FTOTY Bamboo Rod 2004
Posted 25 August 2004 - 11:15 PM
Here is a list of recommended reading:
General information on bamboo rods:
Fishing Bamboo by John Gierach
Literally a one night read, but a great introductory book. Lots of tidbits on classic rods, all with the typical Gierach humor.
Splitting Cane: Conversations With Bamboo Rodmakers by Ed Engle
A fun read. Each chapter highlights a modern rodmaker. The last few chapters are about bamboo rods in general, plus a chapter on where Tonkin Cane comes from.
How to Make Bamboo Rods:
A Master's Guide to Building a Bamboo Fly Rod by Everett Garrison, Hoagy B. Carmichael
The Bible of bamboo rodmaking. Enough said.
Fundamentals of Building a Bamboo Fly-Rod by George E. Maurer, Bernard P. Elser
A great book for beginners including good step-by-step instructions and some really nice tapers
Handcrafting Bamboo Fly Rods by Wayne Cattanach
Another classic with great instructions. Cattanach's Hexrod (computer interpretation of Garrison's mathematics) is invaluable for comparing and constructing rod tapers.
Posted 26 August 2004 - 09:29 PM
There are basically 2 ways to do this. The first is to use a set of rough planing forms. Using each angled groove, you plane each side of each strip to the target 60 degree angle.
I have done strips this way before, and will often use the forms for touching up, but I have decided there is a better way - power tools. I purchased a rough beveler from JW Flyrods. A very nice machine which is basically a router set on it's side, with a straight cutter and a fancy table and grooved form. Using this I can rough a rods worth of strips in about 15 minutes. It takes me about 8 times that long by hand. Needless to say, it's considerably easier to get good results as well.
Each strip is run through the beveler 4-5 times, several on each face. Not only does this put the initial angle on the strips, but it removes a lot of the material so that I don't have to do it by hand when we get to the final planing stage. I bevel the strips to within about .020-.040 of the target dimensions. In this case, about .200 for the butt strips, and .140 for the tips.
We are now ready for the final planing. I'll get into that as soon as I can, but first, let's all thank my girlfriend for so graciously allowing me to do all this tool work in our kitchen. I don't have a shop, and outside is not feasible for some of the rodmaking steps, so the kitchen is the obvious solution. We'll be picking bamboo bits out of our dinner tonight.
Posted 27 August 2004 - 07:07 AM
Posted 27 August 2004 - 09:00 AM
Posted 30 August 2004 - 09:55 AM
This post is better than anything I can find on TV. I knew bamboo rods were involved, but didn't realize that they were this involved. This thread is worse than crack. I'm addicted!
I keep waiting for a call from our IT department saying "We've noticed that you've been spending over your alloted internet time on www.flytyingforum.com. We're revoking your internet privelages." Oh well, it's well worth it.
Posted 31 August 2004 - 04:25 PM
I start out the morning with more blade sharpening. More than anything, it's important to have SHARP plane blades at this stage.
The one really important tool in bamboo rodbuilding is the planing forms. They are simply 2 steel bars, about 6'6" long, with push/pull screws every 5 inches along it's length. Using a depth gauge, I set the forms according to the taper chart (page one of this post).
When the forms have been set and double checked, it's time to really get into it. The first thing I do is to remove the enamel from the outside of the strips. Being careful not to dig into the power fibers, I'll begin with a Lie-Nielsen scraper, touch up with a hand scraper, and finally clean everything up with a touch of sandpaper.
When the strips have been cleaned of their enamel, you can really start to see how the final rod is going to look. Here is a picture of one of the splices. When done well, they can barely be seen.
I then begin the planing. I'll start with the non-grooved plane set to remove about .007-.009" of material, and plane down both non-enamel sides of the strip until they are close to their final dimensions. I carefully do the last several passes on the strips with the grooved plane set for a very fine .002-.003".
Not only do you need to be careful that you don't remove too much (or too little) material on each strip, but they must be kept at a precise 60 degree angle. Several times on each strip I'll stop and check the angles at different stations to be sure the angles are kept accurate.
After finishing all 6 of the strips for the butt section, I align them with their enamel sides down on a piece of masking tape.
All that I need to do next is to roll up the strips into a full rod section! It's starting to resemble a fishing rod...
I'll plane the tip strips later this afternoon.
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