My wife, Marty, gave me a rod building class as a Christmas present and today was Day 1.
The class takes place at Eldredge Brothers Fly Shop in Cape Neddick, ME. It's a small class; 4 people, plenty of equipment and a nice, slow pace. It's stretched out over 3 consecutive Sundays; 8:00AM-4:00PM.
I'm building a 9'0" 6 wt. 4 piece rod from a Sage One blank with Struble hardware and an agate stripper guide.
Here's today's progress (no tripod; pics are not great):
Tip top mounted with epoxy and 14 cork cork rings selected for a 7" grip. The fist step was to see if the alignment dots that came on the rod blank were actually at the right places. It turned out that they were for 3 of the sections, but the upper section was off by about 120 degrees (surprising to me, but I guess that's why you check them).
The Reamer/rasp (foreground) for the ring sizing is part of an old rod blank, coated in epoxy with coarse sandpaper spiral wound around it. Works very well! I had a problem with the fit of the reel seat wooden spacer on the rod butt; the spacer was a 360 and the butt section on the One was 395. So, that reamer/rasp got quite a work out today as I carefully enlarged the interior clearance on the seat spacer to just slide nicely over the butt.
I figured that premium cork rings were just that; premium and ready to go. I found out that's not quite right. So, here's the contact sanding pad I used to smooth both sides of each ring.
Once on the rod; with about 1/16" to play with re; the fit of the butt, I moved the cork pieces around to get as much of a "sweet" fit as I could, then numbered them prior to gluing up, with the number aligned with the dot at the upper tip of the butt section.
This next part makes you wince a little first time through; sanding the gloss of the new blank to get a good bond between the butt and the cork rings.
Ring #1; just above the rod, sized and scored out to accommodate the front end of the reel seat.
Glued up and stacked on the rod using epoxy. Epoxy coated the butt above each ring and the upper face of each ring before adding the next one; one ring at a time (almost ran out of working time with the epoxy, but not quite!
In the press, waiting to harden up for turning the grip on the lathe.
In the meantime, prepped each guide and the keeper. Beveled each of the guide tips forward and with a slight curve in at the sides using a file with the guide set against a wooden v-groove. Also used the contact sand paper to smooth out some burrs on the bottom of the guides. Checked the set of each guide on the blank, made some adjustments and that part now seems to be pretty much behind me (we'll see when I actually start to thread them onto the blank).
Next, it was time to space the guides on the blank. I followed the spacing instructions that came with the blank from Sage; no variations. Marked the guide centers with white grease pencil, then went back over them with a thin strip of masking tape.
And that was it for day 1!
Next class we'll shape the grip and progress on wrapping the guides onto the blank.
So far, it's been fun (translation - no major screw-ups on my part - at least none that I know of right now