Gathering of the Clan

A Gathering of Fly Fishermen
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 Post subject: Re: Brian - bamboo forms
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:55 pm 
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The renovations are what's driving this. We should be adequately done soonish. I never had an appropriate space to do the work and new garage is ideal. I had somewhat figured that I didn't have the patience for rod making, but I'm discovering that I really enjoy certain discrete tasks that would translate. The accomplishment of making a rod would definitely be satisfying. Given the start up cost, it would be a very expensive rod if I didn't keep going, but I think I'd enjoy it.

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 Post subject: Re: Brian - bamboo forms
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:04 pm 
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Dr. Trout Bum wrote:
Doug G wrote:
TN_hillbilly wrote:
You do realize the more time you spend piddling around with pieces of grass, the less time you can actually throw flies, right?

;)


But think of all the money he can make in the lucrative cane rod bidness!


It's probably similar to the money I'm currently making in the renovation business. My bank account is definitely going the wrong way.


Greg,

Look at it this way: You're spending the money on your wife's happiness. If you weren't spending that money, your kids would get it and it would ruin their lives. You really are spending your money for the children.


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 Post subject: Re: Brian - bamboo forms
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:23 pm 
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Funny thing about that, my wife doesn't seem too happy about all the money we are spending. Today's surprise is that we need a new roof, which wasn't planned in the budget. The electrical issues are more than double what we planned for. I could go on. We are scrambling to get ready for the delivery of our household goods from storage next Tuesday. It's been air mattresses and dry wall dust up until now.

Nice view though.

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 Post subject: Re: Brian - bamboo forms
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:58 pm 
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It will be worth it in the end. I'll bet that any house out there that's comparable but move-in ready would be prohibitively expensive.


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 Post subject: Re: Brian - bamboo forms
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 6:53 am 
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Dr. Trout Bum wrote:
Do you use a dip tube? Tell me about your varnishing process.


Greg,

I do use a dip tube. But I have not always done so. I tried a couple of different methods for a while before going the dip tube route.
Along the way I gained a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience with varnish.

This may get a bit lengthy so I want to first say that most of my experience is with oil based spar varnish.

Before I settled on the dip tube, I had sprayed varnish with an airbrush and I had done the "turkey baster" method.
Both of those methods produced good results for me.
This was sprayed with an air brush:
Image[/url]

This was done with the "turkey baster" method:
Image

Each one has it's own pros and cons. The air brush method can give a very clean look and can be applied very thinly. However, prep and clean up is a pain. There is also a pretty big learning curve if one has never used and air brush.

The "turkey baster" method is fast and easy. But the only control you have over the thickness of the varnish coat is the viscosity of your varnish.....i.e. how much you warm and/or thin the varnish. The method is fast and simple; prep and clean up is a breeze. I had one mishap once where I did not get a small area on one flat covered at the 'bottom' of a section. I just couldn't see it.

A dip tube probably requires to most time and frustration to set up. You have to have someplace with a big enough vertical space for the tube and room above it to draw the rod from the tube. Some people use a drain tube so you don't have to have the vertical space. They slowly drain the varnish from the bottom of the tube rather than drawing the rod out of the varnish. There are too many unknowns for me to pursue that.

So if you have a good spot for a dip tube you are golden. I made my dip tube out of a couple pieces of PVC pipe. I don't recall exactly what I used. It was something like 3/4in or 1in on the bottom portion and 1.5in or 2in on the top portion.
I made the bottom of the tube pretty skinny with the top portion wider so it would hold right at 1 quart of varnish and I would be able to dip a rod that was an 8.5ft 2pc rod. I figured that would be the longest 2pc rod I would ever make. Anything 9ft and over would be better as a 3pc anyways.

Varnish coat thickness on the rod can be controlled a couple of ways. One is with viscosity and the other is with the draw rate out of the varnish. Thinner viscosity will produce a thinner layer as will a slower withdraw rate.

I was always afraid of getting my varnish too thick. I just think that looks tacky on a rod. I also don't like rounded looking thread wraps on a rod. Thick varnish will lead to this. I did a hell of a lot of searching on what people did to thin their varnish and get good, thin coats. I erred on the side of caution and got my mixture too thin.
Here you can see a little pool of varnish on each side of the wrap:
Image
This was unacceptable to me. I sanded down the rod, emptied my dip tube and bought new varnish.
Some makers thin their varnish with X% amount of mineral spirits, or some thin with X% of turpentine. Some will add a little Penetrol to the mixture....some warm the varnish.....etc.

What I have settled on is using McCloskeys Man-O-War spar varnish in gloss. (Only use gloss, never satin, or semi-gloss varnishes.)
I thin only the slightest amount...maybe 5% with real turpentine. I steer clear of any low VOC stuff, it's crap. I warm my varnish to about 90 deg F and that's it. I draw the rod out at about 2in per minute.

I've used that method for the last few rods and my results have been great. Wonderful varnish thickness with smooth, even coats.
No varnish pooling anywhere or pulling away from the apexes.
Image

That's probably enough of a varnish rant. Time for more coffee.


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 Post subject: Re: Brian - bamboo forms
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:07 am 
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Brian,

Thanks. I really appreciate the info, along with the photos.

I had never heard of anyone using the air brush method, but I haven't read of the rodmaking listservs in a long time. I have heard of the drain tube method for tight quarters. The space I have has plenty of room to rig up a dip tube. The two biggest challenges will be making the environment dust free and the winter months. It remains to be seen how well heated the area will be in the winter. Given my schedule and work habits, that may not be a problem as I wouldn't anticipate making more than 2 rods per year.

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"Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire..." Exodus 12:9


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 Post subject: Re: Brian - bamboo forms
PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:08 pm 
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If I can help in any way, just let me know. It's only somewhat recently that I've jumped the hurdles.


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