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Grip Turning Help - Symmetry and Rubber Cork Issues
Posted by: Joe Boenish (198.7.47.---)
Date: January 23, 2023 10:59AM

I'm running into issues keeping my turned cork grips symmetrical when turning on my power wrapper, especially when using any rubberized cork to cap or accent grips.

I usually start with a standard square end wood chisel against my bench to sqaure up the cork to the mandrel but the chisel doesn't do much to bring down the rubberized cork. I end up chiseling the the normal cork grip and then sanding the rubber end cap down to match but I'm struggling to keep it perfectly symmetrical this way. I end up digging into the softer surrounding cork around the rubber when trying to do this, I always end up with a slight valley just to the side of the rubber. Mostly been using 100 grit drywall mesh for my sanding attempts here.

In other lathe forums I've seen it recommended to freeze the rubber before turning for better results, but wanted to see what this group would recommend.

Also, not sure it this really matters, but I recently switched from a drill press set-up to an Alps power wrapper for turning. The drill press was much more powerful with higher rpm and I didn't have as much of an issue with the rubber caps. Would this lower rpm make much of a difference. I'm sure others have used the Alps wrapper with success in turning. I'd hate to have to find a lathe just for turning grips when I just bought the power wrapper to handle this.

Thanks

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Re: Grip Turning Help - Symmetry and Rubber Cork Issues
Posted by: Les Cline (---)
Date: January 23, 2023 11:50AM

Joe

I have found that anytime I work with grip materials that have different hardnesses it is a challenge. The harder materials (rubberized and burl cork, wood, antler) resist shaping more than the softer materials (natural cork). It is easy to end up with uneven transitions like you describe.

What worked the best for me:

1.) Go light and easy with the pressure: The temptation is to push down harder. Too much muscle can throw my work piece out of round if it is a little loose on the mandrel. Let the tool or sandpaper do the work.
2.) Use a rigid backing or sanding block when working transition areas: Sometimes, I use a metal file on a butt cap to get the general shape first, and keep the file overlapping the two materials so it doesn't dip down into the natural cork.
3.) Work slowly and in small increments. I can get in a hurry too often.

I reread your post and you probably do the above three things already. It may be that your Alps wrapper can't work at a high enough RPM for rubberized cork, as you suspect. Can you use your drill press for grips and the wrapper for the rest?

I have a lathe for grips and do my wrapping with a very simple, manuel thread tensioning device.

Hope this helps you a bit!

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Re: Grip Turning Help - Symmetry and Rubber Cork Issues
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: January 23, 2023 12:36PM

I use a wood block covered in sandpaper, rasps, files, drywall sanding screen, I usually do more harm than good with turning tools.

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Re: Grip Turning Help - Symmetry and Rubber Cork Issues
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---.68.237.4.hwccustomers.com)
Date: January 23, 2023 12:56PM

Joe,
You need hi RPM’s.
Do yourself a favor and buy a FlexCoat Cork Lathe.
Been using that for 20 yrs.
Also - get a Stanley Surform rasp. The one with a slight curve along its long axis . Use that VERY lightly just to knock down the hi spots. And make the grip round.
Then use sandpaper for the rest.
I use 60 - 180 - 220 - 320 grit.
ALSO - I do not use a wood - or any other flat - or soft - backing plates.
Go to a plumbing supply house and buy the largest diameter PVC plumbing joints you can find. I mean BIG. Like 6-10” in diameter. Cut them into half moons 3” wide and use them for backing plates.
Easy to full wells fly grips. And other curves in your grip.
Herb

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Re: Grip Turning Help - Symmetry and Rubber Cork Issues
Posted by: Rick Handrick (165.189.255.---)
Date: January 23, 2023 01:06PM

Surform rasp is a great tool to make the handle concentric to the mandrel and provide a rough shape. I follow that with belt sander belts in 80 and 100 grit - these provide nice shaping qualities, limited flex, but great for working shapes. Follow that up with 120-320 sandpaper progression. As noted above - light pressure and high RPM's is important for sure!

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Re: Grip Turning Help - Symmetry and Rubber Cork Issues
Posted by: Matt Ruggie (---)
Date: January 23, 2023 02:20PM

i like the Stanley surforms too. Ill also use belt sander belts with rip of plywood slid inside. It makes a handy sanding block for many things including shaping. Round the ends for a nice snug fit.

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Re: Grip Turning Help - Symmetry and Rubber Cork Issues
Posted by: Mark Talmo (71.147.59.---)
Date: January 23, 2023 03:06PM

Joe,
All good replies / suggestions above, especially higher RPM with a light touch. Allow me to add that it will ALWAYS be difficult to sand a softer material which is right next to a harder one and keep the surface flat / parallel, backing block or not, flat or curved turned surface. I have found turning and sanding the harder material down to final size and leaving the softer material oversized before assembly to help immensely; after glued and cured, carefully sand the softer material down to the height of the harder material. All the “rings” need to be concentric and fit snugly on the largest diameter mandrel possible; .25in diameter is the absolute minimum and even it can flex while turning.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!! BUILDING YOUR OWN SIMPLY ENHANCES THE EXPERIENCE.

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Re: Grip Turning Help - Symmetry and Rubber Cork Issues
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: January 23, 2023 03:40PM

follow Les Cline's instructions on either a lathe or drill press setup and you will get good results.

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Re: Grip Turning Help - Symmetry and Rubber Cork Issues
Posted by: Robert A. Guist (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: January 23, 2023 04:36PM

Hello All.

There are a ton of grip-handle-lathe.. this one is for concentric grips.

Vol/Issue...........Article.....................Author......................Page.
11/3 Grips, Round or Concentric? By Tom Kirkman. 18
23/2 Feature: ROUND AND CONCENTRIC By Tom Kirkman. 22


I don't know if this will help but here it is.

I my self use a sanding block.


Tight Wraps & Tighter Lines.

Bob,

New Bern, NC.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2023 04:47PM by Robert A. Guist.

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Re: Grip Turning Help - Symmetry and Rubber Cork Issues
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: January 23, 2023 07:13PM

[www.rodbuilding.org]

[www.rodbuilding.org]

I made these grips using my Pac Bay power wrapper, that I upgraded with an Alps chuck. As you can see, the center section of the one grip is rubberized cork, as are a couple of the accent rings and the end pieces. I didn't have any problem turning them with my power wrapper. I don't think I even had it turning at full speed.

Les' advice of going light and easy with the pressure is spot on. Let the tool do the cutting.The biggest problem I had with the rubberized cork is the little cork nubs that are left after turning. Using more pressure on the tool isn't going to cut the nubs, they're still going to be there, so just go easy and then sand them away. And sanding rubberized cork takes some time.

As far as the slight valley you're getting where the rubberized cork meets regular cork, I definitely get what you're talking about. As you can see in the picture of the full length grip, I have a rubberized cork accent ring between two standard cork rings. I went fairly light on the sanding pressure on those areas. I also had my sandpaper wrapped around a paint stir stick, and I didn't hit those areas with anything more coarse than 120 grit paper. Anything more coarse than that will take away the natural cork while it's riding on the more rigid surface of the rubberized cork. Go light and have something flat backing your sandpaper.

In the one picture where I have the split grips installed on the rod, I have a tenon cut on the grip to carry the trim ring I used, The rubberized cork cuts nice and clean, except for those dang little rubber nubs. lol The grip looks like it has hair on it. You just have to spin it fast, and I found that finer grip paper took the nubs don't a lot better than coarse did. Most of my sanding on the rubberized cork sections of the grips was done with 220, and 320 grit paper. It was the only way I could get a smooth surface.

Anyhow..... as far as needing more than your Alps wrapper. I didn't. And I think the grips I made turned out quite well.

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Re: Grip Turning Help - Symmetry and Rubber Cork Issues
Posted by: Joe Boenish (---)
Date: January 23, 2023 09:21PM

Thanks for all the replies. Gluing some rings up now to give it another shot.

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Re: Grip Turning Help - Symmetry and Rubber Cork Issues
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: January 24, 2023 11:58PM

Joe,
I never use any turning tools to shape grips.
I just find that it is not necessary and actually may lead to destruction of the grip.
I also turn at high speed.

i.e. I turn at 3600 rpm.

I use finer grip sand paper with a very light touch.

I also use a hard backing board for all of the sanding work.

If I need to turn down quite a bit of rubberized cork that may be next to regular cork, I will put two or three layers of masking tape over the top of the softer material. That way you can see if you are getting into the softer material when you are shaping the harder material.

Then, once you get the harder material near its final shape and size, you can unmask the softer material and even up the entire grip.

I also use the surform planer to do all of the initial work for macro sizing and shaping. The cutting file does a nice job without wrecking the materials themselves.

But, turn very fast, use a very light touch, and use finer grit paper.

Note:
My very final material that I use for final clean up , is the back side of sand paper that has no grit on it at all. This is essentially a "polishing" time to get the final appearance of the grip that you wish to obtain.

Best wishes

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Re: Grip Turning Help - Symmetry and Rubber Cork Issues
Posted by: David Sytsma (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 25, 2023 01:52PM

There was an article in a past issue of Rod Maker about using a Dremel tool with one of their sanding drum bits. I've been doing that for a couple of years now, and it works great. I've got an older PacBay power wrapper with the better chuck. My "speed finish applier" is very low tech. I turn the rheostat all the way off, put a brick on the pedal, and gradually increase the rheostat until I get the speed I want. Put your Dremel tool on about #6 and carefully sand off the excess rubberized cork. When you have removed 90-95%, use120 grit or finer sandpaper, and finish with 220 grit or finer. Works amazingly well. I use it every time I'm working with rubberized cork, especially when you're adding it at the top of a grip for accent. When I do that, I sand it off at about a 45 degree angle.

Dave Sytsma

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Re: Grip Turning Help - Symmetry and Rubber Cork Issues
Posted by: Robert A. Guist (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: January 25, 2023 03:06PM

Hello All.

Hi David, is this the one?

Vol/Issue...............Tittle.....................................Author.................Page.
19/3 Grips: Shaping Grips with a Rotary Tool. By Joe Moriarity. 14


Tight Wraps & Tighter Lines.

Bob,

New Bern, NC.

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Re: Grip Turning Help - Symmetry and Rubber Cork Issues
Posted by: David Sytsma (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 25, 2023 04:36PM

I think so, Bob. I've got all my back issues in binders, so I'll check. As I mentioned, it really does work very well. Anytime you are shaping cork or rubberized cork you should exercise due care. Using a few wraps of masking tape is a good safety measure to protect the natural cork while working on R/C rings inlaid on a grip. As I said, I'll do the fine finish work with sandpaper, but I take the majority of the R/C off with the Dremel.

Dave

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