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When I visited Winston a few years ago they were in the process of gluing up strips. The glue they used was water based and smelled and looked just like Elmer’s white glue. Glen told me it was similar.

The last rod I recently glued up I used Titebond Extend water based glue. I was very impressed with it. I didn't have to wear any gloves and it was very easy to work with. It seems to hold better than my usual Urac. Time will tell.  (Marty DeSapio)

    I am looking into Dap Weldwood Plastic Resin. I know several guys who have used it with good results. I believe it may be the stuff Glenn uses, Joe Byrd could shed some light on this.

    I like the Borden URAC equivalent, but the shelf life is short. I have built a ton of rods since getting the Borden, and I have to throw out half a quart.  (Bob Maulucci)


I use Titebond glue and bind my rods by hand.  On my last rod, I measured the individual strips and then the assembled blank and I found the glued blank larger than I had anticipated. Apparently the glue added up to .008 to the final diameter.  I suspect a binder might squeeze more glue from the joint than I am getting with my fingers?  I don't see any glue lines (well hardly any if I remove my glasses).    Also I use a caliper without a V block which may be allowing the edges of the individual strip to be crushed which would give me "undersize" strip measurements?

I would appreciate any comments or experience the list members have had with "growing" blanks.  How much growth would I expect if I used a Garrison binder and a caliper V block?  How thick should a glue film be?  (Bob McElvain)

    About the glue lines.  Do you knock off the apex on the inner angle on the pith side?  if not this will help you with  glue lines.  I always set my forms for the exact setting of the finished rod and DO NOT take off the enamel before gluing and I usually end up real close if not right on the mark after gluing.  Do you zero your dial indicator on a flat surface or are you using one of Golden Witch's dial indicator blocks?  Before I bought one of these and set it up that way I was always off by about .006-.008 on every rod.  You CANNOT get an accurate measurement on your forms with zeroing on a flat surface. (Bret Reiter)

      I don't have a glue line problem.  My problem is the finished diameter of the blank across the flats is up to .008 oversize.  I rough set the form with a depth indicator that has been zeroed using the caliper technique outlined on this list some time time ago, I then fine tune the form after measuring the first strip with a caliper to give me the proper dimension in the finished strip.  I take the enamel off during planning, you take it off after gluing.  This may the +.004 I have looking for.  What you are saying is the glue thickness equals the enamel thickness?  This maybe it.  (Bob McElvain)

    Since I started using Epon I found the same thing.  I was usually .004 over size. I deduct .002 when setting up  my forms. Now I fall in limits on the glued up blank. The enamel is removed before the final planing is complete.  (Tony Spezio)

    The first thing I'd do is to check and see if your dial calipers are correct. You can check them against your drill bits as the bits are going to be right on the money. Another important thing you can do is to tape the blank together using masking tape (I learned from Al Medved). Tape the blank right where you want to measure and then put a second piece of tape about a 1/2 inch away from the first piece of tape. Be sure to make the tape job very snug. Then go ahead and measure the blank. After glue up, remeasure the blank and you'll be able to deduct one from the other and you'll know exactly what the glue took up. I haven't used Titebond glue, but that sound like an excessive amount of glue and you could possibly have a problem other then the glue. By measuring before and after glue up with an accurate calipers, you'll know for sure.  (Jim Bureau)

    I did some measurements, and for me, my dial calipers crush the apex by about 0.001.

    The problem with the V-block is that it requires your angles to be dead-on 60 degrees, or your measurements will be worse than without it.  I just allow for 0.001 per strip.

    I don't know how thick a typical glue line is (good question), but in my rods the problem with growing blanks can be traced back to maintaining near perfect angles.  If your strips are not 60 degrees, your blank will grow.  (Frank Stetzer, Hexrod, Taper Archive, Rodmakers Archive)


Does anyone have any info on the ability to heat straighten a glued up blank with Titebond II extend???  (Mark Bolan)

    I talked to a Tech at the company. She said that heat only hurts the glue if it is exposed to the glue for an extended period (24 hours). The length of time needed for heat straightening does not hurt the bond. I experimented by edge gluing 1/2x pine . I then used the heat gun and cooked the glue joint until it was charred real good. I cannot break the bond.  There is an 800 number on the tube of glue if you would like to talk to someone yourself.  (Marty DeSapio)

    I saw John Long the other night and among other things we talked about was glue.  He said he used Titebond II extend once and it failed so he won't use it.

    By the way, he was very gracious about rod #4 of mine.  (Neil Savage)


I've been looking at some posts about glues.  Just a couple of curious questions.  What's the general view about using Titebond II for gluing blanks?  The reason I ask is that I have some TB II and was thinking about gluing up a blank with it.  Also, what is the difference between TB II and TB II Extend?  (Todd Talsma)

    I have been using Titebond II extend on all my rods (3), so far, no problems. Even though it says extend, and you are supposed to have longer work time, I find that it sets up quickly, at least on the outside surfaces. I was concerned about heat for the straightening process but have used an alcohol lamp and have not had any problems with that either. Post glue up removal is difficult if you do not run a damp (not wet) paper towel over them a few times after glue up.  (Bill Bixler)

      I am also very happy with Titebond II extend.  I don't think the glue sets up (dries) nearly as fast between the strips as it does exposed to air on the outside and on my hands. (Bob McElvain)

    I used Titebond II to glue up a one piece rod two years ago.  I have not had any problems yet.  I still use the Borden product from Golden Witch for most of my rods.  (Scott Grady)

    I use Titebond II Extend all the time.  As I understand it the Extend has an open time of about 15 minutes.  Titebond II has an open time of about 5 to 7 minutes.  I do know of successful rodmakers who used to use Titebond II with no problems, but I have never tried it.  If you bind quickly you should have no problems.

    I believe the only difference  between II and  Extend is  the pot life and curing time.  Both are excellent glues, while the Extend will give you considerably more time to straighten your section after binding.  (Hal Manas)

    The only downside of these glues is that they are not particularly tolerant of high temps, so when you heat straighten after the glue is cured, you need to be extremely careful or you will get some delaminating.  When the cured glue gets hot, it seems to expand, creating visible glue joints.  When it cools it is as strong as before, but you will be left with those little, telltale gaps.  (Ask me how I know.)

    If it weren't for that annoying wrinkle, I would never use anything else. Other glues may be stronger (depending, perhaps, on how that term gets defined), but as I am still regularly using two rods made back in the mid-seventies with Elmer's "Carpenter" glue (same stuff as Titebond), I do not believe there need be any concerns about its strength.  (Bill Harms)

    TB II Extend is suppose to be slower to setup than TB II.  The extend sets up so fast when exposed to air to be scary, but I think the glue inside the blank sets up much slower.  I have noticed after hanging up a butt section where I planed the internal apex that glue was still liquid and running out, by then the glue on the outside and on my hands was completely dry.  By the time I get the second/counter wrap on the outside done the glue on the outside is dry.

    I measured the last blank before and after gluing and I feel the TB II adds about .006/.008 to a dimension across the flats.  This is comparable to the thickness of the enamel, so those who remove the enamel after gluing are right on.  Those of us who remove the enamel during  strip prep have to compensate for this.  A big bottle of TB II Extend is so cheap I wouldn't risk using the other.  Use the TB II for gluing cork rings, works great.  (Bob McElvain)

      When I visited the Winston Bamboo shop a few years ago they were in the process of gluing up splines. They had a kind of assembly line going. One apprentice would glue the strips with what looked and smelled like Elmer’s glue (Bracket said it was similar) he would then place a damp cloth over the glued splines to keep it from drying  while waiting for the other apprentice to wrap it on the wooden binder. After it was bound Glen would take any twists out and straighten and hang it in a closet with a weight attached to the bottom.

      Glen and the apprentices used this type of glue because it's a strong glue WITHOUT carrying the toxic baggage of URAC,  Epon, etc.  (Marty DeSapio)

    I have never used regular TB II on blanks. The difference between the two is that the Extend gives you more open time and the color of the glue is nicer. I have never had a problem with the Extend for gluing up splines. John Zimny thinks I'm nuts for using it though.  (Marty DeSapio)

      Winston  uses a  very similar  glue to Titebond  II.   They  use  an "acid-catalyzed " PVA. The user adds a few drops of a mild acid to kick the glue. It's final polymerization rate is similar to that of URAC. It has two drawbacks. It is difficult to obtain and it has a short (shorter than URAC) shelf life. Having used it myself (from two different manufacturers), I can say that is an outstanding product. And, addition, very nontoxic.  (John Zimny)

      PS. I don't think Marty is crazy.

    I've used Titebond II off and on for about seven years. The only reason I used anything different was to try out the different types of glues. I glued rod No. 3 with Titebond II and my father owns that rod. I made it in 1995, no problems at all. Rod No. 5 was glued with Titebond II, and that is the rod I use the most, a Sir D taper. The rest of the rods get lost in a haze of faulty remembrance on what type of glue I used, except for the run of eight one piece five foot blanks I made last year. I used Titebond II Extend on those. Titebond II Extend did give longer working time compared to regular Titebond II, but no where near the hour or so of working time I get with polyurethane glue. If you use regular Titebond II make sure you have everything set up and ready to go. Titebond II tacks up so quickly you don't have time to fiddle with binder string, or take your time straightening. Once you spread the glue on you got to move! Titebond II Extend will give you a little breathing space, but still don't dawdle around. You get about 20 minutes before it tacks up to the point where you can't do anything else with it. Some guys have mentioned they get delaminations when they try to straighten after glue up. I've never had that happen to me, could be they don't let it cure long enough, or they use a lot more heat than I do.

    Why use Titebond II? It's readily available,  no mixing, nontoxic, cleans up with water or a damp rag. No need to use latex gloves, it just washes off with soap and water.

    I have used Epon, a friend of mine gave me a sample, and it's an excellent glue for bamboo rods. At the time I started making rods only a business could order it and it came in quarts. Luckily it has a long shelf life, but it was the availability that nixed it for me. Same thing for Nyatex - couldn't get it very easily.

    I have also used slow setting epoxy I bought at a Crafts store, and it worked okay also. They sold it in varying set times from 5 minutes to 2 hours. I used the 2 hour set time. It was rather nice to be able to take my time and relax as I glued up  a blank. I've lost track of the rod I made with this glue, so I don't know how it has stood up. Nobody has come back to me about it, so I'm assuming it's still okay. This stuff is probably just some other brand of epoxy repackaged. Might even be Epon. It sure looks and smells the same.

    The only glue failure on a rod I've had is with URAC 185, so I don't use it at all. Could have been an expired batch. I should give it a try again.

    I did test the Liquid Hide Glue that comes in a squeeze bottle on a couple strips. It didn't hold them together at all, so I would skip using this glue.

    I've heard of someone using Elmer's white glue and not having any problems.

    If I wanted to use the absolute best glue for bamboo rodmaking and toxic fumes, mixing, appearance, short working time didn't matter to me, then I would use resorcinol. The biggest drawback of resorcinol is the purple color, but everything else makes it one of the best, if not the best glue for bamboo rodmaking .

    Being able to use such a range of varying glues with no problems says to me that most of the glues we use  are overkill. I've never seen any figures on how much shear strength is needed to hold a rod together, but apparently all these glues have more than enough strength (other than the Liquid Hide glue).  (Darryl Hayashida)

      I used Elmer’s Exterior Carpenters glue on my first 12 rods. As far as I know there has been no problems. My Rod # 1, a "Sir D" is now going on four years and had taken over 200 fish and it is still in great shape. I had no big problem in doing some minor straightening as I dried the sticks in some jigs I made and they came out relatively straight. Used very little heat.

      I now use Epon and use MD's fixtures for heat setting the sticks to get straight sections.  To be honest with you, I would rather use the Elmer’s. One reason for changing is it is "not really the glue to use". I would get raised eyebrows when I mentioned Elmer’s.  I have repaired several bamboo rods with the white glue way back when.  (Tony Spezio)

      I’ve used Titebond II and what you all are writing about the glue sounds reasonable.  But I would never use this glue on nodeless rod. Or - do not straighten the section!  (Peter Pavel)


This weekend I'm starting on my first rod in 8 years. Most likely it'll be a nodeless 8', 3 piece, 5-6 wt.  Either a Cattanach or Dickerson taper, not sure which just yet.  I'm considering using Titebond II Extend for this rod.  I've searched the archive looking for references to Titebond and found quite a bit.  Overall it got a favorable report, other than the occasional horror story ("delaminated on the first cast, don't use it", etc.).  The only complaints dealt with the fast setup of the original Titebond II, and the lack of heat resistance which required lower heats during straightening.

What's the current thinking on this glue?    (Bill Benham)

    The last nodeless rod I built with Titebond II delaminated at a splice on the first use.  I think this was due to me applying too much heat during straightening.  Unfortunately, the problem didn't show itself until the rod was assembled and finished.  I assumed  I   had  done   enough  QA/QC    on   the    splices post-straightening, but I hadn't.

    I've switched over to Titebond II Extend with 40 +/- nodeless strips waiting for straightening.  (this darn day job keeps getting in the way!)  No results yet on the resistance to heat.  The Extend formulation does have a bit longer working time.  I'm careful to make sure the ambient temperature in my shop/garage is above the minimum  recommended temp  (60 degrees F, I think).   I'll straighten using a lower temp setting on my heat gun.  I was also thinking about doing a rough experiment to compare splices prepared with the Titebond II v. Titebond II extend and how much heat they can take for how long...  (Eric Koehler)

      I heat straighten with Titebond II Extend bare handed. If the blank is to hot to hold , it's too hot! I also used this method with URAC when I used it.

      When gluing with Titebond II Extend, I make sure everything is at least 60 degrees F. in the shop. I let the glued sections cure at room temp. (68 degrees).  (Marty DeSapio)

    The constant search for new glues sort of baffles me. URAC, Epon and Nyatex are all totally battle-proven with fans of each for various reasons.  Until somebody finds something that is demonstrably better, it seems like all that creative energy could be better spent on something like how to make straighter sections to me.  Just my opinion.  (Jerry Madigan)

      The only reason I looked for another glue option is because URAC, EPON, Nyatex are pretty toxic glues. They are absorbed into the skin during handling and breathed in during filing/sanding. I never liked using gloves during gluing .   (Marty DeSapio)

      Don't forget Resorcinol.  (Steve Weiss)

      Well, if there is something better out there, why not find it?  I'm sure many of the old time builders probably said the same thing about the new glues, while they were using hide glue...  (Mark Wendt)

      I agree. I've used URAC for 11 years and I'm totally satisfied with it. I buy it in small quantities, so it's always fresh.  It's easy to clean up with just water. It takes heat well and I've never had a delamination (knock on wood). What else could you want from a glue? Epon and Nyatex have their advocates as well, for equally good reasons. Personally, I'm not about to sacrifice 60 hours of work to a glue that I don't know and I can't trust. I trust URAC, it's never let me down.  (Joe Loverti)


Two weeks ago I visited one of my local lumberyard to check out their shelves for useful products, especially glues since I had been interested in the Titebond II Extend, which as usual for me was not on their shelves.  The sales manager was not familiar with it and gave the company a call and was told they would send me out a sample.  This week I picked up my sample expecting to receive maybe a small packet or bottle.  Much to my surprise I was handed a 16 oz. bottle.

My question now is what type of experiences have some of you had with it?  Failures?  Heat Curing?   Not much in the archives on it.   (John Freedy)

    I use it all the time and love the stuff. No need to use gloves when using it. It gives ample working time to put the splines thru the binder but not much more.  Make sure the shop(glue and splines) are at least 60 degrees before using the glue and get the blank as straight as you can before the glue sets. Heat straighten later with bare hands and the heat gun set at a medium  temp. If the bamboo is to hot to hold it's to hot.  I have never had a failure with that glue.  (Marty DeSapio)

      What is the shelf life of Titebond II?  (Mark Dyba)

        Since Titebond II Extend is of the same general family as Titebond II, I don't think that you need be concerned about shelf life.  Keep it from freezing and too hot of an environment and it should be good for a long while.  One caveat:  do not thin it.  The bond is severely weakened if thinned more than 5%, and that is danged little.  Frankly the only advantage Titebond II Extend has over Titebond II is a very slightly longer open time.  Since I rarely have any trouble with Titebond II, I don't feel the need for the Titebond II Extend.  I have used it however.  The big problem I have seen, and I now think things are different is that the only way I could get it was in gallons.  I think that it is available in smaller quantities at this time.  (Ralph Moon)

          The bottle I am using now was bought over a year ago and there hasn't been any change.  Titebond II Extend is available in small (32 ounce?) containers at Woodcraft in Salt Lake City.  (Bob McElvain)

            I called the 800 # on the bottle one time and asked about shelf life. I think they said 2-3 years. You can see the glue change consistency so you won't end up using bad glue.  (Marty DeSapio)

    I have  been using  Titebond II  extend on  all my  rods  to date (6).  I have not had any failures or problems with this glue. I tested heat treating on some cut off pieces using an alcohol lamp and I was able to bend the  piece without any delaminations. Based on this test I straightened my sections using the lamp. You do need to be careful and not apply the heat so it is to hot to handle. You want it just warm to the touch. I do find it difficult to remove if you leave it on the rod after coming out of the binder. What I have done to overcome that, is to wipe as much of it off as I can with a damp  (not wet) rag. Hope this helps.  (Bill Bixler)


For any of you guys who use Titebond II for gluing strips, how long do you usually allow for curing time?

I know it sets in an hour or so, I have been leaving it on the string for a week before cleaning it up and prepping it for reel seats, ferrules, etc.

Do you think that is long enough?  More than enough time?

I am curious as to what guys think about this.  I have searched the web with Google, read the gluing articles on Todd's  web site.  I still don't have an answer that I am comfortable with regarding Titebond II.  (Patrick Mullen)

    I have worked on mine after 24 hours and have not had any problems.  (Bill Bixler)

    Once polymerization has occurred there will be little further change in the bond.  I usually work on a glued blank after 24 hours.  I doubt if more time than that is required.  Still a week or two will pass while I finish the rod, so that before it  see use, the glue has had several weeks  to cure.  Never had any problems.  (Ralph Moon)

    I it let cure 24-48 hours depending on how busy I am.  (Marty DeSapio)


Some people say they have never heard of a failure of Titebond. Well I have used it several times for nodeless rods and had 3 splices fail between 2 rods. It is though my glue of choice for cork and reel seats.

If someone is looking for a glue right out of the bottle Gorilla Glue is easy to use and clean up with white vinegar keeps the foaming under control.

Epon is a good rod glue.  White vinegar for clean up.

URAC is an awesome rod glue (no walnut powder) It glues up stiffer then Epon and really is easy to use. Clean up with water and keep it in the fridge to store it.

If a new maker is hesitant about a glue I would suggest Epon. When he has his technique down and a good binder go for the URAC.  (Adam Vigil)


I glued a rod yesterday using Titebond for the first time. I was surprised by the glues short working time. It was only 20 minutes. Thank god I had no binder problems.

My main comment about Titebond regards the density of the glue. Before gluing I checked all of my strip calibrations to see if they were correct.  After gluing, my rod was 10 thousands oversize. Have you had this problem with Titebond? I have never experienced that with Epon and was surprised by the outcome. Is anyone making allowances for glue thickness in their rod construction?  (Mark Dyba)

    Yes, I allow .004-.005 on the planing bar.  (Ray Gould)

    I have noticed with the Titebond II Extend that the rods are slightly slower in action when cast. I do not compensate for the extra thickness if any.   (Bob Maulucci)

      I have been using Titebond II Extended for my last several rods and have noticed the oversize. I have slowly compensated for it in my measurements and I think Ray's estimate of  .004-.005 is pretty close.  (Jim Tefft)

    You might wait a day or so and then remeasure.  Titebond has a lot of water in it.  Sometimes a joint between two pieces of a table top, for instance, is raised enough that if you sand it too soon you have a depression along the glue line after everything dries out again.  (Neil Savage)


How long should I let regular Titebond II cure before I test cast?

The stuff seems to cure SO fast that I can't imagine it really needed  more than an hour or tow, but I've given it 24 just to be safe.

Also, if I see an area on my PMQ/2SQ where the blank is glue starved, what are my options?   Pack some glue in?  Forget about it?  Have some tea?  (Joe West)

    Most of us put on the grip, wrap the guides, and varnish the rod before we test cast. 24 hours???

    Seriously, a couple hours is not enough for Titebond. At 24 hours the glue will be cured enough, but the cane will still have some excess moisture from the glue. On a PMQ, if you finish the sides to final dimensions in a hurry, the center of the sides will shrink a little as the remaining moisture exits, giving the sides a slight concavity. That may actually improve  the rod, being the equivalent of hollow building on the outside of the rod, but it looks a little funny.

    I don't think Titebond has much gap filling strength, so filling an open seam is probably a waste of time. Learn from the mistakes, and don't make any more open seams. That's what first rods are for.  (Tom Smithwick)

    Titebond II is fully cued in 24 hours. Titebond II however has no gap filling capability. The seams must be tight.  (Marty DeSapio)


Can Titebond II handle the heat of straightening? I broke a rod tip this weekend and have glued it using Titebond II. The problem is that it now has a severe set. Do I leave well enough alone or can it handle heat? If so, should it dry heat? I've been using steam for all my heating.  (Jim Lowe)

    I have used a heat gun on a low setting and it works fine.    (Tom Mohr)

    I use Titebond II to glue up my blanks and haven't had any problems with delaminations in the straightening process (using an iron w/steam and a heat gun). I also removed a ferrule glued with Gorilla Glue, heated to a very high temp to soften the glue and still no delamination problems.  (Chris Hei)


I have an interesting dilemma.  I have been working on a rod where the tip dimensions go .072 at the tip, .078 at 5" and then to .103" at  10 inches.

I built the blank with a TB III that a lot of people were having luck with. I then noticed that once the glue dried and I sanded the rod, I noticed that when I flexed the tip, I put a bend/set into the blank at about 8" to about 5" from the tip. I could put a bend into the rod from the other side to correct the curve.  I had 4 thoughts maybe the glue was not cured, the glue was bad, the joint was glue starved or a bad batch of cane.

I then made another tip.   This time, I used URAC, misted the strips, the strips were heat treated at 350 for about 12 minutes.  Same problem.  I could rule out the glue or the cane (different culm).  I even heat treated the strips for about 1 hour at less than 200 degrees in my oven to make sure the glue was set.

I made another tip.  this time I figured I would try it nodeless and mixed up the strips (randomly) used Gorilla glue for the splices and for the strips.  Made sure that there was no splice at that location.  I had the same problem.

I am beginning to think that maybe the taper has something to do with this.  It seems to me that the rod basically decreases by about .010 every 5 inches in the taper.  However at the 10" mark it is .103" decreasing to 078".  That makes for a .025" jump.  I can feel the drop with my fingers on the finished rod but can't figure this out. 

Has anybody else ever noticed this.  I figure that a jump of .025" at the butt  or in a thicker sectin of cane is not too drastic, but a drop of .025" at the tip is huge.  My house is running AC and is quite dry.  I think I can rule out bad cane, even the glue, I have never had problems with URAC or the poly glues. 

I am now off to see if I can build another tip, this time I am going to change the taper for the last inches and will try something like .078 at the tip, .090 at 5" and .100 at 10"    (Mark Babiy)

    A lot, or even most, of the rods I've handled and tried it on would take a curve when bent by hand, even some very high end rods. Try taping guides on it and at least casting it if not actually fishing it. The curve might not appear under fishing conditions where it does when you bend the rod with your hands.  (John Channer)

      Not a bad idea, but I just don't have any faith that the tip will hold up under fishing conditions. 

      I am beginning to think that the issue may be in the binding.  I think that I will plane out another group of strips and will bind and then rebind in that one area.  It appears that the kink/bend/set appears in the same area all of the time so I am wondering if something is going on over that short drop.  It has happened before on some other sections and from what I recall it was always in the area of the sharp radical drop.  .025" is steep, but should not be something that these glues should not handle.

      The last time it happened the section delaminated there, I reglued, bound with a nylon thread and problem solved.  Somebody suggested that maybe the binder can't handle the steep drop over the short area.   (Mark Babiy)

        Many tapers have large changes in the  first 10"-15" of the tip section. Paul Young Boat Rod & some of the tournament rods come to mind. Maybe I missed it, but what taper are you building? Someone else may have had a similar  experience with the same taper. Another question, what staggering are you using and have you tried a different one?  (Don Schneider)

          The taper is the 5 1/2 UL T & T spinning rod.  I agree that the quick drop of .025 although steep is not undoable and I have worked with something like that before.  I have finished up another set of strips.  These strips are blonde nodeless and were heat treated at 350 for 12 minutes.  The other tip sections were blonde, flamed and even a nodeless section. I do not plane off the enamel but rather scrape it off and then sand.  I even had the strips sit in the oven last night for about an hour at 200 to get moisture out of them.  I will now glue,  bind and will rebind in that one area that has been giving me problems. 

          If that does not work, I am going to give up for the rest of the summer and will finish in the fall when temp's and the humidity settle down.  The kicker is that with this heat and humidity the trout fishing has been very poor, giving me much time to work on rods while escaping the heat.  (Mark Babiy)

    In this thread I don't recall what your heat treat regime was. The only time something like this happened to me was when I failed to heat treat the strips adequately. Normally I use 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes but on this occasion I had used a lower temperature for a little longer time. Didn't work.  (Winston Binney)

      I have found a couple of reasons for a rod to take a set. One is the glue did not bind well in the area and the cane is allowed to move  at the joint. Another is the cane is not good enough and is weak. Still another is that the heat treating did not change the cell structure enough to remove bound water and the cane is holding onto moisture. While it is true you can not remove moisture permanently it is important to heat treat enough (in most cane) to change the cell structure.

      If the set is due to moisture drying the rod will eliminate the bend for a while but it will return as the moisture is reabsorbed. If it is from faulty glue or cane it will always take a set no matter what remedy you try.

      I have done my share of experimenting with heat treating. What I have come up with is that while an oven can work fine you really do not know what the temperature is. It is akin to smoking a brisket. You can smoke a brisket for 20 hours at 200 degrees and your briskets internal temperature never comes close to  that temp. So it is with the cane.

      I get the best results using a big garden torch on a culm heating and turning watching for the drying crack to expand and controlling color. You can monitor every inch of heat treatment  at all times and at no time is the cane blacken or burnt. Using this method you have total control of the heat treating process and do not have to worry if the cane is getting even heat.  You just have to know how to do it right.

      This has eliminated any and all heat treatment problems with cane and a plus is you always have spare strips already heat treated if the need arises.  (Adam Vigil)

        Thanks for the ideas.  I think that it is either moisture reentry or the glue and I am leaning more to moisture reentry.  I typically heat treat for about 12 minutes at about 350.  I think that if it is a heat treating issue it may have something to do with moisture reentry given the high temps and high humidity we have had for the last two months.  I doubt it is the time or the temp in the oven.  I also do not really do anything special to store the cane between heat treating and planning, but have never had an issue in the past.  It has also taken me a long time to go from heat treated cane to final strips.  Close to 2 months.

        It could be bad cane, but the same spot on 4 different blanks.  The only reason I noticed in the 4 tips was that I was building the same rod 4 times.  All of the rods were however built from scrap cane.  Also, one of the blanks was nodeless. The glues seem to holding, except in certain areas.

        The last time I built this taper I had no issues.  BTW it is a 5 1/2" UL T & T spinning rod.

        Maybe my lesson is build in the fall/spring and winter and fish in the summer.  (Mark Babiy)

          I've finally getting around to making this same rod. And guess what? I'm almost finished with the 4th tip section for this rod! The first one had a soft section, only further down toward the ferrule than yours. Don't ask about the next two(major maker errors)!! Looks like the fourth will be  a winner, but I have one more coat to put on the wraps! And I do believe in "Murphy's Law"!!  (David Dziadosz)

          Well the problem always boils down to materials or method. Test some strips from the same culm in the same area and see if bad cane is the problem. Glue joints cane be a funny thing if one or more in a section does not hold as it should because the joint was starved or the bond was interfered with you can get set problems. Also poor power fiber density can occur in tips leaving you with larger less dense cells. These less dense cell do not have the resistance to bending as the up most layers of power fibers.

          Here is a question that is out of the box. If the problem occurs in the same place on different tips and the cane, glue, heat treatment are good then maybe there is something else occurring such as a contaminate on your forms effecting the glue.  (Adam Vigil)

    My experience has been that blonde rods seem to be more prone to take sets than rods that have been flamed or browntoned.  I agree with Adam that heat treatment is a good thing.

    The glue is not an issue as I see it.  It either sticks the strips together or it doesn't.  If the glue is going to allow movement or slippage, then it is going to delaminate.

    If you are happy with heat treatment process, then look at the possibility of weak cane as the culprit.

    It is also possible, as you suggest, that the large increase in diameter 10 inches or so below the tip top is acting like a fulcrum.  The tip is then a lever.  The smooth bend of the rod is interrupted at that point. If that is the case, you could definitely damage the fibers.

    Are you leaving the enamel and outer power fibers intact, or are you grinding or planing them away?  (This sure gives everybody a good idea where I'm at on that one.)

    When you move the tip to get the set, are you allowing full movement of the entire tip or are you holding the tip close to the end and putting a 90 degree bend in the tip?  Rods don't assume those angles when casting or fighting fish.  (Chris Raine)


Everyone talks about Titebond setting up so fast.  I started using Titebond II extend for cork grips and I found I had to wait more that 24 hours to remove the mandrel because the glue was still too soft toward the center, in fact it was still liquid at the center.  After 48 hours the mandrel slipped out easy.  I think this glue sets up very fast as a surface skin and around the wrapping string, everywhere it is exposed to air, but much slower within the rod sections.  I have always had plenty of time to bind and straighten.  And so easy to clean up.  (Bob McElvain)

    I used Titebond III on a couple of rods. The first was OK. The second, in conjunction with the Ray Gould tensioner was the straightest I'd ever made. On the third The binder hiccuped and there was enough setting up so that I had to use heat to straighten it. At least temporarily, I'm back in the Epon camp.  (Henry Mitchell)


Does anyone have info on Titebond II shelf life?  Don't ask me why.  (Bill Fink)

    According to their info, 12 months in a tightly sealed container.  (Mark Wendt)

      Yes indeed, it does seem that Titebond has a shelf life to be considered. I will buy smaller bottles and date them from now on.

      The scarf splices I was referring to are those for nodeless construction. I don't think I would use Titebond II for splicing rod sections under any conditions.   (Bill Fink)

        That could be why my nodeless rod exploded.  (Mike Canazon)

          Do tell.  Where did it explode?  Was it one location, or multiple?  (Mark Wendt)

            Actually, it did not explode, it just kind of snapped. A clean break, with no splintering. In the spirit of  this group, I decided to go the unconventional route, and I did not stagger the splices on this tip. It broke right where the splices were, about 17 inches down. It looked as though one splice failed (glue?) and caused the fracture. I brought it to the Catskill gathering, to ask some of the folks there what they thought about the break. I thought you had seen it.

            It was a 7012.  I had brought it out to Colorado with the intention of horsing in as many big fish as I could. It only lasted about 30 fish or so.  I will stagger splices from now on. (Mike Canazon)

              Oh yeah, I remember that rod now.  My nodeless rod broke too, but it didn't break at any of the splices.  A large willow trout contributed to the tip's demise.  (Mark Wendt)

    I use Gorilla glue for all my splices in nodeless  rod construction. I do run one side of the splice, very carefully, over my tongue to supply some moisture for the glue joint, and the splices have been holding extremely well.  (Jack Follweiler)

      I use ProBond for nodeless splices and glue-up. Never had any come apart. For nodeless splices I dip the splice area in a cup of water, wipe off the excess, apply the ProBond and, again wipe off the excess and clamp with the Splice Clamp I designed that will clamp rectangle or 60° cross section strips. Once cured, nothing with touch ProBond including acetone except planning, scraping or sanding. It will also withstand more heat than bamboo. Prior to curing you can wipe off/clean-up with acetone.

      I would advise wearing Nitrile gloves when using ProBond, otherwise your hands are stained until it wears off  in about  a week.  (Don Schneider)

      Gorilla glue sounds like a great choice for nodeless scarf joints. I've been avoiding it because of the horror stories about it being such a mess to handle  Can you put my mind at ease?

      When I look at my splice surfaces I don't think I'd put my tongue anywhere near them. But thanks for the tip.  (Bill Fink)

        While I have limited experience building rods I have used Gorilla glue extensively for a number of years. I have found that the mess is very easy to contain. When I glue a blank I mist the strips before applying glue with a spray bottle. I glue, bind, straighten, wash with denatured alcohol, straighten and leave to set up. Use your favorite method of securing the blank, whether hanging, laying in forms with weight on top, etc. Gorilla will give you an easy 30 minutes or more to achieve this. After about 5-7 hours I remove the string and scrape off most of the remaining glue. I then rebind and hang or set in the forms and leave for 24 hours or so. You will find at 5-7 hours that the glue has set, but will remain relatively soft on the exterior of the blank. This allows for easy removal. It scrapes off quite easily. Don't try to get it off perfectly at this point. Just remove 95%. Following this procedure makes use of Gorilla glue quite painless.

        I have not made a nodeless rod, but I have played around with scarfing bamboo for a nodeless. There is even less of a mess as the glued areas are quite small. I lack experience in knowing whether Gorilla is an appropriate glue for nodeless splices, but have read that some are of the opinion that it is not, and some seem to have done it with success.  (Steve Shelton)

        I said you have to do it very carefully otherwise you'll end up with a Band-Aid on your tongue. As someone said an atomizer would do the job but why not live a little dangerously once in a while.   (Jack Follweiler)

        I don't expect much difference in physical or adhesive properties between Gorilla and Probond, however a number of people have reported less foam out with Probond and I like the cured color a bit better (of course my glue lines are so fine that it doesn't matter - LOL) Once opened a bottle has a shelf life and I like being able to pick up a small one at my local hardware store.  (Doug Easton)


Have you had any long term problems with Titebond II?  I have been pretty happy with it, but I have only been building rods for a couple of  (Tom Mohr)

    I really can't answer the question about it holding up over a period of time. I have only used it on about eight or nine rods. These were experimental rods. They have been cast a lot and seem to be doing fine. I would guess it would hold up  just fine. I think it is a better glue that Elmer's Exterior Carpenters Glue. I glued up my first ten or twelve rods with Elmer's and they are still in one piece. Rod # 1 is six years old and used a lot. No problems yet with the Elmer's so I would think the Titebond would hold up as well or better. Have everything ready when you decide to glue with Titebond, to sets fast. All my other rods other than the above were glued with Epon.  (Tony Spezio)

      I've got a couple rods I made about 10 years ago that I used Titebond II on. No problems yet! One of the rods I use a lot and it hasn't shown even a slight set so far. I started using Titebond II Extend for it's longer time to tack up, haven't had problems with it either. I have recently tried Titebond III, it seems to be at least as good, but I'm back to having to hurry since the tack time is just like Titebond II. I wish they had Titebond III Extend.  (Darryl Hayashida)

        Just looked at the Titebond web site, hoping that they had recently released a Titebond III Extend. Found out that Titebond II had a 5 minute open time, Titebond II Extend had a 15 minute open time, and Titebond III has a 10 minute open time. So I guess I don't have to hurry quite as much as I did with Titebond II, but I do have to hurry a little bit more than with Titebond II Extend.  (Darryl Hayashida)

    I have used Titebond II extend on all my rods to date(7) and have never had any problems.  The biggest problem I have had is working time. Even extend sets up quickly for a slow poke like me. Because of this, I have been thinking of going to Epon because of the longer working time but have yet to do so.  (Bill Bixler)

    I've never done it, as I don't have access to the rods, but, if a person measured two  Garrison 209E's,  (one of my favorite tapers) or a couple of say Dickerson 8013's or 7613's, (nuther two of my favorite tapers) I'm gonna say they'll be off a bit. So, if you spend countless hours trying to copy one taper to the exact numbers, good for ya, perfection is the balance of all good things, to a degree. Anyone ever have the luxury of measuring old tapers?

    All the discussion is great, it helps raise the  industry standards and keeps the trade alive and well. But I'll stand on my  convictions that we are still just building fishing poles.  (Jerry Andrews)

      I've got another one for you. Suppose two excellent machinists (using that as an indication or measuring ability)  were to mic the same rod, say one in Louisiana in the summer and the other in Las Vegas (I guess anytime of year). How much different do you suppose the ambient temp-humidity might cause the dimensions to vary? That's assuming the rod came to equilibrium in each instance.  (Art Port)

    Reading all these messages about glue joint thickness makes me wonder how many makers actually do measure diameters of finished, unvarnished sections. I certainly do, and I remove the couple of thousandths where it might be oversized. So my finished rods are close to dead-nuts on design taper, and correct as to line size. I seem to recall that Darryl and others follow this practice. Also I use the Common Cents method to measure line sizes and can recommend its results.  (Bill Fink)


Has anyone used Titebond lll? Are the benefits worth the switch from Titebond ll? Any advise will be welcomed.   (Wayne Caron)

    I wouldn't do it, I heard some bad stories,  carpenters glue.  Heat treating a bend out is tricky work on the edge of  delamination.  urea glues man, urea formaldehyde. Critical ratios  that use weight not volume.  You can heat the snot out of it  though and it will not delaminate, I tried.  (Geremy Hebert)

      I've had no problem with heating it.  Too much heat is a bad thing when straightening anyway.  I don’t like the glues that you have to wear gloves with.  A little heat goes a long way.  Also, the Titebond III hides glue lines!  (Bill Tagye)

    I haven't built enough to really matter, but for what it's worth, no problems with two Titebond II and three Titebond III rods.  Haven't had any straightening problems.  Others have said that Titebond II extended has more open time than Titebond III.  I'm probably going to try Elmers Ultimate Glue with the next couple rods for the longer open time.  I seem to be able to make a lot of mistakes in 10 minutes (maximum Titebond III open time in my experience).  I need more time to recover from the first 10 minutes of fumbling around.  (David Bolin)

    I used Titebond III on one rod. No problems binding, used Ray Gould's "Tensioner" device and it was the straightest tip yet. However, I won't be using it again. If there is so much as a hiccup (as there was the next time I used it) during the binding process you're back to heat-straightening. It just sets up too fast IMHO. For the time being, I'm back to Epon.

    I think Titebond III would be a great glue with a longer open time.  (Henry Mitchell)


I have just finished gluing up a couple of rods with Titebond III. It is my feeling the working time is shorter with Titebond III than with Titebond II Extended. I prefer the working time of Titebond II Extended so will be going back to it. Do not think I'll be sacrificing  much between water resistant and water proof since there are usually 5 coats on most of my rods. (Jim Tefft)

    According to their web site working time for Titebond III is 10 minutes, Titebond II Extend is 15 minutes. Titebond III is supposed to be about 25% stronger, but II is strong enough and it's strength may be way past what is actually needed, so that may be a moot point.  (Darryl Hayashida)

    I just used Titebond III on my last rod. I glued one section up at a time. Just ran the glue up the splines out of the bottle and spread with a stiff acid brush and went straight to be binder. Total time about 3 minutes. After binding and straightening the section then hanging it in the drying closet I went on to the next section. No worry about pot life since the glue was applied straight out of the bottle. Glued sections came out straight without  glue lines. Removing the binding string and sanding was a breeze. Clean up was easy with water. I did spray my binding cord and rollers with water from a spray bottle running it back a forth thru the rollers a few times before glue up. Glue up was actually a snap. No more watching the weather channel and waiting for the stars to achieve perfect alinement before I get out the triple beam scale to measure up the proper compounds to hopefully achieve the alchemy of URAC. Nope just squirt it out of the bottle and bind!  (Mark Heskett)

      I too use Titebond. If you use it often enough, the wheels of fortune will turn on you. Just pray that your binder works perfectly each time through, because if it doesn't, you just wasted a whole bunch of time on useless section of rod.

      I use Titebond II and have had some close calls. Once it starts to set up nothing helps. The company suggests you add a little water to the glue to extend it's pot life.  (Mark Dyba)

        Since I squirt right from the bottle  on to the strips there is no pot life. It's applied directly to the strips. After I glue up one section I return the binder to the original position again and squirt a little more water on the binding cord and rollers again. Time from applying the glue, spreading it with a brush, rolling the splines together and getting to the binder is about three to five minutes. I think since the glue is encapsulated in the splines once you roll them together and the glue is not exposed to the open air the set up time slows down.  (Mark Heskett)

      I know there has been discussion in the past, but how does TB II compare to other glues as far as stiffness of the section. For some reason my brain is telling me rods made with TB loose some stiffness as compared to other glues.

      I am going to be gluing up a couple of rods soon and I am thinking of using something other than Gorilla Glue, which has been fine but a real pain in the a$$ as far as clean up goes.  (Pete Van Schaack)

        I have used URAC on all my previous rods. I just got the reel seat on this Titebond rod this weekend and taped the eyes on. It feel every bit the same casting as a URAC rod. Will know a little better when I get it wrapped and some varnish on it.  (Mark Heskett)

          I've been a long time Titebond user, And I use it on all my personal rods and most of the rods I make for others. Sometimes someone wants a "better" glue so I use polyurethane in those cases, Elmers Ultimate glue, Probond before it was renamed Ultimate.

          Seems to me that the Titebond glued blanks are a bit softer in action. Just a bit, and I have to wiggle one right after the other to tell the difference. I've never had a problem with a Titebond glued rod and once the varnish and guides are on I haven't been able to tell the difference. I can't pick up a rod, cast it and be able to tell it was a Titebond glued rod. Perhaps there is a set up time for Titebond and it takes a few days for it to really strengthen, or maybe since it is a water based glue the blank takes up some of the water from the glue and it takes awhile for it to dry out again.  (Darryl Hayashida)

            I've used Titebond III on my past 4 rods (that's 4 of my whopping 5 rods finished to date).  The first one was Titebond II.  No glue problems yet.  Two more Titebond III blanks are about to be loaded up with hardware.  I was tempted to use a more traditional glue.  Following a comment Harry made a while back, I put several  2 inch puddles of glue on quarter inch thick piece of automotive safety glass and let them cure (SWMBO would not appreciate puddles of glue on her windshield - don't even think about it).  The puddles included Titebond II, Titebond III, URAC and Elmer’s Ultimate.  Here’s a few observations.

            The Titebond III was difficult to remove from the glass.  Had to use a wood chisel.  The sample was flexible.  I could bend it double and not break or       it.  I could pull hard and it would stretch.  When I scrapped it off the glass it pulled a ring of glass chips up around the thin outer edge of the puddle.  Not sure what to think of that.

            Titebond II  results were identical to Titebond III.  Just a different color.  Blond versus the brown Titebond III.

            The URAC was entirely different.  Not as difficult to remove.  Can't bend it.  It just breaks like a thin piece of peanut brittle.  Can't stretch it.  It's hard and brittle.  Not even remotely flexible.  Would definitely produce a stiffer rod if it doesn't shatter in hundreds of tiny hairline fractures the first time the rod is loaded.  Some day I’m going to glue some thin strips of Plexiglas together so I can see what happens to the glue when the glued up strips are bent.

            The Elmer’s Ultimate was not as difficult to remove as the TB samples.  It’s flexible.  I can bend it double without breaking it.  But I can’t stretch it.  Might produce a stiffer rod than TB but it probably wouldn't be noticeable.

            Conclusion:  The Titebond III had all the same characteristics that Harry described with the same experiment on EPON - flexible and slightly stretchable as I recall.  Pealing glass around the thin edges of the Titebond III was remarkable.  I don’t have any EPON to sample.  That would be interesting in a side by side test with Titebond III.  Decided to stay with Titebond III, but I suspect they’ll all get the job done – that is, throw a fly line loaded with unnecessary work related stress into the water never to be seen again – until Monday morning.  (David Bolin)


I use Titebond II Extend to glue my strips.  I assembled a butt section which had a bad  "seam gap"  probably caused by a splinter.  I thought if I could "disassemble" the section I could scrape off the thin glue line and reglue.  I heated the section in my tempering oven starting at 200 F.  At every 20F increase I would try to separate the strips.  About 250F I could bend the section and the curve would hold.  After slowly increasing the heat and trying to pull the strips apart, I noticed a color change starting about 300 F.  But the glue held.  At 320 F the cane fibers split with my efforts but the glue held.  Good glue.  (Bob McElvain)


Some things I have observed about using Titebond II Extend on blanks and grips:

1. It dries very fast on my hands, but where it is not exposed to air the drying is very slow. For example, when used for grips the glue is still wet on the mandrel 24 hours later.

2. The blanks are easy to straighten both before drying and later with the application of heat from my gun at the low setting.  Just warm the blank to where you can barely hold it with your bare hands.

3. I had a blank with a bad glue line, I attempted to dismantle and save 5 of the strips by heating in my tempering oven.  I thought the glue would fail at some moderate temperature.  I slowly raised the temperature, trying to pull the strips apart at each 20 degree increment.  At about 350 degrees the bamboo failed, the heating had gone on for about 2 hours.  The glue never released.

Cleanup is easy at a sink with soap and water.  (Bob McElvain)


A quick question on Titebond II. Most wood glues, like Elmers, soak in somewhat and don't fill well. I was wondering if this was the case with Titebond as well. If so, would it be appropriate to apply the glue and wait a couple minutes then reapply to allow it to soak in somewhat before binding? Input appreciated as always. :>)  (Wayne Kifer)

    On my first rod, I used Titebond II.  I misted the strips with a bit of water, slathered the glue on and bound by hand.  No special waiting, no double-slathering etc.  Seemed to work just fine.

    I have been sitting in the process of rod #2 for over a year, so I make no claims for my process being good or time tested - perhaps just lucky.  (Greg Dawson)

    I just finished one with Titebond II, one coat of glue, and it's fine. No starved joints visible from the outside. The glue gave me barely enough time to bind before it started to tack up. It probably would have been a mess if I tried to apply another coat.  (Steve Weiss)

    See if you can get some Titebond II extended Weather resistant.

    It gives you a lot more working time.  Otherwise I'd go with the Titebond III.  (Terry Kirkpatrick)

      I don't think they make Titebond II Extended that is recommended for outside use. At least I couldn't find any on-line. I'll pick up some TB III and give it a try. Maybe do a rod with both so I can compare.  (Wayne Kifer)

        Titebond II extend comes in two versions, a red cap, (don't remember what they call it) and a blue cap, called "weather proof"  I get mine at Woodcrafters.  I don't think Lowes or Home Depot caries it.  

        Titebond III says it's waterproof, but I don't know if that's true.  I'd really look for some of the whether proof extended Titebond II.  My Titebond III was settings up while I was still straightening!  (Terry Kirkpatrick)


After using URAC for several years and experiencing more than my share of delaminations and tiring of the alchemists (distilled water, ammonium chloride, walnut powder, humidity, temperature, stand on one leg facing west as you mix, etc. etc.) methods of glue up I switched to Titebond III last year. Just squirt it on the strips right out of the bottle, brush, bind and straighten.  Then move on to the next strip. Honestly I cannot tell the difference from a URAC rod or a Titebond rod as far as action.  (Mark Heskett)

    How does Titebond stand up to heat while straightening?   (Neil Savage)

      So far no problems. I try to get the rod as straight as possible before hanging in the drying cabinet. That's part of the beauty of using glue out of the bottle. You can glue, bind and straighten a section before moving on the the next without worrying about glue setting up on you in the pot. I don't use excessive heat if I have to straightening a section. No delaminations yet.  (Mark Heskett)

        No problems with that using Epon.  I usually have only about an hour and a half working time in the heat of the summer  using Epon.  I glue up all the sections, then put them all through the binder, then I finesse the straightening, then hang them in the drying cabinet over night.  Take 'em out of the drying cabinet, pull the binding string, scrape with a dull razor blade, rebind,  heat cure, done.  (Mark Wendt)

          What is your heat cure process? How long at what temp? Do you use something to keep the sections straight? I am in the process of doing the glue thing with rods 2, 3, 4 and 5.

          I have the sections ready for glue and string and any help/advice would be appreciated. Using EPON.  (George Hills)

            I use Nyatex, and just put the sections in my drying cabinet for a couple days at 105 F. I used to hang weights, and I had a rod stretcher with so many chains and doodads that I named it "Jacob Marley". None of this worked.

            I learned that I was putting too much tension on the binding string and that was putting a curve in my blanks (I bound by hand). Picked up a Wagner binder and made a new cradle with low tension that should produce straighter sections. Doing a glue up this weekend, and I will post results.  (Jeff Schaeffer)


I have glued up several blanks with Titebond III and find that is sets too quickly for my taste.  I love the ease of use though - cleans easily, no mixing, no fumes, etc.  Can anyone recommend a similar glue that doesn't set up as quickly?  I have enough twists to deal with after binding that I need a little more time!!!  (Louis DeVos)

    You can mix .05% distilled water to give you more working time but I think you might have another problem that you mention. If you have a lot of twists to deal with, I think you should do some checking on the binder. If you are getting a lot of twisting, the binding thread tension might be too tight or too much weight on the drive belt. I really think it depends on how your binder is built. My binder uses only a 3/4 pound wt on the belt. I adjust the thread tension less for tips than I do for butts. Maybe this well help with the twists.  (Tony Spezio)

      Is that really .05% or 5% water added to the glue?  (Larry Puckett)

        I use Titebond II Extend.

        My problem is the binder cord sticks together and stops the binder. That is not the binding thread but the cord that runs the binder. I presoak the cord but it still sticks. This is very annoying! I end up binding by hand after the cord gets glued together.

        Someone suggested that the cord weight and cord be submerged at the bottom of the cord loop.

        Anyone else have this problem?  (Olaf Borge)

          I have not used Titebond III but have used both Elmer's Exterior Carpenter Glue and Titebond II. I had a problem with glue sticking or slipping on the drive pulley groove till I put a thick rubber band (like the type on lobster Claws) in the pulley groove. No more problems with sticking or slipping in the drive pully. I use Epon now most of the time except when I need to get a glue up right now, I still use Titebond II. I knew a rodmaker (he passed on) that did run the weight with the belt in a bucket of water to keep belt clean. Seemed to work for him.

          If you need a couple of the rubber bands, let me know, will be glad to send them to you.  (Tony Spezio)

        A slip of the finger, it is 5%. Thanks for catching that one.  (Tony Spezio)

    A solution maybe to not use a continuos loop binding cord, The Smithwick binder uses a long binding cord wound from one spool to another and then wound back for the next wrap of binding thread. If you have a spool with enough capacity you would not have to wind back to wrap the next direction. Peel off the gooey cord and add some fresh and head onto the next section.  (Pete Van Schaack)


A couple of weeks ago there was a long thread on Titebond III and everyone seemed to think that it was great for gluing up rods.  I recently tried it when gluing up my most recent blank and it worked great... until I tried to sand off the residue.  Most of the residue came off with the normal level of sanding or scraping but there was always a little gummy residue that was a real pain to remove. I initially had let the blank dry for 24 hours but extended that to 72 hours when I first ran into the problem.  Has anyone else had this problem and if so is there a simple solution to for removing the gum?  I would like to use this glue again for the ease of application but will use something else before having to put up with the gum again.  (Mark Lenarz)

    I haven't used Titebond III, but I know Titebond II dries hard (hard enough to chip carbide saw blades and router bits.)  Took me quite a while to figure out where those chips came from too.  I wonder if your glue was old.  Titebond doesn't date their bottles, or at least they didn't use to.  Someplace I know I saw the code, but I don't remember where.  It wasn't lately, maybe in an old issue of "Fine Woodworking".  Does the residue come off with water? If so, it wasn't really dry yet for some reason.  Titebond III won't wash off if it's dry.   Let us know what happens.  (Neil Savage)

    I had the same problem on a wooden hex rod case. I let the glue dry for two days then sanded the residue off. Everything looked great until I wiped, the surface down with alcohol, prier to finishing. their was a gooey substance covering about half of the surface. I tried to sand it off, and it kind of rolled up into little balls. I finally used a razor blade, to scrape it off took a whole morning.  (Larry Downey)

      I'm not familiar with  that exact problem,  but if it's what it sounds like, you could probably make better headway with the foam rubber sticks they sell for cleaning power sanding belts and such. They look like the sole of an old moon boot. You rub them on the surface and everything rolls up like it was rubber cement.  (Art Port)

    The best way to get it off is to wipe the rod with a damp cloth after you have it wrapped up. If you have a thick glue mass on the rod you will have to scrape it off.

    But if you wipe most off it off before it sets up you should be able just to sand it.  (Gary Nicholson)

    I use Titebond II Extend and I use a coarse file to remove most of the glue residue.  Then I use 150 sand paper and when I see the white residue I use a blade scraper to remove just the residue.  Even after I switch to 220 grit I often see traces return which I scrape off.  I always thought it was glue residue picked up by the sandpaper and melted on the wood.  Using the file seems to remove most of the glue and without touching the bamboo.  Great glue.  (Bob McElvain)

      When I use Titebond II I usually remove excess glue with a damp wash  rag within about five minutes of binding and straightening (I don't  use extend and therefore it seems that the glue skins over rather  quickly). In a few minutes I carefully remove the string and wipe the  blank down again with a damp cloth and a wooden scraper being careful  to not upset the bond. Then I use a dry cloth and rebind it nice and  tight and wipe it down (rub hard with the rag kind of like spit  shining), some more.

      To repeat: first damp and then dry rags and  roll it to straighten  it. This removes most of the glue residue and avoids the tiny nicks  that metal scrapers sometimes leave and also avoids the problem of  the gum residue and it minimizes sanding time.

      I remove all string within an hour and continue the cleanup adding  sandpapers on flat sticks and sometimes 0000 steel wool to the process.

      The drawback to this approach is that the blank may become very damp  and needs to be thoroughly dried out prior to applying any finish. I  have not used the oven to set the glue and drive out moisture but I  would be very interested to hear some recommendations for times and  temperature settings.

      This works for me. I make my scrapers out of thin maple. I work on a  very flat piece of Formica to keep it true.  (Dick Steinbach)


I have glued up a few rods with Titebond II Extend.  I haven't had any problems at all, but I do have a questions if anyone out there is using it. Can I heat straighten the sections after the glue is cured without ruining the bond?  I really love the ease of application with Titebond.  (Todd Grisier)

    Just be careful how hot you get the section.  I tried the Titebond II extend and the only problem I had was the glue turning black when I straightened near a ferrule.  Looked kind of funny with "black" glue lines.  (Scott Grady)


I glued the butt section of my first rod with Titebond III, but after allowing it to dry for several days I noticed it was holding a set when flexed.  I can straighten it out by flexing it the opposite way, but his doesn't seem like a characteristic that is too desirable in a rod.  Is this normal, or do you think it could be that the Titebond 3 doesn't set as hard as the TB II?  Is there a way to resolve this problem?   Would adding  heat help to make the TB 3 a harder cure?  Is TB II and better glue to use than TB III?   (Tom Key)

    Its really nothing to do with the glue.  Sorry to say, but its most likely down to not heat treating the cane correctly. It could be other things to, but its mostly down to heat treating.  (Gary Nicholson)

    Some glues are better than others, but I don't believe the problem you describe has anything to do with either the glue or the heat-treating process. Instead, the problem is in the quality of the cane itself and a failure to test the culm for uniform resilience between the nodes. Some culms will grow with one or more areas between nodes that simply don't exhibit the same "strength" as neighboring areas. There's no accounting for this, but whatever the growth problem may have been, it's not one that can be cured by heat-treating.

    The problem isn't one of excess moisture; it's one of weakly formed fibers. Nor can you tell by just looking at the end of a culm. Even some of the best-looking cane can have this built-in problem. What you need to do is split out an initial 1/2" strip, file the nodes and remove the inner dams. Then, carefully bend each area between a set of nodes to test for its resistance. If any area feels a little "mushy" and does not want to spring back smartly (in comparison to other areas), the culm cannot be used because this same weakness will be found around the entire circumference at that location.

    The best cane is usually made better with heat-treating, but poor cane cannot be converted into "good" with heat-treating. In fact, the  best  cane  can  be  built  into  an  excellent rod with no heat-treating at all. Poor cane, however, will usually take a set, and the rod can be bent by hand again in almost any direction.   (Bill Harms)

    Another question from another questioner. 

    The cotton thread used for binding, during heat treating, is also very satisfactory for binding butts, for gluing. Binding very fine tips for gluing, with the same cotton, often interferes with my being able to see the flats at the tip, and makes accurate straightening difficult for me.  Is there a finer thread used by anyone, for tips, that is strong enough to take the needed tension.  (Bob Nunn)

    I have just glued up my first rod using TB III, after a hundred or so using mainly Epon epoxy, with a few (about 20) using polyurethane glue.

    The blank seems to be in all respects as good as those built using Epon, at this point in time, of course.

    The stuff is a dream to use, compared with epoxy - one part, water soluble, no smell, no need to wear gloves, water clean up.  It almost feels sinful to use it, it's so uncomplicated.

    The open working time is said to be 10 minutes, but I had no trouble doing everything I needed to do (and I bind by hand).  One does get sort of spoiled with the almost unlimited working time with Epon.

    So I am sorry, I don't think your problem is with the glue in this case;  and that being the case, he bamboo would have to be the odds-on favorite.  (Peter McKean)


I know there has been a thread about Titebond III recently, but I wonder if anybody has built any significant number of rods using TB III that have actually received hard use.  I have used mainly Epon, but have now built 6 rods using TB III, and it is a dream of a glue to use.

BUT I have this dread of having them all come back to me delaminated or some such.  (Peter McKean)

    Good question.  I've built 2 rods with TB-III, and am wondering the same thing.  I agree, it's great to work with.  It sets up enough to remove the clamps in 30 minutes, and is fully cured in 24 hours.  I do get .005" glue seams, does that sound about right to you?  (Paul Gruver)

      .005" glue seams?  That sounds a little on the high side to me unless I am misunderstanding what you are referring to.  Do you mean .0005"?  (Carl DiNardo)

      I need to caution that TB-III may not holding up well in extreme heat (130F+ in a closed car parked in the sun).  I've never done that, so I can't really say if that's a problem.  The rods I've build so far have performed beyond my expectations.  (Paul Gruver)


I glue my rods using TB III - I don't have  an oven.   I bind by hand - I don't have a binder.  When my tension gets of the tip can get pretty twisted even after rolling it on a nice flat surface. And now to the question - can a tip glued with TB III be heated and straightened after it's fully dried?  I may have asked this question before, but in the last three months I've asked so damn many and received so many answers I forget which ways up.  Thanks in advance for your thoughtful answer. (Tom Key)

    I have a friend here that glued up a blank yesterday using Titebond II. He had no problem at all taking a twist out of the quad butt section using a heat gun.  That is the II and not the III.  (Tony Spezio)

    The one rod I glued with TB III was probably easier to straighten and remove twist than any of the others. Did not seem to require as much heat as Gorilla Glue or Resorcinol. That being said I have also heard that blanks glued with TB can continue to develop twists and bends for an extended period of time. Don't know if that is true but it came from a source far more knowledgeable than many of us.  (Steve Shelton)

    Yes, but not too hot.  (Peter McKean)

    I have only made one rod and I used Titebond III. That is a fine wood glue but the working time is far to short for bamboo rod making. I was really jumping around to get the sections bound before it was too late.

    I once used Gorilla glue to repair a completely delaminated South Bend butt section and it worked very well for that. I am thinking of using it for my second complete rod. The working time is longer than Titebond III.

    However! The foaming that it produces is quite worrisome to me. I would think that the binding process would have to be very tight.

    I would wait for some input from some more experienced makers before I committed myself to Gorilla Glue for my first rod. You might look in the archives, I seem to remember other references to Gorilla glue in the past.  (Don Sargent)

      I've used Gorilla Glue on four rods and really like  it.  Working time is adequate to bind by hand and foaming has not been a  problem.  I bind and then wipe down to remove the excess.  That makes cleanup easier.  I get the sections straight by rolling, tugging, and  swearing, then lash them into aluminum angle.  Photos of my angle set-up  are on Todd's site.  Note that the angles are to keep them straight, not get them straight.  So far, so good.  (Ed Berg)


I recently tried Titebond III on a test rod section. It was a treat to work with..however.. I now find I can straighten the section without heating first, something I have not experienced before with PU or resorcinol glues. This is obviously not a good thing!

Has anyone else had this experience?  (Stephen Dugmore)

    Just because you straightened it cold  doesn't mean it's going to stay that way, check it over the next few weeks and see if it stays that way. Better yet, finish it out so you can cast it and see what happens when you double haul 70+ feet of line. I have had quite a few sections that I thought I got straight only to find the curves returning until I get them hot enough to actually reset the fibers. I've also put bends in rods to see if they stay there and find that they do until I shake it, then they go right back the way they were.  (John Channer)


Does anyone know the recommendations about shelf life of the Titebond family of glues?  (Steve Weiss)

    Go to their web site and click on the FAQ link at the top of the page.  There's a specific question regarding shelf life.  (Todd Talsma)

    That's a good question ~ but also, does anyone know the tenacity of the glue after, perhaps 50 or more years, as compared to hide glue, resorcinol glue, or (any other glue) that may have been used that long ago? 'Elmer's Glue' has been around a very long time, but why wasn't it previously being considered ~ or was it?  (Vince Brannick)

      I'm not sure even original Titebond has been around for 50 years.  Certainly not the Titebond-II or Titebond-III.  (Neil Savage)

        You've picked up on the very point.  (Vince Brannick)

      For that matter, I know resorcinol goes back to WWII, but what about Epon, Nyatex etc.?  Anyone know?  (Neil Savage)

        Exactly what I was thinking.  I wonder if Resorcinol was over 50 years old when Garrison was extolling it's virtues as a rodmaking glue.  He was probably a heretic too!  (Todd Talsma)

          You're probably correct ~ had resorcinol been in use fifty (or more years, as hide glue had been), its attributes and/or faults would have been well established, and Mr. Garrison  wouldn't have been needing to extoll its virtues.  (Vince Brannick)

            Resorcinol had been around for about 25 years by the time The Book was written. It was developed during WWII to make wood aircraft like the transport gliders and the Mosquito and was also used to hold US PT boats together. If any of these are still around and not being cared for my bet is the wood's failing and glue is projecting past the wood.  (Tony Young)

        I don't think there's any doubt the other glues will last. Old rods with inters used to be stuck together with fish glue or something like and they're still around.  (Tony Young)

        Epon was recommended to me for rod work by my coworkers, the guys in the chem lab involved in  RCA space work in the 60's. It has a pretty good pedigree I would say. Our stuff performed rather well for a long time in what you might call an unfriendly environment. Things like the Lunar Orbitor and the Lunar landings.  (Bill Fink)

          Sure but how wet did it ever get??? Just kidding.  (Tony Young)

            Somehow I can't believe that moisture resistance could be brought up as an argument against Epon after all these years. Can anyone cite a single example of delamination? And anyone who has problems removing Epon from a glued section needs outside help. And it doesn't need the secondary heat cycle. Room temp cure works great. And that brings me to the point where I question myself as to why I speak up for Epon. You masochists go ahead and use whatever color of glue, or whatever nut shells or whatever fast setting foaming skin dye  you please. I know, It Works For You. (Bill Fink)

              I really was just kidding. Epon is a great glue. (Tony Young)

    The rep down here in the Antipodes says a couple of years. He may have just been taking the company line and covering his arse in saying that but he was firm that it had a shelf life "just like all glues" I think was the phrase he used at the time.

    Form what I've seen of it it has to be longer than that though in practice. I still have some Titebond when that's all it was called because there was no other to start numbering and it still holds everything I need it to.  (Tony Young)

    I have been following this glue thread on and off, so if I bring up some ground that has already been covered  sorry. I have glued up many rods with URAC 185  only one problem with delamination, of course one is to many. I think the batch was a little on the old side and the temp in the shop was certainly below 60 degrees when it happened. If you can work around the low shelf life and the temp thing its a proven glue and my first choice. Resorcinol was my first glue, easy to use seemingly forever shelf life. I don't know about gluing in low temps but Garrison iced his batch. I glued up two rods recently with Resorcinol and was happy with the results, I have a little trouble getting all the glue off the blank sometimes it vanishes only to show up after the rod has been in the sun for a few hours and speckles under the varnish.

    Titebond I have not used for rod making but I have ventured into Guitar making and Titebond is prized here because it will let go with a little heat and moisture. Do you guys do something extra to avoid this short coming?  (Gary Lohkamp)


I have been using Nyatex glue for all my rods & want to try something less toxic for gluing.  I know some have used & may still be using Titebond II to glue rods with.  My question is how has this been working for you guys who have used it? Any problems or delams?  (Bret Reiter)

    I used URAC for years, one day out of the blue I had a butt section fail for no apparent reason so I changed to Titebond III and have never looked back. It's easy to use, water clean up, food safe! what else can I say. It does have a kinda short work time, but what I do is glue up each section as I finish it one at a time. Simply put some paper on your bench squirt on some glue, brush on with a tooth brush and bind. Throw the paper out wash the toothbrush for the next time, wash your hands. Oh, I guess you get the picture.

    Sometimes I get carried away. BTW, straightening with heat from a heat gun is a snap no problem.  (Joe Arguello)

      I was thinking of going back to Titebond, but forward a bit from 2 to 3, and if Joe says its all right then I'm off to  get some.   (Robin Haywood)

      How did the change in glue affect your rod actions.   (Jim Lowe)

        When I first started using TB III  I felt that the URAC rods were stiffer, and granted that I would heat set this glue I think they were to start with. But I believe that as the blanks acclimate to the surrounding environment they lose some of that stiffness. what I have based this on is that I have a 7' 3/4 wt that I have used since 1999 glued with URAC and I have built some new ones of the same size for customers using TB III and I can not tell the difference, not a scientific study, but good enough for me.  (Joe Arguello)

    I use Titebond II for cork handles so I don't know about how it works for bamboo gluing. I use URAC for my rods and it seems to work very well and it is not too toxic; I have not had any problems and I have had allergies for a long time.   (Frank Paul)


I was surfing the other day and found some information that may be of interest.

"Titebond II is touted because of its moisture resistance.  It is important to note that it is not waterproof.  URAC, Resorcinol, and Smooth On are waterproof  (Smooth On is an epoxy).  Titebond II is water resistant.  So is Titebond only less so. However Titebond forms a stronger bond than TB II.  So you should understand that if you use Titebond II you are giving up holding power to gain what a good finish should supply you with.

Titebond works best where joints mate closely and where the materials joined are similar in kind..  in rod building joints rarely fail because of too much clamp pressure, but Titebond and TB II can and will fail if the assembly time exceeds the set up time. If the glue sets up or flashes off the bond is not sufficient to prevent a future delamination.

I also talked to a Franklin Chemist long ago and he said the maximum thinning on a Titebond Product should not exceed 5%, moral.   if you are using Titebond or Titebond II or TBIII  besure that you stay within the set up time.  I doubt if you can wrap more than one rod and still be in bounds.  I glue each section separately, bind and give it a  quick roll.   (Ralph Moon)


Having made several rods with Titebond III, I found myself at a point where I moved to Epon because I was led to believe that Titebond could not be heated once it had set up and therefore if you did not get it absolutely straight the first time you were out of luck.

Today I went to David Bolin’s rodmaking photos site and note that David uses Titebond III and is still is able to do some final straightening. I assume that requires heat?  So how is it done? I only get one rod in three perfect on the first try so they go in the fire if they are crooked.

Obviously any help would be deeply appreciated.  I really liked the Titebond! Here is the link showing  the Titebond:  (slide  number 26, 27 and 57) By the way David that’s a great blog you have there; very interesting and very informative.  Keep up the good work.  (Dick Steinbach)

    I am puzzled. If they go into the fire does that mean you ruined them trying to get them straight or you never tried to straighten your blanks? I don't use Titebond but I would think some modest heat should not hurt your blank.  (Jerry Drake)

      I wish I could get 1 in 10 perfect.  Maybe I will need to play with my garrison style binder.  I definitely wouldn’t be throwing them in the fire with at least trying to straighten them.  Heck, a couple that I have made for myself I just got fed up while straightening and just finished them out.  They still cast and fish great.  (Greg Reeves)

    I have rebound the blank in the binder before straightening with heat in order to keep it from delaminating.  I have not had problems doing it that way.  This is a last resort as I do straighten the blank on a glass panel before the glue sets and usually get a very straight blank.

    I used epoxy in the past and I am not going back.  (Morten Lovstad)

    Straightening is not a problem.  TB will soften at about 150 degrees.  Just don't apply more than 150 degrees of heat for very long, if at all.  The most important thing to know about the TB products is that flexing the blank before the glue has cured will weaken the bond.  I'm convinced that's what produced the wimpy TB rods that have been mentioned on the List.  You have 8 to 10 minutes (depending on the room temperature) to do whatever you want to the blank.  Don't bend, shake or twist it after that.  It takes at least a week for the glue to cure.  Pour a glob of glue about two inches in diameter on a piece of wax paper when you glue up the blank and put it with the blanks to cure.  Watch the color of the glue blob change each day.  There will be a light spot in the middle that takes several days to cure.  When the light spot is gone, you're blanks should be ready to heat and straighten.  You can peal the blob off the wax paper and bend it.  The longer you wait the more it will resist bending.  I don't do the glue blob thing anymore.   I just wait two weeks to straighten, no matter what.  The longer you're willing to wait the better.

    Thanks for visiting the blog.  The coolest thing on the blog is the SRG videos in the right hand menu.  Check them out if you haven't already.  You'll be able to put a few List names with faces on the videos.  Actually, that may not be a good thing.  I noticed yesterday that I couldn't see the videos on Internet Explorer.  I'm not sure if that's a temporary problem with IE or not.  But you can see them just fine with Firefox.  Firefox with the noscript add on is the safest way to surf anyway.  I rarely ever use IE anymore.  (David Bolin)

      Thank you David and others; you have given me some good tips I wish I had heard of before.  I am going to play with some of my well cured rejected TB blanks and see what I can do. I like TB and will continue with both it and the epoxy to see what I can learn.

      Yes I enjoyed the videos featured. I go back to them occasionally.  (Dick Steinbach)

    I have been using Titebond III for many years, I don't concern myself with straightening a blank while the glue is setting up. I simply use a heat gun and warm it up after the rod has set at room temp (approximately 72 degrees) for at least 24 hours. I do the Garrison method, sight down the rod and make an arrow mark with a pencil the direction I need to push. heat that section and straighten. Now sight down and if I got it close enough I take some steel wool and clean off the mark, move on to the next bad spot. Keep working up the shaft until you are happy with your work. You can always do more if need be.  (Joe Arguello)

    Like you, I have been using Titebond III for quite a few rods, and it is a dream to use - one pot, enough time to work, water cleanup, no need for gloves, easy to scrape off the blank, no glue line problem, neutral color, no smell......

    The list goes on.

    Like you I have moved back (temporarily ?)  to EPON, with which I had built seventy-five or so rods before trying TBIII.  My reason for the shift back was this nagging uncertainty about the thermal stability of the TB product.  That plus the fact that I still have a couple of litres of Epon on the shelf, which I sort of need to use.

    However, I have been heat straightening my TB III rods using my heat gun with no worries at all.  In fact, they are easier to work than with the Epon - just a very small amount of heating is enough to effect  straightening.  It seems tro set up perfectly well after re-cooling, and several rods that I built with it have been fished bloody hard after straightening with no ill effects.  I use the 600 setting on my Bosch heat gun, and for tip sections no more than a few seconds moving exposure is enough.

    I really like the TB III but guess that I am afraid of what might happen if some clown leaves a rod in a sealed tube on the back shelf in a car here in an Australian summer.  The answer is probably nothing, but there you are!  (Peter McKean)

    I use a hair dryer for heat.  Works for me. 

    I also use hand friction.  if you move your hand along the tip section, you can create enough heat to blister your hand.  Ask me how I know.   (Terry Kirkpatrick)


I used Titebond for several rods and allowed the dried glue to build up on my binder, especially the outrigger trays and the handle. Does anyone have a sure fire way to  remove it? A secret solvent perhaps, or is my only option to carefully scratch, pick, file and sand?  (Dick Steinbach)

    Apply heat, I think Franklin predicts glue failure at a sustained temperature less than three hundred degrees, I seem to recall 124-134 degrees but it has been years. I would probably try a heat gun first.

    The resins due burn, so be careful. With a heat gun I think they will soften before ignition.  (Greg Shockley)

    I would just try soaking in really hot water and using a Brillo pad.  I use this to clean up TB II and it really works well even after it has dried on really well.  I'm not sure what material you are trying to clean the TB off of, but my binder is aluminum and my guide arms are PVC.  Once the dried glue softens a bit, you can usually scrub it off with the Brillo pad or an X-acto knife or some other form of hobby knife to get it started.

    I would try that before any kind of chemicals.  (Scott Bahn)

      Plain vinegar will soften dried TB pretty well. I suppose hot vinegar will work even better.  (Frank Stetzer, Hexrod, Taper Archive, Rodmakers Archive)

        Thanks to everyone for their tips on removing the titebond. Boiling water, vinegar, alcohol, all seem to help with scrapers and patience to do a good job.  (Dick Steinbach)


For those of you who use Titebond III for gluing up your rods my question is this: how long do you wait after gluing up your rod sections and binding them before you remove the string and begin to scrape the sections? (Phil Crangi)

    I remove the binding string the next day which probably averages 16 or so hours. I have been using the Titebond products two and three for the last 10 years without delamination. The point I think valuable especially for newer builders is application of too much heat. You'll know it when the glue line turns black.Way too much heat.  (Dave Wallace)

    I usually wait overnight.  It sets in about 30 min, but the package recommends waiting 24 hours before stressing the joint.  Scraping the excess off isn't exactly stressing the joint, but planing it down to finished dimensions probably is.  Given all the work that has gone into getting this far, don't rush things now.... (Paul Gruver)

    Before I made the switch to URAC, I waited at least 24 hours to play with a Titebond III glued blank.  Glue it and walk away.  As it was mentioned.... don't rush it now after all that work.  (Pete Emmel)

    I usually wait about an hour then remove the string, wipe off the excess glue with a wet rag and then let dry until the next day before applying a first coat of finish. You do not have to scrape with any of the Titebond glues since all of the excess glue can be washed off with a wet rag. On the two rods that I impregnated with TileLab sealer I waited for a week before soaking the blanks in the sealer.  (Jim Healy)


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