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Building a Danny style plug...

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  Discussion Boards > Do It Yourself Lure Building
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rockfish9


Joined: 06/02/2004
Posts: 701
Location: Reading Mass
 posted 09/11/2007 01:55 PM  

I did a pictoral "how to" for another site last winter, so I just happend to have this on file....

Danny style swimmers are true surface swimmers,they are drilled off center so they swim on top leaving a bow wake....

This one will be approx 8" long and weighs about 3 ounces.... This particular plug(black) has been hot this week for me...

I make mine from cedar, but pine is a good second choice. All components/hardware less the wood can be purchased at Cape Cod tackle or New jersey tackle...

First picture is of the components, a 1 3/4"X 1 3/4"X 8 1/2" blank, a 9" length of SS wire, two belly gromets, one .425" tail gromet, a 1/4 ounce belly weight and a pair of belly swivels, I use stainles Krok 500lb swivels, if you use plated brass, they will corrode because of the electrolosiss from dissimular metals you will also need a danny style lip capable of driving a 3 ounce plug are neded...

You will also need sealer , I use boiled linseed oil cut approx 60/40 with mineral spirits, others use Val oil, binz shelac based primer (red label) and paint, krylon works great if you dont have a air brush, you need assorted sand paper from #80 grit to at least #220. If you want to epoxy the plug I'll show the steps, for years I used varnish, and sometimes still do, its fast and quite durable, plugs are made to be fished, they take a beating if you make your own, who cares if they get destroyed.


Second picture is of measuring tools,next top to bottom, roughing gouge,skew and parting tool..
The next picture is of a home made center finder, it's nothing more than a hacksaw blade epoxied into a square block..


A word about safty, wood dust is hazzardous, it can spontaneously ignite in it's finest form, it also is has respitory hazzards, protect yourself at all times with a quality particle mask or good dust collection system...I not only have a dust collector capeable of collecting dust down to 5 microns hooked to all my tools in the shop, I have a 650 cfm air purifier that filters down to .50 microns...
Always protect your eyes, I prefer a wrap around shield, secure all loose clothing and dont operate a lathe or drill press when tired or impaired....

Use caution when using boiled linseed oil, read manufacturers instructions and place all rags in a pail of wateer until disposal

To be continued:







A mans got to know his limitations... Clint Eastwood
 
Quailoh


Joined: 07/29/2002
Posts: 601
Location: New Canaan
 posted 09/11/2007 02:18 PM  

I am looking forward to this. Thanks, I know it is a lot of effort!
 
rockfish9


Joined: 06/02/2004
Posts: 701
Location: Reading Mass
 posted 09/11/2007 02:26 PM  

Take your block of wood and find your center, by using the center finder I made, round or uneven stock is very easy to find center on...simply plkace on the finder, whack the end with a hammmer, turn 1/4 turn whack, flip end over and repeat..take a awl and punch the the X...

Next set up on your lathe, be sure to seat the wood well on the drive spur...

Next turning on medium to slow speed use the roughing gouge to round out your blank, the rounder the stock the faster you can go.... I actualy rough on high speed, but dont recomend it for beginers...


Once you have your stock rounded out, starting from what will be the head, make marks at 2 1/8",3 5/8" and 5 1/8" , spin the lathe and lightly touch a pencil to the blank as the lath spins, leaving a circular mark..

Now using your parting tool, bring the plug to the following demensions at the marks and also the nose and tail....

Your finished plug will have a nose diameter of 3/4", your first mark will have a diameter of 1 1/4" the next mark will have a diameter of 1 5/16 and the tail will be 5/8"... these are the finished demensions, so leave and additional 1/8 of material and use sand paper to acheive the final demensions... you can take off more material, you cant add it!

Now once you plug is layed out, use your skew to shape out your plug, keep you tools sharp, if you dont, you'll have deep tear out, work slow and feel you way along.... have fun..


To be continued:







A mans got to know his limitations... Clint Eastwood
 
rockfish9


Joined: 06/02/2004
Posts: 701
Location: Reading Mass
 posted 09/11/2007 03:01 PM  

Now sand you blank by spinning the blak on the lathe, use caution and work the back side of the plug , by doing that, if the sand paper should catch you hand wont get sucked into the lathe, starting with #80,work your wat to #220 or #320, any fine than that, is over kill....

Once your satified with the quality of your finished product, re mark the plug in the exact same palce as yo originaly did, if you want to add eyes, add and addititional mark at 1 1/4" from the nose,

Now, cut off the square in the front,I use a back saw, but a coping saw or even a hack saw will do, leave the plug on the lathe and saw a little as you rotate the plug by hand,( it can be done with the lathe running but it IS dangerous)..

Now bring the plug to a shop vise, a carpenters vise is great for this, GENTLY grip the plug and mark the center and the depth of the lip slot, this is an important step, be sure the mark acrross the face of the plug is square and straight,I use a coping saw for this, it is the pefect width to allow a tight fit for my lip...

Now insert your lip into the slot,be sure to center it in the plug, using an awl or punch,mark the through hole in the lip, if you have done it all right, the wire will be below center... as it should be on a Danny.

Through drilling... this is a little trickey because it is being drilled off center, if you lack a drill press or a drill chuck for your lathe,be prepared to ruin alot of blanks by drilling with a hand drill...

I have included a picture of my drill press set up,a block of wood is bolted to the drill platform, a 1/4" dowel center is inserted in the block, a long steel rod is chucked up in the bit and the dowel center is lined up with the steel rod... 99 out of 100 times I drill dead true....

You can also use a drill chuck in your lathe, I do this when I'm making alot of the same kind of plug, I start the plugs by using a 3"X 1/8 drill bit in the drill press, i drill both ends of the plug, then finish them with a 6" X1/8 drill bit on the lathe by sliding the plug onto the drill bit and then suppoting the plug with the tail stock, once I start the lathe and "push" the plug with the tail stock... be sure to clear chips as you go, and drilll at a medium speed, too fast and the drill will walk, if you dont clear, the drill will walk.. If you lack a drill chuck for your lathe, once you drill the 3" hole on the drill press, change to a 6" bit., if you dont have suffecieant table clearance on your palktform, you may have to install the drill into the pre-drilled plug befoer installing it into the drill pres, then drill your hole, remove the bit and swap ends.... it's not as slow going as it sounds... always clear your chips!

In my last through drilling photo I show the stepped blocks I use to accomdate different sized plugs, all have a dowel in the bottom and a hole for the dowel center on top...

To be continued:







A mans got to know his limitations... Clint Eastwood
 
rockfish9


Joined: 06/02/2004
Posts: 701
Location: Reading Mass
 posted 09/11/2007 03:11 PM  

The first three images illistrate how to drill on the lathe, always use a 3" bit first, the 6" flexes toomuch to start the hole with....

If all went well, you should have a nice clean through hole, always test with a wire...

The hardest part is over... the rest is fun, the next frame will show a neat jig I made to hold the plug for drilling the belly and weight holes...

to be continued:






A mans got to know his limitations... Clint Eastwood

This post edited by rockfish9 03:12 PM 09/11/2007
 
rockfish9


Joined: 06/02/2004
Posts: 701
Location: Reading Mass
 posted 09/11/2007 03:41 PM  

first is the jig I use to hold the plug, a strip of metal goes in the lip slot, the nail keeps it on center, the tail stock slides, if I'm making a plug ( poppers or sliders) that dont have a lip slot, I reverse the front block, that side just has a centering pin...

install the plug in the jig, using a 3/8 forshner bit, spot face( counter sink) your two bell holes deep enough to allow your belly grommets to be flush (about 1/8") , now change to a 1/4" forshner bit, brill both your belly hook holes just BEYOND the through hole depth, you must go beyond by 1/16" or you will have a difficult time getting your swivels on the wire...

Once the belly holes are drilled switch to a 5/16 forshner bit and drill your belly weight, just deep enough to allow for 1/8" of filler to hide the hole, if appearance isnt a factor, drill it to make the lead just go flush to the body....

Test fit all you componants.... now is the time to correct thiongs that are not correct.... NOT when the plug is finished!

If you have elected to have an eye, a simple jig like I have here with a dowel inserted into the belly hole holds the plug leval, a block of wood assures that both eyes are on the same plane...

The plug can ve set in a V block, a jig or do as I do, hold it by hand... size of the forshner bit will depend on the size of the eye... Tip.. danny style plugs seem to perform better with small eyes or no eyes at all....

Once everything is drilled and test fit,sand off your marks with #320 paper, then fill the weight hole with putty, I like the elmers 2 part epoxy putty, but it's hard to find, regular wood putty works but you must wait until after you seal the plug to fill the hole, or, the linseed oil can cause the putty to fall out...once dry, sand smoothe.

Tomorrow, I'll get into sealing, painting and epoxy... I've even got actual test photo's of the plug swimming..

To be continued:







A mans got to know his limitations... Clint Eastwood
 
rockfish9


Joined: 06/02/2004
Posts: 701
Location: Reading Mass
 posted 09/12/2007 08:14 AM  

Sealing: This is an important step, it's not difficult, just important, if a plug is not sealed, it can soak up water and split, woods like Cedar are naturaly water resistant, but during usage, can soak up water and get heavy, thus loosing alot of the built in action ... As I said in the opening, I use a 60/40 mixture of Bioled linseed oil and mineral spirits, Val oil is another alternative,I place the plug in a container of my sealing mixture, I use a chip brush to bathe the plug and allow it an hour in the mixture, I then hang on a rack that has a turkey roasting pan under it to catch the drips, after an hour I wipe with a paper towel that gets thrown in a five gallon bucket of water, the next day, I hang the paper towels on a rack in the back yard to dry and then throw them in the trash...
Allow the plugs a week to 10 days to "cure", never rush the finish, if the plugs feel stickey after 3-4 days, simply wipe them with a rag soaked in a small quantity of mineral spirits.

Priming:I like to dip my plugs, I allow the primer to run through the plug, giving added protection, they are then allowed to drip dry, again, I use the Binz shelac based primer in the red label can, the plugs can be sprayed, but I find this expensive and messy, if the primer that the plugs are being dipped in is to/or gets too thik, it can be thinned with a small quantity of Denatured alcohol ( remember (shelac base)..

After 2-3 days, you are ready to paint, I like to run a wire through the plug[rodding out] ( be aware, there may be un dried primer iside the plug) to clean out any wood chips or primer that may be blocking the through hole that came loose or trapped in the plug during the sealing/priming process, it's alot easier (read less meesy) than trying to do it after the plug is painted...
After "rodding out " the plug I like to sand the primer with #400, some times on special plugs I will even wet sand the primer to make it extra smooth, but frankly, it's a huge waste of time..

Painting: wipe your sealed/primed/sanded plug with a tack cloth to remove any contaminats and dust, I like to lay on two or three coats of white paint as a base coat, this allows me to look at the finish of my plug and helps blend the colors...

Now for this plug, I'm painting a herring finish, I paint the belly a pearlized white, then I paint my latteral line

To be continued:







A mans got to know his limitations... Clint Eastwood
 
rockfish9


Joined: 06/02/2004
Posts: 701
Location: Reading Mass
 posted 09/12/2007 09:02 AM  

Time to lay your body colors..
Now it's time to add your scale finish, you can strech mesh (onion bag or simoular products) over the body of the plug, it must be tight, I made this scale machine to speed the process, but mesh can be stretched and held with small clamps or paper binders(3rd picture from top)

Once you mesh is tight spray each side with a LIGHT dusting of metalic silver paint, too much and it will run and be UGLY, it takes practice, but when properly done, it gives a realistic visual to finish of the plug, give the paint ample tiem to dry before removing the mesh.... Once the mesh is removed I usualy paint a thin coats of purple and black onto the back, done properly it will allow the scale to show through as it fades to the dark back... again, it takes practice, I did this your years using a spray can, before switching to air brush 3 or 4 years ago....

your plug is now painted, give the paint at least 2-3 days to alow the paint to fully cure, this is the stage wher most first time plug builders loose it, they simply dont give the paint time to cure before applying the finish, wheater it is varnis or Epoxy.... if you dont allow the paint to cure, the finish will eventualy peel like a snake skin.....

Install your belly grommets, I use 5 minute epoxy to secure mine, I wait and install the tail gromet when I rig the plug

Scratch coat, this step is not entirely necessary, but, I find it helpfull to keep the paint from getting damaged while I handle the plug for finishing... I have tried seveal things, including different polyurethain sparays, I have settled on Envirotex spray, it's the same as the epoxy I use and give an awesome finish... use in a well ventilated area... this stuff stinks!!!!

Once the scratch coat is dry and cured ( it dries in minutes, but I allow 24 hours to cure) you can prepare your plug for Epoxy, you can do it two ways,assemble the plug, cover the swivels with pieces of drinking straws, or, epoxy the entire plug and assemble latter, I prefer the latter, but do it both ways, if you assemble after epoxy coating, be sure not to slop too much epoxy into the belly holes and the lip slot, or, you will have alot of saw and file work to clean the stuff out....

I use Envirotex 2 part epoxy, It can be purchased at major craft stores like AC More or Michales....
Mix the epoxy in a clean plastic container, I've found that mixing it in a container with a wide surface area cuts down on the gassing after you brush the epoxy on the plug, mix this stuff well, I mix scraping the sides until I have gas bubbles actualy leaving the container.... I have built a custom spinner for rotating the plugs, they must be rotated until the finish no longer wants to sag, this can be done by hand every few minutes is you are only making a few plugs.

I use 3/8 acid brushes for brushing on the finish, be carfull to clean any lost bristles off the plug, normaly you can keep brushing a lost bristle until you can grab it with a pair of tweezers... starting at the head apply a THIN coat of the epoxy, be certain to cover all areas well, but keep the finish thin, on the rare ocasions that the finished product doesnt come out perfectly smooth( usualy due to some sort of contamination) you can simply brush on a SECOND THIN coat, I actulay like adding a secont coat,it makes for a rock hard finish... I allow the plugs to spin over night...
To be continued:







A mans got to know his limitations... Clint Eastwood
 
rockfish9


Joined: 06/02/2004
Posts: 701
Location: Reading Mass
 posted 09/12/2007 09:35 AM  

After the plug has cured (24 hours should be suffecient) you can take if off the spinner, test fit the lip and if needed, use a exacto knife tocarefully REMOVE any excess epoxy... a back saw works even better, clamp the saw in the vise and GENTLY AND CARFULLY line up the lip slot and work the plug back and forth until the proper depth and width is attained.... assemble your plug, be absolutly certain that you catch the swivels on the wire, ther is nothing more maddening than getting a savage strike, a hookset and a lost fish, only to reel in your plug to find your front belly hook missing... been ther done that!

Now for the tail wrap, I clamp a 30 phillps in my vise, I have also used a 3/16 drill bit and an allen wrench( usaly when my bench is too cluttered to find the CORRECT tool)be sure you wire is fully seated, install your tail gromet, and bend the wire up at a 90 degeree angle to the plug,now take you plug and press the wire just above the bend where it exits the plug ( approx. 1/16th of an inch) and bring the tag end arond the screw driver, make the loop as tight as possible, practice make sperfect!
Remove the plug AND screw driver from the vise, remove the screw driver from the loop and secure the loop into the vice, grab the tag end with a pair of needle nose vise grips ( these things are a plug builders best friend) and begin wrapping the tail loop , as you complete each half wrap, it may be necessary to rotate the plug 180 degrees in the vise, it only take s second,make sure the first two wraps bind BEHIND each other, other wise, the wire will be loose in the plug, thus allowing the swim lip to loosten as well, as your wrapping, pullin the plug slighly AWAY from the oncoming wrap will give you a tiny bit of space to start the next wrap, finish the lat one or two wraps one on top of the other, instead of cutting the wire, I use a dremal to cut half way through the bend the wire vback and forth, it make a neat, burless finish ( bending the wire so it doesnt touch the plug will keep the vibrating wire being cut by the dremel from marking you pretty plug)

I'll finish the plug in the next frame.
To be continued:






A mans got to know his limitations... Clint Eastwood
 
rockfish9


Joined: 06/02/2004
Posts: 701
Location: Reading Mass
 posted 09/12/2007 09:50 AM  

I like single hooks on the tail, I use a 7/0 siwash for this, I like LITTLE bucktail, sparce, too much IMHO affects the ation of the plug, kind of like picking up weed...

For hooks I've gone all VMC, for this plug 3/0 is perfect, I like the kooks close to the body, I feel that the addition of split rings causes too much roll in this particular plug, so, I've taken to cutting the VMC hooks with a dremel tool, the width of the blade allows the cut to barely ( with a little force) fit over the 500lb Krock swivels, I then pinch the hook shut and silver solder(lead/tin solder will not stick to the stainless hooks) the end,the silver solder is to keep the cut end from being exposed to the elements more than for strentgh... I've never had one open and have taken bass to 48lbs in wire line on them rigged this way..IMHO the ultimate test of strength.
The rigged plug...

Sitting in the water..

The test drive...Notice the bow wake, kind of like a baby beaver....If you look closely you will see the tail end of the plug kicking to the left of the wake, built this way, this plug exibits little roll and snakes side to side...

Happy building all!


Roc







A mans got to know his limitations... Clint Eastwood
 
Quailoh


Joined: 07/29/2002
Posts: 601
Location: New Canaan
 posted 09/12/2007 10:12 PM  

Great series, I really appreciate your taking the time to show us how a pro does it, Thanks again!
 
Lattitudechange


Joined: 07/09/2006
Posts: 5870
Location: In the Geeerage with bocephus
 posted 09/13/2007 12:08 AM  

Quailoh wrote:

Great series, I really appreciate your taking the time to show us how a pro does it, Thanks again!

I second that. Thanks for sharing..up


It's Five O' Clock Somewhere

A shot of tequila,...... beer on tap,.......a good lookin woman,.....sittin on my lap
 
Jerryvov
Noreast.com Club Member


Moderator
Do It Yourself Lure Building

Joined: 02/16/2001
Posts: 1023
Location: East Bridgewater, Ma
 posted 09/13/2007 11:47 AM  

Thanks for putting that how-to up on the board, Joe. It's a lot of work and we appreciate it. upSmile


Noreast Writer
New England Blog

Jerry Vovcsko
East Bridgewater, Ma
 
rockfish9


Joined: 06/02/2004
Posts: 701
Location: Reading Mass
 posted 09/13/2007 01:12 PM  

Jerryvov wrote:

Thanks for putting that how-to up on the board, Joe. It's a lot of work and we appreciate it. upSmile



your welcome and correct about that... I could have landed 10 30 lb bass and turned 3 dozen plugs in the time it took me to type it!


A mans got to know his limitations... Clint Eastwood
 
Jerryvov
Noreast.com Club Member


Moderator
Do It Yourself Lure Building

Joined: 02/16/2001
Posts: 1023
Location: East Bridgewater, Ma
 posted 09/13/2007 04:52 PM  

Yeah, but Joe, think of all the guys you've turned on to plug making with this how-to series...pretty impressive legacy, I'd say.Wink

How was your summer?


Noreast Writer
New England Blog

Jerry Vovcsko
East Bridgewater, Ma
 
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