Filler for Cork Handles

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by willieboat, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. willieboat Member

    Posts: 444
    Lacey, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'm in the process of turning a cork handle that has several areas that I'd like to fill with wood filler. In looking at some of my fly rods, I see that some has been filled and the filler has not come out. A few years ago, my fishing partner bought this top of the line G.Loomis Nauticos (sp?) rod.
    We were amazed at how perfect and smooth the handle was. Well after a few wet fishing trips the handle was full of cracks, holes, etc. So, it seems that some filler is better than others. Of course, the truth is, a few cracks in the handle is a natural thing for cork. I'd just like to try something different.
    Question, does anyone use filler that so far stands the test of wet times? If so, is it possilbe to find it locally?

    Thanks!

    Don
  2. James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    Posts: 2,787
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +88 / 0
    I usually don't do the filler thing, as it never really looks right, or it doesn't last. The most durable thing I've seen is a mixture of rod bond and cork dust. That seems to do well. I dab some rod bond into the spot, then mix a *LOT* of cork dust into the rod bond until the color looks right. Then I dab some of the cork/rodbond mixture on, smooth and let dry. I can tell you the color never *quite* looks right, but the thing never really falls out. Because of this, I usually just let the cork go naked....
  3. willieboat Member

    Posts: 444
    Lacey, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks James. I was leaning the same way. I made the handle out of some pretty quality rings. So, I'll let it be.

    Thanks again!

    Don
  4. Tom Bowden Active Member

    Posts: 446
    Black Diamond, WA
    Ratings: +72 / 3
    I use a mixture of cork dust and yellow elmers wood glue. Sand a spare cork ring or a cheap hardware store cork plug to get the cork dust. I imagine rod bond would work too, but it's an epoxy and though it will adhere well, I wouldn't think it would be as flexible as the cork itself or the wood glue I use.

    Also, I know some rodmakers who use wood putty for this. They mix the different colors to get a match.

    Tom
  5. willieboat Member

    Posts: 444
    Lacey, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks, Tom. Does the Elmer's stay put when exposed to wet conditions?

    Don
  6. Tom Bowden Active Member

    Posts: 446
    Black Diamond, WA
    Ratings: +72 / 3
    Don,

    I've never had a problem with cork patches coming loose. Elmer's has both interior and exterior carpenter's glues - you want the exterior product.

    Just to be objective, I looked up this topic in a couple of my rodmaking books. Ray Gould mixes his cork dust with duco cement. Everett Garrison and Hoagy Carmichael recommend Weldwood plastic resin glue. Jack Howell uses Fix brand wood patch in the light mahogany color. Obviously there's no "one right way" to do this!

    Tom