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Dropped another tip into my varnish dip this evening. I think this makes four, all in all. I may have to give a demo on retrieving same.  (Steve Trauthwein)

    I've dropped the butt section - twice!   Now I keep a quart of mineral spirits handy for quick use.  (Carey Mitchell)

    It happens to the best (worst) of us.  I was dipping a butt section yesterday, and I figured out a new technique to prevent my dipping the cork into the varnish.  I took a latex glove and cut out the fingers and wrapped it around the grip very tightly.  Viola!  a completely sealed grip.  No more varnish on the cork.  Well my turner slipped a few turns, and dropped the cork into the varnish about 2".  No problem.  The latex has protected it against any contamination by the varnish.  NOT!  The damned varnish dissolved the latex.  What can you expect from a guy who has to find out the hard way.  (Ralph Moon)

      Varnish on the cork is one of my pet peeves. This is how I deal with it. I make the grip on a mandrel. Fit it to the rod. Place masking tape directly over the top of the grip and cut a hole where the winding check is placed or if no check is used trim right to  the cane. If you make the grip on the blank you will apply 6 strips of masking tape on the tip of the grip with each piece of tape (edge) place along the cane's flat and fold over the rest of tape onto the grip, trim excess. Wrap entire grip with masking tape leaving no gaps. Fix the winding check or wrap  and dip away. There is no way varnish can get on the grip. You can even submerge the top of the grip. When all done and dry just peel away the masking tape. You will have a perfect juncture between grip and varnish.   (Adam Vigil)

      Being that I don't use cork checks (except on higher end rods and at customers request), I like to use a bit of varnish at the beginning of the cork grip.  About 1/4 inch up.  I think it helps to seal the thread wrap and the cork to blank area.  Just an opinion.  However it must be even and look appropriate.  I wouldn't do it with a winding check.  (Randall Gregory)

        Man, those thread winding checks can be a real PITA.  If you are using a translucent wrap then your cork work has to be perfect underneath or it looks like crap.  I have found it can be real difficult to get a nice smooth transition from the rod to the cork for winding the thread.  One product that has made a real difference is the DAP "plastic wood" filler products, which have a natural color of the cork and blend in nicely.  They can be smoothed out with acetone and a Q-tip, and then sanded smooth with 2000, to fill in any cork mishaps and make a nice transition ramp for the thread to wrap over.  It helps to wind this one by hand with little tension, putting the rod up vertical and rotating it while sitting in a chair.  (Kyle Druey)

        Adam & Ralph, you have great ideas. I have been only going up to the hook tender wrap,  and then refinishing that in the turner to finish. The cork is now clean and the wrap looks good.  (Bob Maulucci)

        While I was not paying attention once, the pulleys above my sophisticated extraction motor jammed. The motor attached to the base of my poly tube began to slowly creep toward  the ceiling, until gravity took over and the entire tube turned upside down. One of the many things I try to forget.  (Taylor Hogan)

        I have a fairly simple but effective system with my dip tube which makes it fairly easy to judge the position of the varnish relative to the rod and get the level at the grip right.

        My tube is a 1 1/2 inch hard plastic  tube filled to the top with varnish. When I dip rods I take off the cap and slide over the top of the tube a 6" section of clear plastic tubing which has an interior diameter the same as the exterior diameter of the  dip tube. This tube is slid down about 1" on the dipping tube and is a tight fit. I use the slightly soft but thick flexible tubing which I think was a food grade tube.

        When the rod is lowered into the dip tube the varnish rises and moves into the clear tube section. this means it is possible to look from the side of the clear tube and see the exact position of the rod section relative to the varnish level. There is even a magnifying affect which enlarges the rod section and the varnish. It also helps in judging when to stop the rod at the guides. If the varnish level drops a little after a few sections I drop a marble into the tube to raise the varnish level back into the clear  tube section.

        I find this system works well. It gives a very good view of the rod and varnish and assists in ensuring the join point of the cork and rod is right. It also enables the varnish level to be kept right to the top of the tube and little or no air gap to harden the vanish in the tube. When I have finished dipping I remove the clear tube, clean it out well , and put the cap back on to the dipping tube after ensuring the level is up to the top of the tube.

        Just my way of doing it...worth what it costs which is a couple of dollars for the clear tubing.  (Ian Kearney)

      I've been using the fingers from gloves also. I cut a finger off and then punch a hole in the end with a real sharp hole punch. Then stretch it over the rod down to the winding check and over  the cork. Works great! I don't know what kind of gloves they are (they were given to me in an unmarked bag). They get a little wrinkled and stay sticky when the Helmsman gets on them, but they haven't dissolved, yet!  (David Dziadosz)

    I dropped a tip section into my tank once.   Down and out of sight, had to dump the tank to retrieve the tip. What  a process.  Then there was the time my tank tipped over in the house.  There's still varnish residue splashed up onto one wall, I should probably paint over that someday.

    It's tough to see when the winding check or cork nose is touching the varnish surface, because the grip is in the way, especially if the varnish level in the tank is down a ways.

    This may be a tip I picked up off this list, I can't remember, but if you tape a straight pin to the side of the grip, so that the little plastic ball of the pin is lined up with winding check or end of cork grip, then when you dip it down you can see the pin head break the tension of the varnish surface, and that indicates the stopping spot.  Sort of like a visual outrigger.  (Chris McDowell)

      I tape a splint of bamboo to the grip which acts like a "dip stick" to tell you when the varnish level has reached the check.  As you lower the rod section watch the reflection of the "dip stick" in the varnish surface. When  the reflection and the stick touch each other you are at the correct depth.  (Ted Knott)

      I've done it often enough that I know just how to bend a piece of electric fence wire to properly retrieve a tip section without "too" much trouble.

      To be perfectly honest, after laughing about Steve Trauthwein doing it, I did it this morning.  Put a tip section in the tube, walked away, started wrapping rods, set the timer  (which I forgot  to start) and when I remembered it, RAN to the varnish room just to see an empty hook at the ceiling.

      Just guessing, in 14 years of making and 8 years of restoring, that probably makes 20 or so sections I've dropped in the varnish tube.  No lesson here, just assurance that you will get better at getting them out!  (Bob Nunley)

      I use a dental mirror to check the varnish level against the winding check.  (Bob Williams)

        My tube is clear plastic so I just watch it come down to where I want it, stop it, change the switch over and start the motor in reverse.  That way you can see what's happening all the time.  Makes fishing them out easier too!!!!!  (Tim Watson)

    I tape paperclips to ferrules and then dip, I have only dropped one. If I keep the varnish up high enough I don’t have that problem.  (Dave Henney)

    I did the same thing last month.

    I ran down to my local hardware store and bought one of those "pickups" and fished the tip out on the second try.   It's one of those flexible metal spring-loaded claws thingies (yes, I'm sure that's the technical term)... I keep it on a little hanger next to my dip tank just in case.  (Eric Koehler)

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