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foam core grips
Posted by: Steve Chontos (---.delta.com)
Date: February 08, 2023 10:49PM

I have built several carbon fiber grips from scratch and used different epoxy coatings to finish the product. I have used spar urethane as a top coat too. I want to make a set of grips out of the foam core alone and I am wondering if there is anything new or better to use to finish the foam core material?

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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: February 09, 2023 12:09AM

Steve,
One would need to first establish a baseline; weight or durability being the most obvious two. If the baseline is weight, then run the foam core in its raw form, but durability will suffer. Conversely, if durability is the baseline, then a woven sleeve material such a CF, Aramid (Kevlar) or even FG would be superior. In between would be foam which is simply painted or coated of some sort. In the end and with everything considered, anyone would be hard-pressed to offer a more durable-to-weight ratio than woven fabric sleeved foam. Personally, I generally prefer natural cork which falls somewhere in between. But, I’m here to learn.

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: foam core grips
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: February 09, 2023 09:12AM

As the originator of the foam-core grips I can tell you that there are numerous ways to use them which do not included skinning with carbon, although that method adds some aesthetic bling which was our main goal with that type grip.

You can flock them or paint them. Paint works very well and adds a bit more toughness to the grip surface. If you want the natural cream color to remain you can apply several coats of clear urethane to the foam itself. They would certainly be as durable or mores than regular cork.

As far as anything "new" I suppose the sky is the limit. Walk the aisles of your local home hardware store and see what they have.

..........

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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: Ross Pearson (---.dlth.qwest.net)
Date: February 09, 2023 09:16AM

I frequently use foam cores that I paint and then coat with thread finish. A top coat of Perma Gloss would give the grip additional hardness. I think Perma Gloss directly over the foam or painted foam would probably degrade the surface. Thread finish over the foam to initially smooth and level the surface protects it as well from being eaten by the "hot" urethane finish.

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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: El Bolinger (50.233.0.---)
Date: February 09, 2023 09:36AM

How is it that you create a foam arbor to make grips from scratch?

Building rods in MA, Building the community around the world

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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: February 09, 2023 10:25AM

The original article was in RodMaker Volume 10 #6. It's not hard but is a somewhat detailed process. It's two-part urethane foam poured into a mold or other captive device. You can use a baking pan and pour around mandrels and then saw the sections into turning squares ready to be turned.

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

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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: El Bolinger (50.233.0.---)
Date: February 09, 2023 10:31AM

If poured into a baking pan with something as a mandrel laying flat on it wouldn't that just create an uneven core to turn with the depth of the foam being above the mandrel and little to none below it?

Building rods in MA, Building the community around the world

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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: February 09, 2023 10:47AM

No, the pan is notched so the mandrel sit in the center of the pour. It's all in the article.

........

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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: Matt Ruggie (---)
Date: February 09, 2023 11:38AM

El.
I recently watched a video on this. I'll try and find it.

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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: Matt Ruggie (---)
Date: February 09, 2023 11:43AM


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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: El Bolinger (50.233.0.---)
Date: February 09, 2023 02:09PM

@MATT superbly helpful - thanks!

@TOM I see you already commented on that youtube vid - you beat me to it haha

Building rods in MA, Building the community around the world

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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: February 09, 2023 02:31PM

Yes, what's he's doing will work. Use a larger pan if you want to make up more cores at one time.

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

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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: February 09, 2023 04:47PM

Does anyone have a photo of a rod with a foam core grip.

Thanks

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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: Ross Pearson (---.dlth.qwest.net)
Date: February 09, 2023 05:59PM

John DeMartini Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Does anyone have a photo of a rod with a foam core
> grip.
>
> Thanks

[www.rodmakermagazine.com]

[www.rodmakermagazine.com]

The first link - carbon skinned. The second - painted.

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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: Steve Chontos (---.delta.com)
Date: February 09, 2023 08:20PM

Back when I started doing the carbon fiber grips, there was a sponsor that I bought a bunch of foam "blanks" from. They also had all the other materials I needed along with large bottles of thread epoxy. I think it may have been "Acid Rod" or something like that. I have not attempted to make any of my own foam core blanks yet as I still have a couple bought ones left. And I have built 1 set of grips where I mixed Testors model paint in with my epoxy and used that as the first coat over the foam. That rod is still in use today and I never had any issues with durability. I was just wondering if some of the true experts here started using a different process.

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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: Derick Jahnke (---.ptld.qwest.net)
Date: February 09, 2023 08:31PM

Has anyone coated a foam core with epoxy, as a split seat feature or winding check? I am looking to do some light weight Trout and Bass builds and don't really need full on grips...just a transition.

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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: February 09, 2023 08:33PM

Steve Chontos Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Back when I started doing the carbon fiber grips,
> there was a sponsor that I bought a bunch of foam
> "blanks" from. They also had all the other
> materials I needed along with large bottles of
> thread epoxy. I think it may have been "Acid Rod"
> or something like that. I have not attempted to
> make any of my own foam core blanks yet as I still
> have a couple bought ones left. And I have built
> 1 set of grips where I mixed Testors model paint
> in with my epoxy and used that as the first coat
> over the foam. That rod is still in use today and
> I never had any issues with durability. I was
> just wondering if some of the true experts here
> started using a different process.



It was probably Riley Rods down east in North Carolina. He sort of dropped off the planet a few years ago. Good guy just maybe started concentrating more on his guiding service.

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

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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: Ross Pearson (---.dlth.qwest.net)
Date: February 09, 2023 08:56PM

These ready to cut and shape foam cores work well and avoid the work of making your own from scratch.

[mudhole.com]

[getbitoutdoors.com]

My process in brief is cut, shape, thread finish, white latex house paint prime, base metallic FolkArt acrylic craft paint, thread finish or Varthane water based Spar exterior urethane (if base isn't going to be roughed up), decorative painting with FolkArt metallic(s), and finally thread finish again.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/2023 08:50AM by Ross Pearson.

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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.inf6.spectrum.com)
Date: February 10, 2023 09:04AM

Ross,

Thanks, the painted core is what I was interested thinking about.

What concerns me is the core material doesn't seem very sturdy by itself and I know the carbon sleeve adds strength to the core but I am not sure how well paint will protect the core from dings and scratches.

Again thanks for your effort.

Have fun

John

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Re: foam core grips
Posted by: Ross Pearson (---.dlth.qwest.net)
Date: February 10, 2023 09:23AM

John DeMartini Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ross,
>
> Thanks, the painted core is what I was interested
> thinking about.
>
> What concerns me is the core material doesn't seem
> very sturdy by itself and I know the carbon sleeve
> adds strength to the core but I am not sure how
> well paint will protect the core from dings and
> scratches.
>
> Again thanks for your effort.
>
> Have fun
>
> John

I have fished with some for 15 years now with little wear and tear on the appearance or function as the thread finish protects the paint. A top coat of Perma Gloss would make them even more durable. Guides wraps last a lifetime with thread finish alone.

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