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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Question Considering scratch cane as starter

    Yeah, dumb idea right.

    But I have a hankering to build a bamboo rod and want to do it from scratch, from the forms (wood) to the binder to the finished rod. I have some woodworking experience having built a few pieces of furniture, cabinets and some other things, like rooms. Never worked with bamboo though, so there is also that challenge.

    I have been reading through sites on building both rods and the forms, so I have a fair idea of what I might be getting into. And I an sure there are things not in those sites that I need to know and don't.

    So, anyone with experience, and I know you are out there, with some heads up, beware of this, watch out for that, or other stuff you know I need to know?
    Gordon
    Live every day as if it were your last.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I say go for it. Just have some resonable expectations about your skills and accept that your first rod might have a few cosmetic blemishes as part of the 'learning curve'.
    For your first rod you might consider a PMQ (Poor Man' Quad or '2 strip quad). This is a 4 sided rod that is made up of 2 strips. It can be hand planed without the need for planning forms. I built my fist PMQ blank over a weekend with nothing more than a stanly block plane and an inexpensive digital caliper. I was able to complete the rod by hand work alone. No need for a binder, dip tank, lathe, planing form, heat treating oven or other contraptions.

    Here is a link to a good tutorial...
    http://www.bamboorodmaking.com/html/2_strip_quads.html

    Or, do a google search on...
    'PMQ rod'
    '2 strip quad'
    'poor mans quad'

    There are pros and cons to the 2 strip method...

    PRO
    1. Can be built with a minimim investment in tools. All you really need is a sharp hand plane, a digital caliper and a box of binder clips to use as clamps.
    2. The taper can be adjusted after the rod is glued up, you can tweak the flex during construction.
    3. Does not require much raw material. A 2 piece rod can be made from just 4 strips of cane. Mine was built from some scaps another board member kindly sent me.

    CON
    1. The 4 sided rod is a little harder to wrap, but not impossible.
    2. Ferrules are more difficult, sort of a square peg into a round hole problem. There are several simple solutions.
    3. Thin tip sections are nearly impossible to make perfectly straight. With just two strips the slight variation in flex at the nodes is more pronounced and the tip seems to move a bit with changes in weather and humidity.
    4. With 2 strip construction some of the pith shows on two of the sides. While this does not effect the the casting performance it is somehow considered a cardinal sin to the more traditional bamboo lovers.

    While my rod may not have the fit and finish of a $3000 cane rod by House of Hardy, it is my favorite 4wt small stream rod. I built every part of it by myself and if I squint just a little I can't see too many of the blemishes.
    Last edited by kengore; 11-23-2013 at 06:11 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I found another nice toutorial with pictures and detailed how to.....
    http://www.rodbuildingforum.com/inde...howtopic=15417

  4. #4
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    Covington, Wa.
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    Thanks Kengore,

    I have most of the tools already from past woodworking projects, router, saws (japanese back saw, scroll, circular, chop, handsaws, etc) and planes both 9 inch and 6 inch that need the blades touched up. Still need to pick up a new depth gauge and 60* tip which I also use for working on cars, great for finding TDC or BDC with the heads off and for checking flatness on the cylinder deck and heads. And will build a poor mans oven, forced air type for use with a heat gun.

    I'll dig a little deeper into PMQs. Seen a bit on those. I figured this would be a good winter project, last year was re-learning to tie, so I'm giving myself give or take 3 months to complete everything including the rod.
    Gordon
    Live every day as if it were your last.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Wondervu, CO
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    Some reference books and web sites that I find useful...

    http://www.amazon.com/masters-guide-.../dp/0811703525 Finding a copy of this in my local library is what got me started. An excellent reference but written from the perspective of an trained engineer and master machinist , it is a little heavy on math. After reading this a second time I wasn't quite sure if my skills were up to the task.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/1592288375/ref=rdr_ext_tmb This is fine book has all aspects of rodbuilding from start to finish. Much more accesable to the 'hobby builder' than the highly technical Garrison book. The detailed step by step instructions gave me the confidence I could do it.

    http://www.bamboorodmaking.com/html/tips.html A collection of tips, techniques and tutorials gleened from a now defunct rodmakers list server site. A great wealth of information if your willing to poke around the somewhat awkward format.

    http://www.hexrod.net/Tapers/drtaper...idge_75_4.html Here is the taper I used for my first PMQ. Based on the Paul Young Midge taper, converted to a 2 strip quad by Tom Smithwick in an article written for the plannin Form newsletter. It is a 6'3 2 peice 4wt, but handles a 3wt or 5wt line as well. This has become my favorite 4 wt rod for dry flies on small streams.

    http://powerfibers.com/ An online magizine for bamboo rodmakers. Current issue can be downloaded for free. Back issues are available on CD for a price.

    http://www.thomaspenrose.com/ A rod makers web site with many useful articles. Includes a good tutorial on building your own metal forms.

    http://home1.gte.net/vzn05zew/rodbuild/Forms/form.html Article on building your own wooden forms, also composite forms using wood, aluminum or solid surface countertop material
    Last edited by kengore; 11-23-2013 at 09:13 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Thanks Kengore, I'll put the two books on the Christmas list.
    Gordon
    Live every day as if it were your last.

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