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Cane Prep - Staggering - Alternating Strips

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It would seem that in addition to staggering nodes alternating the strips tip to butt would produce a better result. 

The strength in laminated boards is due to alternating grains which prevents warping and sagging (SETS!).  Shelving that is made of non-laminated wood sags pretty quickly.

Alternating the direction of the grain in the strips would seem to produce similar results.   Or should  have I been doing that all along?  (Lee Orr)

    I think one of the other members of the list does this.  Darryl Hayashida, I think.  This also means you can use a 3x3 stager without staggering.   I'm not sure how the strips would plane though.    Would lift  and tear be a problem going from tip to butt?  (Terry Kirkpatrick)

      I have done this several times when making 1 piece rods. I haven't noticed any extra problems with lifting and tearing. (Timothy Troester)

    If you use a 3x3, this works very well. Find a center point and make your cuts on both ends. If you lose a strip in beveling or planing, you can flip the spares either way to get another strip. Jeff Schaeffer showed me this, and I think it is a great method. I have not used it more than a few times, but the rods came out just fine.  (Bob Maulucci)


I was planing the tip section of a 7' 4 weight and made the error of planing from the wrong end on the first strip. Then I thought what about doing 3 reverse (tip to butt) and 3 the right side (butt to tip)... what would that do to the tip?  (Mike Lajoie)

    As mistakes go, that's not a biggie.  It would probably change the node staggering, but not much else.

    I made that same mistake myself on one rod and went ahead and finished it.  I couldn't tell you which rod that is now.  Some makers do it intentionally to get a 3x3 stagger.  They cut all 6 strips   at  the  same  location,  and  then  flip  half  of  them end-for-end. (Robert Cristant)

    Can't you just reverse all the strips? Sounds like that would be the easiest solution to the problem.  (Todd Talsma)

    Finished planing and gluing the strips last night . Reversed 3 of them. (6,4,2) Unwrapped and removed excess glue this morning and it looks fine. Stiff, maybe stiffer than the other that I compared with. Or maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part. But it's OK!

    The spacing of the nodes are just fine also.  (Mike Lajoie)

    I personally think it will make it stronger or exactly the same as all in the same direction. When you laminate boards for shelves you flip the grains for strength.

    I split out six strips for a tip on a six footer last weekend and when I cut the first one to length I noticed that the remaining cane was about 1/2" longer than the strip I'd cut to length so instead of using all six strips I just flipped the waste sections around and had a perfect 3/3 node staggering  and only had to use 3 strips!  (Phil Smith)

      I did a reverse of 6, 4 and 2 strips and it came out just fine. Just cast it 30 minutes ago and it seems a bit stiffer than the usual set up. Think I'll make them that way from now on.  (Mike Lajoie)


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