View Full Version : Help with Cork

03-06-2008, 09:57 AM
Hi all, I posted awhile back that I wanted to build a 3 pc. travel spin rod. Well I got the blank. St. Croix Tidemaster.
OK, now I'm puting on cork rings and I have to turn them down to size. I do not own a lathe. Is there a way to do a nice job other than just by hand?

Bob B

03-06-2008, 10:08 AM
Hi Bob,

If no lathe how about a wrapper to use as a lathe. If not and you truely planned to wrap by hand with no power device you could set it up on some V notches lined with felt as to not scratch your blank. Put a nail in the end of one block to go into the butt end of the blank. You can get a decent round handle by eye. Start with a course file or rasp then switching to paper. Wrap your reel seat in tape to protect from dings. After your done seal with some cork sealer.

What kind of cork did you use?

03-06-2008, 11:07 AM
Yes this is all by hand. I have "V" notch rod stands. This is my second rod, used foam grips last time. You gotta love this stuff.
I bought the rings off a friend, no real blems in them, so I'd say high end rings.
(1.5 dia. x 1/2) Setting it up with 3 rings of cork then one ring of bearl cork. 3, 1, 3, 1 like that. I'll post a pic of the glueing tonight.

03-07-2008, 05:58 AM
It will take a little work to set this up but looks like it may work.

03-07-2008, 02:17 PM
Put them on a threaded rod on a verticle drill press. set up a rest for someting like a drum sander. Hold the sander head in place and use the up down on the drill press to fed the cork edge into the sander. Assuming its not too long , this should work fine and get it round for you. once its round , just hold the sandpaper in your hand for the final finishing.

03-09-2008, 09:03 AM
Thanks for the help all, I used a Palm Sander and shaped it pretty good for a first time. Now as soon as I figure out how to post pics I will.

03-09-2008, 04:24 PM
Here are 2 pics :jump1:

Squid kids Dad
03-09-2008, 05:26 PM
Looks good Bob

03-09-2008, 09:00 PM
Nice Bob, love the variation of the 2 corks.

03-10-2008, 07:00 AM
looks nice. good work.

03-10-2008, 07:00 AM
what grit sandpaper are you using?

03-10-2008, 10:16 AM
Started with 80...then 120, 180, 220, 320, 400 to finish.
I tired the suggestion of a drill press, wraped the end of the blank with tape but damaged the end (I guess tighten too much). It still fits the next section well. Just looks ugly.

03-10-2008, 12:40 PM
Nice job , it looks great.

Green Light
03-11-2008, 11:30 PM

The pictures help a lot.

Question: What advantages does a fully cork rod but have over a "cork tape"?
I ask this only because making a fully cork rod handle is much work.

03-12-2008, 08:15 AM
I prefer cork tape to solid cork for my rods. I think the rubber pebbles mixed in make it better to grip when wet than the real cork.

03-12-2008, 09:15 AM
For me, on larger butted rods I like tape, it fits my hands nicely. On smaller Diameter butts, the corks rings or foam make for a better grip. IMHO

Green Light
03-12-2008, 06:55 PM
Thank you Saltheart and Bobbike.

03-15-2008, 02:40 PM
Wow Bob - Very nice job for doing it with a hand sander. I've seen cork handles done on a lathe that don't look as good as yours. Just wondering how long it took you to shape that handle?

03-20-2008, 10:19 AM
Maybe an hour or 2 at most to shape. Finishing by hand was the pain in the butt part. My mentor, Arthur Kaplan of MSBA, gave me a lesson on cork last week end, but he use his rod lathe

03-20-2008, 11:37 AM
It may have been a pain but it still looks good. Just think how good you will do when you have a lathe. If you look around different sites you will find some home made lathes that can be made for not too much money.

03-20-2008, 12:22 PM
How did you keep the contours even? did you make a pattern to follow or to check against?

04-03-2008, 09:45 AM
Everything was done free hand, this is only the second rod I've ever built and the first with real cork. The other was a noodle rod with foam handles.
Anyway can't wait to catch something with it

04-25-2008, 01:52 PM
Well the rod was finished a couple of weeks ago. I took it out for a test and BAM, 3rd cast and it broke right at the bottom ferrul. Guess I smashed the fibers when I put it in the drill to try and turn the cork. Oh well, lesson learned and its on the way back to St. Croix.

04-26-2008, 02:24 PM
next time use foam rookie


05-02-2008, 12:14 PM
you were supposed to put the cork on a threaded rod and into the drill press , not clamp onto the rod.

05-15-2008, 11:21 AM
Ok, I got the new bottom piece from St. Croix. I'll be doing the same cork setup, all free hand, then a small diamond wrap. I'll post as I progress.