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  #1  
Old 11-02-2005, 06:05 PM
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Default Going to start making my own plugs, any advise?

I am going to order a small wood lathe within the next few weeks, i was wondering what types of wood, paint and so on. I have hand carved some lures, fresh and salt, in the past and love building things myself. I know this is the place for help. Thanks, jim.
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  #2  
Old 11-02-2005, 10:59 PM
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AYC (Alaskan Yellow Cedar) is by far the best and most popular wood being used by the better plug builders. It's extremely water resistant with tight growth rings and turns beautifully. You'll have to find it on the web as no one seems to carry it on the east coast (that I know of) They'll order it for you but only if you want a tractor trailers load th_icon_scared.gif

Eastern Red Cedar (fence posts) along with yellow pine (UNTREATED!!) are also popular but they can be a bit trickier to turn, sand and through drill due to the alternating soft and hard growth rings. They're also softer than AYC and don't hold up quite as well. That being said I use a lot of red cedar. For certain types of plugs, pikies and dannys in particular, I think it's superior to AYC due to the fact that the red cedar is lighter and more buoyant allowing you to add more lead in various places to affect the way it swims without weighing the plug down too much.

Paints - airbrush, rattle cans, brush ??? We need to know before we can answer this question.

Here's a beginners how to list I wrote a few years ago. It should get you started:

Wear eye and ear protection, remove rings, no loose clothes that could get caught in the lathe

I've been picking up cedar 4x4s at Home Depot. I cut them to varying lengths on the chop saw then quarter each piece on the table saw. After center drilling on the drill press I put them back on the table saw, set the blade at 45 degrees and knock the corners off. Then it's time to:

1. Turn
2. While still spinning, remove toolrest (safety) and sand down to #400
3. Remove from lathe
4. Do any shaping (like for a pikies head)
5. Cut for the lip if doing a swimmer
6. Drill for eyes and hooks
7. Patch any holes or tearouts.
8. Dip in boiled linseed oil to seal
9. Hang for a week to dry
10. Prime with BIN shellac primer (in the red label spray can)
11. Attach lip and any grommets
12. Do wire and hardware
13. Cover lip with masking tape, push small lengths of drinking straw over the swivels and paint. I use an airbrush with Createx acrylic paints
14. Allow paint to cure overnight
15. Coat with Envirotex Lite 2 part epoxy
16. Attach eyes while first epoxy coat is wet making sure to press them in tight, add a bit more on top of the eyes to seal them in well.
17. Make sure any bubbles are removed from the surface. You do this by gently blowing on it.
18. Slow turn on the spinner for 6 to 12 hours to level the epoxy
19. Hang for an additional 12 to 24 hours to let epoxy cure
20. Scuff sand with #600 and wipe down with rubbing alcohol on a paper towel
21. Do 2nd a coat of epoxy and repeat steps 17, 18 and 19.
22. Add hooks
23. Fish

Good luck

(edited to mention safety items)
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Old 11-03-2005, 07:03 PM
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how well does white oak work?
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Old 11-03-2005, 07:46 PM
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With the right sealing procedures you can make a plug from any kind of wood. However, as a beginner, stay away from the oaks. Even after linseed oil sealing, the large pore structure allows them to absorb a lot of water and that will split the plug. Plus, oak will suck up a lot of linseed oil that will bleed back out over time eating through the finish from underneath.

On top of that, it's very heavy. Weight is fine for plugs like darters and sinking needles but for those you're better off with maple.

As a general rule, the finer the pore structure and the higher the natural oil content the better the wood.
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:24 PM
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I agree with sudsy,stay away from white oak in the beginning, I have had sucess with it by using a grain filler prior to sealing, alot of extra work...I think I've tried making plugs out of every kind of wood available, even teak.... any plugs I make now are from cedar,popular or pine ( still have a few old oak plugs,mainly darters that i let the bluefish chew on when they become pests)

I have alot of red cedar, it grows in the back yard, seeing the house is built on a cedar swamp....so My wood supply is endless... I cut it and dry it a year in advance....

I dont get as fancy as some do with the plugs as far as paint goes, I seal, paint and add eyes,I couldnt bring myself to use some of the beauties I've seen some guys make, as long as the action is good the fish eat it, I've got a cedar plug i made over 20 years ago that i troll for tuna, it is unpainted and un seald It catches fish every year...
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Old 11-21-2005, 05:30 PM
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thanks, sudsy for the very detailed how to on plug making. the lathe is on its way, and i cant wait to start playing, i know it will help pass the time this winter. one question i have know is, what kind of wire do you guys use. i was thinking about .030 ga stainless welding wire (solid core of course). a buddy at the local hardware store hooked me up with a few feet, it seems like it might work. i figured before i make too many mistakes, i would ask the pros. thanks.
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Old 11-21-2005, 06:42 PM
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Stainless Steel 316L .062

(Edited to add diameter)
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Old 12-02-2005, 08:50 AM
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got the lathe, as soon as i finish one i will post it for the opinions. should be a few weeks from now. i figure the first few will be more trial and error than any thing else. the advise given here will hopefully cut down the error part. thanks, jim.
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Old 12-02-2005, 06:29 PM
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jim,
give me a call sometime wouldn't mind giving you a hand workin on some plugs
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:48 PM
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well, the small lathe i got needs to be returned for a bigger one. as soon as i get some plugs done i will post...
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Old 12-15-2005, 03:19 PM
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What kind of mini lathe did you get?

I have the big Delta but I've been thinking about getting rid of it in favor of a mini.
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Old 12-16-2005, 01:53 PM
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well, i was looking for something on the cheap, i wanted to make sure plug building was something i would stick with, so i browsed harbor freight tools and found a $40 hobby lathe, yup you get what you pay for. i had missunderstood the description of the lathe before placing the order. it has only 4" between centers, i thought it was 11". hey for 40 bucks i figured i couldnt go wrong. so i am currently in the market for a bigger one, at least 12" between centers. sears.com has one for $140, harbor freight has a 40" with 6"sander for $135.00. the little one i have isnt worth setting up for making plugs.
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Old 12-16-2005, 01:59 PM
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hey roccus, you say you have red cedar, looking for someone to take a few sticks off your hands? let me know maybe we could barter?
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Old 12-16-2005, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimi4290
well, i was looking for something on the cheap, i wanted to make sure plug building was something i would stick with, so i browsed harbor freight tools and found a $40 hobby lathe, yup you get what you pay for. i had missunderstood the description of the lathe before placing the order. it has only 4" between centers, i thought it was 11". hey for 40 bucks i figured i couldnt go wrong. so i am currently in the market for a bigger one, at least 12" between centers. sears.com has one for $140, harbor freight has a 40" with 6"sander for $135.00. the little one i have isnt worth setting up for making plugs.
Oops, you bought a pen makers lathe. It might not be bad for doing small plugs.

A few things to keep in mind:

1. 99% of what you might buy from Harbor Freight is

2. You're best off with a lathe that has at least 6" clearance from the point of the spur to the bed. This offers room to work and space to attach a duplicator if you're ever so inclined.

3. Electronic speed adjustment is sweeeeet. Changing belts from pulley to pulley sucks.

4. 3,000 + RPM

5. If the lathe isn't stable you're going to get chatter - make sure you have a very heavy table to bolt it down it to and throw away the rickety stamped steel legs that might have come with it.

6. Quality tools don't have to be sharpened as often, do a much better job and are much more enjoyable to work with.

7. You can make some vey nice tools by grinding files to shape and adding handles. One of my favorite tools is a bull nosed scraper I made out of a bastard file. Just be careful not to burn the temper out.
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Old 12-16-2005, 05:58 PM
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http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=45276
Hey sudsy, do you think this may be a good starter lathe. i plan on using it for lures only. i wouldnt work with wood longer than 15", maybe two plugs at once?
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