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Old 10-31-2013, 05:29 PM
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Default Birch Bark Grips

I have a blank to build and I have been reading about birch bark grips. A couple of weeks ago, a storm took down part of a birch tree. After converting a bench top drill press into a vertical lathe, this is my first unfinished attempt.

Click the image to open in full size.

I'm not sure I like the cedar ends. I have enough bark to build up another grip. All feedback is appreciated. Thanks.

Don

Last edited by dsmith1427; 10-31-2013 at 05:30 PM. Reason: Image not showing
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Birch Bark Grips

Here you go:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Birch Bark Grips

Like the birch. What are you using for the finish? Not sure about the cedar either. A darker wood may show the birch off more. Pictures can be deceiving and what do I know? Opinions are like...... ears, everybody has a couple.

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Old 10-31-2013, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: Birch Bark Grips

Love birch grips! Pic is small, but I agree with Pete, darker ends would show off the birch. Would love to hear your process, how you shaped it and finish etc. I've done two. They took a lot of time and work but were well worth the effort.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: Birch Bark Grips

I've also done a few with birch bark. I used black walnut on the ends of the one on my 8wt. (I also used some burl cork.)For finish, I was happy with 5 coats of tung oil. I've heard others use tru oil with good success.
Click the image to open in full size.


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Old 11-06-2013, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: Birch Bark Grips

This was my first go at a birch bark handle. It does take a lot of time but I am enjoying the process. I am using Tung oil to finish it. I definitely like the dark ends better. I will remember that on my next build. As far as the process goes, I have used the following website:

EclecticGuy» Blog Archive » Birch Bark Fly Rod Grip

I have a benchtop drill press that I converted to a "vertical lathe." Here is a picture:

Click the image to open in full size.

The mandrill is a 1/4-20 threaded rod with a coupling nut super glued to the end and the bottom passes through a bearing. I used a wood chisel to rough the shape and sand paper (40 grit to 330 grit) and scotch bright to finish the wood prior to the tung oil. I drilled out the bottom of the handle for the reel seat prior to finish but I added a plug to the hole to give the material more stability. It was a fun project. I have a rod to build but I am not sure if I will use this handle or the next one that I build. I am thinking about building one that is all birch bark. Anyway, thanks for the feedback and have a great day!
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Birch Bark Grips

Quote:
Originally Posted by frogg View Post
I've also done a few with birch bark. I used black walnut on the ends of the one on my 8wt. (I also used some burl cork.)For finish, I was happy with 5 coats of tung oil. I've heard others use tru oil with good success.
Click the image to open in full size.


Chris
glad I found this thread cause I say Walnut would be excellent wood for grip ends.
by the way, I would be glad to turn a few pieces for you guys

buzz
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Birch Bark Grips

Agree the walnut is beautiful but unless needing the additional weight for balance wouldn't it be heavy?

Dave
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Birch Bark Grips

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Originally Posted by littledavid123 View Post
Agree the walnut is beautiful but unless needing the additional weight for balance wouldn't it be heavy?

Dave
I suppose the walnut of the fighting butt would have an impact, but I wouldn't worry about adding it at the grip. Adding weight where we hold the rod wouldn't impact balance.
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Birch Bark Grips

walnut is a hardwood, but it weighs about half as much a oak. I don't think a small section is going to amount to any significant weight problem
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