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turning cork
Posted by: John Mozingo (---.lc-b.wireless.fsr.net)
Date: February 10, 2024 06:05PM

I'm starting to wrap again after not building anything for 12 years. I've always felt that if I glue rings to the blank, I can make a better end product, as opposed to turning on a mandrel and fitting, as I can't fit as well with a premade grip. The reamers are a different tapper, and pre made, are harder to clean. I've received, an order for some large salt grips, and I'm doing rubberized cork ends and a rubberized but caps. I'm looking for a better way to turn my grips on the blank than a drill bit with tape arbor, than glueing on the but cap after turning the but grip, and then hand finishing the but cap. This seems more time consuming than it needs to be! I'm thinking that I could fit the last 2 or 3 rings to but cap piece, make a temp tape arbor to hold the rest of the rear grip, then turn the but cap, and the adjacent ring. Then remove the tape and glue the but section in place, turn to match, but that seems like a lot of steps as well. I know there has to be a better way!! Any ideas on a better way? I don't mind the extra steps, but I want a quality product when I'm done, and hand sanding the rubberized cork is hard to get the same finish as turning. and I'm concerned about making a 3 or 4 piece but peace as well. Thanks for any help! Also I could not find any large (1 1/4" to1 3/8" but caps, any where so any help there would be great as well!!

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Re: turning cork
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: February 10, 2024 08:00PM

The issue you run into by turning the rings on the blank is that you will need a long lathe bed to accommodate most common rod lengths. But they are available. Most power wrappers have the length and the guts to allow you turn cork. It's an upfront investment but not at all bad if you plan to do much of this type work.

If you wind up turning from a mandrel you should pre-bore the rings to a diameter that closely matches the butt area where the grip will reside. Match them to the closest diameter mandrel. After turning you will only need to ream by a small amount to fit the blank. This reduces your work and the chance that you'll get the grip off-center.


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Re: turning cork
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (2.59.157.---)
Date: February 10, 2024 11:55PM

I live in a FL Condo and use the Association's work room to turn my grips directly on the rod blanks. 99% of my builds are 4 piece fly rods - but I have turned 7 1/2 foot one-piece blanks.
I have been using the FlexCoat Dril powered cork lathe for past 20 yrs. On a long blank I use 3 or 4 FlexCoat steadies clamped to a work bench.

I glue-up and turn the flly grip and fighting butt at the same time. Same with a spinning rod - main grip and fore graip same time.

I have never - nor would I ever consider to turn a grip on a mandrel.
Cograts to be fearless to turn on the blank.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/2024 11:59PM by Herb Ladenheim.

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Re: turning cork
Posted by: John Mozingo (---.lc-b.wireless.fsr.net)
Date: February 11, 2024 01:50PM

Thanks for your input, and kind words. I have an 8' bed and a CRB power wrapper. I also built a cork lath, home-made, but very similar to the flex-coat one on an 8' bed. Most of My rods are 4 to 6 weight fly rods. I'm going to make 3 spiral-wrapped 20 to 50 lb., and 30 to 60 lb. off-shore jigging rods with ! 13/8" to ! 1/4"grips. I'm looking for info and opinions how to do the rubberized cork but cap, the easiest way, as my way is clunky and makes it hard to match the turned grip. Any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated!
I will be without a computer as I dropped my laptop and broke my screen, and it's going in today. I'm should have the new computer Monday or Tuesday, and will look back in as soon as I can.

Thanks , John

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Re: turning cork
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: February 11, 2024 04:05PM

I've only built a few cork grips, but I used rubberized cork discs on the butt of the grip. So not butt cap that would slide onto a tenon, but it did have make the end of the grip, rubberized cork.

I build grips on a mandrel, and then do as Tom spoke of and bored the center out to a dimension very close to the diameter of the blank they were going on. As Tom said, keeping the bore centered while reaming is a lot easier.

Anyhow, I used plug drilling bits to cut a plug and then epoxied it into the end of grip to fill the hole. I save the chips of material that turning the grip creates and use them mixed with epoxy to fill in any small gaps. It's way easier to make the plug less noticeable with rubberized cork than it is natural cork, as there isn't a grain you have to be concerned with.

The rods I have the rubberized cork butts on are out in my boat. I'll try getting out to them Monday to take a picture to post to see if it's something you might want to consider.

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Re: turning cork
Posted by: Antonio Monticelli (---)
Date: February 11, 2024 04:58PM

I've always made my own reemers from old rod blanks etc..... just use one close to the rods tapering

I tape on some plumbers sand paper to the top wrap a strip down the blank and tape the end.... replace when worn direction sensitive if you twist go with the tapes twist..

If you want to chuck it in a drill and ream.. glue a metal Ferrell on there end..

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Re: turning cork
Posted by: John Mozingo (---.lc-b.wireless.fsr.net)
Date: February 11, 2024 06:10PM

David thanks, your answer is very much appreciated and what I was looking for! I'll make a set of "hole saws" (or plug cutters) out of thin wall copper tubing. If I plan correctly I can make a seres of snug fitting rings to not only hide the cutout for turning but a set of decorative rings inlaid into the but piece (I know I mistakenly said but cap). This will not only be easier to sand but look good as well! If any one is interested I can take a few pictures and show how and what I'm talking about. It will be a bit as I'm working of my phone and should have my computer back soon.

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Re: turning cork
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: February 12, 2024 01:13AM

Drill a hole in your rubberized rings and install them on your blank, not in the final position just use the blank as your mandrel, when you get the rings the size you want, you can now ream them to the butt size, now just stack your cork rings against your rubberized ones, using them as the part turned in the lathe after your clamped glue up sets, turn the cork to the rubberized cork diameter and you should be done and ready for the reel seat and fore grip installation.

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