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PostPosted: 03/24/20 13:29 • # 1 
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I am in the process of restoring a bamboo fly rod. The restoration is my first time working with bamboo although I have built several other rods. The rod is an early 50' vintage, Japanese made, production rod (I know, not worth the cost or effort, tomato stake, etc, etc,) 8' and probably around a 6wt. I removed the grip and the reel seat and underneath is a continuous wooden arbor about 10" long and 5/8" diameter. Both the reel seat and cork grip were glued to this arbor. It's essentially a hardwood dowel with a blind hole that the butt of the blank is glued into. Since the hole in the dowel does not go all the way through I cannot tell how far the blank is inserted. I would like to remove this and just remount the new reel seat and grip on the butt of the blank. Has anyone run into this before or does anyone have any suggestions on how I might get the blank out of the dowel without damaging the bamboo or possibly delaminating the strips?


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PostPosted: 03/24/20 14:56 • # 2 
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Hello,
Wood or cardboard fillers are common under reel seats, but a filler dowel under the grip is new to me. That kills the action right at the grip.
I would cut the dowel lengthwise with something like a Dremel wheel, being careful as you get close to the cane, and split it open. I doubt the glue will offer much resistance. If you touch the cane here and there, it's no big deal.


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PostPosted: 03/24/20 15:51 • # 3 
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I remember reading here, that some longer Hardy Spey rods, like the 11' Wye had dowels under the cork.

D

"By the wood-shed is a brook. It goes singing on. Its joy-song does sing in my heart.”

Opal Whiteley


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PostPosted: 03/24/20 16:08 • # 4 
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For nice, salmon rods, that was probably there for a reason besides cost. Crappy Montague, Chubb, and other cheap rods had a (cheap softwood) filler, often pine, to avoid the cost of good-quality cork (or mortising/rattan/etc.) and wrapped cheap sheet cork or another material over it. What to do with it? I had a practice-wrap rod that I was done with. Unless this is a sentimental rod (dad's old rod, souvenir, etc.) the best course of action is to do what I did:
1. pick it up
2. clamp it in a vise
3. heat it and attempt to induce twist to rectify its limp noodleness as an experiment
4. it doesn't work and instead makes it very fragile
5. snap it to small pieces so it will fit in your
6. small trash can (if you have a big one in your workshop, you don't even have to snap it!)

Steps 1, 2, 3, and 4 are optional. :lol

"Car ce n'est pas assez d'avoir l'esprit bon, mais le principal est de l'appliquer bien.”- Descartes


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PostPosted: 03/24/20 17:15 • # 5 
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the heating is a good idea. i would clamp the dowel in a vise and begin heating the wood/cane intersection. you do't have to be too careful; you're throwing away the dowel and the cane, if scorched, will be glued inside the grip. i will guess the bamboo only extends 2-3 inches into the dowel, which means you will have a very different rod, 6-8" shorter than before. i have several 6&7 weight 7 1/2 foot rods, and would not be afraid to try this. of course, if you sawed the dowel off you would have a 7'2" cannon of a rod that may work even better than before surgery.


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PostPosted: 03/24/20 17:28 • # 6 
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many of the g******e rods i've built/modified use dowels on the butt because the holes bored in reel seats and cork grips are too large in diameter for the skinny blank. i don't have this problem anymore because i only buy grips with a 0.250 bore and make cork filler seats. i suppose i could turn my own grips, but i'm too lazy when i can buy them from one of our members at a pretty good price.


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PostPosted: 03/25/20 10:04 • # 7 
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I had posted previously that I found a broken 11' Hardy Wye had a wooden layer under the thin surface cork of the handle and the bamboo blank ran all the way to the button. I have since found that another longer steel centered A E Wood also by Hardy had the same wood under the grip, as did a 10' single handed (optional) screw in lower handle, Hardy Rogue River fly rod.

I surmise the reason was to add stiffness in the handle section. Following this lead I now 'double build' on the blank which will be under the longer handles with flat thin strips of outer fibre bamboo, then turned round-ish on the lathe before corks are glued in place. The resulting rod feels much better in the hand as a result.

Malcolm


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PostPosted: 03/25/20 10:32 • # 8 
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A wooden dowel of the same diameter of bamboo will have about the same flexing characteristics of bamboo so I don’t see how it could kill the action of a rod at the grip. Especially if the rod was designed that way. There are lots of rods with wooden grips mortises or otherwise that are awesome rods.

The bamboo probably doesn’t go that far. If you cut that dowel off you might just need to replace it and build a whole new one. Why not leave well enough alone and just replace the cork and reel seat?


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PostPosted: 03/25/20 12:07 • # 9 
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mtadam,

do your thing, brother. it's your rod. you can't make it any worse than it already is, and when you're done, you will have a different, possibly better, rod than when the thing was new. your biggest concern should be the ferrules. are they tight to each other, and tight to the sections?

one other thing, and you probably know this. it's almost impossible to remove rust from line guides while they are on the rod. and if you do, the pitting left, unless carefully polished out, will eat a fly line in short order. i've tried more than once to do it the hard way. now i do it the easy way. i replace them. while you are at it, i'd put no smaller than a 10mm stripper on, and a 12mm wouldn't hurt for aid in shooting line.


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PostPosted: 03/25/20 12:10 • # 10 
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Wooden grips and mortises are awesome. The problem with the rod type mentioned is just that they were made of cheap, low-quality materials coupled with poor craftsmanship. They weren't designed for a good action, they were made to fit a budget, and that budget was very, very low.

"Car ce n'est pas assez d'avoir l'esprit bon, mais le principal est de l'appliquer bien.”- Descartes


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PostPosted: 03/25/20 17:01 • # 11 
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My thoughts on removing the dowel are that it is going to be tricky to bore a new grip to fit over the dowel if I don't remove it. I don't have a lathe and the walls of the grip will be getting pretty thin. If I take the dowel off I reduce the overall weight by a lot and can just taper the bore of the new grip to fit the blank as usual. If I remove the dowel though it will shorten the rod and change the action/power. I had a thought that maybe I will leave the dowel on but cut it to the length of the reel seat as I am reusing the original. Then I could slide the grip on the front and taper to match the blank. The rear of the grip would be butted to the front of the dowel/ reel seat. By going this route, or removing the dowel the original rod logo will be covered by the new grip though. Decisions, decisions.

As far as the ferrules, they fit nice but almost all of them are cracked so I will probably replace. A few of the original guides were missing, and a few were bent so I plan on replacing all of those. The rod has been stripped and will get a new finish shortly. I


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PostPosted: 03/25/20 21:49 • # 12 
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A lot of the post. WWII Japanese rods are that way and many of the Hardy’s, I’ve and 8.5 ft Deluxe with wood under the reel seat and some of the cork.

Putting together a cork lathe using an electric drill as a power supply is pretty easy and simplifies maintaining the rod length and any markings.

I’ve redone a couple of Japanese rods, both were fishable but nothing to praise. Good way to start, though.


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PostPosted: 03/26/20 08:13 • # 13 
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samsonboi wrote:
Wooden grips and mortises are awesome. The problem with the rod type mentioned is just that they were made of cheap, low-quality materials coupled with poor craftsmanship. They weren't designed for a good action, they were made to fit a budget, and that budget was very, very low.


That isn’t really the point. The point is does the dowel screw up the action. Cutting 8” off the rod will do way more to mess up the rod than whether or not there is bamboo or a dowel under the grip.

I agree with the post above - make a cork turning lathe. You’ll learn a fun skill and up your rod making capabilities. Making jigs and fixtures is one of the most important parts of advanced rod making.

John


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PostPosted: 03/26/20 08:43 • # 14 
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OP you say the bamboo doesn't go all the way through.
Why not try and split the dowel off from the solid end? Splitting is a good skill in rodmaking, you may be able to tell how far down the bamboo goes and then use a Dremel (as suggested in #2) to finish the job.


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PostPosted: 03/26/20 09:35 • # 15 
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I will definitely try to split the dowel if I decide to remove it. With some of the discussion above about changing the action of the rod I can't decide if it is better to leave it be or to try to remove it. I've had success splitting reel seats and grips so I think splitting the dowel would be similar.


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PostPosted: 03/26/20 11:23 • # 16 
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Worst case you make a new dowel. Splitting it gives you the numbers of "what it is now" so you just do that.
But and this it the most important thing:

Keep us up to date

:)


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PostPosted: 03/26/20 19:27 • # 17 
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Mer - how is he going to make a replacement dowel without a lathe?

This thread is going in circles. Good luck to the OP let us know how it goes.


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PostPosted: 03/27/20 03:25 • # 18 
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BigTJ wrote:
Mer - how is he going to make a replacement dowel without a lathe?

This thread is going in circles. Good luck to the OP let us know how it goes.

With time and care? Plenty of literature in the old books on making dowels and round pegs without a lathe.
Old time chairmakers used to do plenty of round stuff with drawknives, spokeshaves and other things. Heck "Idyll of the Split Bamboo" talks about carving a rounded grip with a knife.
Perhaps he has in his house or a hardware store where he can get a round piece of wood close to the needed OD, then do the old lap lathe with sandpaper. Efficient? No, but doable.

I'm not arguing or trying to go around in circles, I'm just genuinely curious as to what he does and finds.

But since I'm dragging things in a circle, I'll stop here and won't look at this thread anymore. I sincerely apologize for any angst I was causing.


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PostPosted: 03/27/20 06:00 • # 19 
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mer wrote:
Old time chairmakers used to do plenty of round stuff with drawknives, spokeshaves and other things.


I would second, no, make that recommend, using a drawknife and spokeshave. Preferably on a shaving horse. Heck, I make the 'sticks' for conductor's batons, out of hornbeam or abachi (depending on conductor's preference) with a simple block plane using my wood rough planing form as 'template. Less hairy to me than trying to make such a long thin stick on a lathe (I invariably end up damaging the stick due to vibrations, even with a steady rest).


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PostPosted: 03/27/20 18:28 • # 20 
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To the OP - carefully applied heat should release the glue and allow the dowel to be pulled off without damage. You can put the rod in a ziplock and immerse it in boiling water in a big pot. Twist the dowel holding both ends with a pot holder it may take 10 mins for the glue to soften. I’ve done that to Heddons which have a dowel under the reel seat. I didn’t mention this earlier since the best bet is to leave the dowel in there. If you are hell bent on getting it off, try some heat first.

Good luck.


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