<![CDATA[ - Blog]]>Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:14:14 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Low Activity]]>Thu, 16 Apr 2015 01:13:00 GMThttp://canadiancane.com/blog/low-activityI have been slow to blog for a few reasons, due to the cold weather I had a car in my shop which really cramps my style. Also planning CC 2015 with Jorge has been a priority. I have also been posting some video content on my YouTube channel, please check it out

Canebuilder is the channel name on YouTube. Fear not, the blog is alive only a bit sleepy this Spring.

<![CDATA[Glue, glorious glue..................]]>Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:28:17 GMThttp://canadiancane.com/blog/glue-glorious-glueSo the last can of URAC185 is dead and it's back to Nelson Paint for some UniBond800. By all accounts it's the same stuff, mix it the same way and have it. I mix 50 grams of resin for three sections of trout rods. I get plenty of open time and the glue sets up well. I have a look at the sections after an hour and some careful straightening can really save time later.

This family of glues have a long successful history in rodmaking so why change?

<![CDATA[Another year, another tool.............]]>Sun, 04 Jan 2015 19:18:25 GMThttp://canadiancane.com/blog/another-year-another-toolWell all the best to you all and thanks for reading the blog. One of the crazy things about blogging is you have no idea who is actually reading the stuff. I had a few new builders reach out to me last year and I helped them make their first rod. Hopefully there will be more in 2015 as we all work hard to keep the craft alive.

Most of you know that we will host another Canadian Cane this Spring and we sure hope you can join us. The key for us is to have plenty of the old guard and a good dose of repeat guests from recent years and of course a handful of new guys and gals. I don't think we do a great job of thanking everyone who comes but rest assured your attendance is VERY much appreciated.

The event is run by volunteers, we have a tight budget but we always manage to please most everyone, most of the time. So if you are fence sitting, remember, it's only every two years, it's the only one in Eastern Canada and sadly many early attendees are no longer with us so as the years pass by the chance to see old friends diminishes and well, that just ain't right. Set aside the time, forget the excuses, are you really that busy?

<![CDATA[When, what to my wondering eyes should appear?]]>Thu, 11 Dec 2014 16:59:53 GMThttp://canadiancane.com/blog/when-what-to-wondering-eyes-should-appearNo, it wasn't eight tiny reindeer, it was snow, and lots of it! For those of you that don't get this stuff this picture was taken from an open door in the shop today and yesterday we had not one flake of snow anywhere to be seen. I'm not complaining but this does mess up the roads and causes quite a few accidents. I promised my wife I would pick up two things today so on go the boots and the hunt for the snow shovels. It is still coming down, looks like a white Christmas here in Maple. Once again I thank Northern Tool for my shop furnace...................

<![CDATA[The lowly and majestic cabinet scraper...........]]>Wed, 10 Dec 2014 21:32:07 GMThttp://canadiancane.com/blog/the-lowly-and-majestic-cabinet-scraperThis may be the lowest tech tool in any makers arsenal. It doesn't plug in, it possesses no real features other than it is steel. Heck, it may not even come in a package and the cost is around 5-10 dollars. They come from Sweden or Japan or North America, there are a few branded ones but in the end they are a rectangle of flexible steel. A good one will last three lifetimes, pretty good value.

What can I use it for? How does it work? Well a cabinet scraper is essentially a sharpened blade just like a plane or a chisel. It removes a very fine shaving and offers a real tactile feel to the user. You can remove your enamel with a scraper, you can remove glue after binding, it can be used to check strips and see if a mark is a worm hole or just a surface imperfection. Even working with nodes it gives you a safe way to scrape things without digging into the material.

Like any type of blade it needs to prepped, the mill marks removed, the surface flat then sharpened for use and ultimately burnished to create the burr. Treat them carefully as they are a blade, this tool often gets chucked around and will get chips and dings so protect the blade when not in use. There is plenty of information regarding sharpening scrapers  and it may seem confusing but learn to use and sharpen the lowly scraper. You won't be disappointed.

<![CDATA[What are you?]]>Wed, 03 Dec 2014 02:28:09 GMThttp://canadiancane.com/blog/what-are-youA man who works with his hands is a laborer. A man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman, but  a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.]]><![CDATA[Measure twice, cut twice.............]]>Sat, 15 Nov 2014 16:16:20 GMThttp://canadiancane.com/blog/measure-twice-cut-twiceNo it's not a typo on the old adage but consider setting your forms twice, or more! When setting my planing forms I routinely set them for .020" larger than the final dimension. This takes the pressure off the bulk of the planing ritual as you don't have to be too careful, just get close to where you need to be. This also allows the strips to sit lower in the forms  giving you more purchase on the bamboo. I typically look for a .004-.005 shaving in this phase with a blade that is super sharp, or should I say sharp since sharp is sharp and dull is not. Being oversize you can massage any nodes that are not flat or fix any other foibles in the strip.

Once all the strips are close give them a good visual "once over" and reset the form to target dimension. Now all the strips are sitting properly in the form with plenty of purchase and you can get to your final dimension. On these strips I look for a shaving in the .002" range. If any nodes are acting up and you know your blade is sharp then plane them in the opposite direction, that will eliminate the chinking in the node. A standard sheet of paper you use in your printer is about .004" so use that as a guideline for shaving thickness.

If you have a sharp blade and you run your finger over the strip and across the pith side of the node you should not feel the node. If you do then you will most likely get visible glue lines like I did in my early rods due to a dull blade or a node not sitting properly in the form.

Strip preparation is the key to good strips, if the strip is not flat on the enamel side you will not get the results you want, spend the time on the raw strip, that is the foundation of the rod, good foundation good rod, bad foundation......................well, you get it.

<![CDATA[Why I hate sandpaper and a tip....................]]>Sun, 09 Nov 2014 02:32:50 GMThttp://canadiancane.com/blog/why-i-hate-sandpaper-and-a-tipNobody wants to be a hater but sandpaper makes dust and dust is bad. Dust makes a mess and can be very irritating to your lungs and your health. The  other problem with sandpaper on wood or bamboo is it works by ripping the fibers of the wood. MMMmmm, that can't be good. I try not to use sandpaper if there is a viable alternative. I use a hand held cabinet scraper to remove the enamel. I do this after the sections have been bevelled. I do need to use sandpaper to remove the glue residue from the Urac or Unibond type glue. It works well, I now use 180 grit. I found the paper was loading up very quickly and I had to change it nearly every strip. This gets expensive after a while so decided to try some 3M "No load" paper. I used a sheet of 3M 180 Garnet paper for half the strips then switched to 3M "No Load" 180, the difference was dramatic. Since the paper wasn't loading up with the glue residue it was able to "cut" much longer, probably about three times longer. The garnet paper was $0.90 cents a sheet and the no load paper was $1.40.  The no load paper was 50% more expensive but lasts three time longer so the value is there plus less aggravation and time saved swapping out dead paper. Not a world changing event but another case of finding a better tool for the job.

Lastly, once the rod is cleaned up and the glue residue is gone I sand it out ending with 400 grit for a smoother surface before varnishing.

Here is a link for those that are interested:


<![CDATA[Don't take these thingsĀ for granted................]]>Fri, 07 Nov 2014 04:19:27 GMThttp://canadiancane.com/blog/dont-take-these-thingsfor-grantedI am pretty sure no one is getting rich making ferrules for bamboo rods. Bailey Woods and his son-in-law Steve are making high quality ferrules for us at their company Classic Sporting Enterprises as well as a few other rod specialty suppliers. We are so fortunate to have these guys making a simple looking rod part but a precision union none the less.

There are two well known styles of ferrules, one being a "Super Swiss" style and the other known as a "Step Down" style. Many people feel that the Super Swiss is a stronger system as less cane is removed and while this may be true, Payne and Leonard used step down style ferrules and did not have rods breaking so the truth is that both systems work well.

Each style offers a totally different visual aesthetic so study rods you like and see what ferrule was used if you are looking to replicate a rod. To me a Payne 98 taper made with Super Swiss ferrules looks like a man with a bad toupee, not good. The Super Swiss ferrules do come in a truncated (shorter) configuration and they look very nice and a good option for small rods or three piece rods.

Whichever style you choose don't take these small manufacturers for granted, nothing is forever.

<![CDATA[Free Lessons?]]>Thu, 06 Nov 2014 01:11:00 GMThttp://canadiancane.com/blog/free-lessonsI just started with a new student and we build a rod together, the student does everything, I just offer advice and then act as a fast forward button to keep things moving. This way the student does every aspect of the build him/herself and learns every technique. In the end the student leaves with a rod. My latest sudent told me he feels that the lessons are free as he gets a rod to fish. I know there are a few people that can learn to build on their own but I still believe that a class or a one on one format really accelerates the process. So if you are fence sitting or stuck as it relates to starting your first rod consider taking a class. There are plenty of great instructors across North America, let us know where you live and we will be happy to make some recommendations.]]>