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backwatergallery
Administrator
Posts: 1115
It's rod repair season, here are some new projects.



The wood is all stabilized using Minwax wood hardener in a vacuum chamber (Mason jar) at 21"Hg. Voids in the box elder burl were then filled by casting in epoxy resin at 50 psi. I don't have a lathe, the main tools I'm using are a drill, a hole saw, 3/8ths" Redi-bolt, various rasps and files. Lessons I've learned; don't mix different brands of epoxy - it may never cure which leaves you with a big sticky drippy mess, use CA (super glue) initially to glue up the sections, if epoxy is used , heat from shaping and drilling will cause it to break down and fall apart, also the Minwax wood hardener must be 100% dry before gluing up the sections or solvent vapors will interfere with the epoxy.

November 28, 2016 at 1:29 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Jason
Member
Posts: 99

Wow, those look great. So far I have stuck with buying pre formed cork handles. I might try to turn one on the lathe this winter when things slow down for me. Did you cut the burl yourself or buy it somewhere?

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theinsubordinateangler.com

November 28, 2016 at 1:45 PM Flag Quote & Reply

FishnDave
Member
Posts: 1144

Those are beautiful, Mark!  :)

November 28, 2016 at 1:47 PM Flag Quote & Reply

backwatergallery
Administrator
Posts: 1115
These are all pieces of driftwood - not sure of the legal details involved so I won't say where I found them. Jason I do have some leftover box elder burl, oak burl, and Osage orange, which I could stabilize for you. I used all the mulberry, but it was a great find - like Osage orange, the heartwood does not spalt or breakdown the way other wood does, especially if exposed to water or buried in an anaerobic environment such as wet clay. Instead it becomes heavier, loses some of it's fibrous texture and turns from yellow to olive green. Perhaps some sort of bacteria is involved in this process rather than fungus, or is it becoming partially mineralized? I've worked with this before and after exposure to sunlight the piece turned from olive green to black - so I'm not sure what it will do, also the red part of the box elder burl and the Osage Orange are known to change color with UV exposure. A lathe or just a drill press would definitely make things easier and less sloppy - it's impossible to drill a straight hole by hand.
November 28, 2016 at 2:15 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Jason
Member
Posts: 99

My brother has a drill press I can use. I was asking because I found some burls this spring while turkey hunting. The land owner doesn't have a problem with me taking them but I need to identify the trees first. I put on the back burner as I had to many other projects this summer but now I might be able to go back and get them. I just wasn't sure what type of wood to use.

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theinsubordinateangler.com

November 29, 2016 at 10:08 AM Flag Quote & Reply

backwatergallery
Administrator
Posts: 1115
Sounds cool - I learned about stabilizing and casting in epoxy by watching YouTube videos from pen turners (meaning I'm not any kind of expert on the subject) I used a mason jar and a small air brush pump to stabilize and then a small compressor and paint pot to cast in epoxy - one of the safety valves is a bit leaky at 50 psi. But if you want to use any of that equipment let me know.

But really all that can just create another layer of problems. If you soak the rough pieces in Minwax wood hardener in a sealed container with some sort of weight to submerge the wood for 24 hrs. I think it will accomplish much the same thing as vacuum stabilizing does in a shorter period of time. I've noticed the wood pieces give off bubbles as soon as they touch the MInwax before I've applied any vacuum.

The first time I tried casting oak in epoxy which is the "Report and Rod Review 2/3" I had trouble with the resin adhering to the wood, I think because the stabilized oak was so dense even under 50 psi. the resin didn't infuse at all - the softer box elder had better results. This second batch of handles I didn't try to fill cracks in the oak with epoxy, I just worked around them using a hole saw and hand saw - so if you get cracks when drying your burls it's more predictable just to work around them rather than try filling them with epoxy, meaning you should collect a bit more material than you think you'll need.
November 29, 2016 at 1:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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