I have made a ton of them from cottonwood, ponderosa pine, stacks of birch circles, and others. I would never do another birch bark as it never lays flat and is too thin to be worthwhile.
The p pine is very red and has a regular pattern of cells lined in a deeper red... Very good stuff; stable, plenty thick, pretty, lightweight, and easy to work with.
The cottonwood is lighter in color, tending toward gray and light tan. It is thicker and very easy to work with and makes a very nice lightweight grip. I do not hesitate to use them.
My lathe is huge and I can gently hold the entire blank section for turning the handle so I skip the entire mandrel glue-up step and it is a huge timesaver... simply ream or bore the pieces to fit the blank and epoxy them in place. Some of my cottonwood bark is literally 2" thick and it gives me a lot more leeway to use whatever thickness rings I want...
There is a corkbark pine that grows in AZ and I would like to get some of its bark to play with sometime...
Oh, and I do not use any sealer on them and have fished them hard.
I hard come to realize that the oak may be problematic for a first project and there is plenty of pine I can removed bark from and no one will mind. I noticed a dead pine on the side of the road a little more than a mile from my house. And I don't have to watch for bears or their cubs. Maybe a copperhead or eastern rattlesnake, but I can out run them if necessary.
An address will get you plenty enough cottonwood bark to do a handle, and it will be very dry and well-seasoned.
Art, I really appreciate the offer but I think I will stick with collecting some Georgia pine bark and trying to find another use for one of my most dislike trees. Pine trees are the reason I don't mind wasting a piece of paper, before moving to Georgia I had no strong feelings, even planted a few in my youth. But since moving to Georgia they have fallen on my house, car and attracted lightning that destroyed my electronic equipment. I hold a grudge.
This past winter we had multiple hurricaine force storms come through town. The strongest was clocked at 131mph! As we say here "If it was anywhere else they would name them!"
Anyway, just down the street a poor guy had three cars parked in his driveway, side-by-side. One of the biggest spruces in the neighborhood fell across all three of them at once. I suppose he might feel the same way you do about them...
I have a good friend in south Mississippi, about 30 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico. Before Katrina he had a pine stand behind his house he could have sold for something in the $10,000 - 15,000 range. After Katrina he was hoping to get enough to pay the deductible on his homeowners insurance claim, every rafter in his house was broken. I remember him telling me they cut around 60 pine trees to pour the slab for his house. They are good for paper, 2x4's and falling on stuff. Georgia Pacific, International Paper Co., and their competitors are planting more everyday, never feel bad about printing off something, it's just like cotton, they are growing more.
In my area we burn red fir as well. I have a bunch of rings cust from it. some really solid some very very old but solid. I intermix them on the blank to make a interesting grip. I have been known to give some to the folks on faol if they want them
I have made grips from the 'bark mulch' products sold at lawn centers. Similar to this.. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Gardentim...0160/100336461 A $5 bag is enough for many, many grips.
In size 'large'the chips are about as big as your fist and I can get several hole saw cores out of each one. I start with the hole saw mounted in my drill press. I drill half way from on side then flip over and drill the rest from the back side, this leaves a cylindar that sticks out from the saw enough to be remove with you fingers, no prying.
I then place the cores one by one in a simple jig (whole drilled in a block of wood) and sand one side flat and flush to the top of the wood. A second jig slightly shorter is used to sand the reverse side. This squares up both ends, makes them all the same sze and shape and provides for a clean, flat glueing surface.
Now you have a bunch of disks that look very much like commercial cork rings and can be assembled in the same manner.
Lots of decent advise here ... I sometimes have issues getting words into pictures my brain can understand. I do a lot of Bark grips and like the way they look. Here's a tutorial I did a few years ago with pics for those challenged http://www.rodbuildingtutorials.com/...on Hossack.pdf
Originally Posted by Uncle Jesse
What they look like and it is slightly heavier than cork but certainly lighter than the burl cork being used so much these days. I have one I hope to finish this week for Quad 3wt for hopefully my first fishing trip of the year in MT in a couple of weeks.
Doug Fir is good for other uses beside firewood
If this tutorial interests you I have altered some of the ways I do things and can point you to another mini version