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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2012, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

I use 1' long, 1/4" threaded rod like this one. Then washers on either end with wing-nuts to hold them in place. I put the rod straight in my drill to sand the grip down. Sometimes the wing-nuts loosen while turning so I put some tape to hold them. With cork I finish the grip then ream it to fit the blank. With birch and when sanding cork for rattan (since I sand it to a thinner diameter) I've fit the grip to the blank then used tape on the threaded rod so the grip fit snugly so I can finish shaping it.

Diver_Dan's post makes me wish I had a drill press, even if I couldn't have a lathe.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:38 PM
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Thumbs up Re: wood grip

Quote:
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.
I don't do 'green with envy,' but in this case I'll make an exception. Brilliant work.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2012, 10:11 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

Quote:
Originally Posted by troutdoorsman View Post
I knew it would be more maintenance but was interested in the extra sensitivity. My climate is usually pretty dry so I would always worry about cracking over time as well. I'll just look at doing some accents or something along those lines.
I was just looking back over this thread and when I got to this part, realized I forgot to say that if you use stabilized wood you don't have to worry about things like it cracking over time, or swelling and shrinking with humidity. They basically pressure cook it in resin and when done it is about as much plastic as wood. I prefere to use stabilized wood when doing reel seat inserts also. They cost more, and they can also be obtained that are stained at the same time. Really great colors. The double dyed ones can be pretty expensive. I found out that the guys doing game calls use the right size wood for doing your own seat with enough wood left over to do an end on a fighting butt and accent rings on both ends of the grip. If you do a bigger grip, like a two hand rod I'd ask for two that match the best they can. Sometimes you can get two that were cut off next to each other for a perfect match. You need to make sure they understand they are both for ONE project. HUT products has a fair number of choices and a pretty reasonable cost. Dyed Blanks-hutproducts.com
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: wood grip

The early cork grips used thin (1/16" - 1/8") sheet cork over a solid, turned, softwood core. I've never heard of problems with using white pine for the entire grip, which is what Chubb probably used. Before the use of cork, makers advertized solid wood grips in some fruit woods as well as, IIRC, poplar and laurel. Others used basswood grips wound with cord or rattan.

Often, the rod butt went only three or so inches into the solid grip. The end of the wood could be turned as a reelseat. Regarding splitting under strain, the fishermen of bygone days strove to not overstress their natural wood or splitcane rods. Of course, when fishing with a 5x tippet testing less than 0.5 pounds, they couldn't place too much strain on the rod. Even when casting for salmon, the tapered silk lines would have no more than a 12# test tip.

I've had some very nice rods with solid wood grips and never had a problem with them. (I wish I encountered the fish that would test that. sigh...)
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

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Originally Posted by plecain View Post
I don't know of a law that says you can't use birch with the owner's permission.
Minnesota passed a law stopping it. If you did it on your own and didn't get caught? But since they had that invasive beetle show up they have had a serious crackdown on birch.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:28 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

I've made several grips out of curly maple for single handed rods, and have had no problems with them at all. I was concerned that when the finished rod was bent, the area right in front of the grip might be a weak spot. And I wondered if the finished grip might be slippery when wet. Neither of these issues has been a problem. And I have not had any problems with the wood swelling, or with the finish, or the wood itself, cracking. Maintenance has been zero over several years.

I build wooden boats from time to time, and use marine epoxies to join and seal much of the wood. I used these same epoxies to attach the grips to the rod blanks, and to seal the exposed wood. A coat or two of good varnish then protects the epoxy from the effects of sunlight. And even when they are wet, I've found that the grips are not slippery.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 12-02-2012, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

I thought about building a rod up based on grips like this:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

As long as it's a smaller rod and you don't plan on hooking a giant then it's probably OK. Watching one blow in half might change your mind though. I'd either use stabilized wood or seal the heck out of it like our new member does.

Welcome to the forum sunkfly.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

Here's a maple grip on a 5wt bamboo quad by Ron Kusse. I wasn't sure I'd like it, but I do.
Click the image to open in full size.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 12-02-2012, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: wood grip

Thanks for the welcome.

Yes, the maple grips I made were put on smaller trout rods. And the wood was chosen to likely be resistant to cracking in the first place. I've seen burl woods, for example, or certain straighter-grained pieces that likely wouldn't hold up to much stress at all. The company-installed burl reel seat insert on a 5wt. Winston owned by my son came apart with virtually no stress applied at all.

I wouldn't worry about the lower grip on a two-handed rod coming apart if the wood was chosen carefully and if it were prepared and installed well. But I'd be thoughtful about putting a lengthy piece of wood at the upper end of a grip likely to see some heavy duty use -- both for the durability of the grip, and again for concern about the stresses in the lower blank.
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