BURL Questions

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by longshanks1, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. longshanks1

    longshanks1 New Member

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    Hi guys and gals -

    I've searched this topic ad nauseam, and asked a number of seasoned rod builders, but I've never really got a straight answer. How durable is Burl cork?

    I'm building up a 6-7 and a 7-8 Forecast spey blank, and I would like to add some burl caps on the end of the fore and butt grips. However, I am wondering how suitable burl is for this application. My other rods have plastic and EVA, but I have noticed that Loomis and Winston have used Burl in this application.

    Any treatment to make it more solid? Would it not crumble?

    Thanks for your help.

    Shane
     
  2. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Depends on the burl. Some burl I've purchased is spongy and soft and would easily flake (source not revealed). Some of the other stuff I've gotten was rock hard and could easily take some abuse (Anglers Workshop, Lamar Enterprises).

    In general if I get a piece of burl and can chip it easily with my fingernail, I won't use it on end caps. The stuff from Lamar and Anglers on the other hand don't easily chip, so I feel comfortable using it. To hedge my bets I also add a couple of coats of gunstock oil (Casey's Tru-Oil). Brings out the color and adds a touch of toughness.

    Also, in general the stuff from the commercial rod companies usually isn't burl, but rubberized cork. That stuff while heavy is pretty damn tough and sands to a nice smooth finish. I would never hesitate to use it for end caps.

    -- Cheers
    -- James
     
  3. martinrjensen

    martinrjensen BambooBoy

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    I think you are talking about burl cork as opposed to burl wood right? Isn't burl cork just built with cork bits ans glue? If so I would think it to be every bit as strong or stronger than standard cork. I mean I thought that cork burl really doesn't exist naturally. I used some on a rod handle once and that's what it appeared to be to me.
    martin
     
  4. longshanks1

    longshanks1 New Member

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    Hi guys, and thanks for your responses. I am referring to the use of cork burl, and I have no idea what the origin of the material is. In examining some of the cork burl I have seen, I question whether it would be suitable for application in the butt or the tip of the foregrip on a spey rod, that sees fairly heavy use. I plan on having a good close look at the burl rings I have ordered, and then decide whether or not they will stand up. If Winston is using burl in this application, I am hoping that it is possible -- assuming the burl I have on order looks to be solid enough.

    thanks again for your input