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Old 04-21-2014, 03:20 AM
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Default Oil impregnation for bamboo

Hi Guys,

I picked up an absolute bargain of a deal on ebay a few weeks back. Its a 3pc bamboo rod. I cant tell you what make or anything as there were no markinfs whatsoever, might just have been a home job. Still, 5 bucks was worth the go.

When I got the rod I knew it needed work, the images showed badly frayed threads and looked like peeling varnish. All was very true, it was in a bad state. So I cleared all the thread off, got started on clearing the badly cracked and peeling varnish. Still have a few tough spots I am trying to clear but it looks awesome so far.

My question now is one of varnish vs oil impregnation. I am sure they both have their own pro's and cons. My varnish put off is how this rod looked when I got it, my worry about how it will affect the rod action if at all. Oil from my uses over the years works a treat in protecting from elements. Brings out natural colours and characters. But how do I seal off after the impregnation? Can I buff with a natural wax, like bees wax or something?

Oh, and I have noticed 2 places where the cane sections have split a bit. How do I "repair" this? Can I fill it with an epoxy or some such thing?

Cheers.
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:02 AM
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Default Re: Oil impregnation for bamboo

Good luck with the oil impregnation. The surface of Bamboo does not like to take any kind of stains or oils every well. You could use a Danish type oil finish, but it would need to dry completely. Otherwise you run the risk if you thread finish not adhering to the blank or developing fisheye due to the oil.

If we (builders) are going to use any type of material for impregnation we usually do it after the blank is glued up, but before the ferrules and tip top are installed. The impregnation usually involves a vacuum and sealed tube. Or you can soak it for several days and then allow it to dry for a couple of weeks.

If the varnish was cracked and peeling it was probably due to the rod being build many many moons ago. Old spar/shellac just did that. The newer spars don't seen to have the same issues. I pour my spar finishes and I have also used a hand rubbed Minwax Poly. Different types of finishes will not have any noticable affect of the rod's action.

As for the delamination: You can clean out any old glue with a dental pick or the like. Fill the deliminated area with something like Titebond III and bind the area with thread until dry. Remove the thread, clean up and finish. Do not use a two part epoxy like DevCon. It doesn't flex and the area will just crack and delaminate again. There are several heat set two part glue that can be used, think bow builders glue. But Titebond is also used to glue up blanks and works fine.

Pete
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:11 AM
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Default Re: Oil impregnation for bamboo

... never mind
Pete explained this much better than I could
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Oil impregnation for bamboo

Thanks Pete. Thats a big help indeed. I'm not too worried about the time I will need to wait for the sections to dry after being immersed fora while. I have never seen bamboo rods too much before but looking at the beautiful colour and grain I see after the varish has been removed, I just feel oiling and wax sealing might keep that "natural" look and finish.

I will work on the delamination issue and do my best at repairing that. Not sure what my options are here but may have to import one of the products you recommend.

Appreciate the reply and advice.
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