Refurbishing Bamboo

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by Scott Behn, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. Well folks I have now taken the plunge and I'm going to refurbish a South Bend #359-9 for myself. I gotta admit I'm learning alot of new **** that I'm not used to when working with graphite.

    So far all I have done is totally strip the boo sticks of all hardware and when I go to work tomorrow I'm going to apply some stripper we have for it.

    Man the **** rocks!!!!!


    Before photos in the gallery
  2. I hope that you marked or measured and recorded the guide locations on the taper?
  3. Yepper did that before I ever took anything apart. Have all ferrule stations mic'd and have all parts that were on the rod sitting in a tupperware dish at the flybench.

  4. "Yepper"...a Pennsylvania colloquialisim?
  5. Funny you say that Bob...Mom and Dad live in Gettysburg. The wife and I are moving our family over there to be closer next summer once the two older ones are out of school.

    I have to admit I went over there last march for the first time to visit the folks and we (the wife and I) did not want to come back to Washington, and I'm not disgruntle about Washington either. I loved the whole family relationship and communication that takes place, if that makes any sense.

  6. Not to mention those sweet Limestone Creeks and Boiling Springs! Lucky you!

    I was back there for a week in mid march too. Stayed next to the Letort Spring Run. Loved it all.

    Yepper! :thumb:
  7. I didn't get to fish when I was there, but I have been reading up on the Penn. regulations and some of the local creeks within an easy drive around Gettysburg. Letort, Yellow Breeches, ect. Now I'm going to read up a little on some of the WV. creeks.

    Can't wait!!!!
  8. Scott, at this point I will PM/email you with some contact info for that area. I am involved with the Cumberland Valley T.U. people a little, and the T.U. Rivers Conservation Camp.
  9. okey dokey!!!!
  10. Good to see that you are getting into bamboo. I think I saw you posting at clark's bamboo forum. They are quite helpful sometimes. I am currently working on my seventh restoration, it is an old montague.
  11. One bamboo suggestion; look up Hoagey Carmicheal Jr's book about Garrison and building a classic bamboo rod. Much can be gleaned from this great book that will help any restorer do an authentic job on a classic rod. I used to live not far from Hoagey, he had a workshop near Bedford Hills, NY, and he made and restored some of the most beautiful fly rods you ever dreamt of. A very gifted man.
  12. Yeah I frequent that other forum as well to get more knowledge...must have knowledge LOL.... I just got tired of refinishing customers' rods and decided to take the plunge and refurbish a few of my own. Yeah we have several books at work, can't think of authors' names at the moment, that I have been reading when it slows down there in the shop.

  13. Bob, I owned that book and foolishly, gave it away. I seem to recall that he advised against the use of chemical strippers and suggested the careful use of a sharp edged razor blade as a scraper. I think he was of the opinion that chemical strippers. might affect the glue used to hold the segments together.
  14. I have heard the same thing about the chemical strippers. I simply use a razor blade, and it works quite well.
  15. Dammit...I'm wondering now...I have always used this product we have called 3M's Safest Stripper and a green scrubbing pad. I have never thought of what it might do to the glue. So far no problems.

  16. Methylene Chloride and many other chemicals, including Acetone, Spirits, (especially alcohol!), can indeed damage the glue bonds in bambo rods. Simply by their penetrative action.

    A dry razor blade, handled deftly, can do a pefect job of stripping in a fraction of time and with minimal mess. You can get good enough with this technique that you will remove the varnish and barely kiss the bambo surface it's self.

    You MUST keep the blade at right angles to the rod axis or you risk accidentally slicing the bamboo during the stroke. So the blade may have a slope or angle DOWNWARD as you work down the rod, but there is no sideways angle like a snowplow along the stroke.Very easy to slip up.

    In the beginning just use moderate pressure and remember that the best work will result from a smoothe application of equal pressure along the longest stroke possible- preferably the entire section length in one pass. Be patient and dont pressure it too hard. The stroke should be long and smoothe, not fast. Short choppy strokes leave gouge marks along the blank that will show through the finish later.

    You can get a glass smoothe finish with this method that is far superior to any grit of sandpaper finish. In fact, for some finishes, you can get too smoothe a surface and reduce the bond of the coating. If the coating instructions call for a "220 grit finish, or a 340 grit finish" etc, then after using the razor you should lightly scarify the surface of the rod to the designated "grit finish" to provide the required mechanical bond for the product in use. Read the label!

    Old fashioned varnish is the best thing for bambo in my opinion.

    It helps to use heavy duty (.025") single edge razors, and dont be afraid to use brand new ones on every job..maybe a few. Another option is better quality glass microscope slides, which have two cutting edges along each long side, so it's like four tools in one. And they cut fingers easily too.

    Epoxy finishes are very dificult to remove this way. You have to be very patient and careful not to bare down on the work too hard.

    Long before sandpaper became widely available in many grit sizes, (some so fine they can polish acrylic airplane windshields with them to a perfectly clear gloss), cabinetmakers and furniture men used glass and metal scrapers, honed to razor sharpness, to get the finest finishes possible.
  17. Alchohol is bad? I used that on a Monty I'm working on. Oh well it wasn't a lot of money if it gets toasted. I'll try the razor blade thing on the other rod. Thanks for the heads up on that.
  18. Grain Alcohol is pretty good, less water in it too. Still you have to be careful not to get it too wet. And it is flammable too...very. Dry scraping is cleanest and safest.

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