Polycarbonate Lip Former

Discussion in 'Tackle Making' started by hazmail, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. This is not for everyone, but if you want to make your lures look a bit special, and get a different action try it. The lip blank does not have to be round; it could be a coffin lip, square lip, any lip. They can be reversed (concave to convex), which will change the action and depth. Whatever former you want to use, this can also mould anything under this size to the same curve. The flat rear tab of the poly lip, can be bent (in a hair straighter) to vary the ‘attack’ angle of the same shape lip on different lures.

    I have made six formers, two in a vertical press style (a bit complicated) and four of these – this one is by far the simplest to make, and can be done with basic workshop tools. Don’t expect the first one to be perfect, but if you follow the steps, you should get close, and avoid some of the mistakes I have made.
    Takes about 2 hours to make.

    This was made to suit a standard ‘Moores lip’ which I generally use (size 1” x 1-5/8”or 3/4 x 1-1/4”). So all you need to do is make the ‘former plates’ a size, that will cover all the lip blanks you want to use (within reason). It is made of brass, because it is easy to work and if you have the gear, instead of using rivets, it could be silver soldered - don’t use lead solder, as the hot oil will melt it, when forming the lips.

    What you need:
    1. Some Brass plate, about .5mm
    2. Tin snips (good quality helps)
    3. Flat files, fine/ coarse (jewelers files are handy too)
    4. One ‘Butt’ hinge (cast is best)
    5. Four ‘Pop Rivets’ and a gun.
    6. One Paper clamp.
    7. Sharp ‘scriber’ (‘Ramset’ nail sharpened to a fine point is good).
    8. Hack saw
    9. L.P gas torch and cylinder.
    10. Suitable dia steel pipe.
    11. Hose clamps.
    12. Pliers.
    13. Hammer
    14. 1/8” drill bits and drill

    Before you do anything, get the brass plates (2 x .5mm thick) and the lip blank you are going to use, and measure the total thickness. Get a brass hinge that has the approximately the same ‘closed’ gap measurement (see Pic); this will allow the formers to press the poly lips at a parallel thickness, and not with a taper, front to back.


    Cut the rectangular brass plates to the size that will accommodate the lips you want to use. These plates must be ‘square’ and as close as possible to the same size, the center lines must be exactly the same on each plate (scribe center lightly on all sides) – Mark a common side on each plate and always use these as the ‘face sides’- if the plates are twisted or curved , flatten gently, with a hammer and pliers.
    Determine the depth of your normal ‘lip slot’ and mark this distance (A) across the two plates. This distance can be longer than you need, but not shorter (you can grind some off the rear of the lip, but you will not be able to add poly later). This will be the flat portion of the lip.
    Clamp both plates, squared up, in a vice (with jaw guards) and cut slots with a hacksaw, as pictured, leaving enough in the middle to support the larger sections (pictured is 8mm wide).


    Clamp YOUR gal steel pipe in the vice, find the ‘seam line’ and rotate it to the top - lay both plates, with their center lines ON the seam line, and have enough hose clamps to cover the full ‘curved length’. Bend the plates (by hand around the pipe) as far as possible and then clamp plates with hose clamps in unison, ensuring the plates are square and parallel to each other and the center mark is on the seam line.
    * If you can not bend the sheets by hand, you may have to ‘anneal’ the sheets – heat sheets to dull red and let it air cool (don’t quench in water), this should soften the brass and it will be easier to bend.

    Heat sheets thoroughly with gas torch until dull red (any redder and it will melt), tighten up the hose clamps and get a wet rag and run water over brass to cool (this will re harden brass)

    When cooled remove and keep in the order they were formed (top, bottom), mark them ‘top/bottom’.
    * Because they are formed together, they each have a different radius, if you reverse this they will not be a snug fit.

    Check them for square and parallel (as a pair), and if needed, ONLY bend/twist the flat plates to plumb them up.


  2. Lay your new formers on the brass hinge and, if needed, cut hinge width/length, as in pic below.



    ‘Pop rivet’ (silver solder is easier) formers onto hinge, taking care that, WHEN CLOSED the center lines meet, the flat plates are square and against the hinge pin.
    * I have found the best way for riveting is to glue the plates in place, with a packer, the same thickness as lip material, between them – flooring glue is good (called ‘Liquid Nails’ here). When the glue is set, drill and rivet in place.

    If you have ‘Silver Solder’, this is the best – DON’T use lead solder, it will melt in the hot oil when bending the lips.

    If you want to use various size lips, an adjustable centering device is recommended. I found two’ Phillips Head’ machine screws with wide flanges under the head, and filed them to make two cams. I got these screws from an old video player, they are full of them (and some really good 12V motors, solenoids etc). These cams can be adjusted to accommodate, and center the different blanks and makes forming lips a lot quicker. If you think you will only be using one size lip, then just sight the rear center onto the hinge joint or a centre mark stamped into the hinge.


    Add a paper clamp (mild steel not spring steel). This clamp should be wider than the length of the hinge, so the edges can be folded under the hinge plate on the end – this holds it in place. ONLY fix the clamp on one hinge plate, and let the other slide freely, otherwise it will jamb. Add some wooden handles, so your fingers don’t get burned with the hot oil when heating the poly, and you are ready to go – As I said at the beginning, I think anyone could make this one, and using silver solder is defiantly easier to align than with rivets - it’s rough but it works. pete





  3. Impressive tutorial here. Nice work.
  4. awsome tutorial hazmail,i dont know if i have enough brain power to do that .
  5. That is TEEE Totally awesome!!!
  6. MacGyver is da man!
  7. I'm am more than happy to add something here, and hope someone can use it. I have posted it due to a couple of requests to do so, and if I did not do it this week it would not have appeared until I return from U.S, late May.
    I see a lot of repetition in this thread since posting - pictures I thought were about the same size are all over the place, but I am not about to do it again. It must have taken 30 minutes to load, and was collated over about six weeks, you may notice various versions of the tool throughout, as I came up with another idea (up to four of this version). The latest version, is in the first picture, with which I have made these, which were, finally, 'all plumb'.

    Sorry about the pic quality. pete
  8. You know what Pete, I think you ought to have a reality show on television about using everyday items in your shop to make anything you can think of....We'll call it "The Wonder from Down Under".....you are awesome, seriously.
    Rod :D
  9. Hazmail - can you explain a little bit about the hot oil?

    What kind of oil? How hot?

  10. D'oh! The search feature...I should have known better! Thanks!