Thomas & Thomas

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  1. tomfly's Avatar
    5-8-12
    Final entry
    I took the day off so I could complete the case. The flock came out better then I anticipated. I installed the hinges and latches. I polished the rod grip and glued the butt cap to the reel seat. It looks good. I can not believe I am finally finished. I have a ton of hours into the project I can not wait to fish with it. Here are some pics

    IMG_1882.jpg picture by tomfly1 - Photobucket

    IMG_1883.jpg picture by tomfly1 - Photobucket

    IMG_1884.jpg picture by tomfly1 - Photobucket

    IMG_1885.jpg picture by tomfly1 - Photobucket
  2. tomfly's Avatar
    5-7 12

    The Case is almost complete. Yesterday I flocked the bottom half of the case. I Had to do it twice. The first time I touched it and marred the surface. I had to scrap it off and start over. I found that a flour sifter works the best I also tried a cheese shaker it did not work that good. The flour sifter gave a more even application kind of like snow. Did the third dip of the grip it is looking good again. I also applied the flocking power on the top half early this morning it was much easer after trial and error on the bottom half. I should be able to install the hinges and latches by Wednesday evening. I think the rod is cursed. It seems to be the never ending Rod build. I should be finished by Friday if I do not have anymore setbacks. Getting up early before work everyday is killing me.
  3. tomfly's Avatar
    5-5-12

    I applied the 3rd coat of spar on the case today. I should be able to apply the flocking powder tomorrow. Had a setback with the rod handle somewhere along the line I scratched the finish. I sanded the scratch out with 1200 grit paper then I rubbed it with compound. The dull spot from sanding was not coming out. I must have sanded through the finish. I was pissed. I re-dipped it. The next day the grip looked really nice except for the dull spot that was there behind the finish. I was now extremely pissed. I sanded all the finish off the handle and re-dipped it. It is looking acceptable again. I did the second coat dip this morning. It should be ready to start rubbing tomorrow morning. I coated the mid section and two tips with the first coat of wax, I am happy with the way they came out. I can not do the butt section until the handle is dry.
  4. tomfly's Avatar
    5-2-12

    I have a good part of the rod case constructed. I did not think it would be so difficult. Kudos to furniture makers. The 2 main problems I was running into were trying to marry the top and bottom together to produce a seamless gap it is 40 inches long and the wood was not true. After 6 or 7 hours of sanding a little off here and there with a belt sander, I was able to get it quite close. The second problem I was having; making the rod mounts were a nightmare. The problem is trying to marry the two mounts together and drill a hole in the center of them. Many failed attempts. I the desired thing I was trying to accomplish was half the hole on one mount and half the hole on the other. Very difficult to do, after 8 to 10 attempts with disasters results I finally discovered a procedure to accomplish it. I clamped the two halves together and leveled them front to back and side to side and drilled them. There are not perfect but I am happy with them. I also clamped the top and bottom of the rod case together and belt sanded the two halves smooth the routed the top with a half round over bit followed by a roman ogee bit. It gave a finished dressing to the top of the case. I lightly sanded the entire case and mixed a paste that consisted of wood flower (from the dust bag of the belt sander) and spar varnish. I hand rubbed the paste onto the case. This is old trick to raise the grain of the wood. Let it dry for 24 hours and sanded off the residual paste. I then put the first coat of finish on the case. I did this with minimal tools that I had a cordless circular saw, a few clamps, a small belt sander, a cordless drill, a cordless palm sander and a router.

    I still have a little touch up work to do on the rod but I am confident the project will be ready for Shannon’s traditional angler day. I will post more pictures when complete.
    Updated 05-02-2012 at 09:22 PM by tomfly
  5. tomfly's Avatar
    4-15-12

    I spent most of the day Saturday assembling the wooden fly rod case. I am using Oak. Had a small set back on my rod. I had put the last and finish coat of spar on the thread. While I was outside gluing and clamping the case together, my wife decided to neaten up my fly tying / rod building section of the basement. Needless to say she moved my rod which was hanging and drying nicely and some how the rod was touched and marred the finish on the thread. Now I have to do more sanding.
    Updated 04-15-2012 at 12:37 PM by tomfly
  6. tomfly's Avatar
    4-2-12
    I haven’t been able to work on the rod for a while. My schedule has been crazy. I would have had only a few hours a week to work on the rod anyway I would not have gotten much accomplished. I worked all day on Saturday and part of the day on Sunday. I finally finished wrapping the thread. I think I made more bad redo wraps then good ones. I was getting a bit scared. My one spool of thread was getting thin. I was also able to apply the first coat of Spar on the thread. I cut the Spar by 66 percent & 33 percent with Mineral spirits did a test to see if it would dry. It worked fine. I used a thin artist paint brush to apply the thinned Spar. While spinning in the rod dryer. 1 more coat of thinned and 2 coats of full strength Spar and some butchers wax and the rod will be complete. I will probably start building the wooden case for the rod this week end. Will post picture after the Spar work is finished.
    Updated 05-07-2012 at 07:08 PM by tomfly
  7. golden beetle's Avatar
    We need more updates posted here!
  8. tomfly's Avatar
    I haven’t posted to my blog in a few days. I took a break over the holidays. I started to get a little burn out on the rod. I did some more wrap work on rod yesterday. I finished the butt section. Still need to wrap the tags on the tips. It is a lot of work. The small tag wraps are tough. They have come unraveled numerous times. I am getting close to finishing the thread work.
    Updated 03-25-2012 at 03:10 PM by tomfly
  9. Ronbo's Avatar
    Tom,
    I don't dip my wood in tung oil. I use minwax tung oil finish.
    The reason you sanded thru the finish is tung oil is very soft and takes forever to dry.
    I wipe on the minwax finish wait an hour and buff. I repeat this 3 or four times. you will get a nice hard glossy finish.
    You can add more to gain an even higher gloss. I do not sand only buff. after that it's straight to the varnish. give it a coat wait 48 hours and hit it lightly with 0000 steel wool repeat 3 times. let dry 72 hours and buff with very fine3m auto body abrasive. then do final buff with the butchers wax. Should look like that baby grand by then. I'll try to post a pic for you to see an amboyna burl reelseat I just did.
    Post some pics of those wraps you did I'm dying to see them.
    Ron
  10. tomfly's Avatar
    12-27-11

    Well, back to square one. While lightly wet sanding the grip, I only sanded for a few seconds and still managed to sand through the finish. So I had to dip it again. The problem is I cannot compromise on it. It is black and shows every little blemish in the finish. There are only two outcomes. There is no in-between with this finish.

    I have all of the guides set and wrapped. I still have to do most of the tag work on the guides. It is close to being complete. I still need to buy some spar varnish and some pure turpentine. From what I have read it has to be artist grade turpentine. I have to dilute the spar. The turpentine can have no additives or it will not dry properly.
    Updated 03-25-2012 at 03:09 PM by tomfly
  11. tomfly's Avatar
    12-23-11
    Merry Christmas to all my friends and their families on NEFF.

    I believe that I have resolved the issue of dust and fuzz sticking to the wet Tung oil on the grip. After weeks of attempting to get a clean finish I have came up with a solution. The first thing I need to accomplish is a dust free environment. I took an empty 5 gallon joint compound bucket and cleaned the bucket thoroughly. I cut a 3 inch diameter hole in the lid of the bucket and tack clothed the entire inside of the bucket. I cut a dowel to span the hole. I decided to forgo wiping on the Tung oil. I Made a dip tube out of a paper towel cardboard tube. I duct taped one end shut, filled the tube with the Tung oil I dipped the grip in the tube and hung it inside the bucket. I did 3 dips allowing the grip to dry 24 hours between dips. It is starting to look good. I am now going to wait 48 to 72 hours. I will begin to wet sand with 1000 and 1200 grit paper and a finally with rubbing compound and Butchers wax. Hopefully this will give that nice Black luster of a Baby Grand Piano, I have my fingers crossed.

    I would also like to thank Ronbo for critiquing my wraps that I have done so far on the Rod. Ron has been a big help throughout this project. I do have the mid-section complete. One tip is fairly complete. The last guide on the top of the tip is so small and the tip so narrow you need a child’s hands to do it. Just getting the guide taped to the rod in the right location was a challenging task. I still have a second tip top complete. It is probably going to be more difficult then the first because I have to mirror the wraps.

    I have not decided what I am going to do for the rod case as of yet. I do know this, I do not want a Tube and Sock. I believe that a Bamboo Rod is too elegant and classic to drop in a tube. I think I am going to build a case out of wood. I am not inspired as of yet. I would like the case to have a vintage look.
    Updated 03-25-2012 at 03:04 PM by tomfly
  12. tomfly's Avatar
    12-19-11

    Wrapping is not all it cut up to be. For me it has been a comedy of errors. I am sure that the rod builders on the site would love to be a fly on the wall watching this debacle. The thread breaks. I hit the thread with the razor. I forget to cut the thread starter tail. I put the pull loop in the wrong way. I finish a wrap and admire my work and 2 seconds later it unravels. I wish I had stock in the thread company. With each mistake I learn a little more. It is very time intensive. I know when I start to get frustrated; I need to walk away from it. This an art form that I have a long way to go before I am even an amateur.
  13. tomfly's Avatar
    12-14-11 Amended


    I was wrong it was not my inept wrapping abilities. I fixed the tensioning issue and the wrapping became much easier. I also learned that a popsicle stick is a good tool for keeping the thread tight. I was able complete a ferrule. I am happy with the way it came out. Will do more tomorrow evening.


    IMG_1774.jpg picture by tomfly1 - Photobucket
    Updated 03-25-2012 at 02:54 PM by tomfly
  14. tomfly's Avatar
    12-14-11

    Wrapping thread on a rod is more difficult then it appears. I read some articles and watched more then a few videos on YouTube. I thought it looked some what straight forward. I should have known videos can be deceiving. I found that if the tension is not set just right. If the angle of the thread in relation to the point of contact of the rod is not correct, the wrap will not track right. I was getting mildly frustrated. I am having trouble starting the thread Yea wrap it over it’s self. That is easer said then done. I know it is an easy concept but try to keep the thread straight and on the point of the rod that you want to start it. Not easy. On top of it my eyes suck so I have to wrap through my fly tying magnifier which I hate to use even while tying flies.

    My wrapper that I built seems to work properly. I think my problems are due to lack of experience rather the operational functionality of the wrapper. The one problem that I did observe is that the tensioner does not stay set. The problem is I decided to go with a post and spring design for thread tensioning system ( carrage bolt attached to the base of the wrapper, Washer, thread spool, washer, spring, washer , wingnut. What is happening is when the spool turns, everything turns with it including the wingnut, I found this out when the thread broke. I should be able to solve this issue vary easily. About as my less then pristine wrapping abilities the jury is still out on that.
    Updated 12-14-2011 at 03:19 PM by tomfly
  15. tomfly's Avatar
    12-9-11
    I added 2 more coats of tung oil to the grip. I am getting pissed every little piece of dust and fuzz wants to stick to it. I ordered a rod dryer of eBay today for $24.00. It should work well. It only spins at 9RPM. I do not think I could have purchased the parts and built one cheaper. I was going to try to find an old microwave and use the turntable motor. For 24 bucks I will be a head of the game. I will probably start practicing wrapping this weekend. I will probably F@@@ up a lot have never wrapped a rod before. I have not even tested my wrapper yet. I am confident it will perform.

    I am going to try to attempt a wrap job that I do not think has been tried before. I have 2 thread colors
    YLI Silk Sparkle 202-OM-S38 Dark Grey/Silver and YLI 100 wt silk thread Black
    What I am going to attempt is to alternate the color so each segment on the hex is different. I have an idea on how I am going to accomplish this but won’t know until I try it. I don’t know how it will even look. It may come out looking goofy and I defiantly do not want that. If it comes out like I think it should. It will certainly be unique.
    Updated 12-10-2011 at 12:31 AM by tomfly
  16. tomfly's Avatar
    Thanks Pete. Neve thought about Gun Drill Bits. I will keep it in mind if I make a grip again.I probably will in the future, I have a few more ideas I would like to try on my next project.
    Updated 12-10-2011 at 12:30 AM by tomfly
  17. Pete's Avatar
    Did you consider a Gun Drill for the deep hole?
    Gun drill - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I don't know much about it, but coolant and chip removal, appear important.
    Might not be practical at home....
  18. tomfly's Avatar
    12-7-11

    I haven’t posted in a while but I have still been working on the rod.

    I finished the turning the handle last week. I am very pleased with the outcome. I sanded in increments 50, 80, 120 150, 220 and 600 grit sand papers and 000 steel wool. The next hurdle I had to climb was drilling the whole for the rod. I was not sure how to attempt it. The problem was the handle is round and tapered. I read on line do not drill it in the lathe. It leads to cracking. The first one cracked while sanding. Do not want to turn another one. I had to think on how I was going to attempt it. I brainstormed for a few days. The problem I was facing; how do I make it plumb and level for drilling. I had a eureka moment while watching the Giant Green Bay Game. (The Giants almost pulled that one out.) This is what came up with.

    Last evening, I un-mounted my vice from my work bench. I placed a board on the bench extending the board 2 feet past the end of bench. I put the vice on top of the board and clamped the board and the vice to the bench. I placed a level on the board. Leveled it, and cut a leg for the end of the board to prop it up. I rapped the rod handle with nylon cord and duck tape to protect it from the vice jaws. I place the handle in the vice with the reel seat facing down and touching the board. I scribed the reel seat on the board. I then drilled a hole in the board the same diameter as the reel seat. I placed the handle back into the vice allowing the reel seat to set into the whole in the board. I used a hammer to tap the board in and out to plumb the handle front to back. I moved the handle right and left in the vice jaws to plumb the handle side to side. It worked I was able to maintain the handle true and plumb in the vice. This technique aloud me to drill a 6 inch whole straight in the handle. I then placed the handle into the rod to measure how much I had to cut off the end of the rod, it came to 3 inches. I then tested the handle in the rod. It fits very snug and the rod sits perfectly straight. I am happy that the handle is finely complete.

    When I got home this evening I wet sanded the handle with 1200 grit paper. Instead of using water I used tung oil to wet sand. I read that doing it this way will fill any tiny pores in the ebony. I let it set for 5 minuets and wiped off the excess. A few more coats and the finish work will be done. I can finally start wrapping the rod with thread. I will probably practice on an old mini blind handle first, it is a hex shape.
  19. tomfly's Avatar
    11-21-11

    I had a greatest time at the INFTS on Saturday. Some of the stuff I was no impressed with. These plastic body realistic flies do not impress me. (I like fur and feathers) And there was stuff that blew me away truly artistic. Some of the salmon flies and streamers WOW they are unbelievable. I was impressed with a technique of extending bodies on Dries using a feather rather then a using a piece of Mono. (Mark Wayne) See you can teach an old dog new tricks. I was fortunate to be able to spend time talking with Bob Clouser. He forgot more about fly fishing then I know. He is a nice guy.

    Re did the lathe on Sunday I installed a lower RPM motor I got for free works way better. No belts and pulleys now it is direct drive @ 3400 RPM. The slower RPM should help with the heat problem.
    I worked on the new piece of ebony this evening. It took about an hour to center the stock. And I turned it for another hour. I took it down from a 1 7/8 to about a 1 1/4;. I also laid out the reel seat and the tapers in the handle. It should be done by Friday.
    Updated 11-22-2011 at 01:10 PM by tomfly
  20. tomfly's Avatar
    11-15-11

    I was worried about the heat on the Ebony. My concerns were justified. The reel seat cracked last night while sanding. I heard a pop. I did not have to look I knew exactly what had happened, $30.00 down the tube. I ordered a new piece today. I hope my luck changes. The next one I will not sand on the lathe. I will take my time and sand it by hand.
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