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Old 12-21-2004, 11:22 PM   #1
Jigman
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Talking Merry Plugmas (a step by step)

Ok, time for a little Christmas step by step. Iím sure a few of the newer guys got lathes or other plug making tools for Christmas. So here is something to play with to get started. Hopefully there is something in here that will be of use to those who have been making plugs for a while too. For those more experienced, feel free to suggest alternative ways to do some of the steps (I donít mind learning too ). Here Iíll go through the steps to making a Danny plug. The end plug will be 5 inches long and weigh around 1 Ĺ oz. Iíll be using AYC for the wood, but other woods can also be used. You may have to play with the amount of weight in the plug if you use another wood. Note that in the following photos none of the equipment is turned on (I like my fingers!!). Ok, on to the plug building!

I start with a block of AYC that is 6 inches long. I like to start with a block that is a little longer than the finished plug as it gives me the square ends to keep things lined up after turning the blank. I have a center finder jig set up to quickly mark the centers. The jig is basically a section of 2x4 with two sides attached to form a corner and a section of a jig saw blade placed down the exact center of the 2x4. Place the blank in the jig and hit with a mallet, turn 45 degrees and hit again. The ďXĒ marks the center of the blank. Do the same for the other end too. Now you have the center of your block. This jig also works for round dowels.
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Old 12-21-2004, 11:23 PM   #2
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Once you have mounted the plug on the lathe youíll start with a gouge to knock the corners of the block and round out the blank. The thickest diameter for the finished plug will be 1.1 inches, so make sure to leave the blank a little thicker than this. You can use a set of calipers to check your diameters as you go. Once rounded out, place marks on the blank for the end points (i.e., so you have a 5 inch plug). Next place a mark at 2 Ĺ inches. This will be the center point of the plug. On a Danny, the center is the thickest part.
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Old 12-21-2004, 11:24 PM   #3
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Next, weíll drop the front of the plug down close to .8 inches. You can rough this out with the gouge or the skew (Iím using a skew here), which ever you feel more comfortable using. Youíll want to taper this back to the center point you marked earlier.
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Old 12-21-2004, 11:25 PM   #4
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Next, weíll turn the tail down to .6 inches. Again, youíll taper this to the center point. At this point, the blank should be close to the final specs (.8 at front, 1.1 center, and .6 inches at the tail). When tapering the front and tail, you can take just the very ends down to the specified dimension, then turn the rest. Alternatively, you can slowly take the whole section down at one time. To make sure everything is even, Iíll use a sanding block to do the rough sanding. Using the block insures that the tapers are even.
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Old 12-21-2004, 11:26 PM   #5
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I like a little curve to the body, so Iíll use a piece of sandpaper held between my hands to get this effect. No photo for this as I need two hands to use the sandpaper. Iíll hit it with 80 grit first, then finish up with 180 grit. You can do this on the lathe.

With the blank still on the lathe, hold a pencil to the blank to mark the weight, swivel, and eye (if you want an eye on your plug) locations. On this one, the eye is at .85 inches, hook at 1.5 inches, and the weight at 2 Ĺ inches from the front of the plug.
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Old 12-21-2004, 11:27 PM   #6
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While the square ends are still on the plug, mark the hook, and weight locations. You can do this while the blank sits on a level surface. Looking down the center of the plug, the high spot on the blank will be the center of plug. With the square ends still on, weíll also cut the lip slot. The lip will be dead center. Mark this with a pencil. I do the lip slot on the bandsaw. To aid in keeping the blank squared, I set up the fence and use a scrap piece of plywood. The plywood sits against the fence and the square ends of the blank line up with the edge of the plywood. A simple, but effective, jig.
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Old 12-21-2004, 11:28 PM   #7
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Once the lip slot is cut, you can remove the square end at the front of the blank. Leave the square end on the tail of the blank for now.

The next step is to drill the plug for the thru-wire. Mark the front of the blank using the slot on the lip to indicate where the line tie will be. Here Iím using a Lefty 1 lip from NJtackle.com (they have the best lips around). Note that this is the older style lip with two slots in the lip. They now have two versions: one with the upper slot and one with the middle slot. Youíll want to get the lips with the upper slot for this plug.
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Old 12-21-2004, 11:29 PM   #8
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Once marked, I use a drill chuck on the lathe to drill the thru-hole. I drill the plug from both ends using a 1/8 inch brad point bit. A short bit works best for this as it will flex less than a longer bit. Iíll use these as guides and finish up with a longer bit in a hand drill. Again, drill from both ends until the holes meet in the center of the plug.
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Old 12-21-2004, 11:30 PM   #9
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Next, I do the swivel, weight, and eye-holes. I do this on the drill press using a simple jig to keep things lined up. The jig consists of a scrap piece of sheet metal attached to a section of 2x4. The 2 by is attached to another piece of scrap wood. The sheet metal slides into the lip slot on the blank. When placed on the drill press, the blank will be held straight. Drill a 5/16 inch hole, ľ inch deep for the weight. Drill the hole for the swivel next. I like the eyes just above the center line, so that is how Iíll mark, then drill the holes (3/8 in this case). I use forstner bits for the weight, swivel, and eye holes (yes, that is a brad point bit in the photo, I cheated for the photo ).
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Old 12-21-2004, 11:31 PM   #10
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After the holes are drilled, you can remove the square end from the tail. A final sanding with 180 grit and we are ready for sealing/priming/painting. Note that epoxy will have trouble sticking to sharp edges, so I like to round the ends a bit.
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Old 12-21-2004, 11:33 PM   #11
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I stick a section of wire into the tail so I have something to hold while painting etc. The wire is crimped on the end inserted in the plug and bent over at the other end to allow for hanging the plug while drying.

Now its time to seal the plug. I use a mix of boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits (60% linseed, 40% spirits). I use a section of PVC pipe with ends on and a clamp to hold it the mix up right. Dip the plug for 30 seconds, let the excess drip off, then wipe the plug with a rag and hang to dry (be sure to read the warnings on the linseed label for proper disposal of the rags). After the sealer has dried, you can epoxy the weight in the plug. I have a mold set up to make my own, but you can use egg sinkers, buckshot, etc. Njtackle.com also sells some slugs for plug making too.
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Old 12-21-2004, 11:33 PM   #12
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Next, prime, then paint in your favorite schemes. A suggestion of something to try here: paint the plug black, then fog the belly with Createx Chamilion blue. Hit a shot of red on the chin to complete it. The plug goes from metallic blue on the belly to black on the back. Simple, but looks pretty cool! The chamilion lilac also looks pretty good over the black too After the paint has dried for at least 24 hours, Iíll add the eyes, red in this case. Add a touch of epoxy in the eyehole, then insert the eye. I do this even on the eyes with adhesive backing. Helps keep them in place when they get knocked about.

You can add the lip and grommet before, or after clear coating. To get the grommet to match the curve of the plug, I use a section of a dowel close to the diameter of the plug with a hole in the center (same diameter as the grommet hole on the plug). Another piece of scrap wood is cut to match this. Place a grommet in the hole, hold the other wood on the head of the grommet and hit with a hammer. The edges of the grommet are now curved to match the plug.
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Old 12-21-2004, 11:34 PM   #13
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As I am doing this plug in black, I have also painted the grommet and lip black too. Rustoleum spray paint can be used for this. On this plug, I use 4H rings and 1/0, 4x VMCís. And the finished plug:
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Old 12-21-2004, 11:35 PM   #14
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Oops!!!

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Old 12-21-2004, 11:42 PM   #15
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A couple of notes. I use my stuff in freshwater. For saltwater, additional weight or larger hooks may also be used. Also, I like my plugs with a front treble and a treble on the tail. The plug could also be made with an additional treble on the body or a siwash on the tail. You may have to mess with the weight a little if you go this route. When slow waked on top, the plug will have a nice wiggle with some roll. If you want less roll, you can grind the edges of the lip some so that the sides of the lip are straight rather than rounded. The tail width can also be modified to change the action some too. Same for wood type that you use. Try several and see what works best for you. To make a larger sized version, just increase the dimensions to the size that you want. The width at the front should be the same as the width of the lip you use. The version Iíve shown is one Iíve been working on for a while and it works how I want. You can use the above as a starting point and experiment to get the action you want from your plug. Be sure to post photos of the ones you come up with. Donít worry, I donít mind people copying this one for their own use Happy turning

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Old 12-21-2004, 11:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jigman
Next, I do the swivel, weight, and eye-holes. I do this on the drill press using a simple jig ...
Would help if I attached the photo too

Jigman
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Old 12-22-2004, 07:20 AM   #17
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very nice Jigman.

www.afterhoursplugs.com

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"A GAMEFISH (WHICH STRIPED BASS SHOULD BE) IS TOO VALUABLE TO BE CAUGHT ONLY ONCE"...LEE WULFF
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Old 12-22-2004, 08:04 AM   #18
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Nicely Done! Thanks.

This is going into my plug building notebook.
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Old 12-22-2004, 08:57 AM   #19
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Thanks alot for sharing jigman...good stuff

Used hard and put away dirty....
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Old 12-22-2004, 10:01 AM   #20
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Jig Man;
Very helpfull. One question, How are you turning (using gouge and skew) with the Vega duplicator in place? Do you have 2 lathes??
OK I guess there are two questions.

If you remove the square end on front of plug before you drill the holes, do the holes go in on an angle using only the rear square end?................oops just saw the photo!!

Sorry one more; what kind of bit did you use for the swivel/weight holes?

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Old 12-22-2004, 11:58 AM   #21
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Thru hole

Great job. One question on the thru hole. How are you holding the plug in the lathe so you can drill thru from both ends? Seems each end is different. Lathe chuck or collet? P.M.
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Old 12-22-2004, 01:13 PM   #22
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Weight placement

Can you talk a bit about the weight placement and how it affects the swimming action of the plug? don't have to give away your "secrets"... :-)
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Old 12-22-2004, 02:05 PM   #23
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Thumbs up

Awesome Jigster, bein that u haven't posted for a wile i thought you went "cold turkey" and went on "the wagon"

Thank you for the a great Christmas Gift
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Old 12-22-2004, 04:12 PM   #24
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The final step would be to "send the finished plugs to Charleston"
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Old 12-22-2004, 04:42 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by justplugit
Awesome Jigster, bein that u haven't posted for a wile i thought you went "cold turkey" and went on "the wagon"
I did, then I realized that the wagon was made of wood, next thing you know, no wagon, just sawdust Finished the out of town stuff, now its plug/jig time

Charleston, I have two lathes. Dup is hooked up to the Jet. I turn freehand on the grizzly. The latter is what I use when working on something new. I sort of cheated for the photos Forstner bits for the weight and swivel holes.

Steelhead, weight in center will give more of a wiggle. Weight in the chin will give more of a wobble. Think of it this way, the weight provides the rotation point for the plug. The closer to the nose, the wider the wobble. Weight in the chin will also give more of a roll. Course these factors will also depend some on the type of lip used, shape of the plug, and how deep you place the weight.

Jigman
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Old 12-22-2004, 04:46 PM   #26
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Re: Thru hole

Quote:
Originally posted by Professor Moriarty
... How are you holding the plug in the lathe so you can drill thru from both ends? Seems each end is different. Lathe chuck or collet? P.M.
The pressure from the drill bit keeps the plug in place. I don't actually hold it while drilling it. Drill one end, then flip the plug and drill the other. Hope that makes sense. I can dig up some photos of thru drilling on the lathe if that would help.

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Old 12-22-2004, 04:47 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sea-5
The final step would be to "send the finished plugs to Charleston"
Nah, final step would be Charleston put his new lathe to use and turn some dannys

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Old 12-22-2004, 05:29 PM   #28
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Jigster


Hank
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Old 12-22-2004, 06:43 PM   #29
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Old 12-22-2004, 07:03 PM   #30
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Thru hole

So let me get this straight you are not turning the lathe on and spinning it and drilling with the tailstock chuck. You are drilling the plug with a hand drill. You are just using the lathe to support the plug while you drill by handdrill. The plug is not spinning in the lathe. Thanks P.M.
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