I started into christmas holidays earlier than usual, happy to find some time to continue my lure building projects. I would like to make more progress with my experiments and testing, but since I’m still doing woodworking and carving completely by hand, things take a long while to get finished.

Sometimes I’m thinking about buying second-hand tools like a lathe, a proper drill stand or even a basic airbrush setup to take my efforts to the next level, but I just can’t justify spending all that money without even having a proper workshop or enough time to focus on this “hobby”. Anyways…

Body shape stencils
Reworked version of the original design from March this year

Earlier this month, I reworked the last version of my little pencil (still have no final name for it) on paper. I started with updating body dimensions and shape lines based on the field testing I did this summer and of course following the flattering feedback I got from friends during my stay in Japan. Something that I heard quite often, was that people don’t expect the long darting action that you can easily combine with short turn-by-turn movement when they see the almost crank-bait-like shape. Of course, there no lip and the body shape is much slimmer than – let’s say a Balsa 50, but one would definitely not file it under the pencil category.

Carving Lure Bodies
Some lure bodies made from basswood that I’m currently working on

In next steps, I will do more experiments with moving used balance weights, to see if there’s more room for improvement when it comes to movement and action. I also got hands on another material I would love to try out. Ayous or Abachi (lat. Triplochiton scleroxylon), also known as African whitewood is a tropical tree of Africa. It’s similar to Balsa but has a higher density while still being easy to work with. It’s a quite tough find here in Germany, but I finally got hands on it after browsing some model making supply shops online.

Ayous Wood
Really like the fine wood grain and structure

As I found out, the wood is often used by musical instrument makers. Fender Japan has produced some limited edition guitars using this timber. I really like the structure of the wood grain, which will look perfect – coated with a natural word pattern and some additional accenting highlights.

Think it’s time for some extensive carving sessions under the christmas tree! More soon…

2 thoughts on “Back To Prototyping

  1. Paul adams wrote on :

    That is funny i am just ordering some abachi wood for lure making, hoping to get something a little denser than balsa and try out some experiments. I keep finding myself scaling back from using power tools even the airbrush, i have been trying hand painting with acrylics and using mica powders.

  2. Christian wrote on :

    Hey Paul, welcome back!
    I own two topwater lures made from abachi. The difference in weight and density is really noticeable. I think this timber is just perfect for experimenting with multiple counter / balancing weights. I got a quality piece (40x100x1000 mm) on e*bay for a reasonable price (seller is shipping within EU).

    About using power tools… I think, I get the point of scaling back and I love handcrafting things myself, but I would just love to be quicker with my prototyping efforts. Testing different materials, sizes and balancing options can be really time consuming. The only reason for getting an airbrush setup for me, is that I want thinner and more even (smooth) layers of poly-urethan coating for the finishing. Didn’t found a good way to achieve this by hand painting so far.

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