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Cork ring glue
Posted by: brian rotolo (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 09, 2018 05:06PM

Hello. I am just starting to make my own cork grips. I wanted to get opinions on the best method to glue the rings. I have seen both wood glue and epoxy being used. Does anyone have experience with both methods and if so which do you prefer? Thanks.

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Re: Cork ring glue
Posted by: Scott Strength (---.sub-174-195-145.myvzw.com)
Date: February 09, 2018 05:16PM

Titebond 3 works great.

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Re: Cork ring glue
Posted by: Donald R Campbell (---.socal.res.rr.com)
Date: February 09, 2018 05:16PM


I would think that Tire Bond would work better than epoxy. Epoxy does not sand well after it sets up.

Don Campbell

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Re: Cork ring glue
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---.lightspeed.lsvlky.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 09, 2018 05:35PM

Definitely TiteBond !!!. Elmer's Wood Glue if you cannot find TiteBond.

Epoxy adhesive certainly works, but is not so forgiving or easily cleaned up. If you glue up on the blank then epoxy is almost mandatory.

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Re: Cork ring glue
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: February 09, 2018 05:39PM

I've used Rod Bond for years, no problems with sanding or anything else.

I assemble my rings into cork cylinders by putting them onto threaded rod, applying the epoxy, then tightening the nuts hand tight. Too tight and the adhesive might get squeezed out, too loose and there is a big epoxy layer, which is not optimum. When done and sanded, if you did it right, there will be only the difference between the rings' appearance, no perceptible epoxy layer.

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Re: Cork ring glue
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: February 09, 2018 05:53PM

When doing a lot of grip build up using cork rings, for sure use Tite Bond III or 4. Two reasons.

Cost, Cost, and cost
Also, the glue is water soluble before it has cured. So, when you assemble your stacks of rings on a threaded rod or a mandrel and compress them with a clamp, all of the excess glue is squeezed out on the surface of the cork.
Then, just take a water wet rag, and use it to completely wipe away all of the Tite bond glue on the surface of the cork. By wiping all of the glue off of the surface of the cork, you don't have to deal with sanding them off.

Also, titebond glue on an equal quantity basis, costs about 25% of the cost of any typical epoxy glue that you would use to glue the rings together.

But, and there is a but - Titebond is an air curing glue. Hence it needs to have air to complete the cure of the glue. When I glue up rings, I glue them up on a threaded rod and use washers and nuts on the ends of the rod to compress the rings.

After the titebond glue has dried for 12 hours or more, I will take the nuts and washers off of the threaded rod, insert the rod into an appropriately sized drill and with the drill in reverse, unscrew the threaded rod from the cork ring grip glue up.

Then, I will use that rod or another rod, to push any uncured glue out of the center of the rings. Since the center glue has not cured due to no air exposure, I will then let the grip dry for another 12 hours

Then, I will place the grip on a mandrel or threaded rod and use it in the lathe do do the grip shaping.

With epoxy, I use the glue to glue the rings together and then scrape the surface of the rings to get any real excess glue off of the surface of the grip. Since Epoxy is a chemical cure, as the cure time runs, the glue is curing all of the way through. I normally use 30 minute cure epoxy so that after a 4 -8 hour cure, the glue has cured sufficiently that it can be placed on the lathe for shaping. However, there will typically be glue on the surface of the cork that will need to be taken off with the first round of grip shaping. For this job, I normally use a Stanley surform planing rasp that quickly cuts through any epoxy on the surface.

Finally, after the grips have been shaped - whether the cork has been glued together with either titebond or epoxy, by all means use only epoxy to do the final glue up of the grip, and reel seat to the blank. The bond of tite bond to epoxy is not very good and since everything is well sealed up, some of the glue would likely never cure. So, for the grip and reel seat to the blank, by all means use only epoxy that uses a chemical cure and is essentially the same material was used in the construction of the blank, so you get an excellent bond of grip to blank by using the epoxy.

Good luck

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Re: Cork ring glue
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: February 09, 2018 06:00PM

A few years ago, I had the need to make some really long Tennessee grips. Essentially 24 inch grips.

I remembered seeing a "how do they do it segment " on TV - with one of the high end fly rod companies making fishing rods.

In the factory, they had a jig that allowed the blank to be held vertically, while the workers slipped the cork grip down the blank for final assembly glue applied blank to grip process. The jig spun the vertical blank to make the job quick and easy.

Using that thought, I turned my blank turning motor vertical and then chucked my threaded rod into the chuck. Then, using my foot pedal to control the turning motor, I spun the threaded rod and rings and I slipped them down the rod for gluing. By having the rod spinning, it allowed for a nice quick application of the right amount of glue for a quick, relatively free of mess glue up for some of these extra long grips:


Another nice benefit was that any excess glue simply flowed down the base rings and not on the bench which were quickly cleaned up with the glue brush , so the overall operation was a bit more tidy.

Good luck.

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Re: Cork ring glue
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.res.bhn.net)
Date: February 09, 2018 06:09PM


I like to use contact cement such as Pliobond or Weldwood. I coat the rings and stack them on a mandrel and firmly clamp the assembly and let it sit for about a week before I start to shape it.. Contact cement does not get hard and when carefully sanded the glue line is almost non-existent.


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Re: Cork ring glue
Posted by: Raymond Faus (---.hsd1.ca.comcast.net)
Date: February 09, 2018 06:12PM

Hi Brian,

I’ve tried most methods. These days...I’m all about Titebond. However, there are differences between Titebond II & III. Both are wood glue...but III was really meant for butcher blocks and food grade applications. Probably a bit more waterproof and has a more neutral color. Titebond II is what I used as a cabinetmaker for most of my career. It can be a bit gummy if whatever you’re gluing up isn’t clamped well. A few tips- Work fast, don’t skimp on the glue, and keep a wet rag handy. Don’t let the squeeze out just run all over the place. I do my grips with the wingnut clamp and glued up on all-thread. That way when it’s dry...I can just use my meat puppet hands and a cordless drill to spin it back off the all-thread. I purchased a beat up surf rod a few years ago...for the specific purpose of breaking it down and turning it into two separate power reamers. I did it just like a video I saw. I also got the cutting jigs for inlays and patterns. I swear...I have almost as much fun making really cool grips as I do building the rest of my rods. I guess it speaks to my calling of wood working.


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Re: Cork ring glue
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 09, 2018 06:19PM

Titebond ll is not waterproof, so if the grip gets really wet, it can cause a problem. Titebond lll is my choice for an all cork grip, if I am mixing other materials such as exotic woods, plastic or metal, I ue epoxy.

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Re: Cork ring glue
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: February 09, 2018 09:52PM

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Re: Cork ring glue
Posted by: brian rotolo (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 14, 2018 10:12PM

Roger, thanks for the advice. I will try that. I was at Lowes just prior to seeing the board and purchased some Elmers Wood Glue that is water resistant. I will look for the titebond and go that route. I have a .25 inch mandrel with a collar so I plan on gluing the rings on that. I made a press so now I just need the time.... oh never enough time. :)

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Re: Cork ring glue
Posted by: brian rotolo (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 14, 2018 10:14PM

Thank you Raymond. Good to know!

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