I have been using a "razor wand" for opening up the cork for single handed rods. It's basically a piece of a rod blank with a gritty surface. It works great. You're in Kingston, I'm about 5 minutes from there. I could loan em to ya if you are interested. I bought mine off of mudhole.com.
I think they were like 6 or 7 bucks each. I got 2 different sizes both medium grit. They work great. They are tapered, so it's easy to get a good fit before glueing. It takes me about 20 minutes to ream out out a cork by hand with one of these. I think that you can buy the grit stuff and if you have an old blank (so it's tapered), you can just put epoxy on it and pour the grit on to the epoxy, but for a few dollars, I just bought the device.
Scott Behn said:
if you don't mind me asking...what did ya pay for those?
That would be great if you wouldn't mind. I won't need then for a little while. I am a novice rod builder and will take any suggestions or help you could offer. I purchased a book, but any help would be greatly appreciated. When we get the blanks, I will email you.
How many people are going to be building rods? How many rods? When does the rod building take place (i.e. time of day)?
I'm a novice rod builder myself. I have only finished one rod and have two more that are progressing slowly as I have time. I would love to help as much as possible, but I'm a corporate slave and work all day. Having said that, if you are doing it in the evenings (after 6), I would be happy to offer some time.
You are certainly welcome to borrow my cork reamers. I only have 2 (one .325-.400 and one .400-.500), both medium grit, but you are welcome to use them. Let me know.
Reamers of the sort you're talking about work great. But one thing to be aware of is that they have a propensity to leave some grit in the grip, which, if it fits as snuggly as you want, will scratch your blank. It's a bummer to get your grip on and find a bunch of tiny scratches it left on its way down. Just make sure you blow out the cork when you're done.
I rarely ream a whole grip at a time (I turn my own so I do it a ring at a time), but my two cents is rat tail files. I'm not sure I've seen any long enough for a spey handle but they do a better job and are easy to find.