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Old 02-02-2013, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: My winter spey rod project.

OK, before I finished the rod last winter I ended up with a lot of stuff going wrong all at once and finishing this rod got put on the back burner. I have decided to get it done and finish this thread. As I had said before I am going to do a weave of the Thomas & Thomas Logo on the bottom in front of the top grip, and a feather inlay on the top.

When I do a weave there are not a lot of tools needed. A candle to melt the ends of the threads going in the weave. They get a lot of use in the course of doing it, so by melting a ball onto the end it prevents them from becoming frayed which is a pain. A pair of tweezers. I prefer the kind where the tip is bent at almost a 90* angle. I take a grinder or file and reduce the end to a thin point, but beware of making them sharp. It is important to dull them if you get them sharp so as not to cut your threads. A pair of scissors and an X-acto knife. A good magnifying glass would not hurt either.
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You need masking tape for arbors to hold and work the threads used in the weave. The best tape I have found so far is Scotch 3M 233+ Green masking tape. You can use any masking tape that has a good grip to build up your arbors, but use the Green for the sticky side up which I will shortly explain.

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Step number one of actually starting to put the thread on the rod. Build up an arbor of masking tape about 3/16ths of an inch in front of the grip, using 3/4" masking tape about 1/16" thick or a bit better, and cut it off on the side opposite the weave's location. Leave a tag loose, and then go sticky side to sticky side with the green tape and do a couple tuns so the sticky side is up, and then cut it off so the seam is on the side away from where the weave will go. Repeat the process with about 10" between them but this time use 2" version of the masking tapes. Then with a 1/2" gap farther up the rod, repeat the process again with the 3/4" tapes.

Once the arbors are done, determine the exact centerline of the blank and make a small mark on the 3/4" arbor in front of the grip, and another small one in the rear of the 2" arbor.

Now if you read the part where I did the pattern you saw that in this one, the center thread is #38. That is going to be the first thread you lay down. If this thread was a number being a multiple of five, you would go past the end of the far 3/4" arbor, but in this case it isn't so you go to well into the gap between the 2" arbor and the far 3/4" arbor. Remember to melt the ends before putting them on. Just the end away from the grip. It's the only one that gets a lot of abuse.
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This is threads 38, 39 and 40.

The reason for this is, in this pattern there will be 76 threads. In order to make it possible to reliably find a specific thread we need a system where we can find them Start by laying down the center thread and work out both ways. Make every 5th thread in the pattern long and have it end past the far 3/4" arbor. Leave a small gap between every group of 10 threads. This makes finding the right threads easy. When finished it should look like this:
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Remember, the threads next to the grip are packed together tight, no spaces. Once all of them are on, tape the threads in place in front of the grip as they never move during the weave.
I suggest making a ballpoint pen mark on the tape arbor between each group of ten threads on the 2" arbor. It is important to keep those threads in the same place as you work this so you don't start to pull und distort your weave to one side.

The next step I did in this one was to determine the length of the weave, which being round is easy, it is the same length as the 76 threads are together wide. I then determined how long the feather inlay is going to be on the other side of the rod is.

This gave me a length I needed to make the base wrap before starting the weave. I then start the base thread in front of the tape arbor by the grip and when I get to where the weave starts, I stop doing turns. I then take the 4" wide green tape from the photo shown above and go sticky side up around the grip long enough to catch the entire threads when fliped to the left. Just stick the tape to itself and make it tight enough over the contours of the grip to hold it in place when the threads are being worked.
Click the image to open in full size.

Now if you remember from the part where I showed the pattern being made, you see the first step is 35,41. The , means everything from 35 to 41. So you take those threads and flip them to the left sticking them to the tape on the grip. Turn the rod one turn. Mark the step off on the list. Mark it like it was the law. It is easy to get confused doing this, and this eliminates one place that you can have it happen. When we get to step 4, it is marked like this; 24,37.40,53 . This means all the threads from 24 to 37 get flipped to the left, 38 and 39 stay to the right and all the threads from 40 to 53 get flipped to the left. The effect this has is, all the threads to the left end up over the base wrap, and all the threads to the right get buried under it.

When I am doing weaves it is important to have the rod so when you stop turning it, it will stay where you stop it without having to hold on to it. I use a piece of 1" web strap two rubber bands. It is held over the rod by screws in the rods stand like this:
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Here is a good trick, if you have to walk away for a bit, take a thread and wrap around the threads on the arbors and the tape on the grip so threads do not come lose and cause you confusion. It can be confusing enough. Another trick, if you start to become confused when going back and forth with a lot of threads. Stop and put them all to the right, and start fresh. Mistakes in this can mess up a pattern and it is pretty impossible to fix them without cutting it all off and starting over.

As you can see it can be a tad confusing. There is a lot going on at this point in the pattern.
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Once you get past the weave about a 1/4", tighten the weave. I like to start at the center and work out both ways. Pull on the threads individually pulling them tight and towards the center. Get them tight but don't break them. Use something to push threads to the center if you get a gap and it stays after being pulled tight. Be careful if you used metallic thread so you don't bust the mylar.
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Once the weave is tight, finish the base wrap. In this case I wanted interchanged thin color bands All I did to achieve this in this end was to add a long thread of the Green/Black classic twist I did the guides with about 1/8" from where it starts by trapping it under the wrap. I then stop turning the rod when I get to where the band starts and by hand take the thread back and over the top of the thread where it is going onto the blank. I made 5 turns here and then trapped the green thread under the grey thread to hold it in place.

Next step is to remove the tape arbor next to the grip, the tape from the grip and trim the weave threads off. I trim them off at an angle so I am trapping them down as I wrap over them cleanly.
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Click the image to open in full size.

I then fray the ends with my thumbnail so it will not hump the thread going off the ends.

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I then wrap the thread matching the guides over the exposed ends. I did a metallic trim band in it the same way I did the green band at the end of the base wrap.

When I got to the end, I added two pull loops and a metallic blue thread for the end trim band to the base wrap when I started the green band. It looks like this;

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I used one pull thread to secure the end of the thread, then turned the metallic trim on, in this case 4 turns and then used the second pull thread to secure it. I made all of this a length to match what is required to fill in the end towards the grip. Here is the finished thread work.

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The next step is the feather inlay. Saving it for the next post. The base feather in it is Impeyan Monal which I had a heck of a hard time getting a good one.
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These are really beautiful birds.

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One last note, it is a tad hard to see the weave in detail in these photos. I will post a better close uo after I finish the rod.
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