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Junk cork
Posted by: Alex purvis (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: June 03, 2022 02:36AM

I’m deep in the trenches with learning to turn cork and as some of you may know and can relate, I have a lot of bad grips. What can I do with probably 100 rings worth of grips that are rejects? I’m trying to find a silver lining here to my frustration and didn’t know if I could possibly salvage these into something useful so I feel better about throwing away money haha.

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Re: Junk cork
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: June 03, 2022 07:13AM

I guess you can use them for practice.

They also make good floats for boat keys. Cable tie through the holes.

I've gone to exotic burl cork, available in probably hundreds of variations. They are significantly heavier than regular cork, so if weight is a high priority you might consider carbon fiber. With the style builds I make for spin I use so little cork that the wieght is not an issue.

Keep in mind that quality and appearance of burl cork varies as much as that of regular cork, with some looking like cheap particle board, others having nice character. All are solid, as far as I know.

[www.rodbuilding.org]

Custom Fly Grips, sponsor on the left, has many handsome burl options.

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Re: Junk cork
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---.hsd1.or.comcast.net)
Date: June 03, 2022 10:35AM

The original reason the carbon skinned grips was to get some use out of marginal quality cork.

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Re: Junk cork
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: June 03, 2022 11:08AM

The messed up shape grips can be easily shaped into thin pieces that are just straight cylinders that will make great foregrips.

Turn your cork at high RPM, roughly shape leaving it thick (thicker than the finished thickness) then finish it with less course sandpaper. Measure the whole time and do a little at a time. You can take off but you can't add, as you have found out the hard way. I use a coarse bastard file with a flat side and slightly round side to roughly shape then use 100 grit to smooth out the rough cork surface (from the file), then go to 250 then 350-370 to finish it. I tried a bunch of different ways to rough shape and really liked the control the file gave me with the least amount of surface damage. Buy the cheaper natural cork rings to learn on. It just sounds like you not getting the desired shapes you want and that takes a little practice.

I started out trying Tom's method (way before I ever new of Tom's method or this site even existed) with a sureform because I used to shape surfboards using one for mostly the rail shaping. I thought it would work the same way that it does on polyurethane foam. It doesn't and leaves the surface of the cork too rough for me, the same for 60 or 80 grit sandpaper or a turning gouge. The file worked best for me but I do use a wood turning parting tool to shorten or seperate the cork. You may need to try some different tools till you find something that works best for you.

[www.youtube.com]

[www.youtube.com]

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Re: Junk cork
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (185.187.243.---)
Date: June 03, 2022 11:56AM

Alex,
I shape my grips on the blank.
I also use a Stanley surform to knock down hi spots in the cork to make it round and concentric to the blank. Then I use 60 grit to BEGIN shaping. Then quickly go to 220. Then to 320 tfor final shaping.
I think you spent too much time with the surform and #60 grit.
Yes - they do cause pock marks in the cork. So they are to be used just to round the cork - no more than that - and very lightly just to knok down the hi spots. Do not try to shape the grip with the surform.
Herb



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/03/2022 09:40PM by Herb Ladenheim.

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Re: Junk cork
Posted by: Robert A. Guist (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: June 03, 2022 02:24PM

Hello Alex.

I cut some cork grips off some rods I was changing over to EVA and took the cork and broke it down to very small (but not dust) pieces and mixed them with Tightbond III and some glitter, then packed it tightly into an empty paper towel roll, let it harden.

Once hardened peel off the tube and center-drill for a turning mandrel, mount in your rod lathe and turn with 120 grit to start and smooth out as much as you want (I went down to 350).

Then ream to size. And yes it's kinda heavy but it's something to play with, you can also use epoxy or acrylic instead of Tightbond III.

Hope this gives you some ideas.

Tight Wraps & Tighter Lines.

Bob,

New Bern, NC.

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Re: Junk cork
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: June 03, 2022 02:55PM

If you use a Surform or similar, just be sure to stop well in advance of your final intended size and shape. These type tools are intended for quick removal of material, not to leave a smooth surface. You do that by leaving just enough additional diameter to allow for further work with sandpaper and in enough grades to get where you want to be.

............

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Re: Junk cork
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---)
Date: June 03, 2022 06:21PM

If you are dealing with too much weight, core the grip and insert foam arbors. They are structurally sound and greatly reduce weight! I use them on all composite cork for the very purpose.'''''''

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Re: Junk cork
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: June 03, 2022 06:46PM

In my opinion, grip weight within "reasonable" bounds, is insignificant. I think coring is a waste of time and effort. What physical characteristic of a rod does it influence? Only weight in the hand. Buy a lighter reel.

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Re: Junk cork
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---)
Date: June 03, 2022 07:02PM

Micheal, while I respect your opinions, buyers of custom fly rods do not expect the grip to feel "heavy"! When using exotic wood and heavier composite cork, without coring they are heavy.

I have built a reputation of supplying "one-of-a-kind" grips that are as light as cork. I do not find it a "waste of time", when my customers come back for more!

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Re: Junk cork
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: June 04, 2022 06:49AM

got it, Phil. I didn't consider that aspect of it.

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Re: Junk cork
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: June 04, 2022 07:47AM

Alex,
I suspect that the cork you call junk can actually be used to make some really great grips.

1. Do NOT use a stanley planer. Simply put, it is too easy to go too deep and thus pock mark the surface of the finished grip.

2. Rather just start with 80 grit sand paper with a backing board on the paper to keep things true and level.

3. Sand at the fastest possible speed that your lathe or power source can turn.

4. As needed change to 100, 120, 150, 180, 220, 320, and 400 grit paper.

Now, is the time to really look at your grip. If you have a lesser quality of grip you will find some voids in the cork.

Fear not - Elmers Golden Oak Pro wood filler is on the way.

This wood filler is readily available at many big box stores and hard ware stores.

Completely cover the surface of the grip, paying special attention to the deeper voids.

Set the grip aside for 24 hours to let the grip dry completely.

Now, go back to 150 grit paper or so, to remove any excess filler - continue working back down to the 400 grit paper.

If you still see some voids - particularly for the areas that were very deep, fill those voids and let dry for an additional 24 hours.

Now come back starting at 220 grit on down to 400 grit.

At that point, turn the sand paper over and use the back side of the paper to get a final polish on the grips.

I suspect that you may be very surprised at how well the grips come out.

The Elmers Pro II wood filler is water proof and is suitable for use out of doors.

If after a few years, you find that a void or two has appeared, just apply a bit more filler and do a spot sand on those spots and you will be good to go.

Several years ago, as the quality of the cork continued to degrade, I searched for a solution and found that the Elmers wood filler works very nice to be able to deliver a quality product without having to spend $10 per ring for really perfect cork.

It is fine to spend $10 per cork ring if you want to put $200 on a $1500 rod. But otherwise, perhaps not.

--------------------
Remember cork has a finite supply. After a cork tree is planted, it takes 25 years, before the tree can be harvested. Then it is some years after that before the 2nd harvest can take place.

[www.corkqc.com].

So, no wonder that the supply of really quality cork is continuing to diminish.

Best wishes.

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Re: Junk cork
Posted by: Alex purvis (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: June 04, 2022 11:09PM

roger wilson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Alex,
> I suspect that the cork you call junk can actually
> be used to make some really great grips.
>
> 1. Do NOT use a stanley planer. Simply put, it
> is too easy to go too deep and thus pock mark the
> surface of the finished grip.
>
> 2. Rather just start with 80 grit sand paper with
> a backing board on the paper to keep things true
> and level.
>
> 3. Sand at the fastest possible speed that your
> lathe or power source can turn.
>
> 4. As needed change to 100, 120, 150, 180, 220,
> 320, and 400 grit paper.
>
> Now, is the time to really look at your grip. If
> you have a lesser quality of grip you will find
> some voids in the cork.
>
> Fear not - Elmers Golden Oak Pro wood filler is
> on the way.
>
> This wood filler is readily available at many big
> box stores and hard ware stores.
>
> Completely cover the surface of the grip, paying
> special attention to the deeper voids.
>
> Set the grip aside for 24 hours to let the grip
> dry completely.
>
> Now, go back to 150 grit paper or so, to remove
> any excess filler - continue working back down to
> the 400 grit paper.
>
> If you still see some voids - particularly for the
> areas that were very deep, fill those voids and
> let dry for an additional 24 hours.
>
> Now come back starting at 220 grit on down to 400
> grit.
>
> At that point, turn the sand paper over and use
> the back side of the paper to get a final polish
> on the grips.
>
> I suspect that you may be very surprised at how
> well the grips come out.
>
> The Elmers Pro II wood filler is water proof and
> is suitable for use out of doors.
>
> If after a few years, you find that a void or two
> has appeared, just apply a bit more filler and do
> a spot sand on those spots and you will be good to
> go.
>
> Several years ago, as the quality of the cork
> continued to degrade, I searched for a solution
> and found that the Elmers wood filler works very
> nice to be able to deliver a quality product
> without having to spend $10 per ring for really
> perfect cork.
>
> It is fine to spend $10 per cork ring if you want
> to put $200 on a $1500 rod. But otherwise,
> perhaps not.
>
> --------------------
> Remember cork has a finite supply. After a cork
> tree is planted, it takes 25 years, before the
> tree can be harvested. Then it is some years after
> that before the 2nd harvest can take place.
>
> [www.corkqc.com]#:
> ~:text=Cork%20is%20harvested%20in%20a,for%20anothe
> r%209%2D12%20years.
>
> So, no wonder that the supply of really quality
> cork is continuing to diminish.
>
> Best wishes.

Roger,

Thanks a bunch for your reply and your insight. You helped me with some future questions I was going to have!

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Re: Junk cork
Posted by: Barry Weaver (---)
Date: June 05, 2022 09:59PM

you also use them to be covered with shrink wrap or cane.

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Re: Junk cork
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---.hsd1.or.comcast.net)
Date: June 06, 2022 06:28PM

You can cord wrap it, rattan wrap it, many things have been done to get the use out of cork

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Re: Junk cork
Posted by: Leslie Cline (---)
Date: June 17, 2022 08:03PM

Junk cork makes decent arbors on carbon fiber, tube-type grips. Foam arbors might be a bit lighter, however, I only need to use a ring or two at one end or the other, or one in the middle if I want it there. I coat all surfaces of the cork arbor with epoxy for some additional structure.

I have some ziplock bags of "future use unknown" materials. If you have the space, keep it around. Who knows who on Rod Building will come up with a great idea.

Les

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