tightliner

stencel making, how do you make a good one?

29 posts in this topic

Anyone actually using this type of frame? I'm curious as to how well the curved angle fits up against the lure.

jed

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I have used the method Dean mentions. Using the craft store stencil material. I've wrapped it around a lure then heated it with quick passes of a torch. It formed to the shape of the lure. I trimmed the stencil after and left a bit where the plastic meets to attach a paper clip to hold the template in place. Worked pretty good.

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I use airbrush frisket material, an adhesive plastic film with a peel-off paper backing. But I never remove the backing since I want to keep the stencils for re-use. I trace an outline of the bait, then freehand the cutouts with a pencil and cut them out with an xacto. If I want a left/right stencil pair, I trace a mirror image of the side finished first on another piece of frisket and cut it out the same. It only takes 30 mins for the whole process for most patterns. A L/R stencil pair lets me shoot paint without worrying about getting wet paint smeared on the other side. The stencils are pliable enough that I can hold them down with a finger tip while air from the airbrush keeps them pressed down on the surface of the lure. I do that rather than trying to get a stencil stretched out in place and secured on a curved surface containing a fresh coat of tender acrylic paint - which so far has NOT worked for me..

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For patterns I can't freehand, purchased Mold Builder (liquid latex) from Hobby Lobby. Brush several (5-6) light coats on a bait body allowing each coating to cure properly. You can coat the entire length of the bait or just a portion, depending on the pattern. Once cured, use a fine tip pen to draw the pattern and use a single-edged razor or exacto-knife to cut the pattern (while the latex 'sleeve' is still on the bait body). Now you need to cut the 'sleeve' off the bait. Use a razor or knife and slice the sleeve the entire length along the bottom or top depending on the pattern.Now you have a reusable, snug, form fitting sleeve pattern that is specific to that type of bait body. Made from latex, it is soft and won't scratch or otherwise mess up any underlying paint. Slip a bait into the sleeve and use tiny rubber bands (from orthodontist offices) to hold in place or slip nooses made from mono or braid. Press down around the pattern to insure crisp clean lines. For fuzzy lines, a little more modification is needed on the sleeve. Flip the pattern sleeve inside out and use the head of a nail (in a dabbing motion) to apply more Mold Builder along the pattern edges creating an uneven texture that allows for small air gaps during the painting process. Some experimenting may be necessary.Spray the bait. Allow to dry, naturally or with hot air. Undo the rubber bands and remove the sleeve. Done.Downside? You need a separate sleeve for each different body style and might be a pain for doing mass production. But it does make a reuseable dependable pattern template. And it can be cleaned easily with water if needed.

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