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What type of wood is best for carving baits??

After seeing what Keith has done to some of his old lures I would love to try my hand out on carving wooden baits. Any suggestions would be great.
 

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that really depends on you choice I believe. Many people use balsa, which is a soft porous wood, but hardwoods are also popular with some people as well. The difference between the two woods I believe is the boyancy. Balsa will float better than hardwoods I think I have heard and this is due to the hardwood being more dense than the balsa.

Of course Balsa is the easiest to carve. I suggest not buying the balsa from a tackle company but but it from a hobby shop as you will get a much better price. The hobby shops will (in most cases) have the balsa graded in pounds. The less pounds the balsa is the less dense and the lighter it is. It is also more likely to break or have hooks pulled out of it. You want a block of balsa that is 14lbs or higher. That is not to say that the block of wood weighs 14lbs but that due to the density oif that piece of balsa, were it an actual cubic foot of the same grade and density it would weigh 14lbs.
 
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Good info Jared. I never knew that. I just go buy a block at Michaels and am done with it :)

I would agree about Balsa. Mainly because I don't have a band saw or a jig saw. If I had more tools to work with I might favor a harder wood. But since all I got is an xacto knife and other carving knives then balsa it is.

Basswood has always intrigued me mainly because the name just speaks bass lures ;) but also because it is one step harder then Balsa yet softer then pine.
 
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Thanks for the info guys. How much is Balsa? Is it reasonable?
 
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Cheapest wood I have seen. A couple bucks gets ya a nice sized block.
 
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Looks like I will be going to Hobby Lobby!! LOL

Thanks again for all the information.
 

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Balsa is a good choice, but I hear some are using cedar as an alternative. It has the characteristics of Balsa but gives you a diverent rise/float rate and wobble.

Good luck, lets see some photos soon
 
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TampaCountryBoy said:
Balsa is a good choice, but I hear some are using cedar as an alternative. It has the characteristics of Balsa but gives you a diverent rise/float rate and wobble.

Good luck, lets see some photos soon
It might be awhile for the photos. I was thinking just as I typed that last sentence, maybe I will post pictures of the whole process.

I will have to get some painting tips for Keith. I got the "shaky" arm.
 

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Balsa is what I use for 80% of the bass crank baits I make, use bass wood for wood spooks, poppers , or prop baits.

Don't but the junk at hobby lobby not all balsa is good for baits.. balsa from 99% off craft stores has soft and hard places the wood grains are not long and dense that they need to be for making baits.

What you want is hard balsa, make sure when ordering that you get hard

Go here to buy your balsa and bass wood, great prices, and quality http://www.nationalbalsa.com/
Ive bought wood from hobby lobby in a pinch ,, had baits that didn't run properly, hard spots.. just the bottom of the barrel wood pieces.

Another good wood is Paulownia, but its hard to find, it grows wild here in Chattanooga, TN , I have taken some to local saw ill to have cut into planks and then planed, but you can also order it here http://www.worldpaulownia.com
or here http://www.sustainablelumber.com/products.html

But generally balsa, cedar, and basswood are the cheapest and easiest to come by.

Here are some other links for other suppliers or parts materials

http://www.staminainc.com/

http://www.mcmaster.com/ for lexan and micarta lip material

http://www.captainhookswarehouse.com hooks great pricing

If you want a decent air brush that I use .. check out harbor frieght they are 14 bucks .. comparable brushes are 40-100 they do a good job and they are cheap!!
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=95810

and you will need brass or stainless steel wire for hook hangers and line ties, I prefer stainless.. I get my stainless from local welding supply house .020 to .040 sizes
 
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