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Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: Mark Grauf (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 03, 2024 07:53PM

Quick question. Is there a technique or a way to ensure that your guide tunnels are filled correctly?

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: Daryl Ferguson (47.214.193.---)
Date: January 03, 2024 09:33PM

I like to start at the end of the guide foot and work my way toward the tunnel. This is so the excess ends up there. Once I see the epoxy soaking into the area, I go back and try to take off as much epoxy as I can. IMHO, too many builders go over board on the epoxy, especially the first coat.

Disclaimer: I mostly build light weight bass fishing rods.

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: Kevin Fiant (74.140.56.---)
Date: January 03, 2024 10:43PM

I generally do the “Flexcoat catch the wave” technique. Google and you’ll find YouTube video on it. Basically, start at toe of guidefoot applying finish and work towards heel to drive out air.

Bill Falconer has a YouTube video on finishing using completely different techniques with spatula.

Third resource is recent “mastering rod building” podcast with Herb Landeheim talking about his technique.

I’m mobile so can’t easily post links.

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---.datapacket.com)
Date: January 03, 2024 10:58PM

Thank you Kevin.

Mark,
There is only one way:

Before you apply ANY finish to the wrap - place drops of finish at each tunnel opening. It will, over time - about 5 min - wick into the tunnels to the end of the guide foot.
BUT - you must continue to lace drops unil fully wicked. If you let the finish be totally absorbed prematurly you will pull a bubble into the tunnel.
After the finish is wicked to the end of the foot - you can clean the excess with wax free dental floss using a dental threader- or braid, as mentined in another thread.
I have performed distructive tests - and this is the only way to get th guide foot totally stabilized - which is the main reason to do it.
Herb
CTS



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/03/2024 11:00PM by Herb Ladenheim.

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: January 04, 2024 08:41AM

"Before you apply ANY finish to the wrap - place drops of finish at each tunnel opening. It will, over time - about 5 min - wick into the tunnels to the end of the guide foot.
BUT - you must continue to place drops until fully wicked. "

This is the technique I use for CP also.

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: Kevin Fiant (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 04, 2024 10:09PM

Herb Ladenheim Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thank you Kevin.
>
> Mark,
> There is only one way:
>
> Before you apply ANY finish to the wrap - place
> drops of finish at each tunnel opening. It will,
> over time - about 5 min - wick into the tunnels to
> the end of the guide foot.
> BUT - you must continue to lace drops unil fully
> wicked. If you let the finish be totally absorbed
> prematurly you will pull a bubble into the
> tunnel.
> After the finish is wicked to the end of the foot
> - you can clean the excess with wax free dental
> floss using a dental threader- or braid, as
> mentined in another thread.
> I have performed distructive tests - and this is
> the only way to get th guide foot totally
> stabilized - which is the main reason to do it.
> Herb
> CTS


Herb - a couple questions on your technique:
1. What do you use to apply the drops of finish? A toothpick or something similar.
2. Do you work on multiple guides concurrently of just one guide at a time? rotating between to keep each wicking without drawing air?

Thanks.

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: Ryan Edamatsu (---)
Date: January 05, 2024 12:49AM

You can use a very fine wire. Like the wire ties from the grocery store produce section. Remove the paper coating and dip into the epoxy finish, then insert them into the tunnels to ensure that they are filled with epoxy.

Also like others have said, start application from the bottom of guide foots. I would also try to press down on the brush to squeeze the epoxy through the threads and into the tunnels.

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 05, 2024 04:30PM

I use a toothpick. All guides facing up, drops of finish on the end of the toothpick and I start at the end of the foot furthest from the ring, I coat it quite liberally to insure it soaks in. I every guide before coming back to start putting finish on the rest of the wrap.

I'm quite liberal with the amount of finish I put on my wraps. Once I get all the wraps done I let the rod sit, and allow the excess finish sag to the bottom of the wrap. I then wick it off with my brush, turn the rod 180 degrees and let it sag again. I follow that procedure until I don't notice it sagging anymore, then I either move it to a separate rod dryer, or I just switch my wrapper to dry. I use high build finish, so I only do one coat.

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (94.140.11.---)
Date: January 05, 2024 05:29PM

Kevin Fiant Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Herb Ladenheim Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Thank you Kevin.
> >
> > Mark,
> > There is only one way:
> >
> > Before you apply ANY finish to the wrap - place
> > drops of finish at each tunnel opening. It
> will,
> > over time - about 5 min - wick into the tunnels
> to
> > the end of the guide foot.
> > BUT - you must continue to lace drops unil
> fully
> > wicked. If you let the finish be totally
> absorbed
> > prematurly you will pull a bubble into the
> > tunnel.
> > After the finish is wicked to the end of the
> foot
> > - you can clean the excess with wax free dental
> > floss using a dental threader- or braid, as
> > mentined in another thread.
> > I have performed distructive tests - and this
> is
> > the only way to get th guide foot totally
> > stabilized - which is the main reason to do it.
> > Herb
> > CTS
>
>
> Herb - a couple questions on your technique:
> 1. What do you use to apply the drops of finish?
> A toothpick or something similar.
> 2. Do you work on multiple guides concurrently of
> just one guide at a time? rotating between to
> keep each wicking without drawing air?
>
> Thanks.

Hi Kevin,
I use a very thin bdkin - but any thin object wil work. Even a sewing needle. Bodkin i easier with the wooden handle.

The only time I rotate is to gain access to the far-side tunnel.


I do all guides at once. Deposit the finish on the stripper - then move to the 2nd ceramic then to the 3rd - if there is a 3rd.
Then back to the stripper - then 2nd ceramic -- etc until the finish wicks to the end.
Then I go to the runners and do the same.

BTW - if you hit it with heat - the wicking goes faster - but be careful t doesnt go so fast that you get a bubble in the tunnel
Herb

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 05, 2024 09:45PM

If you are in doubt about the tunnels being filled you can use the Alcohol Torch Bottle to the wrap, if there is any air or voids under the tunnel the heat will blow a bubble or pop the finish and show a void.

To poke finish into the void I take a wood Q-tip bend it in half until it snaps, If I get lucky it breaks into a sharp splinter and makes it easy to fill the tunnel.

Have fun

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: David Sytsma (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 31, 2024 11:02AM

I've got a serious problem. I recently built a couple of steelhead rods on NFC blanks, X-Ray LMX C6O2 for a customer. Spiral wrapped. He's been using them and is positively ecstatic about them. He called me a couple of weeks ago and said that guides were pulling out of the wraps; 4 on one rod, 2 on the other. I told him I wanted them back ASAP and I would take care of the problem. He also said that he had broken a GLoomis Conquest rod, had it replaced under their warranty, and could I get the guides off the broken rod. Told him no problem. He said he wanted to keep fishing because it was going on so he would send me one rod and swap the other for repair when the first was completed.

They arrived yesterday. I was absolutely shocked; I expected to see Fuji KT's, but I had one KT and THREE KB's that had pulled out. He was also concerned that there was discoloration in the wraps; some of them he thought had a grayish cast to them. The wraps are black with a narrow red metallic trim band. I couldn't see any color issues with the one I received, but when he comes to pick it up perhaps he can show me. When I removed the existing wraps that were missing the guides, there was absolutely NO epoxy under the thread. None. I didn't note it in my records (which I usually do for every rod) if I had used color preserver on the wraps to prevent bubbles in the finish or not, but I must have. Two coats of Flex Coat Lite was used for the finish. So, I'm going to re-wrap the entire rod with the exception of the trim bands since they are purely decoration and are in good condition.

When I started to remove the guides on the broken GLoomis, every guide was fully encased in a pool of epoxy and there was epoxy residue under each wrap. How they got that much under the wrap I'll never know. Their thread appears to either be colorfast or perhaps had CP added prior to finishing.

I've begun to pay special attention to the tunnels by the guide feet, but the tunnels are so small on the KT's and KB's that I'm not sure I can get an adequate amount of epoxy in there to stabilize the guide. I also tried on some test wraps to do as Michael suggested with dripping CP into the tunnels. The only way I can imagine that GLoomis achieved the amount of epoxy under their wraps was by thinning the finish with acetone or the like and adding 2 or 3 coats to get the wrap finished. Roger Seider in his Flex Coat video on locking wraps said that he won't use CP on his guides as it prevents the epoxy from penetrating the thread. I imagine that logic would also apply to NOCP threads.

So far I've re-wrapped the KB's and the KT's. I used locking wraps on the KT's but not the KB's, but I'm considering re-wrapping them again using locking wraps, even though they were designed to solve the pull-out problem. I've got several rods I need to build, and I'm just about completely spooked. Some of these will require CP for the colors that the customer wants, but now I admit that I'm afraid. My name is on these rods and my reputation is at stake. I've been doing this for decades and never had a single guide pull out on anything, but that was then and this is now. I would sincerely appreciate any advice and suggestions.

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: Tom Harrigan (---)
Date: January 31, 2024 01:35PM

David Sytsma- for what it's worth...

You're right to be concerned about this issue, but if I were your customer and you were as forthright and responsive as you appear to be in your post, you're building your reputation- not hurting it.

Hang in there...

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: John Santos (---)
Date: January 31, 2024 02:06PM

All I have used for runners the past 10 years or so have been KT's & KB's. NONE have ever pulled out. Epoxy naturally soaks through and fills the tunnels, in my experience - no need to try and poke any through the tunnel ends. I use NCP and have never used color preservers (for this reason). I have inspected past guides I have wrapped (on repairs) and the epoxy is where it should be. I do not use locking wraps, if anything they could cause an air pocket in the tunnels. Occasionally I have a guide a little more loose than my standard but I went ahead and epoxied it anyway and the guide has stayed in place - epoxy seems to do its job. I don't thin my epoxy but have recently started experimenting for my labels.

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: Abe Henderson (---.dynamic.asdk12.org)
Date: January 31, 2024 02:12PM

Has anyone ever epoxied guides to the blank with structural epoxy before thread wrapping? If there is concern for guides popping out and if destructive tests show starvation under the guide feet, why isn't this a common practice?

Just curious...?

Abe

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: Ross Pearson (---.dlth.qwest.net)
Date: January 31, 2024 02:30PM

The guides are aligned after they are thread wrapped and wouldn't be adjustable if epoxied prior to wrapping.

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: Abe Henderson (---.dynamic.asdk12.org)
Date: January 31, 2024 04:15PM

Ross Pearson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The guides are aligned after they are thread
> wrapped and wouldn't be adjustable if epoxied
> prior to wrapping.


Yeah, I gotcha...seems like you could throw some shrink wrap over the guides and then align them while the epoxy is still workable, though?

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: VooDoo Rods (---.stat.lusfiber.net)
Date: January 31, 2024 04:49PM

David - Your issue was most definitely the CP. There is no need to use CP on black wraps (even with metallic inlays - also why those wraps might have looked a little grey). Raw black nylon will only get darker. What you saw on those G Loomis rods is why the best wraps are with raw nylon & straight epoxy application.

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: David Sytsma (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: February 01, 2024 11:10AM

Thanks guys. I've re-wrapped all the guides, even most of the trim bands because it took less time to re-wrap than it did to dental pick all the epoxy away from the side of the wrap. I had used Gudebrod regular nylon size A black on the original wraps, but have re-wrapped with Fuji Ultra Poly. Before I put the finish on (Gen4 this time) I'm going to experiment with thinning the first coat with acetone on a test wrap. HFF said they often do that, and Flex Coat also mentions it. I was using CP a lot to minimize the bubbles, but the Gen4 solved most of the problem.

Abe, you should be able to move guides for alignment before finishing without problems. I do it all the time because I'm a horrible perfectionist. Just push the foot over with your thumb: I've moved some almost 30 degrees (thankfully rarely). If it goes crazy because the thread doesn't have enough tension, just re-wrap.

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: February 02, 2024 02:48AM

David,
Please do yourself a favor and do NOT use acetone to thin the finish.

When you talk to a lot of different suppliers of epoxy finish - I know of none that recommend using acetone to thin the finish.

If you want the finish a bit thinner, simply apply a bit of gentle heat. This will thin the finish, but be careful with the heat - because too much and it can cause the finish to cure too quickly.

--
Or, if you wish, you can use a different finish that normally is thinner than the finish you plan to use.

Best wishes



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/2024 02:49AM by roger wilson.

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Re: Finish & Guide Tunnels
Posted by: John Santos (38.22.141.---)
Date: February 03, 2024 10:27AM

After seeing Mark McKenna’s epoxy work, I decided to give acetone a try. It definitely helps me get the flattest, thinnest finish I have accomplished. Finish also seems clearer, but that could be because it’s thin. I have zero issues getting perfect epoxy coats on guide wraps without needing acetone, but have always struggled getting that factory flat finish on labels. I still don’t have the guts to add as much acetone as he does (I think he does 1/3’s of each part - I only added 4 drops to 1cc of combined epoxy). Even the guy that developed Gen 4 admits that Mark McKenna’s epoxy work with acetone contradicts their recommendation to not add acetone.

Some cons though - I noticed that the coats can be so thin that I can chip them off with my fingernail when cured. You really have to build the coats. The coats can also be so thin that specks of dust reveal themselves. I also noticed that the curing time is almost doubled. This can actually be a good thing, but a bad one if you’re not conscientious of it. You can’t stop your dryer after 4 hours. Long term structural, I don’t know… but I’m only trying it on my labels for now. I don’t have any issues with straight epoxy soaking into my threads, nor getting a flat, thin finish on my guide wraps.

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