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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2012, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: wood grip

The rings are the bark under the thin white bark on the birch and they are much thinner than normal cork rings.

I bought rings with 1/4 inch bore and glued them with titebond on a 1/4" threaded rod as I would cork but initially in one inch sections with washers and wingnuts for pressure. Thinner rings means more glue contact with the threaded rod. Doing the whole grip at once would be hard to unstick. Then glued the sections together till I had the length I wanted. Then put the rod in my drill and used a file then sandpaper to shape it. Its much harder to sand than cork. If it splits just reglue it. Once shaped I did 5 or so thin coats of birchwood Casey truoil.

Oh and I fit it to the blank early and used tape on the threaded rod to match the new opening since I didn't want the thin rings cracking as the diameter narrowed. More work than cork but I found it worth it.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:16 AM
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Default Re: wood grip

Where did you find birch bark rings for sale and what did they nail you for them? We have a lot of logging up here and it's mostly softwoods. I see logging trucks loaded to the top with Birch. Unfortunately it is not really legal any more. I have a lamp with a birch bark lamp shade and when I went to buy a second, they told me they were no longer allowed to sell it. I may be able to do rings or at least get bark but I may have to do some serious hoop jumping to avoid breaking the law.

If you get two pieces if 1X4 about 6" long, and two pieces of 1/4" allthread, some washers and wing nuts, you can make a cork clamp that you don't need to worry about glue in the threads. Drill holes in the center of the 1X4's and glue the grip up on 1/4" drill rod. The drill bit in the hole saws are 1/4". I use parafin wax and rub the rod down good with wax it it's a no worry thing that way.

I should also point out that with the cork market the way it is, any really good cork you find, and that's an IF you can find it is going to cost you an arm and a leg. That 17' Thomas and Thomas I'm building this winter, would have cost me around $165.oo for cork as nice as what's in my Meiser. The best fill I have ever found for cork is Elmer's carpenters wood filler. Outdoor version in Golden Oak. I used to make my own with glue and oak saw dust. It's funny that Oak matches cork as a filler better than cork.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: wood grip

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Originally Posted by williamhj View Post
Could do birch or another type of bark. Great look and I love the feel of it. Use 5 or 6 coats of tru-oil on it to finish.

Click the image to open in full size.
Just love that grip William. Is that your own handy work? I bet it is light, comfy and warm in cooler weather. Cant beat those natural materials for function and they look killer. Love it!!
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:30 AM
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Default Re: wood grip

Diver Dan, I found them through a guy who sell cork on ebay. He has a custom fly grip webpage where he sells fairly rough rings for $2 for 1/2 inch or 'ready to use' for $3.50 for a 1/2 inch, so definitely more expensive than a cork grip. You legality question makes me wonder, never thought it might be an issue.

I'd love to harvest my own. Not many birches around here though have heard of people using aspen bark as well as bark from different pines here in Colorado. Someday, when I have time, I hope to gather some bark and try making my own.

Noreaster, I did shaped it on the porch, took longer than cork grips do. I ended up buying a metal file to speed the process up a bit, then knocked off the ridges left with 60 and 120 grit sand paper, down to 600 grit to get it smooth. I'm guessing it would go a bit more smoothly with a lathe and tools, but I don't have those.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:18 AM
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Default Re: wood grip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver Dan View Post
Where did you find birch bark rings for sale and what did they nail you for them? We have a lot of logging up here and it's mostly softwoods. I see logging trucks loaded to the top with Birch. Unfortunately it is not really legal any more. I have a lamp with a birch bark lamp shade and when I went to buy a second, they told me they were no longer allowed to sell it. I may be able to do rings or at least get bark but I may have to do some serious hoop jumping to avoid breaking the law.
What law are you worried about with birch bark? Some specific state?
There are stores that sell all kinds of birch bark products.
I have birches on my own land in NH. Surely I can use those (I think).

I know it's illegal to strip birches without permission of the owner. That has been a problem. I don't know of a law that says you can't use birch with the owner's permission.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

Dan, you mean that you wax the all-thread rod in order to keep from gluing the grip to rod?

Dan and/or William: after you build the grip on the 1/4" rod turn it to shape on the rod - I like this idea - but then you have ream out inside of the entire grip to fit the rod butt, right? How easy/difficult is this?

The only method I've used is to ream out individual cork rings to fit the blank, then glue them together onto the blank. This works just fine but then to shape the grip I have used a homemade mandrel tapped up to fit snugly in to blank end and then in a drill. I like the idea of clamping the rod into the drill chuck and shaping the grip that way.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

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Originally Posted by dean_mt View Post
Dan, you mean that you wax the all-thread rod in order to keep from gluing the grip to rod?.
No. I use the two pieces of all thread to put on the ends of the 1X4 pieces. I drill a hole about an inch from each end about 5/16ths of an inch. The all thread goes through the ends of each board. Then in the center of each board I drill a hole in the 9/16ths of an insh or maybe a bit bigger size. You need to drill it just a bit bigger than any mandrel you may use in the future. I have a 1/2" mandrel so 9/16ths. The mandrel I would use on the birch bark is a smooth 1/4" rod. That I wax. Anything with thread on it is asking for trouble when you are using glue, wax or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dean_mt View Post
Dan and/or William: after you build the grip on the 1/4" rod turn it to shape on the rod - I like this idea - but then you have ream out inside of the entire grip to fit the rod butt, right? How easy/difficult is this?.
Yes, and no harder than getting a factory turned grip. They almost universally come with a 1/4" hole in them. What I do is take a caliper and measure the rod blank diameter where the grip will be at each end. I then while it is still on the 1/4" mandrel hold the caliper up the the appropriate end. Look and see where the gap between the caliper and the drill rod hits. Then with a pencil put the tip up on the grip and using the rod to steady your pencil hand spin the grip and make a circle the size of the final hole on the end of the grip. Double check to see how close you got with the caliper. Repeat for the other end. Use a rat tail file to ream it out and pay very close attention to both ends while you do this. The hole should end up tapered just like the blank. If you have the holes on the ends the right size and it's still not fitting in place you have an hour glass shape to your hole. Put a grease pencil line up the blank and put the grip on to where it stops and spin it. It will erase the line in the tight spot. Using the tip of the file correct your hole. You want this to fit tight, but not overly so. There needs to be a glue layer and there fore a glue layer space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dean_mt View Post
The only method I've used is to ream out individual cork rings to fit the blank, then glue them together onto the blank. This works just fine but then to shape the grip I have used a homemade mandrel tapped up to fit snugly in to blank end and then in a drill. I like the idea of clamping the rod into the drill chuck and shaping the grip that way.
The reason I do not like this way of doing it is, if you have something go wrong, you have you 'Wrong' glued to your blank. My way leaves your blank out of the oops events.

Here is a clamp just the way I made mine except mine has a hole in the center at both ends for the drill rod to pass through. And I never do it on the blank like this. I would especially avoid it when using something as potentially oops inherant as Birch seems it could be to me anyway.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

Thanks Dan. That all makes sense. I've never really been crazy about gluing cork rings directly to the blank, but I've been lucky so far (I've only done 4 rods). As for a mandrel, I assume one could use any straight, smooth rod like a piece of steel or aluminum tube. But assumptions can get one in trouble.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

Yah you can use any straight 1/4" rod. I would roll it on the floor and make sure it is absolutely straight before buying it. Machine shops have drill rod which is almost always straight.

Do you have a drill press by any chance? For some of the smaller stuff I like it better than a lathe. Here is me doing a couple of grip parts on my small drill press.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

No drill press ... or real lathe, unfortunately. Or fortunately considering how much stuff is already in my garage.

I've always used a gerry-rigged drill that the fly shop has. I think I can come up something similar with hopefully a few improvements.
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