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michael merrill

Anyone here used a pantograph?

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Was talkin to a buddy and the subject of luremking came up...imagine that.He says that he has seen a router pantograph used to reproduce simple shapes.So I wonder if this could apply to flatsides...anyone?

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I think they are quite spendy which prevents most of us from having such a tool. I have spoken with folks that have them tho and I think they would work perfectly for what we are doing. I think many of the large wood bait manufacturers are using auto-shapers.

jed v.

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I am not exactly sure that I know or understand what an auto-shaper is or how it could be configured.That would be interesting to learn about though.Seeing how I claim to be a professional woodworker, that is a little embarassing. :oops: Having said that, I have seen many different configurations for "copy carvers",most of which are three axis(X,Y,Z),however, without some major modifications, those do not meet requirements necessary for me.I was thinking that a pantograph set up would work well for flats, and would reproduce a variety of patterns.With the right bullnose(half-round) cutter,I would hope that would be a very quick way to completely machine flatsided bodies.Right now I am in the process of researching and designing a one of a kind lathe type machine where a stylus copies a stack spindle while two others cut copies.Many vibration issues to contend with,and linear motion products are very pricy, but, when all is said and done,I will be very happy...hopefully.By then I should be able to acquire the necessary digital equipment to share visually.Always thinking...sometimes out loud...to my detriment.Thanx!

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I use a pantograph to cut my Screw eye drivers slots, and I cut my cranbaits wich are 3-D shad shaped baits.It works awesome.It will cut the exact shape as accurately as you could ever want (within .003") . I can change the ratio on the machine and cut baits from 1" snap beans all the way up to 9" muskie baits with the same pattern.

Now here is the down sides to pantographs: cost $500 to over $1000, and they are getting hard to find some die shops and engravers still have them. Making the pattern takes time wich is done on the pantograph from and exsisting bait. I had to buy $50 worth of acrylic to make the patterns. You have to make a "top" and "bottom" pattern, so there is 2 setups. There still is a fair amount of sanding needed after cutting.

But with all that, I am still glad I did it that way because the patterns last forever. After some time I can now cut a 3-D shaped bait in about 10 minutes.

Tom

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I have a system for one lure style that has about 15 minutes a piece - complete....BUT, that is only one style, and even though it is a very successful system, it IS only one style NOT a line of styles.Although the system is adaptable to additional styles, which would improve customer demand, it would be necessary to build precise jigs and fixtures for each style as I did for the first one.That is not feasible for a plethera of reasons.One machine,infinite style possibilities,quick changeover time,cnc adaptable,"copy" capabilities, multiple body machining simultaneously(twelve at a time),total body time in the 2 minute range,those are some of my driving needs.I have spent the past two years walking down the road leading to the successful completion of my goal of becoming the most sought after custom lurebuilder in modern history...GOOD LUCK...huh?

Tom,

It would be interesting to see how you have figured out how to fabricate full-bodied 3D lures with a pantograph type set up.Is your set up kinda like a figurine copy carver?I really like the notion of being able to produce different sizes of the same shape...very,very appealing.Perhaps I could give you some work in the future...

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Not sure what a figurine carver is. The Pantograph I use is like a duplicator that has a stylus that follows over and around a pattern or model, and it has a scissor arm that links to the cutter spindle. So what ever the stylus is doing so is the cutter ( hope that makes sense)LOL! Now if I were to be doing high volume with multiple bodie styles (and I had money wich I dont) I would get a small CNC mill and have all the bodie styles digitized on a CMM around $100 per body. Then I would make a vacume pump nest to hold the bodies to cut the second side of the lure after the first side is shaped. That is the trick to 3-D baits is holding it when nothing is flat anymore. Right now I am cutting all but the very ends so I leave just a little bit of the square block to hold on to it in a vise, then I saw off the ends and hand work the last little bit( I hate doing that). I guess in lure making you either have to spend time or money, and I dont have money so I do some things the long way.LOL!

What kind of numbers of baits are you doing in a year?

Tom

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Tom,

I completely understand the time versus money notion, not to mention family priorities.To answer your question, I have done as many as 700 and as few as 150 or so.I have honed down some areas in the past three years that have enabled the process to complete a run of twelve dozen in about eight days time;on average,fourteen to sixteen minutes each. That particular style has been enough to keep my spare time occupied, although that will change when I advertise.If I did not change anything in the system,I could make about 9000 lures in a years time.

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