Christmas carving for you..
This isn't really a hand carved, technically its a power carve, as I've used copious power tools, but the same result could be reached with a hand drill, coping saw sand paper and alot of elbow grease....
The plug is a 6" jointed 1.50 ounce minnow.
I kept the needs and finishes to a minimum to make this an easy build for anyone.... For this build, you will need, a block of wood 1" thick and at least 6" long( I used mahogany) , some paper, graph paper works best, some spray adhesive, 4 ,3/4" SS screw eyes, two links of brass toilet chain (or two more screw eyes as a substitute for the joint), a small sheet of 1/8" lexan, three #1 treble hooks and 3 4H split rings,2 #4 SS screws (one if you use a belly hook mid plug) 60 minute 2 part epoxy, as well as some type of sealer, I use a 60/40 mixture of boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits, but because the plug is not through wired, a dip in varnish or tung oil will suffice,primer and a can of spray paint, a small tube of glitter and some spray varnish..
First trace out the shape of your plug, the widest part is at the head, mine is 7/8" wide and the nose tapers quickly to a sharp point, the tail is 1/4" wide... once you've traced out your shape, lightly spray the back side of the paper with spray adhesive and attach it to the block of wood, now cut out your plug, once the plug is cut out, remove and retain your pattern, divide your plug down the middle, then mark 1/8" either side of center on the tail and run a line from the mark to the widest part of the head, from there, make a sharp angle towards the nose, now take it to a belt sander and remove the excess down to the line, you could also use your coping or back saw, but the belt sander can do it in seconds, once your plug is roughed out, hand sand your desired contour, place your pattern back on the plug, mark your bill and hook locations, the front cut of the bill is 3/8" back from the nose 1/2" deep at a 30 degree angle, the finished slot will require hand sanding to provide a tight fit for the lexan lip,make your joint cut at this time, be sure to bevel the edges to keep them from limiting the action and chipping the paint,..
Forming the lip: the lip NEED to proportioned to the width of the plug, the bill is traced out on a piece of graph paper then using spray adhesive, attached to the lexan, when tracing the lip be sure to add and additional 1/2" to the length to secure it in the lip slot... test fit and sand the lip slot to make a snug fit, when finished the lip will be secured with 1 hour set, 2 part epoxy, do not use 5 minute, as it is not water proof
To make the joint, separate two links of brass toilet chain ( found in better hardware stores, like ACE) mark the length along the side and bottom of the plug, mark and drill pilot holes for your screw eyes and or retaining screws, screw heads should be counter sunk for aesthetics, but it is not vital, drill a 1/4" hole on center deep enough to house the link, test fit screw eyes and links.... once your satisfied on component fit, you then can seal your plug..
After sealing, prime the plug, any good primer will suffice, I painted the belly white rustling, the sides a fern green also rustolium, and the top gloss black... yup, rustolium.... when the paint had dried I applied 3 D eyes,but eyes can be made by dipping an eraser in yellow paint and lightly dabbing the plug, once dry, a black iris is made by dipping the tip of the pencil in the paint and dabbing the center.... I then applied 3 coats of spray varnish, after the second coat a light sprinkle of glitter enhances the look, assemble your plug, apply a drop of epoxy to each screw eye and it will greatly enhance their holding power......