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Hey everyone. Been looking at getting started with rod building. I probably won't pull the trigger on an actual rod until around Christmas time (when it's easier to justify) but in the meantime I wanted to practice with the thread wrapping and epoxy parts. 

 

I was thinking about building a little wrapping station, I'm decently handy with woodworking and have some spare lumber I could use, but I was wondering if there were any plans out there that would be good to work from. 

 

Also, and advice on best materials to practice with? Wooden dowels seem like they'd work. But if it would be better to track down a broken rod or something to practice on then I could pro do that. 

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Just notch out Vs in a sturdy cardboard box. Put thead spool in a bowl and run it thru a heavy book for tension. Use and old or broken rod to practice on. Thread is easier to pack on the smooth blank

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I simply built a couple of V blocks and glued a little felt in the V’s to cushion the rod.  The v blocks hold the rod about 8” off the table.  I like to be able to adjust the distance between the blocks while I wrap guides.  The rod turner I use is another block with a slow rpm ac motor epoxied to a piece of capped 1 1/2” pvc pipe into which I threaded 3 thumb screws to hold the rod handle while I apply and cure the thread epoxy.  Keep the height of the V blocks and the center of the turner chuck at the same height so you can chuck the rod into the turner and use one of the V blocks to support the rod tip.  The whole thing took about an hour to build from a piece of 3/4” pine shelving.  I’ve used it for the last 15 years to build 20 or so rods.  A motorized professional rod wrapper would be faster but no more exact than turning a rod by hand as I wrap guides.  And the total cost was about 10 bucks.  Wrapping guides with whatever system you have is sort of tedious work but if you want a rod EXACTLY like you want it built, well...

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21 hours ago, Delaware Valley Tackle said:

Just notch out Vs in a sturdy cardboard box. Put thead spool in a bowl and run it thru a heavy book for tension. Use and old or broken rod to practice on. Thread is easier to pack on the smooth blank

I'll probably build something, even if it is fairly rudimentary. I like the sense of accomplishments with building things from wood about as much as I'm assuming I'm going to like rod building. : )

 

20 hours ago, bish0p said:

Plans from Tom Kirkman's rod building forum.

 

https://www.rodbuilding.org/library/buildjig.html

Thanks for the link!

 

6 hours ago, BobP said:

I simply built a couple of V blocks and glued a little felt in the V’s to cushion the rod.  The v blocks hold the rod about 8” off the table.  I like to be able to adjust the distance between the blocks while I wrap guides.  The rod turner I use is another block with a slow rpm ac motor epoxied to a piece of capped 1 1/2” pvc pipe into which I threaded 3 thumb screws to hold the rod handle while I apply and cure the thread epoxy.  Keep the height of the V blocks and the center of the turner chuck at the same height so you can chuck the rod into the turner and use one of the V blocks to support the rod tip.  The whole thing took about an hour to build from a piece of 3/4” pine shelving.  I’ve used it for the last 15 years to build 20 or so rods.  A motorized professional rod wrapper would be faster but no more exact than turning a rod by hand as I wrap guides.  And the total cost was about 10 bucks.  Wrapping guides with whatever system you have is sort of tedious work but if you want a rod EXACTLY like you want it built, well...

Yeah, I'll probably go with something pretty simple, though I like the idea of a little thread station to help with tension and such.

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One decision to make is what kind of thread tensioner.  The ones that load the spools axially, spring on the end of the spool, sometimes don't give consistent tension because the spool label seems to interfere with them. The old Flexcoat tensioner that mounts vertically into a hole in the base and tensions the thread by pinching it after it comes off the spool has been my most successful tensioner.  Some argue it can damage thread, especially metallics, but I have never found that to happen.  It has been around for many years and still is available for about $9.

 

By the way, Flexcoat has a nice hand wrapper for $79 bucks if you want a shortcut to a nice wrapper.  I've never used a power wrapper for guides.  They would be handy for doing a very long wrap, like one to hold down abalone while the glue "ages," but I don't think they would add value for shorter wraps like guide wraps.

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Thread tensioner - throw the spool in a tea cup or small bowl, tension with a catalog or phone book.  Keep a single edge razor blade handy to trim treads and a short piece of thin braid handy to pull the loose thread back under the existing wraps.  There are several ways to fix guides to the blank before you wrap them.  I like to use elastic thread because it lets me do “final alignments” before or after I wrap the guide.

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Finally had some time to set something up. It's just a couple of upright supports and a thread carriage made of some scrap wood and felt I had. Still need to figure out a better system for the thread tension, but went ahead and knocked out my first couple of wraps ever. 

 

The blank is just a broken rod that someone gave me to practice with, and luckily there's a small tackle shop in town that had a few supplies so I was able to get some thread and epoxy to work with until I order the stuff I'll actually build my first rod with. zkwINa3.jpgo9K9Pnu.jpgZsTnZZp.jpg4ZIB1RZ.jpg

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One problem I did run in to while I was doing those wraps, is there a way to keep the rod from spinning backwards and causing the wrap to loosen? I feel like the tension front the thread is such that if I accidentally let go of the blank it spins away and undoes all the work. 

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I got a pack of girl's hair elastic bands, without the metal part, at the dollar tree store. Place it over the upright stands to secure the blank.

 

image.png.fa69d8347552aff1041ed70fcbfee2c1.png

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4 hours ago, bish0p said:

I got a pack of girl's hair elastic bands, without the metal part, at the dollar tree store. Place it over the upright stands to secure the blank.

 

image.png.fa69d8347552aff1041ed70fcbfee2c1.png

That simple huh? I tried a rubber band, but maybe the elastic, or not enough tension on the band, prevented it from being effective. 

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