Selection, splitting and staggering.Step two
mm fly rods
Heat treatingStep five
Hand planing 1Step six
Hand planing 2
Gluing & bindingStep seven
Final dimensionsStep eight
Attaching hardwareStep nine
|<-last Gluing and Binding next->
"Time is of the essence." that's a legal term, but it's just as true about gluing. Here's another place where you can start an argument with rod makers. Everyone has his/her favorite glue. There are a whole host of glues that will work for bamboo fly rods out there. Each has it's own characteristics. Harry Boyd had tested some and says that he actually found different glues would make rods more or less stiff! Glues include everything from the traditional hide glue to the latest space age epoxy.
Bamboo fly rod glues need the following characteristics: Hold both face to face and shear, be reasonably water resistant (a good finish can protect glue from water for a shot period of time, but the glue must be able to hold its own when dunked.), be easy to mix and store, and have a good working time. The last item can be a challenge.
I've used everything from Elmer's wood glue to T-3 epoxy. My favorite all around glue is Titebond III, which is fairly waterproof (So they say). Before that my favorite was Titebond II extended, which was "water resistant," which meant that you could dunk a rod without worry. Just don't leave it submerged for extended periods of time. I like Titebond because I don't have to mix it. Years ago I mixed some two part epoxy and ended up with a mess that never hardened. Epoxy is also hard to clean, while Titebond cleans up with water. I've had no failures with Titebond so for the time being I'll stick with it. (was that a pun?)
I remove the waxed paper, then it's time to straighten. I do this any way I can. I use a wall paper seam roller, or lay the section flat on the work bench and roll the palms of my hands across it, always moving them out from the center. I sight down the section, looking for problems. Then I lay the section on the workbench, put my finger just below the problem and slowly pull the strip up while applying backward pressure on it.
Eventually the glue starts to set, once that happens, I'm fighting myself by trying to straighten further. It's time to hang it up to dry. I started with a small amount of weight at the bottom and slowly increased it to between 1 1/2 and 2 lb. (I use 1" washers for weights. They give me a lot of flexibility) Then it's drying time -- a minimum of 48 hours. This is one of the many times I can't rush the process. After the section has dried I remover the binding string and sand off any glue that's left.