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Old 12-28-2012, 09:37 PM
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Default Cork ring options? - flor, select, burl, composite rubber

I am onto exploring options for building my first truly customized grip. I've glued up and turned a few, but they were all cork rings I bought from the fly shop. The blank I am planning now was purchased online so I've naturally been spending a lot of time looking for parts and researching options online as well.

I want to add a design, or personal touch, to the grip on this rod. I saw a simple ring pattern that I like and am working on making it mine. In the end the grip will probably end around 2/3 cork with the remaining 1/3 being burl.

One question I have about burl rings; are they suitable for the last ring on either end of the grip or is the composite nature too prone to "chipping" or losing chunks?

On the rubber composite rings; does this stuff really sand down as equally as cork? Since the design I am thinking about using incorporates the colored rings throughout the grip (not just at the ends) I am leaning away from rubber composite because I am afraid it would wear too differently from the cork, feel strange, and eventually create ridges. Thoughts?

Finally, has anyone bought from Custom Fly Grips? They have a really nice selection of rings.

Thanks!
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Cork ring options? - flor, select, burl, composite rubber

Really good cork is hard to come by these days and when you do you need to take out a loan to get it. Anglers Workshop has had all of the best cork I have bought for the last few years.

Even their last batch was not as good as some as I have bought from them, so you may need to do some fill. The best thing I have ever found for fill, and I have tried them all, is Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Filler. Indoor/Outdoor in Golden Oak.

As a second thought, you may want to do some cork burl accent rings. There are a lot of different kinds. However they have a radically different hardness than cork and to get a nice line in the linished grip you may want to turn those seperate and then add them to the rings and turn the cork down to the burl. Most of it you don't but with the rubberized cork you really should consider it.

Last edited by Guest1; 12-28-2012 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: Cork ring options? - flor, select, burl, composite rubber

I bought my birch rings from Custom Fly Grips. Haven't used their cork, but they were easy to buy from.

Rubberized doesn't sand down as quickly as cork. I use it on the bottom of the grip for sure since I don't worry about it chipping at all. For full wells grip I use it for the top but for half wells/cigar shape I may or may not. I don't find it too bad to sand down with the cork, it just takes a bit more pressure/time. For awhile I tried to use sanding blocks with mixed grips thinking that might help me sand evenly but prefer to use sandpaper in my hand. I find I can feel ridges through the paper and apply pressure by hand.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:05 AM
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Default Re: Cork ring options? - flor, select, burl, composite rubber

Mud Hole is a fine supplier...offering fair prices on bulk too...they have 1 1/2" rings for those that like a beefier look and feel...also medium, dark and natural colors...in 1 &1/4"

and lots of different burls too...

I have turned burl on a few refurbishments...particularly old bamboo rods...it turns much more like "spongy" wood that typical cork...so it wont chip...but can be difficult on the boundary area between burl and typical cork...possibly taking away more material from the cork and leave a ridge...( it has a consistency of the rubber/cork rings used on butt pieces)...

I only have used burl on strictly burl grips because of running into that situation...after all the work of getting prepped to do a turn...and have to fix it, I decided never to try that again... I didnt really like the contrast of color and texture so much either of the mix, only using it as a part of a butt section for more durability... I hope that helps a bit...t
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: Cork ring options? - flor, select, burl, composite rubber

I've used burl cork on the ends of grips with no problems.
The options of what you can use for accents in a grip are limited only by your imagination. I've used craft foam, birch bark, and different woods to customize grips. People have also old credit cards to put a clean white accent in grips.


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Old 01-10-2013, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: Cork ring options? - flor, select, burl, composite rubber

Quote:
Originally Posted by frogg View Post
I've used burl cork on the ends of grips with no problems.
The options of what you can use for accents in a grip are limited only by your imagination. I've used craft foam, birch bark, and different woods to customize grips. People have also old credit cards to put a clean white accent in grips.


Chris
Thanks for the tip, Chris. I like the look of thin trim bands on either side of an accent cork burl and have thinking about what to try to use there. I've heard about craft foam and gasket material but not credit cards.

I've decided to buy a small bulk of cheaper, mid-grade cork rings and burls to build and turn a couple experimental grips. Maybe I'll try a credit card...
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:48 AM
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Default Re: Cork ring options? - flor, select, burl, composite rubber

Dean,
They also have 1/4" burnt rings that look great sandwiching an accent cork. If you only need a couple, I'd be happy to send you some. I'll post a pic of what I have to offer in a min...


Chris

---------- Post added at 11:48 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:33 AM ----------

Here's what I've got in cork:
Click the image to open in full size.

Clockwise from left: 1/2" green, 1/2" red, 1/2" blue, 1/4" dark mixed, 1/4" light mixed, 1/4" burnt, 1/2"dark mixed, 1/2" light mixed.

I also have some birch bark that can look great as a full grip or just accents.
Click the image to open in full size.


Chris
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:56 PM
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Default Re: Cork ring options? - flor, select, burl, composite rubber

Hey thanks for the offer Chris, that's really generous of you but I'll probably end up ordering a dozen or so with my cork so I have some extras to practice and play with different designs. Let me ask you this, and anyone else, have you ever cut your own rings? I've seen some nice custom grips that appear to have 1/8" rings in them.

I was thinking about making a jig by plunging the appropriate size router bite 1/8" into a block of hardwood, insert a 1/2" ring and cut with a coping saw or fine hacksaw blade since I don't have a band saw.

Anyone??
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: Cork ring options? - flor, select, burl, composite rubber

Quote:
Originally Posted by dean_mt View Post
Let me ask you this, and anyone else, have you ever cut your own rings? I've seen some nice custom grips that appear to have 1/8" rings in them.
I have, but I have a jig for that. You can use it to make several thicknesses based on shims in the bottom. I also have a checker jig. I used to do it the hard way with miter box and saw, and cutting wedges on a table saw. All of my checkers were hardwood back then. Now I have done them in cork and cork composits.
Click the image to open in full size.

As far as the hardwood goes, turn it seperate to the size you want then add it to the grip. Then turn the cork down to the wood. It's the only way to get a smooth transition from cork to wood.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: Cork ring options? - flor, select, burl, composite rubber

Dan, the thin dark rings next to the checkered ring, that looks like an 1/8" ring - am I right? That's what I'd like to try to get, an 1/8" dark burl ring. Do you think my idea for a jig would work? Could I make a clean cut with a coping saw or hack saw?
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