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Need advice carving wooden crankbaits

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So I'm dabbling into and carving crankbaits out of different types of wood. This one in particular is cedar. I have not started sanding, so it is pretty rough right now. I was wondering if anyone could give me advice on where to go forward before I start taking wood off that I can't put back on..? My original plan was to make a medium diver 12 ft to 14 ft. But as far as shape how does it look so far? And I am up for any recommendation for any augmentation of the shape as it sits currently. And when I start sanding what grit should I start with and what grit should I end with? Thanks for any help

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A 12- to 14-foot-long lure is pretty big,:huh: Just kidding I am no carver I do most of my work on a lathe but, that size which I think is about 3" I would have started with a piece of balsa or bass wood, sands better, than see how it works and if you want cedar than switch to it. I am sure the guys who do carving will help you.

Wayne

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For shaping I only rough things out with a knife then switch to a rasp with a coarse/fine combination. You can remove a lot of material with the coarse side. The fine side it eliminates a lot of sanding and removes the ridges 

The one I use is double sided. One side curved the other is flat 

here is a pic of one but the fine side is getting worn down because I have had it a long time 

By far my favorite shaping tool

367ACFDD-DDAC-4389-A815-F887CF5A4562.jpeg

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Looks good so far! Keep it up.  Don't be discouraged if you make a lure and it totally is a flop.  We have all been there.  Just give it a try, don't overthink your first lures.  

The tough part of a diving crankbait is getting the lip slot to be perpendicular to the wood so it dives true.  I like to cut that slip slot while i have flat sides.   You will have to kind eyeball where to put the lip.   At this point I would take some 80 or 120 grit or so and sand it to the shape you like it.  Maybe finish off with 220 or so.    Then cut the lip slot/put wire in and weight (it will most likely need a bit of weight to give it a ballast).   Once all the hardware is in, I would seal the wood one way or another.  It helps keep any moisture out, but really it can help the overall appearance of your lure.  There are tons of methods - polycrylic, polyurethane, superglue, epoxy are a few.  

Size and shape of the diving lip will be tricky to if you want to make a unique lure.  Honestly, copy one of your favorites to start.  It will give you a feel for how it works.  Then you can start making the same kinda lure and try different size or shapes or angles, there are many options.  You can learn a lot from the ones you fail at too!

There is tons to talk about - keep asking questions.  

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I make swimbaits, but the process is the same, I start with 120 and end with 440.  If you make a big mistake you can fix it was epoxy putty or bondo.  As was mentioned don’t get discouraged, I have a whole box of failures. You need to have the lip slot even and the bait symmetrical if you want it to run strait. I make the slot really tight so I can switch out lips when I am testing to figure out which one works best. Sometimes they just don’t run right, but you can tune it by adjusting the line tie.  I really like Tupelo wood over balsa and basswood. I have not used cypress because I don’t know where to find any. 

Edited by Flaswimbaiter
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On 6/17/2022 at 8:02 AM, Hillbilly voodoo said:

For shaping I only rough things out with a knife then switch to a rasp with a coarse/fine combination. You can remove a lot of material with the coarse side. The fine side it eliminates a lot of sanding and removes the ridges 

The one I use is double sided. One side curved the other is flat 

here is a pic of one but the fine side is getting worn down because I have had it a long time 

By far my favorite shaping tool

367ACFDD-DDAC-4389-A815-F887CF5A4562.jpeg

I'm getting one of those. I use an old cabinet makers file for shaping cork handles...and never really thought about using it on lures.

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1 hour ago, Chris Catignani said:

I'm getting one of those. I use an old cabinet makers file for shaping cork handles...and never really thought about using it on lures.

I don’t know why they are not more common amongst lure makers because the knock off rough edges way faster then hand sanding. You still need to get the final steps with hand sanding for a smooth finish 

I also use it to create concaved surfaces on lipless crankbaits, jerk baits, and plugs

Very versatile tool for shaping, very handy for curves, and a time saver 

 

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On 6/19/2022 at 9:52 AM, Hillbilly voodoo said:

I don’t know why they are not more common amongst lure makers because the knock off rough edges way faster then hand sanding.

 

I can think of a few reasons.   

1. Many don't have much experience with them.  I have several older Nicholson, half dozen Iwasaki, and a few riffler (budget) sets but enjoy woodworking.

2. Power tools are used in their place.  An oscillating spindle/belt sander combo makes quick work for many or dremels.  I turned a spindle with proper cove dimensions on my lathe for several balsa cranks I was making and then glued sandpaper.  Could go from rough out to finished blank very fast that way with balsa. 

3. For most bass cranks or topwater baits the size makes them sort of less ideal but still doable.

4. Youtube... so many build a bait however  "Guru X" makes a bait.

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4 hours ago, Travis said:

I can think of a few reasons.   

1. Many don't have much experience with them.  I have several older Nicholson, half dozen Iwasaki, and a few riffler (budget) sets but enjoy woodworking.

2. Power tools are used in their place.  An oscillating spindle/belt sander combo makes quick work for many or dremels.  I turned a spindle with proper cove dimensions on my lathe for several balsa cranks I was making and then glued sandpaper.  Could go from rough out to finished blank very fast that way with balsa. 

3. For most bass cranks or topwater baits the size makes them sort of less ideal but still doable.

4. Youtube... so many build a bait however  "Guru X" makes a bait.


I still use belt and drum sanders but like my rasp for the final shaping before sanding. Even on small 1 1/2 trout lures

Maybe I am just strange and have been doing it this way so long it just feels right. It has definitely become efficient for me 

4) well it’s great that there is YouTube as resource for people to learn but some definitely need to expand beyond it

In the whatever works and gets the job done is the right tool in my opinion 

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