Today I continued my pursuit of hand building my first bamboo fly rod! My husband, Dave, has been building for years, so I am fortunate to have an excellent mentor. If your’re curious about building a bamboo rod check out his website. My goal is to post a blog every day I work on the rod. My goal is to have the rod complete by Christmas – we will see how that goes. I hope you join in to follow my progress and learnings.
Today – I spent about 6 hours in the shop taking my bamboo rod from the initial rough splits to rough triangle splits – ready to start planing!
My first step was to heat treat the rough splits about 9 per bamboo culm. This takes much of the moisture out of the rod and stiffens the bamboo. The heat treated bamboo made it easier for me to split the bamboo into sections small enough to rough plane. There were 2 steps to split each culm into 18 pieces.
At this point I selected 8 pieces of each culm that had an even heat treat and good width for the beveling step. You may wonder why eight pieces. Eventually I will use 6 pieces to form each section of the bamboo (tip and butt section) – choosing 8 pieces allows me to 1) pick the best six split pieces for the final rod and 2) yes, allow a mis-step in subsequent steps:).
With my selected 8 strips from each culm,
With the rough sanding done – I moved to the beveller. I fed each strip through the beveller to get the rough tri-angler shape. I have to say running the beveller step was a hoot!
A good stopping point for the day. The rough beveled strips patiently waiting for the next step!