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FTOTY 2005 Bamboo Rod Build


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#1 Carlin

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 08:26 PM

Well, here we go again folks! For those of you who missed last year's Fly Tyer of the Year contest, one of the prizes was a handmade bamboo fly rod. Most of the different aspects of the rod were decided upon by the members via polls and the entire process was documented in this thread.

With Will's blessing, I'll be doing the same thing for this year's contest. I'll begin with the first poll shortly, then roughly every week thereafter I'll finalize and put up a new poll. The results of these polls will determine all the various details of the rod. I'll also have a photo and text walk-through of the steps it takes to complete the rod in this thread. Once the rod is finished and the results of the '05 FTOTY contest have been tallied, the winner of the contest will be presented with the completed rod.

Please feel free to ask questions, post comments or any suggestions or critiques you might have.

The current poll and this thread will be pinned at the top of the forum to keep things more orderly.

Keep an eye on this forum and thread for new polls and updates.

Chris

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#2 SmallieHunter

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 08:36 PM

Thanks again for doing this Chris. Last year it brought a unique and exciting element to the contest and I'm sure everyone will enjoy it just as much this year.

This is going to be fun thumbup.gif
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#3 Carlin

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 07:23 PM

So far, we've decided on the length, line weight and taper of the '05 FTOTY rod. The taper chosen is an 8' 5wt based on the Dickerson 8013 taper. Below is a stress chart that shows the stresses on various points of the rod under different line loads:

user posted image

And a more traditional stress curve chart can be seen in the taper database submission for the 8013.

In short, the charts show that the rod has a softer tip (high point on the graphs) with a relatively stiffer butt section. A good indicator of a faster action rod.

Once the culm treatment poll is finalized, we can begin the actual construction.

Chris

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#4 Gary Madore

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 08:04 PM

Hey Chris!

That's a nice graph, but for a Dickerson 8013 shouldn't the peak value at about station 50 be closer to 151,000? Your graph, pretty as it is, shows it around 150,500.

I'm just going from memory here, so I may be wrong...

Cheers!

Gary

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#5 karelgol

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 04:17 AM

I understand the x and y axis values. What does the z-axis add? Different line weights?

Karel

#6 Carlin

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 11:00 AM

Karel,

The Z axis is the length (and therefore weight) of line cast from 2 to 50'.

Chris

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#7 Carlin

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 10:06 PM

Lets get started!

I first begin by selecting a culm from those that I have set aside as having aged the longest:
user posted image

The culms are shipped in 12' sections which are too long to try and manage as a whole, so I cut them down into two, roughly 6' pieces. They actually end up being around 5'6" as I try to cut the culms at a node and often remove the bottom most section. I'm careful to mark the bottom of each culm with a colored Sharpie after cutting so I can keep things organized and tell what their alignment was in the original plant.
user posted image

The culms are shown here cut and ready for flaming.
user posted image

To flame I use a Burnz-O-Matic MAPP gas torch - the same type you'd use for plumbing. I flame from the middle of the culm towards the end. This helps drive some of the moisture from the culm (the rest we'll remove with the oven later) while darkening the cane.
user posted image

The MAPP torch has a relatively small flame so I move fairly quickly and end up just barely charring the enamel coating on the culm. This technique produces the medium-flamed, carmel colored cane we're after when using this torch.
user posted image

If I go too slowly, the enamel will begin to glow and separate from itself (shown above the arrow). If done carefully, this will darken the culm to a deep, chocolate brown color. If not done with care it will damage the fibers underneath and make them too brittle for use in making rods.
user posted image

Flaming the entire culm takes about 20 minutes. There are faster, and larger flame torches out there, but I'm used to the small Bernz-O-Matic, so I stick with it.
user posted image

Chris

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#8 Gary Madore

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 07:59 AM

Nice, Chris!

Any chance of having this (and further) series pinned as a tutorial?

You should get one of those great-big honking torches that are used for asphalt roads or industrial roofing.... I bet you could flame acres of culm in 2 minutes flat! headbang.gif (I know, I know....)

Cheers!

Gary

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#9 Carlin

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Posted 10 September 2005 - 06:56 PM

Today I got around to splitting the culm. The splitting is done with a froe and a mallet. First I take the butt half of the culm (red) and split it into 2 halves. I break out the nodal dams with a regular hammer, then each half gets marked with a different colored line (slightly different greens in this case).
user posted image

The halves are then split into thirds, which results in 6 pieces. Each piece from each half is marked with a different color. The reason for this is to help identify from where on the culm each strip originated and will help us align the strips in the finished rod in the same order that where were originally located on the culm. This is really optional, and likely has little effect on the finished product, but we'll do it anyway just for the exercise.
user posted image

I then take my froe and clamp it into a vice.
user posted image

Each 1/6th piece is then split in half:
user posted image

Then each 1/12th piece is split in half:
user posted image

user posted image

The result, for the butt section of the culm, is 24 evenly sized pieces. 2 * 3 * 2 * 2 = 24. I actually got 22 out of this culm because of some blemished strips which were discarded.

user posted image

The tip is done in the same way, but as each strip is thinner in a tip section, I can split the culm into 32 pieces instead of 24. To do this, I simply split the culm in halves until I get down 32 pieces.

First split the culm in 1/2, then split each 1/2 into two pieces, then each 1/4 into 2 pieces, then each 1/8th into two pieces, etc. 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 = 32

user posted image

The result is actually 30 useable strips after the damaged ones are discarded.
user posted image

Chris

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#10 Carlin

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Posted 10 September 2005 - 07:08 PM

Doing the actual splitting is quite easy. For the larger pieces you can simply use a froe and mallet. Once you get down to small enough chunks to split them in the vice, a bit more technique is required.

First, center the strip on the edge of the blade, being sure the enamel side of the cane is perpendicular to the froe, then gently tap the end of the strip with the mallet to start the split:
user posted image

As you push the strip into the blade, the split will wander. You'll need to correct this to keep each half the same size. To do this, simply push the wider half of the strip (the bottom half in the picture below) into the side of the froe while continuing to push the strip into the blade. It takes very little actual pressure, just the proper angle and motion.
user posted image

The split will quickly wander back to center and you can continue.
user posted image

Sometimes the nodes will resist the split. If this happens, gently tap the end of the strip with your mallet until the split clears the node.

This is surprisingly easy once you do it a few times and get the feel of how twisting the strip into the froe affects the split. Once you get the hang of it, your strips will be of even size, and nearly whatever width you want them to be.
user posted image

Chris

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#11 Gary Madore

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Posted 10 September 2005 - 07:15 PM

Fascinating.

More, more MORE! smile.gif

Out of curiousity, what makes a "blemished" strip? Are we talking mainly cosmetics, or flaws in the bamboo?

Cheers!

Gary

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#12 Carlin

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Posted 10 September 2005 - 07:17 PM

Blems can be anything from bug holes, to cracked strips, to strips with large gouges or cosmetic blemishes in the enamel. The ones that I discarded were due to small cracks or blems in the enamel as the culm was very clean to start with. thumbsup.gif

Chris

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#13 Gary Madore

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Posted 10 September 2005 - 07:24 PM

Got it. Thanks Coach!

Cheers!

Gary

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#14 SmallieHunter

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Posted 10 September 2005 - 10:06 PM

Rookie question...

Do the strips have to come out equal in the end? If so, do you measure before you begin to split it to find the exact center or does it just have to be close where eyeing the center will do?

Awesome stuff Chris!!!!
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#15 Carlin

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Posted 10 September 2005 - 10:11 PM

Thanks Will!

I don't do any measuring. You can usually eyeball it and get them to come out pretty close. Besides, we'll be beveling and planing them down a significant amount anyway, so some variation in the dimensions won't matter at this stage.

Chris

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