Brasstown Creek Bamboo Fly Rod Three (3) Piece Rod Wrapping Information Dipping Rods

Disclaimer

The information below for making a 3 (Three) Piece Bamboo Fly Rod from Rod Blank to finish is an approach used by Brasstown Creek, Inc. to finish a rod using varnish (not Flex Coat) to coat the silk.  This works for us, but there are many other methods, some certainly may be better, but this is what we use.  Always use caution with lathes, flamables, razor blades, heaters, and other dangerous items.  Always follow manufacturer instructions.

1 Some makers dip their rods in varnish after installing ferrules, then wrap on guides and varnish the wraps using a brush. We wrap our guides, apply three coats of varnish to the wraps with a brush, then dip the rod sections in our dip tubes of varnish. We tried protecting our ferrules with teflon tape, but found it is difficult to remove. I think Scotch Tape works better.
2 We have protected the nickel silver ferrules on each of the sections of our three piece bamboo fly rod, and have attached hanging clamps to each.

3 These are our variable speed, reversible extraction motors. We have three enabling us to dip the three bamboo sections of a two-piece two tip rod simultaneously.
4 These are the control boxes with DPDT toggle switches controlling each extraction motor.

5 This photograph shows our three dip tubes with heating pads wrapped onto the bottom of each tube.
6 The caps are still on our dip tubes in this photo.
7 Here the caps are off our dip tubes and we have the butt and mid sections of our 3 piece bamboo rod ready to dip.
8 This shows how we suspend the rod sections for dipping.
9 We use an indoo/outdoor thermometer to indicate the temperature in our drying cabinet. In this case, our room temperature, where we dip, is 75 degrees F and our drying cabinet is 97 degrees F.
10 We have our heating pads turned on and are just beginning to bring our varnish up to 80-85 degrees prior to dipping. we use an infrared thermometer to check the varnish temperature.
11 This is the variable AC to DC Power Supply we bought from from Jameco which enables us to power our three extraction motors. Since the motors are designed for 3 RPM at 12 VDC, varying the DC voltage at the power supply lets us precisely adjust the RPM of the motors.
12 This photo is a close up of the Butt section of our three piece bamboo rod being extracted after its first dip. Notice that the dip gives a smooth coat to the wrap (which has already received three coats of varnish using a brush.
13 A wider view of the above rod section also showing the bamboo fly rod mid section.
14 Here is a look inside one of the dip tubes.
15 This photo shows the two tips of our three piece bamboo rod being lowered into the dip tubes.
16 Here Tip #2 is being extracted from the varnish.
17 An here Tip #1 is being extracted.
18 Our drying cabinet is equipped with a thermostat controlled electric heater and a HEPA filtration device.
19 All four segments of our three piece bamboo fly rod are hung for drying (butt, mid, and two tips).

20 Our drying cabinet has room for a number of rods.
21 We can aso measure the humidity in our drying cabinet.
22 After each dip in varnish, the rod segments are dried for 24 hours. We then use a head strap magnifier with three power magnification (with plenty of light) to inspect for defects in the finish. If there are any we sand them out.
23 Use caution to not sand through the coat of varnish and into the silk threads.
24 This is our three piece bamboo fly rod after each silk wrap received three coats of varnish with a brush (24 hours in the drying cabinet between each coat) and three complete coats of varnish in out dip tubes (again, with 24 hours in the drying cabinet between coats).
25 Here is a close up of the butt ends of the three piece bamboo fly rod.
26 And here the middle of the three piece bamboo fly rod.
27 And here the tips of the three piece bamboo fly rod.