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  1. I generally use brad point bits for almost everything in wood working except where I need a shorter bit to fit with my limited press quill stroke and a few of my jigs or where I need holes larger than 1/2" dia., then it'll be a forstner bit. Only time I use an aircraft bit is to connect through holes I've already started with a brad point and as such 1 aircraft bit will last me forever until I bend it somehow. I like brad points because they start early, score the wood around the perimeter of the hole first before cutting out the rest of the hole diameter (which means less tearout), and thanks to the brad point, don't wander even in gnarly grain or weird slopes. Fisch brand is an excellent choice...
  2. I used to make a bunch of jointed resin baits very similar to what you've posted, almost the same body shape, wire in the mold before pouring etc. The resin lip was never strong enough because I had enough micro balloons in the mix to make the bait bouyant. As such, I made a mold that had a lip slot already in it and would then epoxy in a polycarbonate lip. I also made another mold that I could put a lip right into a slot in the mold and pour the bait so that the bait came out of the mold with either a ploycarbonate or circuit board lip already in it - if you're going to do that, just drill a few holes in the top part of the lip that will be in the bait so that resin can flow into the holes in the lip and hold it in place. In my opinion, a spinner for epoxying the jointed bait was super helpful in getting an even, clean top coat that didn't blob up in the joint; I used a spring on the connection for the lure in the spinner so that it held the bait straight with tension on the joint, then I could apply epoxy right down to the joint wires nicely without it actually getting into the joint. Regarding the rattle, there's a ton of ways to do it, probably the easiest way is to super glue a glass rattle or something like that right to the wire frame you put in the mold before pouring.
  3. Yes, you can. My daughter was into ceramics for a while and I have done this with molds out of stoneware clay. Fireclay might be better for temperature resistance but the stoneware worked just fine. One thing to keep in mind though is you'll need to warm the mold up a bit first, I cracked one pouring a big shot of lead into a cold stoneware mold, I don't think it liked the rapid temp change. Never had any problems when I warmed the mold up first just by setting it on top of my lead pot while the pot warmed up enough to melt the lead.
  4. Thanks Guys. Hope it helps someone - it's the easiest way I've found so far to make a true magcast system that's both durable and reliable. It's really also a "system' that can usually be modified to fit whatever lure you've got that needs some help in the casting department.
  5. That right there is super generous, a guy who builds and sells plugs, posting an x-ray of said plugs. Terrible business plan and amazingly kind. We are very lucky to have your contributions SP, thank you Sir.
  6. X2 on the Grizzly dust collectors, I also have a couple that have been workhorses for me. The Grizzly G0860 - 1-1/2 HP Portable Cyclone Dust Collector has been super and the cyclone makes a big difference.
  7. This might not be any news to some, but you can indeed make a magcast Danny or pikie (even a chin weighted pikie but that takes a lot more work)or Donny or darter or whatever, this is a system and can be adapted to whatever bait you desire as long as the bait doesn't have a super long tail weight and therefor wouldn't need a magcast system anyway. I was putting some stuff together the other night and realized that I'm pretty short on Danny's so, out to the shop I went to make more. The thing is, the standard Danny's I make aren't exactly "standard" in that they incorporate a magcast system and I thought you guys might like to see how I do it. I've hung onto this trick since 2003 or 2004, about a year or so after yo-zuri introduced their magcast minnow which might have been the first magcast sytem I saw. The "system" consists of an aluminum tube, tube end plugs, a ball bearing(s) (chrome plated steel or tungsten depending on the plug), high strength magnet and a wood dowel - I make the dowels with my cordless drill and a dowel plate, using the same wood I made the plug body out of. Here, we'll do a 6" Danny Starting with a turned plug body, I drill my holes for front hook, a hole to fit the magnet right where the belly weight would normally go and a hole for a bit of lead to compensate for the rear belly hook which I leave off the bait (actually the lead I use to compensate for the missing rear belly hook is a bit forward of where the hook would go because that's where I like it). Drill your hole for the magnet just deep enough to fit said magnet - you can put the magnet right in the end of the tube we will place in the bait, but I like to put the magnet under the tube to keep the center of gravity down and prevent the roll you get if you put the magnet in the end of the tube. Here's where things get interesting, after cutting off the blank ends, sawing the lip slot and through drilling the plug as normal, I put the plug on a jig to drill a hole in the blank that extends from the tail just past the spot drilled to accept the magnet. The jig is just a right angle base with a dowel that fits in the hole already drilled for the magnet. Chuck up the right sized bit for the aluminum tube and line the jig up so that the center of the drill bit aligns to the center of the dowel and also so that the drill bit will just miss the end of the dowel as you drill past it (this determines how much wood is left between the magnet and the tube with bearings in it and as such determines how well the magnet holds onto the bearings - the more wood you leave, the easier the bearings come off the magnet - too easy is a bad thing), set your depth so that the drill just goes past the bottom of the dowel. Now I put a little shim on the base of my jig to set my drilling angle, you need to angle the tube higher at the tail sloping down toward the magnet for a couple reasons: it helps the bearing(s) roll back to the magnet so that the weight is in the right place for the right plug action. The angle also lets you get a longer length of tube in the plug which allows the weight(s) to move farther toward the tail during the cast, which is the whole point of this. A good rule of thumb to help figure out where the hole for the tube should start in the tail end of the plug is to plan on cutting through about 1/2 of the diameter of the through wire hole. Now is a good time to put a long length of tube in the hole just drilled, load a bearing in the tube, and check to make sure you don't need to remove some wood from the magnet hole in order to make the magnet to bearing connection stronger. I also mark the tube length at this point (they're all slightly different due to slight differences in plug body diameter or length) to get the right fit for the plug body. Back the tube out and make a second mark about 1/8" shorter than the first mark, this helps make sure the tube is short enough that I won't hit the end of it when redrilling the through wire hole later. you can judge this a bit by looking into the hole for the tube and seeing where the through wire hole just intersects the bearing tube hole Cut your tube to length, make plugs to plug the tube ends (I just use a piece of the same tube, sharpen the end and use my cordless drill to make some plugs out of wood or poly board etc.) then assemble the tube by plugging one end, loading the bearing(s) and plugging the other end. I use epoxy on the plugs, just be careful to not get epoxy on the bearings or down inside the tube. When the epoxy for the tube has cured, mix up some more epoxy to glue the tube in as well as the dowel we will use to plug the hole in the baits body. Make sure the tube is fully seated in the front of the hole (you can use the magnet to check to see if it grabs the bearing(s)) and then close up the remaining portion of the hole with the dowel. When the epoxy has cured, just trim off any of the extra dowel, conforming it to the profile of the plug body. All you have to do now is redrill the short section of through wire hole in the tail, seal the plug, install the magnet/weight and finish the plug as normal and you will end up with a Danny that can outcast most others yet swim just like a Danny should.
  8. couple questions to help with your paint adhesion issue: Are you using a mold release - if so is it a "paintable" mold release? Are you wiping the baits down after de-molding with alcohol or soapy water etc? Are you priming before paint with something like Rustoleum 2X or something else that's good for plastic? I ask because each one of these items has caused me an issue at some point relative paint adhesion. I don't sand any of my castings and paint sticks very well as long as my mold isn't so old that it's leaching silicone.
  9. Check out the Saunders Femme Fatale; easy tie and swim oh so nice...caught all kinds of fish on them
  10. That fly looks like a pattern called the "Double Deceiver". The beads aren't weights, they're strung on the doubled wire to let you get the rear hook farther away from the main hook and allow the rear hook to move side to side independently without hanging up or sliding up the wire loop; this lets the fly "swim". The beads used as spacers in most articulated flies are usually plastic or glass and are quite light.
  11. All sorts of stuff can be used for a mold box, the corrugated plastic already suggested does work quite well and like @Breezy Kid said, can be picked up for free pretty often (curbside trash piles after election season is over...). My favorite thing to use is the foam PVC board, doesn't flex near as much over time like the corrugated plastic stuff, takes hot glue readily but the glue will pop off with no damage. Homies sells it for around $5 a sheet. You can also source something like a thicker poly wall panel or markerboard(raw masonite works ok for a while but then starts to chip out while the markerboard coated masonite lasts) - keep your eyes out for the sales bins or garage sales etc. I like to cut strips that are 2 1/2" to 3" wide and anywhere from 6-12" long. I use 1 set that is 6" long for a variety of sized molds and another set that is 12" long for a variety of bigger sized molds. You can use the same stips to make lots of different sized molds just by arranging the strips in a butt joint pattern like this:
  12. I measure lip angle from the horizontal center line of the baits side view, the higher the lip angle from center line, the shallower the bait tends to swim. I’ve had good luck with lip angles from 35 to 45 for shallow swimmers but that will be dramatically affected by the characteristics of the bait you’re making, body & head shape, buoyancy etc.
  13. Thanks! I saw that one and the description on Fin and Flame; just found an old post here on it from @Sudsy that has some more detail…
  14. Thanks for thinking about it and letting me know!
  15. I’ve looked around, including searching SOL, for more info on the Howard’s Jet Swimmer and I’m finding info. on the lure and it’s makers hard to come by. The basic info. is that the plug was built by Howard Ladig in partnership with John Gamsby of the J&H Tackle company out of Wrentham, Mass between 1952 and 1957. Interestingly (to me anyway) the only 2 descriptions I find for this plug put it at 6” while the one I came across is 6 1/2”. Anyone know anything else about this plugs history? Anyone ever fish one? Seems like a short, fat version of an atom but the weight scheme is quite different. The plug also has a unique tail grommet configuration, it’s actually 3 different sized grommets stacked inside/on each other. Neat plug and I’m wondering how well they fished.
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