Here's a question from January/February 1999 Issue of RodMaker magazine:
"You seem to favor building up and turning yur cork grips off the rod,
on a mandrel, rather than affixing the rings to the blank and then turning the grip.
The latter is the method I prefer and I was wondering why you choose the former.
Can you offer some insight as to any advantages of doing it this way?
. . . Sam, Atlanta, GA"
Both methods work fine, but I prefer making my grips and handles
on separate mandrels and then reaming them to size and affixing
them to the blank afterwards. My reasons for doing this are
two-fold First, if you make a mistake while turning, or get into
some bad cork, you don't have to tediously remove the grip from
the blank in order to start over. Second, I prefer the turning power
and precision of a dedicated woodworking lathe and none of these of
which I'm aware will accept a rod blank of even a fairly short length.
I suspect your reluctance to make your grips this way stems from
the age-old problem of reaming the grip afterwards, to fit the taper
of the blank you wish to mount it on. This really isn't a problem if
you have an assortment of reamers which will allow you to step up
gradually and easily match tapers. Also, it helps tremendously to
start with a cork ring bore that's pretty close to what you're going to
need when you mount the grip. As an example, if the area of the blank
where the grip is to be located has an outer diameter of 1/2 inch, I'll
bore my cork ring to 3/8-inch before gluing them on a 3/8-inch
mandrel. After turning, I only have to ream a little bit to get where
I need to be. Of course, if you don't have access to a large number
of reamer sizes, this methd can be a bit tedious.
Let me stress that both methods are acceptable and work equally well,
but the method I use does prequire a few more tools and a bit more
patience. But I like it and will continue doing it that way. If your
method is working well for you, I woudln't change.
~ Tom Kirkman
If you have any tips or techniques, send them
along! Help out your fellow rodmakers!
~ Publisher, FAOL