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Plug Building - Got Wood? Got Plug?

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Old 01-26-2020, 05:28 PM   #1
Higgie
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Sunday morning plug workshop.

I got into building by reading this thread every Sunday a few years back and always looked forward to what guys had to say. I know the other site has its own thing but the group of guys from here always helped me out. Swimmer took me into his shop almost 9-10 years ago to show me how he does his thing prof m hooked me up with a carbide tip and Info into my homemade duplicator. Anyone still building ?? I canít figure out pics from the phone but purchased a new home this summer and just finished getting my wood shop set up in the basement. Purchased a new mini lathe and a dup and have just started getting going. Needles and metals lips have my heart now and taking the dive into darters. Would love to get this thread going again. Iíll look to getting on the pc so I can download pics this week if anyone else is interested. Not an fb guy so Iíve always liked this page and the guys behind it

It would be raining soup, and id be be standing outside with a fork
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:10 PM   #2
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Good going Higgie

I have not built in a long time but if you need any help I am willing to give you advice or whatever. Good to see someone building
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Old 01-26-2020, 10:36 PM   #3
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Thanks for the thread. I recently thought the same to see who's lurking. I'm still churning out plugs. Dont know how long I'll be doing the same runs. Did 2 different designs for the first time.
Thinking to rekindle my enthusiasm by rekindling old designs and untried models.
Still plenty builders on here to help all. Almost 2 decades on here and I give credit many SB builders for years of making saw dust.
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:30 PM   #4
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Still building, but slowed way down. I have been making enough to use each summer plus a few to give away to friends. I need to step it up

Fish Rule!
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:03 AM   #5
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Picked up a duplicator off eBay it came missing parts but Randal at Vega came through. Spent Friday getting the setup dialed in and figuring out how I wanna build templates and what materials work for me. Like anything else thereís no right answer but lots of wrongs. The idea seems great but I also like the freedom of doing stuff by hand to create different shapes. Still need to get on the of to post some pics hope to this afternoon once the games comes on. Next dilemma is through drilling what are most guys doing?? Iíve built a jig for my drill press but the bench top one I have doesnít have a deep enough throw so in the process of reviving an old belt driven top drive press from the 60ís that will fill the void.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:04 AM   #6
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In the past Iíve always waited till I cut off the ends and then just use a hand drill in my palm and adjust how it spins. But trying to take out the variables. Especially with making skinny needles and the accuracy you need for darters. A lot of metals arenít square so thatís another animal
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Old 02-02-2020, 04:35 PM   #7
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You'll find plexiglas 1/8&1/4 is a great template. I must have 30 or templates made over the years. I either trace by hand an existing plug on the paper stuck to the plexi or use the duplicator to trace an existing plug. Remove the wire& hardware . Chick carefully in lathe not to wreck plug. Take a dowel and make a rounded point on 1 end. Slide into dupe where the cutter goes. Remove stylus and take a short pencil and put where stylus was. Adjust your wooden cutter to rub against the plug body and push down on prncil lightly to mark paper on plexi. As u turn the dupe handle , slightly push dupe cutter feed handle against plug. The dowel will follow plug OD and the pencil will mimic the outline and draw it on the paper. I use plexi about 2 1/2" wide by approx length of plug plus a couple longer. Cut out. I use a bandsaw. Dip below the nose and tail diameter to establish a plugs length then carry a slight angle back to outer edge of plexi. If u want to see a picture of some of my templates, let me know and ill put them on my laptop since we can't post pics from phone.
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Old 02-09-2020, 09:44 AM   #8
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Here's my results of heating maple and sealing with spar/turps. Once the lures were heated in microwave i.e. 8 needles for 1 1/2 minutes. Tossed into sealer. First batch in for 30 minutes. Increased approx grams. Second batch 10 minutes, same increase. Tried another thinner needle. After 5 minutes increase 3- 4 grams. Tried longer , no difference. Seemed to top out 5 minutes. The larger end grain surface of first needle produced more weight increase.
Here's the downfall. My fault I think. After a week of drying they were sanded and primed with Rustoleum painters choice. I've been using this primer for a few years since they came out with it.
With in the week I painted them with Createx and eventually e tex the finish. All was well until a month later the entire finish bubbled off the wood. Took my finger nail and peeled the entire paint job off the plug leaving a virtual bare wood plug. I took a look and found > half turning. 2 more weeks and I found a few more. The sealer was still bleeding. It seemed to not show any lack of drying in the first week but penetration must of been the reason it was now bleeding. They ate now stripped and contiue to dry. The smell is less also. Seems to be drying. I had these issue many years back when i use BLO. Had to dry in heated area for a few weeks. So now if I continue to use maple I will heat and dip but for a quick dunk to keep penetration to a minimum and plan a longer drying time. But honestly, I'll go back to birch. Never had any problems doing my cold dunking.
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Old 02-10-2020, 08:35 AM   #9
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Very interesting and good to know. Didnít get much done myself this weekend had to go to wmass for family obligations.
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Old 02-10-2020, 08:55 AM   #10
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I havenít built a plug in years but what I settled on was waiting till ready to wire and then dipping in water based polyurethane, hang to dry.
Maple splits is my opinion.
Birch and basswood worked best for me.
I could get basswood off my land when cutting firewood though itís not worth burning.
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:42 PM   #11
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I'm getting a late start. I never did make it back to downes and reader but I had enough soft maple scraps kicking around to make a small batch of needles. Also trying some lighter ones from pine.
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Old 02-16-2020, 02:04 PM   #12
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I finally spent some time and built some jigs and started tackling darters with some soft maple. Purchased a pen drilling blank and a new to me drill press with a four inch throw and that has changed the game for me. Iíve got a long way to go but definitely building good square jigs has helped tremendously. Made some birch needles during the week and gonna get some weight installed and lips cut for some metal lips.
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Old 02-16-2020, 02:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diggin Jiggin View Post
I'm getting a late start. I never did make it back to downes and reader but I had enough soft maple scraps kicking around to make a small batch of needles. Also trying some lighter ones from pine.
Hi DJ. How are u sealing the soft maple? Have you had any cracking from previous maple builds?
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Old 02-16-2020, 06:39 PM   #14
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For the past 3 or 4 years I've just been epoxy sealing everything. I'm just using etex thinned with denatured alchohol. Equal amounts (hardener, resin, D.A).

Prior to 2017 I had been using the thinned spar varnish with the soft maple (with very good results) but not sure what I did wrong with it that year. Suspect it was just old or my ratio's were off. I know we've had a lot of talk about products changing to be VOC compliant so no idea what went wrong that year, so I've stayed away from it since then.

For the small amount I'm building these days the etex sealing is just a lot easier/cheaper way to go as you can get it 1/2 off at michaels with a coupon and it has a pretty long shelf life.
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Old 02-16-2020, 07:05 PM   #15
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Yes i hear u. I e texed my first batch. Came out great. Too time consuming for 100. Heat treated and use 60/40 spar. Sucked in 7 gr. Ok I said good penetration. dry 1 week. Sands good. But the amount internally was not dry and bleed thru and lifted the paint and epoxy. I stripped them and they stunk of spar mixture. They are drying for a few weeks. Stink gone . I will prime with gold label zinseer and hope for the best.
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:53 PM   #16
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So the helmsmans spar cut with min and heated up blanks doesnít work for the soft maple?? Iíve made some needles in the past and some maple pikies and had no problem this way but all my wood was locally cut and solar kiln dried. Def using more maple this yea than years past
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:42 AM   #17
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Higgie I think it works fine. I used it for 6-7 years without issue including on soft maple. Over time it can start to thicken up, and I suspect that's when I had my issue.

I used to keep a gallon can of it, and then I would buy it in quarts and as I used it, I would top off the gallon can so that it would stay full/not skim over. But over time I think it just started to thicken up and maybe wasn't thin enough to penetrate properly.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:04 AM   #18
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I do notice the same thickening issues when left in container. The following build season I would add pure turps to thin but not having the exact ratio always gave me questions how effected the mix was. I now will mix smaller batches to help eliminate waste.
The question I was relating to is heating the wood. It does promote penetration. Before and after weight confirms that. My problem was the length of time to finally dry. Superficial drying fooled me. Like i mentioned prior that they now seem dry throughout after stripping and sitting for a few weeks. I will finish these and give to my fishing cohorts for evaluation this season. Will respond back with my findings.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:33 AM   #19
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I don't think that the heating is even necessary.

One of the first mistakes I made with the thinned spar varnish was letting a batch of darters soak overnight (which is what I had been doing with val oil). They absorbed so much of the sealer that when wired they did not float. After that I was just soaking the soft maple for an hour and that seemed to work fine.

I did experiment with some needles letting them soak a long time in it to make them heavier but that was on purpose... and they did take a long time to dry.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:38 PM   #20
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It is something how much maple sucks in compared to other woods.
Tubular end grain is like a vacuum hi way.
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Old 02-20-2020, 10:40 AM   #21
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Quote:
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It is something how much maple sucks in compared to other woods.
Tubular end grain is like a vacuum hi way.
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That's why I stick with AYC and compensate for weight/buoyancy issues with strategically placed lead.

No boat, back in the suds.
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