it then force the top part on quickly, done this way he could do a full A4 sheet worth at a time.

Depending on the shape you wanted I'm sure you could fashion a mould out of a couple of spoons and dont forget by altering the shape you can have a tapered finish.

Please let me (and everyone) else know how you get on.

Scott.

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I believe there is so much knowledge here a person could not gather it all up and remember half of it. Isn’t it great to have such a resource?

I believe the “grill” you refer to is known as a broiler here. I have several clients in the UK and they tease me about the way I speak “English”. I keep telling them my only defense is that I am a “hill billy” and that seems to really break them up. I am sure it has a different meaning there but they all seem to enjoy when I say it.

The information about heating a sheet at a time is interesting. I have a large broiler oven in my shop for heating packaged meals and such. I believe it should work great for heating lexan.

Jack

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