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Jim in WA

Turning Cedar plugs on a Vega Duplicator

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I am new to this forum and seeking information on how to turn cedar plugs. Long story short, the plugs I used for many years are no longer manufactured. I bought a Comet II MIDI lathe and a Vega 8562 duplicator with the idea on making them myself. The design is easy I have a number of examples. They were originally made from Western red Cedar. Any tips on working with this wood?

 

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Red Cedar turns nice, but is very soft, and sanding reduces the diameter quickly when trying to sand to final size. If you are starting by buying cedar balusters, look for some with tight grain, it will help to keep your plug round.Turn your blanks slightly oversized, then sand to finish size. Red Cedar dust makes my allergies go off the chart, so I don't use it much, but Alaskan Yellow Cedar (AYC), Eastern White cedar, Basswood, all will work as well.

Something that a lot of guys do with the soft woods is to seal them using a 2 part epoxy (Envirotex Lite, we call it Etex) after they are turned, drilled, and sanded, the epoxy firms up the outer layer of the wood a lot, and after a light sanding makes a great base for your primer layer.

A search here for the term "epoxy sealing" should turn up a lot of info.

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Thx for the information. I was also told it has a tendency to tear out. I wondered if you could reduce the angle on the cutting tool and turn at a higher speed.(Like when you modify drill bits for drilling acrylics)

I have a choice of old growth or younger local Cedar. Also was going to experiment with knot free sections of some of the older branches.

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Yeah, tearout is one of the reasons why I'd leave some extra material and sand down to size....I turn everything at max rpm and try not to get too greedy with the depth of cut, and always try to make the last pass before sanding a light cut. I sand with 80 first, then right to 220, till I have no tearout left.

Sharp tools help, the HSS cutter that comes with the Vega is fine when sharp, but requires occasional sharpening. There are carbide cutters available to fit your duplicator, as well, they are scary sharp, and long lasting.

Some of the swimmiest plugs I've made came from wood that I salvaged from an old redwood picnic table. Never know where stuff might pop up.

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The duplicator should arrive Monday. And the experimentation will begin. The plug design will require a jig for cutting the front face, eye sockets, and drilling for the main line pass through. No attached tackle. (One of the best features as the fish spits the plug out and it is usually up the leader a few feet.) I am looking for a source of glass eyes. Maybe a taxidermy supply?

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On 4/13/2019 at 7:44 AM, Jim in WA said:

The duplicator should arrive Monday. And the experimentation will begin. The plug design will require a jig for cutting the front face, eye sockets, and drilling for the main line pass through. No attached tackle. (One of the best features as the fish spits the plug out and it is usually up the leader a few feet.) I am looking for a source of glass eyes. Maybe a taxidermy supply?

Show us a pic of what you are trying to replicate. Always good ideas to help out here. 

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Well it’s been awhile. My work schedule until COVID made me back burner the plug project.

I am getting things put together. Here is a pic of the plugs I am building. This one is a sample of the last ones made. The originals had glass eyes. 
I will be turning them out of Red Cedar. I have a very good source of tight old growth shake bolts to use. I will be using a Comet II midi lathe with a Vega 10-24 duplicator, turning 2 blanks at a time. 
I am finishing the drawings for making the tool jig for Cutting and sanding the front face and drilling the through hole and eye sockets.

01CF1AEB-7E5F-483E-8A7E-C61ECB7CE590.jpeg

3262D69D-4D33-481B-82DC-2BFD39E9B40C.jpeg

4839BCB5-EB25-4BA6-ACDE-CB60E514C5A7.jpeg

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Posted (edited) · Report post

1 hour ago, capesams said:

I'd almost classify it as a salmon plug..?

Actually designed for Gerrard Rainbows. I haven’t tried them for salmon but see no reason they wouldn’t work. Last fall 21 lbs. I also have caught Dolly Varden and Lake trout on them.

2BC0E8AB-0119-4AA0-99D4-B0633D735237.png

Edited by Jim in WA
Typos

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Posted (edited) · Report post

8 hours ago, ADTR14 said:

Those look good! Same erratic action as a Lyman?

Actually better action. I have fished both. Note: old Lymans were better than what is currently produced. The shape changed, now made from plastic.Why they put a rattle in them defies logic. You don’t change what works. Rattles are for fish in a defending posture not hunting food. Kokanee don’t rattle.

These can be trolled very fast or slow and no tangled hooks. (Lymans can flip and tangle at anytime you are over 2.2 knots.) Nice when you want to run plugs and flies. The ability for the fish to throw the plug and not the hook leads to higher success rate. And if you break off you can circle back around  retrieve the plug and your only out a hook.
They used to be made by a local guy in my hometown. Originally hand carved.

Edited by Jim in WA
Typo

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