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BobP

Shaping Wood Baits - ??

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I build small (2 1/4") bass baits from basswood and balsa. Now, I cut the primary shape out on a scroll saw and use a hand held Dremel sanding disk to round over the edges. I'm looking for a way of rounding over that is more uniform. Would a router table with a rounding over bit and ball bearing work well for this? Or would I be asking for lacerated fingers on such small baits? If a router isn't the solution what is?

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I know of a guy that had the end of one finger damaged by doing just what you have described. That said, there is probably a way that you could hold the baits so as to avoid injury..........maybe someone else can chime in. If you are just making a few for yourself and friends I would suggest using a flat file. I love using a flat file but rarely hear of others using them, not sure why. I use a file on nearly all my baits at some point of shaping...why? Because they take off wood in a hurry and are very easy to use.

Place the bait in a vice with foam on either side of it to prevent the wood from being damaged. Now with a flat wood file take off the edges, should only take you a few minutes on each bait. Next go to a coarse sandpaper and then finally to a fine paper. Should work great!

Jed V.

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one way you could use a router it to cut two baits at a time leaving about a 2"-3" block between them attached at the tails. now this will only work if you make flat sided baits and they have flat spots on the top and bottom for the guide bearing to run on. This is still very dangerous as it does require you hands to be close to the bit so you must use caution.

Depending upon how thick your baits are you could use a portion of the roundover bit then finish up with a file and sandpaper.

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I am sure it can be done on a router table but with such small peaces it wouldn?t be safe. It would have to be set up with extremely tight tolerances where the bit and the table meet. The gap between the table and bit must be extremely small to keep the wood from tipping down into the bit. This can cause gouging and you losing finger tips or even fingers.

I have used router tables and shapers and I just don?t like having my fingers that close to the cutters. Power tools can cause some serious damage in an instant and I have seen my share of cut up hands and fingers do to them.

With that being said this is what I have thought about trying.

Why not down size for the job needed?

http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/microrouter.htm

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Bob, I started out doing roughly the same thing you are, but did my original four cuts on a bandsaw.

Now I am using a small belt sander, instead of a Dremel to take off the edges. I still use a Dremel as a step to take off some final material to make the baits more uniform before some final hand sanding.

The belt sander, though, definitely takes the wood off a lot faster than a Dremel. It takes some getting used to and you can destroy a bait quickly if you aren't careful. But once you get used to it, it goes a lot faster than a Dremel.

To me, this method also seems to help get the baits more uniform, although short of a CNC Mill and 7-10,000 bucks, I'm not sure you are ever going to get perfect uniformity while making round baits.

But hey, that's the challenge of round baits and one of the reason I started doing this was because I saw so few quality hand-crafted round baits out there. Of course, I see a lot more since I discovered this site.

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I also tried the roundover bit and a router table approach. Let's just say a 4" piece of wood and 14,000 rpm to not mix well.

I cut the rough shape out with my bandsaw, I then rough sand with a 10" sanding disk mounted in my table saw, makes VERY quick work of cedar. I then round the edges with a sanding drum mounted in my drill press. I sometimes use a Dremel to finish up but I usually just need to do a little hand sanding.

Had a opprotunity to look at some unfinished Jim Pfeffer banana lure blanks from the 40's. The flat file marks were very visable. I have only used a file for detail work in tight areas but I want to give a flat file a try for shaping sometime.

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Thanks for the ideas. I get a pretty consistent product "freehanding" with a Dremel but was looking for something short of a computerized CNC machine to get more exact, more consistent crankbait bodies. Rounding over the edges and sanding them to make the bait symetrical is a boring chore to me. Not being a power tool guru, I thought the closest thing might be a router table - but you guys are giving me second thoughts. I'd like to keep the fingers I have now :) The minirouter suggested by MaddoxBay is interesting but maybe has one drawback - Dremel router bits don't come with ball bearings and I'm not sure it will work well enough without one. But maybe I'll try it.

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Bob, isn't there someone from Summerfield who does pretty well in a lot of the tournaments in the central part of the state? Is that you?

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Unless it?s a hard wood a Piloted Router Bit should work fine. If you are getting a lot of burning try slowing down the bit.

It works just the same as a bit that has a ball bearing. In fact you can work in tighter areas with a Piloted Bit.

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I use the dremel rounding over bit for small 2-2 1/4 inch bass lures. The dremel router table is a large enough platform to work off of and to keep fingers away. Speed is slow enough not to kick the wood and fast enough not to burn. Gives a consistent rounded edge for smaller baits. I have only ever found one bit, if you need/want more of a sloped corner this one bit won't do it.

Spinner

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i use a small laminate router with a 1/4" roundover bit so far i still have all my fingernails the trick is go sloooooowwww and steady don't try to take to much at a time after rounding both side i use sanding block i made it has a 1/2" slot made by clamping two3/4" pieces together and drill a 1/2" hole between the peices i put sticky back sand paper on it finish up with some sanding on the sides to get the sharp edges works for me

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Take it from a shop teacher, don't use the router. I do almost all of my bait shaping with a Delta 1" band sander. There are about $100 at Lowes. With a little practice you can get very good results and it is much safer than big belt or disk sanders. The belt is also unsupported which helps in making contures as opposed to a sander with a flat rigid back support. A little finish sanding by hand and you should be ready for paint. :)

mossy maker

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That's what I use, the belt sander from Lowes.

I adjust the table to the mose extreeme angle, swipe both sides, adjust table at a slightly less angle and swipe it again.....done.

Sand paper from then one. I can work out 20 baits in a little over a half an hour..ready for plast-coating.

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I use my pocket knife to take off the sharp edge on the bait,then i use the flat file to round off the rest of the body.No power tools involved here :D

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You could just make a router template for the shape. Cut out a slightly oversized version on the bandsaw. Then clamp in into router pattern and do one side at a time. that way they will all be uniform and it will be fast. You can make your template base large enough that you would never have to worry about your fingers and your bait would be clamped down, so no worries about it flying off.

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So what is the advantage? Is it because of the flexibility of the inflatable material under the sand paper?

jed

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The middle of the cylinder deflects along with the abrasive giving a rounded sanding surface. I am looking to find one that is affordable. I do gliders (like Riverman's only not as pretty) and do the radius sanding on a drum in a drill press. Over the last few seasons of building this topic comes up often and I like many of you have tried different things including the file and scarey router. I saw this guy use one building skate boards on Discovery Channel. One pass on the drum and it was perfect! Granted the board was only abou 1/2" thick. Will post results if I find one that I can put in a drill press.

Jerk

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Hmmm, that is an interesting idea I hadn't heard of. I really don't mind using the router too much to be honest altho I would be the first to admit it is the the "most dangerous" tool I use, noisy too! I think just about everyone will get bit by a router if you use it long enough. It's kind of like driving in a big city, a wreck is inevitable at some point. Has anyone tried the model that Maddox mentioned?

jed

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Fellas,it has been my experience that inflatable drum sanders work well if your sanding hard(dense) woods.There are problems controlling the amount of give with any wood.I personally wouldn't trust my own pressure control with a soft wood,and I have been a woodworker for many years.Consistency would be an issue.The Baltic birch plywood that most skateboards are made of is very hard.Usually those drums are used for sanding irregular surfaces where the consistency between pieces isn't as critical as lure bodies.Different things work for different people though.I believe that specialized jigs are the way to go,no matter what tool is used.I still have all of my fingers also,because those jigs keep the digits at a safer distance from the cutter.A custom dressed grinder works well for the radius all the way around a flat sided lure.You need a slow rpm(200 to 700 works well) and a very coarse grit,say 50 or 60, or the wheel will load up with wood-esp. hardwoods.You can mount a right-angle type fixture to the deck that the grinder is mounted on so there is something to index your jig against.With a little ingenuity and patience until the jig works well,you should be able to completely round a lure in about fifteen or twenty seconds each,if you run enough at a time,with consistency.I wish I could post a pic for ya.One day not soon enough.I would also recommend doing a search on the topic of wood shaping because there are tons of things to read.

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Riverman,

I will post results once I get to Columbus (Rockler) and get one of the drums. Until then I roughed a few glider bodies on the lath which gave very nice radii' when the rectangle was cented well on the spindles. Minimal sanding too! And since I have the lathe I thought I would try a more rounded profile similar to the manta bait. The flat sided gliders (divani) are still my favorites for flash but rounded baits (manta, old half-shaft) glide farther and belly wiggle better. Our local muskies are still hard after gliders so I can still try out the designs for about a month yet.

Jerk!

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