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Carlin

FTOTY Bamboo Rod

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Just want to post a quick recap of what has been decided for the rod so far. Below is the hardware that has been selected via the polls:

 

user posted image

 

Mottled was the preferred rod treatment. The reel seat is the very nice Jim Bureau black ash burl. The cigar grip was the top choice and I selected one that has a slightly larger diameter, which is easier on the hands (IMO). The stripper guide is a top grade nickle silver agate Snake Brand stripper in a sz 10. The bronze snake guides are not shown.

 

The current poll is the first of several having to do with the wraps.

 

The impregnation solution is pretty much cured which means I should be mounting up the ferrules in a day or two, so stay tuned!!

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I finally was able to get some time today to continue with the FTOTY rod.

 

The impregnation solution on the blank is pretty much cured, so today I seated and fit the ferrules.

 

First, using q-tips and denatured alcohol, I cleaned out the insides of ferrules. There is usually some residue left from their machining and it is very important that this be cleaned out so that you can get a good bond between the bamboo and the metal of the ferrule.

 

Once clean, I wrap the end of each ferrule in tape so that I can chuck it into my hand drill. These processes are often done using a lathe, but since I don't have one, nor do I have a place to use it, I improvise using my Porter Cable. I'll start with the end that fits over the bamboo. As you can see in the picture, this end has 6 channels that have been cut into it.

user posted image

 

What I do is to thin down these tabs until they are quite thin using the drill and 800-1500 grit sandpaper in stages, and then finish by carefully sanding the square tabs into rounded points. This allows a better fit between the bamboo and the ferrules, and keeps the wrap finish from cracking at the point of stress between the metal and bamboo.

user posted image

 

When you purchase (or make) ferrules the male portion is intentionally made slightly oversized so that the final fitting can be done by the rodmaker. There are a number of ways of doing this.

 

The first that I tried is a method described by Dave Collyer where you lay the blank across your legs and roll it back and forth while holding sandpaper over the ferrule. This works great, and I've done it several times, but it takes time. One rod that I made for my mom was a 3pc 2tip, which means I had to fit 3 separate ferrules (one on the butt/mid section, and one for each of the two tip sections). This probably took me an hour and a half, which I thought was way too much time. Now I do the majority of the fitting before the ferrules are mounted on the rod.

 

After removing the tape from the ferrules, I retape the male ferrule, but with the other end exposed. I wrap the ferrule in 800 grit and turn on the drill for a couple of seconds. I then hit it with 1200 grit and then some steel wool to polish it up and check the fit. I repeat this process until the ferrule pieces will barely fit together. I'll do the final fitting after the ferrules are mounted on the rod. Sanding the ferrules this way takes me about 5 minutes per male section, so its a huge timesaver and makes for a better final fit.

user posted image

 

It's now time to sand down the blank and actually mount the ferrules. After measuring and trimming the blank I again use Dave Collyer's technique to sand down the area of the blank that the ferrule will fit over. I first measure the depth of the ferrule and wrap some masking tape around the blank at this point to protect the blank from oversanding. All that I have to do next is to wrap the end of the blank in sandpaper (360 grit) and roll it back and forth across my legs until the ferrule fits over it.

user posted image

 

Now its time to glue them on. I prefer to use PowerBond, a PU glue similar to Gorilla Glue, as it expands when it cures to fill any gaps. It is very strong and can be removed with a reasonable amount of heat if necessary.

 

This is simply a matter of putting a couple of small drops of glue inside the ferrule, sliding it over the blank and tying it on. I align the tips of the tabs to correspond with the edges of the blank - strictly for aesthetic reasons. The tying part is just like doing a wrap on a guide, except the tag end isn't pulled all the way through so that it can more easily be removed after the PowerBond is dry, which should be tomorrow afternoon!

user posted image

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Carl,

I'm just blown away with the work you're doing and the explanations that go along with your work. Truely a work of art.

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Thanks TB! headbang.gif

 

I've only seen one or two bamboo rodmaking walkthroughs online, so it's nice to be able to put one together and show the techniques that I (currently) prefer. I'm glad people are enjoying it, and I hope it helps to encourage those who are interested in getting started to go for it and do it themselves.

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You should write a book! You pretty much would already have it done if you just copy and pasted all those posts together.

 

Tony

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This afternoon I removed the string from the ferrules, cleaned off the excess glue with some 0000 steel wool, and touched up the male portion for the final fitting. The ferrules seat solidly and separate with the necessary and pleasing 'pop' sound.

 

user posted image

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very nice.... thanks for all these posts. i so had this picture in my head that i wouldn't be able to perform the work necessary to make a bamboo rod, but your step by step instructions and encouragement is going to make me bite the bullet and give it a whirl. I wonder if there are any classes in the dallas, TX area, as i'm going to be down there for 6 months without a friend in the world, so god knows i'll have the time after work.

 

anyways, too darn cool carl. it looks beautiful and i am truly impressed because you are truly an artist and a craftsman.

 

steve

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From here on out most of the steps will bare a close resemblance to building graphite rods, but there are definitely some differences.

 

First, after double checking the lengths of the setions so that they will make the desired 7'6" completed rod, and that both sections will be of equal length when all the hardware is installed, I began fitting the reel seat. Before I started I trimmed 3/4" off of the reel seat filler to make it match up with a standard length reel foot better, and to minimize the excess.

 

The inside diameter of the reel seat was bored to .375, and the diameter of the rod was about .390 at the apexes of the strips (not flat to flat), which means I had to sand down the area under the reel seat just a bit. I measured, taped, and did another round of rolling the blank on my leg while holding sandpaper. It only took a couple of minutes to get it so the seat fit over the blank properly.

user posted image

 

I decided to trim the grip with a nickel silver winding check, so I picked an appropriate sized round one, slid it onto a hexagonal punch and spent a couple of minutes shaping it. After polishing it a bit with steel wool it was ready for mounting.

user posted image

 

Now it was just a matter of getting things ready, mixing up the flex-coat epoxy, and sliding things together. A few things that need to be watched are the alignment of the mortised reel seat with the flat that is going to hold the guides (opposite the spine - which this particular blank didn't seem to have!). In graphite construction this isn't a big deal because you're dealing with a cylindrical blank, so you can make minor adjustments after the seat is mounted. However, with bamboo rods, you have to make sure everything is aligned as it's being glued. I do this by assembling everything, putting on some masking tape to hold the components together, taping on a stripper guide, and finally putting on a reel. I can then sight down the rod and confirm that the guide is in line with the reel. I then carefully remove the reel and set the rod aside to dry.

 

I must say that you guys have very, very good taste (so far wink.gif) in aesthetics. The reel seat is a great match for the mottled cane. Notice how the dark section of the blank is coming out of the grip, and how well it compliments the reel seat on the other side of the grip. This time this was a happy accident, but I'll be planning for it next time - thanks!

user posted image

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no spine? thats a money blank right there! very beautiful rod right there, anyone would be proud to weild/showcase that thing. a work of art.

 

steve

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I've been busy with visitors and building cane rods for others for the past week, but I figured I'd check in and let everyone know that I'm still working on the FTOTY rod.

 

I have put on a few hand-rubbed coats of finish to give the now-impregnated blank a bit of a shine. In the next day or so I'll be measuring and taping the guides, and will finally get to take the rod into the yard for a test cast!! Then, once the results for the wrap color poll have been finalized, I can begin the wrapping stage!

 

I'm very excited to get this beauty out and throw some line! headbang.gif

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Tools! Let's see. What tools have I used since the clamping and not already listed...

 

Beveler (or roughing forms)

Planing forms - This is the big spend.

Depth gauge and dial indicator

Lie Nielsen Scraper - optional, but pretty.

Hand scraper from GoldenWitch - Unexpectedly nice tool.

Starrett 60 degree angle gauge

Caliper

Glueing Binder - Can be done by hand.

Veritas sanding block - Awesome! Who would've thunk a sanding block could be so great. Check 'em out if you get the chance.

Fine tooth saw - I have a Xacto, but a hacksaw works good too.

Hexagonal punch - for shaping winding check.

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After work today I measured and taped the guides on the FTOTY rod. Normally I'd use a chart like OSD has posted in this forum, or a program like shadownix's to figure guide spacing, but Golden Witch had listed the spacing for this particular rod, so I just went with that.

 

The guide sizes and spacing are as follows:

sz 4.5 tip top

1/0 - 4.5"

1/0 - 9.75"

1 - 15.25"

1 - 21"

1 - 26.75"

2 - 33"

2 - 39.75"

(13/64 ferrule)

2 - 47.25"

3 - 54.5"

10 - 62" **

 

** - This was supposed to be 61", but I added 1 inch as I thought the stripper was just a bit too far from the grip. This is a judgement call, but I feel it helps.

 

After the guides were taped on I put on a Ross G1 loaded with Cortland 444 Sylk WF5F line and hit the back yard for some casting. I always find it very exciting when I get to cast a new rod/taper - especially one that I've built. No matter how things look on paper, the actions always surprise me.

 

I'll admit that the first Dickerson I made, a 8013 8' 5wt, though a very nice rod, was a bit fast action for my cane rod taste. However, the FTOTY rod (which remember is a Dickerson 7613 7'6" 5wt that had the butt section softened up a touch by Golden Witch) is fantastic! For shorter casts, say up to 20', it is a well balanced, snappy tip action, but once you get a bit more line out, the entire rod starts to flex. It was absolutely effortless for me to cast to 50' with dead-on accuracy (as a target I was landing the line across the dog's nose, to his chagrin tongue.gif), and I was getting the line to 70' with just a bit of a single haul. If its ever needed, I'm certain it'll throw an entire line in the right hands.

 

It is still just a bit stiffer right now from what it will end up being after the guides are wrapped, as the action tends to slow just a little bit after the wraps have been put on and finished. However, after just a couple minutes of test casting, I decided that I liked this rod/taper so much I'll be building one for myself!! headbang.gif Good thing the winters are long.

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Swe-Classics,

 

Be sure to enter a fly into this year's contest and that rod can be all yours. wink.gif

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