Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Terrydabassman

FLAT SIDES II

18 posts in this topic

Was wondering what the prefered width of the wood is on your flat sides?

Also, any tips on finding center when drilling for ballast weight...I throw tons of baits away because of off center drilling :(

What kind of wood is prefered for flat sides...Balsa or Basswood?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mark centers and drilling angles before any shaping is done. Once the bait is cut out I trace the center line completely around the bait. To find center, measure the thickness and divide it by two. Example? if the bait is ?? thick the center would be ??.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess width depends on the size of the bait. I like 2 1/4" flat cranks to be about 3/8". That's the size that seems to work best with the shape of that particular shallow crank and its bill, but you have to experiment to get the right dimensions for any crankbait. As far as centering holes, I scribe a center line around the entire bait while it's still "square", before any shaping, then go ahead and drill the ballast and other holes. The center lines also help me keep things symetrical while I shape the bait. If there's anything that seems to mess up the performance of a small crank, it's usually having a hook hanger, line tie, bill, or ballast weight off center.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I know how to measure and divide, what looks center and measures center sometimes just dosen't come out the way.

That reminds me, when I went to night school for machine shop in the 60's. I remember the lay-out table and a scribe that had a heavy base, a rod and a stylist could slide up and down on the rod. Then you just measured and adjusted the needle point to where ever and scratched it on your work piece (after blue suff was smeared on it) for all the cuts and drilling.

Think I'll see if I can make something to that effect, might make life a little easier...I can't imagine how you'd make a center line around the whole bait and keeping it that way...with all the curves and all...bless your hearts if you've figured out a way. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I picked up a self-centering dowel jig several years ago. Works great for perfect center holes in flat cranks. Bad news is that they are close to $50. Go to Rockler.com and pull up item# 49221. Cliff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys a real easy way of doing this is to lay the bait down flat on the bench next to a piece of wood ripped just under half of the thickenss of the original. Lay a 5mm mechanical pencil on top of the guage block and slide the body around tracing a line all the way. Then flip the bait and repeat. You should then have two thin lines a small distance apart that will give you a better reference for drill than a single line will. I use standard width blanks so it is easy to take an eighth inch guage block and shave a small amount off of it to guage with. It is the same idea as a machine block with the precision scriber you may remember from machine class (were we in the same class?). No math no measuring and if you do a bunch of the same thickness it is the quickest most reliably accurate way I have found.

Jerk!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saw this posted on aantoher site. Take a compass (the kind you do circles with) and set it so that it is half the width of your plug. Lay the metal point on the side of your plug, and scribe the line with the pencil.

Andrew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank ya-all for you input and ideas.

Skeeter, remember that not all of us have good eye sight...me especially. I was looking for a mechanical way to find center to take my eyeballs out of the picture so to speak.

I could mark center one day (eyeball it), the next day it didn't look near center...lol...I even make myself wonder sometimes. :)

Nobody answered the 2 questions...what kind of wood you prefer and what thickness of the flat sides do you like?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did say that I use 1/4" stuff a lot and basswood is my preferred topwater medium. AYC from APB's scrap bin is for the underwater stuff. He sends me some of his cutoffs that are from 1/8" to 3/16" alaskan Yellow Cedar. It is a great solid wood with lively action and great rot resistance. I use the 3/4" red cedar for my musky cranks and 3/4 white clear pine for gliders. I dont know why, I just do.

Jerk!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LIke Skeeter said, eyeball it, sometimes we can try to get over complicated in our bait making, on some baits placing the weight in the proper place back to front is as important as side to side, just have to experiment a little until you get it right, also for all my flatsides I use 1/2 inch balsa, easy to cut, shape and forgiving in the weight dept., I think basswood and other types are just too time consuming , just my 2 cents worth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Type of wood and width probably depend more on the type of plug you are doing and the size. Most of mine are striper sized plugs, so the cedars work for me better than light stuff like balsa. I also use cedar for other styles of plugs, so I have plenty around. Works nice too, though it will take longer to sand down than balsa.

Andrew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terry, by the sound of your name I would assume that you will be making Bass Lures. I make lures for Bass Fishing so I prefer 1/2 inch thickness of wood. When I first started I used 3/4 inch, I feel its too thick for a bass lure. I have used Poplar and Balsa woods as a wood source. Lately I have been using primarily 1/2 Balsa wood and my lures are flat sided just about 2 1/2'inches in length. Last year I started making it "easier" for me. so I bought dipsy swivels for the belly weight. The great thing about the dipsy swivel is that it has a built in screw eye in it. One issue with balsa is they need a little weight in them. I first tried the 1/4 ounce weight and they would float up to the moon at warp sppeds. So Im adding more weight to them. I am going to try the 1/4 ounce weight this year and we will see how they do.

I measure the center with a ruler that has 16th of an inch increments. 4 16th inch markings makes it middle! I take a screw eye and mark the center. A small drill bit, then two more larger ones usually make it the right size for the belly weight. One other issue is that you must make sure you drill straight & square cause this could cause the weight to sit off balance. Also the balsa has split on my a few times. So be careful with that as well. I use Devcon to glue the belly weight in its place. Make sure you get some devcon INSIDE the swivel so it will glue itself in place. Let it dry overnight, cover the remainder of the belly weight whole with a latex Wood Filler bought at Home Depot. Sand and shape and sand down with a fine grit paper. Cover entire lure with devcon for a sealer, prime and paint! Cody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finding Center - I use a good quality drafting compass and a ruler.

Measure half the width and mark a dot with a sharp pencil. Adjust the compass so its lead runs through the dot while running the steel pointer along the edge of the bait. Then just run the compass around the bait, marking a centerline. If you think there are inconsistencies in the bait's thickness, turn the bait over and run the compass down the other side. If there are 2 lines, your center is in the middle. The lines are usually very close together anyway, but we want to get it exact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

P.S. Marking a centerline around the bait gives you a reference for hardware and ballast AND just as importantly, it serves as a checkline while you're shaping the bait. I hand shape my cranks with a Dremel sander. If I don't have a center reference line, they end up lopsided in some dimension. Maybe it isn't as important for large musky cranks, but when you're building 2 1/4" bass baits, it better be symetrical or it ain't gonna run straight. The more cranks I build, the more I appreciate that keeping things straight and symetrical is the best way to guarantee performance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:grin: I know this is an old thread but I just had to add my two cents worth.

I generally am making bass cranks, usually out of balsa but lately out of PVC. The method I use makes finding the center effortless. I usually make my flat sides 1/2" wide on a 2 1/2" long lure. The thing is I use two pieces of 1/4" stock and glue them together. This makes finding the center line as simple as just looking at the bait. It also makes through wire baits a lot easier to make. Most of the time I simply double side tape the two pieces together to cut out the shape and then glue them together. I never have to worry about getting my loop holes centered or centering the weight because the line is perfect all the way around. Like someone else said it also makes sanding and shaping the bait easier because you have a center line to judge and eyeball.

B)

Like I said I know this was an old post but I hope maybe this helps some.

Camel1918

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0