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Wrapping guides
Posted by: Danny Smith (---)
Date: November 19, 2020 03:01PM

I have been replacing guides on some old rods to get some practice. I would give my first few wraps a fair rating at best. I know practice will improve my wrapping. How many coats of epoxy do you typically put on the guides? Do you file or sand them between coats to get the correct shape and fit? Mine have made little drops where the epoxy dripped slightly during drying.

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---)
Date: November 19, 2020 03:47PM

Only perfect practice makes perfect but your wraps will improve.

The number of wrap epoxy coats varies by personal preference, epoxy viscosity, thread weight, etc. As a general rule (as in general to a fault) a well practiced builder will need a single application of a high build epoxy and two coats are typical for a lite build epoxy. I nearly always apply two thin coats of a lite viscosity epoxy. Another general rule is enough epoxy has been applied if you can no longer feel the thread wraps with a finger nail.

Wrap finish can be sanded to correct errors which are best avoided in the first place. If you've got drips and runs you are either not rotating the rod while the epoxy cures, have applied an excess of epoxy or both. An excess of epoxy is a common problem. Epoxy is self leveling and there should be no need to sand between coats.

You must be extremely careful sanding epoxy else you wil sand into the thread and have no choice other than to remove the entire wrap and start again.

And by the way, epoxy does not dry; it curesvia a chemical process.

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: Danny Smith (---)
Date: November 19, 2020 03:57PM

Thank you Donald. I still haven't found all of the resources available on this site. I found a good article (after posting) in the library that addressed this problem well. Basically the same advise you gave. I was applying to much epoxy and not spinning the rod while it cured. Do most of you use a brush to apply the epoxy?

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: November 19, 2020 05:53PM

Very fine answer, Don. I too use two coats of lite build. When you use two coats you can correct things like thread nibs that stick up from a nail knot (narrow trim band) or from the main wrap if one screws up on it. They are best cut off carefully after the first coat cures using a very sharp blade. No other treatment of the nib is necessary, just make sure the nib falls away so you don't epoxy over it.

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---)
Date: November 19, 2020 06:35PM

Brushes are another personal preference item. Some use the inexpensive disposables, some use the more expensive natural bristle brushes, and others use spatulas. I use the throw away brushes and a dubbing needle.

Use that with which you are most comfortable and confident. And it's OK to trim brushes or bend spatulas to your liking.

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: Tony Boschi (---.biz.spectrum.com)
Date: November 20, 2020 08:07AM

I may not be reading this post correctly, but I believe I am and it looks like your biggest issue, is NOT spinning the rod when it is drying.

When I first started out, I thought I could get away with not having a rod dryer, or a wrapping machine, but in time, I gave in
and eventually bought a whole wrapping machine and all of those issues you are experiencing became a thing of the past.

Before I bought the machine, I did spin it every 5 minutes or so at 1/8 turns and when I thought the thread coat was "somewhat set", I always made sure the eyes were pointing down.

You also have to use SUPER, SUPER LIGHT COATS of finish, just "wetting the thread" per se'. 2 coats are recommended, but don't be afraid to put on 3 super, super light coats.
If you're not using a mechanical dryer, and you are getting drips, you are putting on too much thread coat. SUPER, SUPER light coats.

And like I mentioned, if I read this post correctly, the easiest way to resolve you issue though is to buy a dryer!
Around 50 bucks and your "drip" problems will disappear and its the easiest thing you can do.+
Put your rod in the chuck, turn it on and come back in 12 hours and voila', no runs, no drips, no errors!

[www.mudhole.com]

I would also HIGHLY suggest a power wrapper. Its a one time expense that will change your entire game weather your a pro or a person who makes one rod a year.

[www.mudhole.com]

And in summation, I HIGHLY suggest the "upgraded" chuck system. You definitely don't NEED it, but it is a REALLY nice upgrade.

[www.mudhole.com]

Tony Boschi
Banana River Rods
Merritt Island, Florida

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: Danny Smith (---)
Date: November 20, 2020 09:54AM

Thanks Tony. I have come to the same conclusion. I was trying to avoid buying too much too soon until I am sure I am going to stick with rid building. I think I will have to break down and buy what I need.

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: November 20, 2020 11:34AM

Danny,
Generally speaking, over the years, I use one + coat of finish.

I use the normal thicker thread finish. After doing a quick application of the finish over all of the butt wraps and guides, I use gentle heat to thin the finish and to let it flow out nicely while the rod is turning on the dryer.

Then, I go back over all of the wraps with a bright light and magnification to insure that all of the guides are perfect. If necessary, I might add a touch here, or take off a dab there. That is the + coat.. When perfect, I will just let the dryer turn checking every two or three minutes for the first 15 minutes to be sure that the finish remains perfect. After that, I just let the rod turn for its normal overnight run for normal shipment the next day.

When, in a production environment, any drying cycles that are saved means that more rods are going out the door.

Good luck

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: November 20, 2020 12:17PM

Dan, i don.t know what type of rods you mainly build but if your building mostly fly or light spinning, you might consider a one-part finish which requires very little turning by hand..i,m waiting for U-40 to put a new one part finish on the market..i had a chance to test a sample i got from U-40 and love it..they call it Aqua Gloss..it,s great for flyrods and any light stuff in order to maintain as much rod frequency as possible of course it can be used on any style rod but i mainly build fly and light spin..

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: Tony Boschi (---.biz.spectrum.com)
Date: November 20, 2020 12:55PM

Danny Smith Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks Tony. I have come to the same conclusion.
> I was trying to avoid buying too much too soon
> until I am sure I am going to stick with rid
> building. I think I will have to break down and
> buy what I need.

I totally understand what you're saying.

I made my first "hand wrapper", wood from Home Depot, Felt from Michaels, screws, nuts and bolts I had in the garage
and I even tried making a "dryer/wrapper" from an old sewing machine I bought at a thrift for 5 bucks but unless you're
Roger Wilson, who can build a Space Shuttle out of things he probably has laying around in his garage (and if you search
this site, you'll see some of the AWESOME things he has made!), you might just want to try buying the dryer before you
go and pull the trigger on a wrapper. So many guys "hand wrap" and their rods come out perfect but most everyone at some
point runs into the "drippy finish" issue! Plus, if you buy the wrapper after you buy the dryer, you have both items and they
work really well together.

The OTHER problem is that a wrapping machine is a "Gateway" tool, once you buy a wrapper, you keep buying things
because you gotta get your fix! LOL!

By the way, I only suggest Mudhole because for me, their "customer service" has always been second to none.

Tony Boschi
Banana River Rods
Merritt Island, Florida

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: Danny Smith (---)
Date: November 20, 2020 03:13PM

Thanks Tony. i have also found Mudhole very helpful. I just bought the dryer from Mudhole. I too have rigged a wrapper to meet my needs for the time being. My wraps look OK but the drying of the glue was the main problem. Heck, from what I have spent on glues, thread, etc. I have already made back in repairing old rods for practice.

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: David Baylor (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: November 20, 2020 04:01PM

I would suggest watching this video. [www.youtube.com] This video was done by Tom Kirkman, this site's moderator. Now I don't follow this procedure to the letter, for me the key to this video is Tom explaining that you need to let the finish do its' thing.

Based on your response to a couple of the posts in this thread, you know that you may be putting too much finish on. I would caution you not to go to the other extreme of not putting enough finish on. As you can see in the video. Tom made sure the thread was completely covered. Then when he talked about letting the finish sag ..... if you have a big sag in the finish you can wick it off with a brush or spatula. Just wick it off where the sag is and rotate the rod. As Tom explained let it sag to the other side of the rod. If you see another sag (it will be less heavy because you wicked some of the finish off) and feel you want to wick some of the finish off yet again, go ahead and do so. As long as you don't wick down to the thread, the finish will again self level.

I do my tunnels a bit differently as well. I take a toothpick and use it to apply finish to the tops of the guide foot and along the side of the guides' foot. I do that to every guide on the rod before I go back and apply finish to the rest of the wrap. I do this to give the finish a chance to soak into and through the thread so it fills the tunnels. I then go ahead and coat the entire wrap with finish and follow the procedure I outlined above. Turning it by hand until I have wicked any heavy spots of finish off the wrap. I used to be in a hurry to get it on the dryer, but not anymore. Unless you forget to turn by hand taking your time and letting the finish do its thing isn't going to hurt. Of course you don't want to wait so long that the finish starts setting up. But you don't have to rush.

That was my big thing. I slowed down and my wraps have come out much much better. All of the advice you've been given is great advice, but just because we others may do it one way, doesn't mean that you can't adapt and find a way that works better for you.

And welcome to the addiction........ you're going to love it.

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: ben belote (---.zoominternet.net)
Date: November 20, 2020 07:10PM

ben belote Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Dan, i don.t know what type of rods you mainly
> build but if your building mostly fly or light
> spinning, you might consider a one-part finish
> which requires very little turning by hand..i,m
> waiting for U-40 to put a new one part finish on
> the market..i had a chance to test a sample i got
> from U-40 and love it..they call it Aqua
> Gloss..it,s great for flyrods and any light stuff
> in order to maintain as much rod frequency as
> possible of course it can be used on any style rod
> but i mainly build fly and light spin..


when it comes time to replace your wire guides, you,ll laugh at how silly-easy it is to clean up the Aqua Gloss residue with just a few wipes of a rag soaked in iso alcohol..

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: Danny Smith (---)
Date: November 20, 2020 08:54PM

Thanks to all of you for your great advice. The video is awesome and will be a great help. One more question: How many arms and hands to you guys have? I have found that my 2 are very inadequate.

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: David Baylor (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: November 21, 2020 06:48AM

When it comes to needing extra hands, 1/8th inch strips of blue painters tape are your friend.

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: Danny Smith (---)
Date: November 21, 2020 12:54PM

Thanks David. I have learned a lot from the recommended video. I see what you mean about the tape.

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: David Baylor (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: November 22, 2020 06:46AM

Danny, glad I could help. One another thing that I found that really changed how well my wraps now turn out, is taking to heart what Tom said about letting the finish flow from the brush, instead of trying to brush it on.

Like you, the first few rods I worked on involved just putting new guides on some of my old factory rods. The finish on those first few rods actually turned out really well, but they were football shaped. I was putting too much finish on, and not wicking it off as I do now. Wanting the beautifully flat and level finish that I saw in the photo section of this site, I thought I needed to brush the finish on. For me personally, doing so was a big mistake. I'd brush it on trying to make it perfect. The only problem is, brushing it on, at least for me, introduced a lot of small bubbles into the finish. I tried the various remedies I'd read about removing bubbles from your wet finish, but for me personally, and probably for various reasons, it caused even more problems.

Anyhow, while reading another of the popular topic thread of problems with finish, Tom posted a link to the above video. It was a real eye opener for me. While I've gotten better (and you will too) at judging how much finish I need to apply, I still load the brush quite heavily with finish, and simply wick the excess off over the first few minutes of putting it on. It's an extra step and slows down the process, but as of now I only build for myself, so the extra time spent is well worth the results.

The more you play with finish, the more chances there are for things to go wrong.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/22/2020 06:47AM by David Baylor.

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: November 22, 2020 11:24AM

Take an old rod from good will or a charity box and cut off the guides and clean up the blank, using gentle heat and a straight edged razor blade to remove the remaining finish.

Then, over time wrap on about 200 guides on the rod, 8 at a time, applying finish, letting it dry, and then cutting the guides off and do it over again.

I dare say that after wrapping 200 guides, you will be doing a better job wrapping and finishing than you have done on the first guide that you wrapped.

As with many things, practice makes perfect.

For myself, I apply finish on my power wrapper turning the rod at 30-70 rpm. I load the brush with finish and start applying finish. I let the spinning rod pull the finish off the brush. I don't worry about the appearance at this time, I just make sure that I have plenty of finish applied to the guide wrap, or butt wrap for complete coverage of the thread and or guide foot. I quickly do this down the length of the rod for the 5-10 guides on a typical rod.

When applying finish, I use a head band mounted magnifier and very bright light to illuminate the work area.

After applying the quick initial application of finish, I go back to the beginning and inspect each wrap, holding a heat gun in one hand and a finish brush in the other hand. I apply gentle heat on the turning wrap to thin the finish and let it flow out. At this time, if I am finish deficient - I apply a touch more finish. If too much finish, I wick off a bit of finish with the brush. Again, a few seconds on each wrap going down the length of the rod.

Then, I go back for pass number 3 - for the final inspection and very very carefully check each wrap for perfection. At this time, I will typically not be doing anything more to the finish because it will be perfect. But, once in a while, I may have to add a touch more finish or wick off a bit of finish. On these clean up passes on the rod, I normally have the rod turning at about 20 rpm or so.

When perfect, I slow the dryer down to about 10 rpm for an overnight drying. In the morning, I do a final, final, inspection of the guide and butt wraps. Normally, the rod is perfect and will ship the next morning. Once in a blue moon, I will have to add a touch of finish to one guide or butt wrap. But in the fast majority of cases, the rod is finished and ready for shipment.

The typical application of finish on a rod, is about 3-5 minutes total. No reason to hurry, but no reason to dilly dally either.

The speed of application and the speed of the turning blank along with the viscosity of the finish will self level the finish with essentially 0 involvement of the person applying the finish.

Best wishes.

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---)
Date: November 22, 2020 01:13PM

If you are building a rod primarily for "show" and not for "go" several coatings of epoxy, or paint, or glitter are not terrible unusual. If you are building a rod to "go" fishing many serious anglers prefer rods with light guides, light reel seats, and short, light one-layer guide wraps covered by one layer of finish. Still, I bet there are numerous nimrod hunters carrying 14-shot, .40 caliber semi-automatic rifles to hunt white-tail deer with average weighs below 125 pounds?! And the uniforms!!

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Re: Wrapping guides
Posted by: Danny Smith (---)
Date: November 23, 2020 07:57PM

I have stripped an old rod with which to make my first build. I have been repairing some older rods with new wraps fo practice. I believe the addition of a dryer will be a game changer as I have watched plenty of videos which were easy to see the errors I was making. I am almost done with repairs for practice and will start my fist build in the next few days. You have all be very helpful.

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