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Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Mike Hubbert (---)
Date: September 07, 2023 02:24PM

I just turn a fly rod grip out of cottonwood rings. It is beautiful, just wondered with the vast knowledge base in the forum, what your experiences were? Weight is about 4.5 gms per 1 1/4” x 1/2” ring compared to 1.5 gms for the same size cork ring.

I’m looking for cork alternatives as cork quality declines and prices increase. Just purchased 75 Flor rings trying a new supplier not a clear ring in the bunch. I honestly could not put what I would consider a Flor 7” Flyrod grip out of the 75 rings.

Thanks,

Mike



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2023 05:37AM by Mike Hubbert.

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: September 07, 2023 02:46PM

Sounds like similar weight to a burl cork ring, I have used Tennessee cedar, redwood and red cedar also, but in full lengths, it shows much more of the wood's character IMO.

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Norman Miller (Moderator)
Date: September 07, 2023 03:08PM

Mike, your math is a off by a factor of ten for the CFX arbor material. I.e., 0.7 oz equals 19.8 gm not 198 gm. So, a 1/2” piece would weigh 0.66 gm. If you want to lighten the weight of the cotton wood grip, you could core it with a 20 or 22 mm polyurethane foam arbor. This would reduce the weight considerably.
Norm

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: September 07, 2023 03:17PM

[www.rodmakermagazine.com]

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

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Mike Hubbert (---)
Date: September 07, 2023 05:19PM

Thanks Norm,

I appreciate you correcting this. I was really feeling dumb for coring all these cork blocks.

Mike

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Kendall Cikanek (---)
Date: September 08, 2023 01:45AM

Cottonwood has low durability in regards to getting wet. It checks fairly quickly and can also be difficult to sand. It is fairly resistant to splintering, though.

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Billy Vivona (---)
Date: September 08, 2023 08:52AM

The bark looks amazing. [www.facebook.com]

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Ron Weber (---)
Date: September 08, 2023 07:07PM

Kendall Cikanek Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Cottonwood has low durability in regards to
> getting wet. It checks fairly quickly and can also
> be difficult to sand. It is fairly resistant to
> splintering, though.


That is more related to you prepping and finishing technique

Ron Weber

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Mike Hubbert (---)
Date: September 08, 2023 07:20PM

Ron and Billy,

What is the best prepping and finishing for a grip? I was trying teak oil then carnuba wax. Should it be spar varnish?

Thanks

Mike

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Kendall Cikanek (---)
Date: September 08, 2023 10:41PM

It’s a standardized set of tested ratings for wood species from the Forest Products Laboratory. The finishes just partially encapsulate the wood away from water rather than making non-durable wood more durable. Stabiliziation would certainly do this even more. For cottonwood, the Sam Maloof oil/poly product should be nice under carnuba.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/08/2023 10:45PM by Kendall Cikanek.

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Kerry Hansen (---.wavecable.com)
Date: September 10, 2023 03:30AM

Kendall Cikanek Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Cottonwood has low durability in regards to
> getting wet. It checks fairly quickly and can also
> be difficult to sand. It is fairly resistant to
> splintering, though.

How about if you stabilize it?

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Mike Hubbert (---)
Date: September 10, 2023 10:21AM

The web is full of information for Maloof oil/wax and oil/poly formulas. [www.festoolownersgroup.com]

This is my first attempt with the cottonwood rings and could not be happier. When I took the picture still in my lathe, but had to take the picture. Need to do 4 Flyrod grips this week, all will be cottonwood and will try both Maloof oil/poly and oil/wax. Interesting the mix of tung oil and boiled linseed as the base to both Maloof products. Teak oil is tung oil. Linsed oil, thinnner and varnish. I’ll try all 3 products on some rings then break apart and look at penetration.

[www.facebook.com]

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Ron Weber (---)
Date: September 10, 2023 10:57AM

I suggest that you first look at the longevity properties with the finishes. Most are not UV protectant, many are more designed for interior purposes, and not really designed for outside exposure or the elements, many suggest that they should be periodically renewed, and as most element exposed product used on, all have a tendacy to expand and contract to the elements, so one should consider a finish that has some give with the exposure. An ideal finish should (in my opinion)

Contains UV blockers to reduce the sun's graying and fading effects
Forms a protective barrier against rain and moisture
Special oils allow the finish to expand and contract with the wood as seasons and temperatures change
Ideal for use on doors, windows, trim, bathroom cabinets, bar tops, kitchen countertops, outdoor furniture

Ron Weber

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Kendall Cikanek (---)
Date: September 10, 2023 05:25PM

UV blocking finishes for wood are a catch 22. While they are definitely more protective, the varnishes with this characteristic still have limited lifespans and a need to be sanded quite a bit before reapplication. They are also high build and fairly glossy. The Maloof products are less protective, but they will more fit typical fly rod aesthetics with luster over gloss and not as high build. They repair quite easily with light sanding and reapplication.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2023 06:43PM by Kendall Cikanek.

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Ron Weber (---)
Date: September 10, 2023 06:23PM

Kendall Cikanek Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> UV blocking finishes for wood are a catch 22.
> While they are definitely more protective, the
> varnishes with this characteristic still have a
> limited lifespans and a need to be sanded quite a
> bit before reapplication. They are also high build
> and fairly glossy. The Maloof products are less
> protective, but they will more fit typical fly rod
> aesthetics with luster over gloss and not as high
> build. They repair quite easily with light sanding
> and reapplication.


I haven't had any of mine that have had to receive another application, and if so, would just require a very lite sanding with 400 or 600 before being applied. It can also be done in a gloss, semi, or matt finish depending on the customers requirement

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Mike Hubbert (---)
Date: September 11, 2023 05:38PM

I contacted a forestry prof I know and asked him about finishing the cottonwood rings. He made a great point that most finishes are made for surface grain of wood and not end grain, as the rings would be. He suggested a end grain product with water proofing, UV protection and reduces checking. He suggested that as a base then a tung, linseed and wax top coat.(Maloof formula).

He brought up the point of treating the rings in a bath prior to turning, then treat the surface again after turning.

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Mike Hubbert (---)
Date: September 12, 2023 02:32PM

Researching various products to test and found this.

The original purpose of spar finish was to protect the wooden poles or spars of a sailing ship from the elements.

As a result, spar urethane is an excellent choice for protecting exterior projects. It can resist rain, snow, and significant temperature swings. It remains flexible, which allows it to expand and contract along with wood movement caused by changes in humidity and temperature. Spar urethane also has additives to help prevent sun damage and fading caused by UV rays.

Polyurethane is ideal for indoor projects. It’s a tough finish that can withstand the daily use of a kitchen table and protect a bathroom vanity against water damage. But it’s not as flexible as spar urethane and might crack or chip if used outdoors.

Polyurethane, unlike spar urethane, does not include any additives to prevent wood or wood stain from fading due to sunlight.

My comment: Found a Maloof recipe for outdoors/marine, oil/poly but replaces the 1/3 polyurethane with 1/3 ( exterior) spar urethane.

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Mike Hubbert (---)
Date: September 22, 2023 11:40AM

After a week of working with the cottonwood rings, they have a tendency to break with lateral stress. I can’t see that this would be an issue once glued on a blank. Exploring coring the rings with 18mm forshner bit requires drilling from both side to reduces the chance of chipping. I cored and glued into 3-5 ring grip segments for drilling on my lathe. Drilled from both end, the slide a snuggly fitting 18mm urathane arbor with 2 part rod bond lathered on the arbor to fill any gaps that might exist. Glued the 3 parts together as usual on 1/4” threaded rod. Placed a 3/4” imitation tru stone tortoiseshell cap on each end and turned using wood turning tools and sandpaper. Finished with the tung oil, boiled linseed oil and spar urethane mixture.

End product is a beautiful grip that is lighter than the cottonwood rings and more durable.

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Re: Cottonwood Rings for grips or inserts
Posted by: Mike Hubbert (---)
Date: September 22, 2023 08:25PM

I had made several cottonwood ring grips that were completely done and beautiful. They had been turned on a 1/4” mandrel, so 6 1/2” long and I wanted to place an 16-18mm urethane arbor inside the solid cottonwood rings. Pulled out the flexcoat reverse pilot bit for 5/8” and once I opened my 1/4” hole to 7.5mm it bored through the cottonwood grip and left a perfectly centered hole. I turned down a flexcoat 18mm arbor to give a snug fit and coated heavily with 2 part epoxy, making sure to cover the arbor completely.

A 15 minute process, would probably be my first choice, but another process to call upon.

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