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Thread: For you DIY float makers

  1. #11
    andy Talk Angling Behemoth andrew65's Avatar
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    nice work!!!!

  2. #12
    Monster Fish PHD in Angling luke carpstalker's Avatar
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    Bump for us saddos stuck in with the kids on new years eve!

    Had a tinker over the holidays with making bodies from layers of 1.5mm balsa glued/ laminated around a stem. It looks as rough as a badgers harris at first, but when the balsa has sucked up the glue and dried, it's mega strong. The superglue from the pound shop, five bottles for a quid, is dead runny and great for this. Clamp gently in a vice till it sets:




    Next the tip of the float goes in a cordless drill clamped in a vice. The body is shaped with a dremel drum sanding bit on slow speed as the cordless rotates. You have to be gentle clamping the tip, and let the stem spin through your fingers, but it shapes up ok. When the basic shape is there, move onto a nail file, and then 800 and 1200 grit, all done while the float is spinning in the cordless drill. This one has had a few dips in lacquer, and is ready to go. I'll use this for white water, the drip of the lacquer on the tip will help my dodgy eyes see it :




    The stem and tip is one piece of 1.5mm hollow carbon tube, so the line can co straight through, there is also an additional piece of tube through the body for when the line needs to leave the float below the tip, this additional piece of tube is glued in over length , and then shaped in with the body. The body tube is on this side but hard to see:





    Happy tinkering!
    RS2scooby likes this.


    Half man, half Octoplus, half bean wannabe test pilot.

  3. #13
    Talk Angling Senior Member Done a Ton feldyourno1's Avatar
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    Hi Luke, great looking work, just got a question, as a bit of a so called float glue'r I was wondering, do you paint your floats, if so what do you use, as ive tried several paint and i just cant find the right one,and what do you finish them in. Is it yacht varnish..

  4. #14
    Monster Fish PHD in Angling luke carpstalker's Avatar
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    Like you I struggle with getting the right paint! Being a bit tight I try and use what I have, it's usually for round the house, so not the right stuff.

    The float in the pic has had 3 dips in rustins metal lacquer, it comes in a long bottle with screw top, so good for dipping. Another household finish I have found that smooths itself really well, is very slightly thinned hammerite.

    Another finish I tried was pound shop aerosol. Matt black or grey primer, for a quid a tin you can't go wrong.

    Post up some pics of your handywork.

    Nothing better than watching your own float go under!!

    I'm not convinced that float colour plays a big part other than aesthetics, so this season I will stick with the lacquered balsa finish. If I do choose varnish though, I'll try a polyurethane yacht varnish.


    Half man, half Octoplus, half bean wannabe test pilot.

  5. #15
    Specimen Fish TA 750+ Club pudsli's Avatar
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    Hi Feldyourno1.
    as for paint try the small tins of humbrol enamell from your local model shop, and for varnish use ronseal diamond hard varnish, top stuff and you can clean your brush with water.
    never had any problem with the above methods.
    i put 4 coats of varnish on ,sanding between each coat, and 2 coats of paint and sand between each coat.
    make sure if you are buying foam or balsa bodies, dope them first 2 coats and a sand between each coat..
    you will get top results doing this, i have sold a few floats and been complimented on the finish.
    all the best steve.

  6. #16
    andy Talk Angling Behemoth andrew65's Avatar
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    Out of interest WHY did u laminate the balsa as opposed to a bit of dowel..
    What about staining each layer of wood a different color before u glue and sand?

  7. #17
    Monster Fish PHD in Angling luke carpstalker's Avatar
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    Andrew, it's quite hard to get the drill to stay dead centre through a dowel. Layering up the balsa with glue makes for a mega strong body.

    I tried the staining, the results look quite good, but you only really see the effects along the joint lines. Next time I'll soak the wood for a bit, and alternate layers between stained and plain.


    Half man, half Octoplus, half bean wannabe test pilot.

  8. #18
    Talk Angling Senior Member Done a Ton feldyourno1's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies, I will post up some pics real soon, just waiting on a new batch of stems.

  9. #19
    andy Talk Angling Behemoth andrew65's Avatar
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    Before i had a lathe i used a drill mounted vertical[column drill]. For wholes from 1mm and above straight through was no problem....To center them i used moulds that i made myself from tubes glued inside tubes down to the whole size i needed.................Lets say for dowel 10mm start with a tube inside measurement 10mm and go down till i reach what i want ...To hold the dowel vertically i have a bit of an alu block with wholes drilled in it different diameters and depths...........I put the dowel in the whole and held it with some pliers!! Hey dont get me wrong i love the laminated idea esecially if u could see the laminations after ud turned the body.........

    Some self made waggler weights ....left finished the photo also showing the materials iv used!


  10. #20
    Talk Angling Senior Member Done a Ton
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    I use either thinned hammerite for dipping or black acrylic car paint whereby I put the stem in an old wood lathe then turn it on and spray,a couple of quick squirts and the float is done, leave to dry for a day or 2 then I spray with a laquer a couple of times to harden it off.

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