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Help me get this right ... (first time)


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#1 skyfireblaze

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 04:00 PM

I'm getting ready to glue up a few cork rings to make a first trial run at making my own fly rod grip. I've got my threaded rod, washer, Titebond III, etc ready to go. I'm wondering about lining up the cork rings on the threaded rod, though. Some of the rings a fairly crooked on the rod. Either the bore hole isn't aligned with the cork faces, the faces aren't parallel to each other, or some combination of both. When I put the cork on the rod, I did my best to get the faces on the adjacent rings to mate up, but there are a few that have some gaps. Do I just glue up the faces and then tighten down until there's no more spaces between the faces? I guess I'm wondering about compressing one side of the cork more than the other and what effect that will have as I take the cork off to sand it down to form the grip.

Am I ready to glue here? Anything else I need to know?

Thanks!





#2 mhackney

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 04:10 PM

skyfireblaze,

Firstly, that's looking good! Nextly, check to see if the faces of the cork ring are parallel. If not, a little sanding on a piece of sandpaper adhered to a flat plate (glass, metal) will true them up. If they are, then you might consider reaming the hole with a 1/4" drill and if you have a drill press, you can make sure the bore is perpendicular to the faces.

One comment - depending on what glue you are using (and they will all have this problem to some degree) - glue will ooze in to the threads on the allthread and make it difficult to remove the glued up grip. I like to wrap a single layer of teflon plumbers tape over my allthread before sliding on the rings - it helps keep the glue from sticking and makes removal of the grip easier. I used to use epoxy for glue up, tried Gorilla Glue a couple of times and hated the mess, and now use Titebond III. Use enough pressure to get good contact on all of the rings. I think the teflon tape helps the rings slide a bit too to even out the clamping pressure.


cheers and good luck!
Michael
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Learn how to build your own fly reels at The Reelsmithing Forum!

#3 kerrye

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 04:12 PM

Don't worry about the "alignment". You'll chew off enough cork to take care of that. Where you have a gap between two faces, hit the adjacent faces with some sandpaper or a quick touch to a belt or disc sander. That will square them up. Glue them up and when you clamp them, just tighten until the rings start to compress. Don't squeeze them 'til they bulge. thumbsup.gif
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#4 Bartman

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 06:10 PM

Looks good.

I start sanding with 120 grit stapled onto a 1x4 to get the rings the same diameter.....this removes the variation in ring diameter.

One note, are you sure you want to make a grip that long? It is all personal preference, just checking. I have a full wells that I made using 14 of the 1/2 inch rings and I wish I used, 13---which is what I do now.....again, just me.

Bart

#5 Phishin Phool

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 07:39 PM

You needn't worry about the diameter alignment as you will turn off plenty of cork while shaping the grip. As mentioned 16 rings make for an 8" grip which is about 1" longer then normal, if there is such a thing.

I always lightly sand each surface of the rings both to slightly roughen the surface for gluing and help alignment. Titebond will hold the rings together exceptionally well.

#6 skyfireblaze

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 08:28 PM

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the tips. I'll give it a go tonight (hopefully) and see how it turns out. Sandpaper and teflon are ready to go ...

There's one ring that's missing a chunk at the outer edge, I'm planning on just placing it where I'll be removing the most material when sanding it down. The rest of the ring looks pretty good, so making sure I sand out the "hole" seemed like a good idea.

On the length, I do have 16 rings on there in the pictures. My plan was to only glue up the middle 14, leaving two rings on each end free. I had read somewhere about doing this to help ensure even pressure along the cork rings that were being glued. Now after piecing it together, I'll probably just leave those two extra rings off. The washers on the ends do the job well enough on their own. A 7" grip is more than long enough. I may try a shorter grip in the future, but for my first one, I'll stick with the standard 7".

I'll be trying to turn this into a Fenwick style grip whistling1.gif . I've got a Fenwick rod now (8' 6wt) and really like the grip style. Who knows, maybe it'll start out like a Fenwick and end up a cigar style ... biggrin.gif

It'll be a few more days at least until I get a chance to turn it down to shape. Thanks again!

#7 kerrye

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:22 PM

Michael mentioned using teflon tape on the all-thread and that is one way of getting the glue to release from your mandrel. I always grab a can of silicone spray and shoot the mandrel before gluing up. Makes for easy removal of the grip. Actually, I stopped using all-thread to glue up on about a year ago. I drill my cork out to 3/8" to fit my lathe mandrels and do the glue up on a varnished 3/8" dowel with a cork clamp. (also spray the dowel with silicone). Once the grip is set in the cork clamp, I pull the dowel out and let it dry.
A man must believe in something. I believe I'll go fishing.

#8 mhackney

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 07:20 AM

I am also gluing up on my turning mandrels now - basically just a polished steel rod. I use Empire TopSaver to lubricate and protect the mandrel from rust (since I use water-based Titebond III for glue up most of the time) - the grip slides off easily after turning. I use this stuff on all of my tools - tablesaw, bandsaw, etc. I do my glue up on the mandrel using a cork clamp. When the glue is dry, I give the glued up rings a 180 rotation on the mandrel just to make sure it will pop loose after turning. I use this same process for cork, birch bark, and wood grips.

kerrye, you have to be careful with silicone spray because it can affect glues and finishes - especially the epoxy coatings we use on thread wraps (it creates fish eyes in the coating and can interfere with the bond). If you aren't seeing any problems, then you probably have a good technique and compatible materials but if you start to see problems in the future, suspect the silicone spray!

cheers,
Michael
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Learn how to build your own fly reels at The Reelsmithing Forum!

#9 Bartman

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 07:28 AM

I use the threaded rod method just as Dale Clemens described in his book; I also use 30 minute epoxy and it works great for me. To prevent the epoxy from sticking to the rod, I rub the threads with a candle to fill them with wax. Works great as a release agent. I have noticed that my when I begin to ream with my rat tail file, the threads on the file get clogged. To fix that, I use a heat gun on my file when it clogs to clear the wax......

Have fun.

Bart

#10 stanbery

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 08:01 AM

Have you thought about this.
Instead of using a all thread with nuts and washer try using a clamp like this.



Drill a hole in both ends that your all thread will fit thru, glue up the cork put
it in the clamp make sure it is nice and tight then remove the all thread.

You can but the clamp from Harbor Freight for $4.00.

http://www.harborfre...temnumber=46807

This works very well.
Some grips made this way








Hope this helps

Jon

#11 mhackney

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 08:29 AM

Thanks Jon, I guess it is another trip to Harbor Freight this weekend! I like that a lot. No need to even use allthread with that clamp either, so make it easy and use 1/4" steel rod (you can buy it at the hardware store too).

Nice looking grips too! I am interested in the reel in the 2nd to last photo. What is that?

cheers,
Michael
Reelsmith and author of The Reelsmith's Primer - the Art of Hand-crafting Fly Fishing Reels

Learn how to build your own fly reels at The Reelsmithing Forum!

#12 jtheys

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 10:14 AM

QUOTE (mhackney @ Apr 9 2009, 06:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks Jon, I guess it is another trip to Harbor Freight this weekend! I like that a lot. No need to even use all thread with that clamp either, so make it easy and use 1/4" steel rod (you can buy it at the hardware store too).

Nice looking grips too! I am interested in the reel in the 2nd to last photo. What is that?

cheers,
Michael


You can get 1/4 steel rod at home depot for about $4 for a 3 foot length. I glue up the grips on that and made a clamp that holds the rings together out of scrap wood and 2 pieces of all thread. Once the cork is glued up I put it in the clamp, run down the wing nuts on both all thread, pull out the steel rod and let it setup for about 12 hrs. Once done, remove from clamp and you have a grip ready for turning without the fear of not getting it off a rod due to the epoxy bonding to it. The clamp I made is very similar to the ones you can buy form the rod building suppliers, only mine cost me about $5.

The best advice I can give you is to not use the all thread to turn you grip on. I did this on numerous grips and the all thread will bend slightly and warp the grip as you turn it. Bad results. Buy a 1/4" mandrel and it is stiff enough that you can use a drill to shape the grip alone. No need for a lathe (although one would be very nice). The other advice is work fast when gluing up teh grip, and work slow when turning the grip. You will kick yourself if you take off too much cork. It can't be put back on.


#13 skyfireblaze

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 05:52 PM

QUOTE (stanbery @ Apr 9 2009, 07:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Have you thought about this.
Instead of using a all thread with nuts and washer try using a clamp like this.


I've seen pictures of similar clamp setups. I just thought I'd try out the allthread first since I could get the pieces for less than $2.

Your grips look good. I like the exotic burl cork you've used. I'm thinking about trying out similar grips using all copano cork or laguna cork with a couple burnt cork "stripes".


QUOTE (jtheys @ Apr 9 2009, 09:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The best advice I can give you is to not use the all thread to turn you grip on ... Buy a 1/4" mandrel and it is stiff enough that you can use a drill to shape the grip alone.


Is a "real" mandrel needed/recommended or is the 1/4" rod you used in your clamp setup sufficiently stiff and straight?

#14 skyfireblaze

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 06:00 PM

QUOTE (Bartman @ Apr 9 2009, 06:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I use the threaded rod method just as Dale Clemens described in his book; I also use 30 minute epoxy and it works great for me. To prevent the epoxy from sticking to the rod, I rub the threads with a candle to fill them with wax. Works great as a release agent. I have noticed that my when I begin to ream with my rat tail file, the threads on the file get clogged. To fix that, I use a heat gun on my file when it clogs to clear the wax......

Have fun.

Bart


What size/type of rat tail file do you use? All of the round files I've been about find so far (local Lowes, HD, etc) have been too big. At least they seem too big to effectively ream out the cork for a fly rod.



#15 Gnossos

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 07:43 PM

What size/type of rat tail file do you use? All of the round files I've been about find so far (local Lowes, HD, etc) have been too big. At least they seem too big to effectively ream out the cork for a fly rod.
[/quote]
I believe it was Steve who suggested a dollar store 1/4" rasp for reaming cork, so I got one and it's great for starting the process. Only problem is it's just 6", so I'm on the look out for a dollar and a quarter store with a 7 1/2" rasp. thumbsup.gif

The standard rattail files come in 6", 8" and 10", I believe. The 6" is a little short and tends to produce a flared opening. The 8-10" works well, but you are correct, for some blanks it's just a tad too large a diameter. Chucking the rattail file into a drill and running it in reverse is another slick trick that produces a straighter result with less flaring at the ends that doing it by hand.

Reamers are probably the best solution for reaming cork by hand.

Gnossos




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