frazerp

Hydro-Orientation

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Hey all - have heard the term hydro orienting a bunch of times here & have a bunch of turned blanks (some drilled thru, some drilled just enough fr epoxied-in brass or ss eyes) in oak, birch & ayc.

 

In the past, I have just floated the turned blank in tap water, let it come to some equilibrium & marked it w/a Milwaukee Inkzall (seems to write/mark on anything, wet, greasy, haven’t tried on wet paint yet).

 

Only issue/s I see is 1) got to wait for sure & let any water to dry out/evaporate before sealing & 2) slight grain raising on some wood types (ayc the least).

 

FYI – BITD, we used a mix of water & dishwashing powder to clean wood, as it did not raise much grain.

 

So - here’s a few questions:

 

Is this tap water float useful ??

Would salt water be better ??

Just a bit of sanding pre & post sealing seems to be fine !!!

 

AND when do you do a darter blank, got to be before lipping, etc. !!!

 

Thanks all & happy spring or fall, depending on yr latitude & thanks for plugging ... 

 

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Hydroi'ing plug blanks probably makes a better swimmer, but it takes a commitment for all the later steps, if you hydro with the square ends cut off. From that point on, all your cuts and drilling needs to be done with jigs, instead of using the square ends to line things up for you. I can certainly see the benefit for swimming plugs, but less of a benefit for things like needles , pencils, spooks, etc.

I'm still a square end builder.

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Disclaimer: I'm a newbie. My first batch I did not hydro figuring it would take a week to dry. I would expect that you would have to hydro with the square ends still on the turned plug do that once you determine up you can drill belly weights, hooks and eyes, no? Are you really getting a good read on the plugs orientation with the ends still on?

 

I'll follow this with interest.

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I make some pretty dam straight plugs without my end pieces attached for reference. A seamstress tape measure and a clear plastic ruler can get you pretty far in life with a steady hand and patience.

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You can save yourself a lot of down time simply by rolling your plug body on a U shape piece of metal ..think railroad track shape...two thin upright edges...lightly roll the plug  body an inch or so across the track...it'll do the very same thing as putting it water....you can leave your square ends on or not...your choice....dry hydro.

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Try putting your wet or damp tested blanks in a micro wave oven 15 to 20 seconds at a time until there almost hot. Let them cool and repeat until dry. Takes about 5 to 10 minutes to dry. I use this trick to prep blanks before I seal. Warm wood will suck in the sealer.

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Hydroi'ing plug blanks probably makes a better swimmer, but it takes a commitment for all the later steps, if you hydro with the square ends cut off. From that point on, all your cuts and drilling needs to be done with jigs, instead of using the square ends to line things up for you. I can certainly see the benefit for swimming plugs, but less of a benefit for things like needles , pencils, spooks, etc.

I'm still a square end builde

 

Not sure if I will explain this well.  (and I do like capesams idea although I havent tried it).

When I first tried darters I hydro oriented (and cut both square ends off)

 

I needed one end back on to have it sit square at the drill press and on the table saw to cut the 45.

 

I took a piece of square stock and ripped it down to the width of the plugs I was making and drilled a hole thru center.

I cut both ends off all the blanks. Hydro oriented and marked the top, then just stuck a screw thru the center hole of the square stock and screwed into the tail end of the plug.

 

When it was tight I just rotated so the right side is facing up.  When your done, just unscrew it.

 

Depending on what you are building if you dont need to work on the ends you could just screw both square ends back on.   Here's an old pic I had from when I did this.  (2008, looks like I desperately needed a new band saw blade. yikes).

post-5795-0-91855900-1490559527.png

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I am not a square end kind of guy but that is a wicked good idea.

 

I do like to hydro swimmers and darters. I just wait a week and some light sand paper and all is well in my experience.

Edited by Steel Pulse

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I used to hydro all my darters in my sealer- spar-spirits mix, to me it made more sense than water. Never thought of screwing the end back on. I may go back to it now.

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One would think that the real crazies would use water from their fishing areas - cold salt water is denser than warm salt water, so pick yr poseidon ...

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