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Turning cork
Posted by: Rick Boley (104.220.94.---)
Date: March 10, 2023 08:56AM

I'm beginning to turn my own grips. I'm using a burl cork with blue in the mix (Blue River) and a burnt mix on another. What I'm noticing is when I get finer than 120 grit the colors in the blue river cork or burnt loose the pop in their color and get dull or hazy. Is there a way to correct this?

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Re: Turning cork
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: March 10, 2023 09:19AM

It is normal for the colors to get somewhat muted when sanded, but you also could be seeing some contamination of the natural cork pieces with the blue in between the pieces. Try to clean it with alcohol to see if it helps. Cork4Us has a liquid that enhances the beauty of the burl somewhat, but if you really want it to pop clean it after your final sanding then apply coating (which will change its feel depending on what you use). I've used Tru-Oil which makes it darker but shows the grain better, some use some form of polyurethane which I think retains color better but still affects the feel, and I've actually used wrap epoxy for a really beautiful glossy look. Before you use any of these you probably should do some testing to see what you like.


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Re: Turning cork
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: March 10, 2023 09:52AM

Fine sanding dust tends to mute the colors a bit. Once you have it fully sanded, you can wash the grip and the colors will pop back fairly close to their original shade.


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Re: Turning cork
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---)
Date: March 10, 2023 07:26PM

Cork Seal will also bring the colors back as well as sealing the cork.

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Re: Turning cork
Posted by: Tim Scott (---)
Date: March 11, 2023 07:35AM

When sanding on the blank, do y’all use a tapered arbor? Vs a straight with tape. Or just don’t worry about it. Too nervous to try on lighter blanks without an arbor support.

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Re: Turning cork
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: March 11, 2023 08:22AM

If I am building a grip of cork rings, I essentially ream each cork ring to be near the correct size before assembling and gluing up the cork rings.
By doing this, it makes the job of reaming so much easier and quicker. It is just a matter of minor reaming to take care of internal glue and a slight more cork for the perfect fit.

As a result, when doing the grip turning on the lathe, I start with the largest threaded rod that will fit into the smallest portion of the reamed set of rings.

Then, as needed, I simply wrap on a masking tape arbor to have a nice fit of the rings onto the tapered arbor.

I use tight bond III glue for assembly. This is a water proof glue that is water soluble and is air cure. As a result, after an over night cure cycle, I remove the glued up grip from the tapered arbor and use the arbor itself to use to clean up the excess glue on the inside of the grip. Since the glue is air cure, the inside of the grip will have uncured glue on the surface. But, by chucking the tapered arbor in a variable speed drill, and a damp rag to wipe off the arbor when removed from the grip - it is easy to remove any excess glue from the inside of the grip. Then, it is set aside to do a day long cure and after that it can go back onto the tapered arbor, placed in the lathe and shaped to size. Then, when the shaped grip is removed from the lathe, there is only a few minutes of reaming required to have a perfect fit of the grip on the rod.

The typing of the method takes longer than the actual doing. But, as a result of this system, the job is easy, and the amount of reaming for the grip is very minimal on the completed grip.

Take care

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Re: Turning cork
Posted by: Tim Scott (---)
Date: March 11, 2023 01:22PM

Thanks Roger, I think that is the safest procedure and I am overthinking it a bit.

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