Shaping Wood Baits - ??
32 replies to this topic
Posted 14 November 2005 - 08:12 PM
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?
Posted 14 November 2005 - 09:25 PM
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!
Posted 14 November 2005 - 10:16 PM
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.
Posted 15 November 2005 - 09:50 AM
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?
Posted 15 November 2005 - 11:51 AM
For rounding baits I bought a black & decker mouse. Works great, however my baits are in two peices. I hope this helps.
Posted 15 November 2005 - 12:28 PM
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.
Posted 15 November 2005 - 01:25 PM
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.
Posted 15 November 2005 - 02:19 PM
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.
Posted 15 November 2005 - 02:25 PM
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?
Posted 15 November 2005 - 02:33 PM
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.
Posted 15 November 2005 - 05:23 PM
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.
Posted 15 November 2005 - 09:25 PM
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
Posted 16 November 2005 - 12:06 PM
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.
Posted 16 November 2005 - 05:59 PM
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.
Posted 17 November 2005 - 03:37 PM
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
Posted 20 November 2005 - 09:16 PM
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.
Posted 21 November 2005 - 03:16 PM
Are you talking about the inflatable drum-type sander? Have you tried one? I wonder about cost?