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Just curious, as I understand from someone, Glen Brackett used DAP wood weld for a long time.  Is anyone using this now and if so is there any heat treating involved?  Wanting to move away from Nyatex for a few reasons.  Pros and cons?  (Doug Hall)

    I have used DAP Weldwood Plastic Resin Glue on my last 30 rods and absolutely love it!   Have had no problems with delaminations, has adequate working time, is inexpensive, strong, has a long shelf life if kept dry, and cleans up with water while still wet.  I also switched from Nyatex some time ago after having a few glue failures.  (Scott Chase)

    There are several guys using the Dap Weldwood. I used it with good results, but it seems rather heat sensitive, so be careful when you straighten big blank sections, go slow. The Weldwood is easy to use, and it seems like URAC as far as blank stiffness goes.  (Bob Maulucci)

    I’ve been using Gorilla Glue, it’s 100% water proof, no mixing, can buy in small quantities for less than $4.00 a bottle. Haven’t had a problem with working time, can usually get a section glued and bound and in less than 20 minutes plenty of time to get it straightened out.

    It foams, I like that about it because it fills the gaps, the color blends nicely with cane. I remove from the string once it is no longer tacky to touch 4-5 hours and sand off excess otherwise it gets real tough. Haven’t had a problem heating it for further straightening.

    Disadvantage, it is sticky #%$#%$^ !!!, will turn your fingers brown if you get it on you. Sticks and stays on everything, haven’t found a good solvent yet, acetone works somewhat.

    Don’t know how long it will hold a rod together for yet, only been building for a year.  (Pete Van Schaack)


Anyone use Weldwood Plastic Resin Glue? The list of ingredients includes urea-formaldehyde.  I seem to recall someone using this with success. It's a powder mixture of resin and catalyst that you mix with water. It has something like a 2 hour pot life at 70 degrees and I think the shelf life is something like a year or more (I'll have to check on that.) A quart container cost $5.50!

Is it to good to be true??  (Eamon Lee)

    I have used Plastic Resin Glue for about four years, ever since it was suggested in a rod assembling tutorial for gluing cork (VFS, I think).  I really like for that purpose; I use a mandrel and it doesn't seem to stick to metal too much.  What concerns me is that it doesn't have the nice consistency of URAC, and I wonder where all the water would go.  I'm sure others have had great success gluing strips, but I don't feel right about using it.  (Jim Utzerath)

      I am rediscovering this glue. I used to use a lot of it, in fact, I have a plank top trestle table in my kitchen that was built 25 years ago and survived 3 teenagers and two moves. I stopped using it when the jerks started packaging it in the plastic tubs that don't really seal out moisture. I bought a couple batches that had already gone bad when I got them home from the store. Fortunately, the stuff gives you a warning. If you mix in the water and get some tiny, light colored glasslike flakes in the mix, it should not be used. The best way to protect the glue is to throw away the plastic tub and keep the glue in a mason jar or other airtight container in a dry place. The shelf life will be quite long if you do this.

      I just got up the courage to glue up a spiral rod with it, and the results are very promising. The glue dried very hard and held the sections in a very tight spiral. The texture seemed fine to me.  (Tom Smithwick)


Another glue related question.  Is anyone using/used Weldwood Plastic Resin Glue?  How well does it work? I'm considering this as an alternative to Titebond II for nodeless rods.  (Bill Benham)

    It works OK but has little heat resistance.  (AJ Thramer)

    As far as Titebond II Extend is concerned I use it and will continue until I find fault with it. I never used Weldwood PRG for gluing up blanks but I have used it for mixing cork filler. Weldwood PRG has a shelf life. Make sure the glue works before using it on a rod. When it goes bad the glue looks no different than when it was first manufactured so you must do a test before using. Titebond II E  has a 2 year shelf life but you can see the glue has gone bad before using it.   (Marty DeSapio)

      Not to mention that the Weldwood is nasty stuff to have airborne in the shop. A liquid or one part glue is best in my opinion especially if there is no real advantage over the other option. The Weldwood is just not heat resistant enough for me to try again. I made three rods with it and found that it easily bubbles at the seams if you over heat the strips to straighten. That cannot be good! Yikes....(Bob Maulucci)

        Weldwood Plastic Resin glue is the same resin as used in URAC. The difference is that the liquid resin is shot through a large shower head into a 1% humidity atmosphere in a large retort. The droplets of liquid resin dry before they hit the  bottom of  the  retort.  These tiny grains of resin are mixed with gap-filler (usually walnut shell flour) and about 1% acid salt (usually barium chloride in the case of Weldwood brand). You add water and spread your glue.

        It has a much longer shelf-life than the liquid glue as long as it is not exposed to moisture. The gluing characteristics of the Weldwood should not vary from the liquid form.  (John Zimny)


I need some advice on glue. I will soon be ready to glue #1 and need any advice on glue that anyone can give. I would rather not heat set the glue for the simple reason that my oven is more than 30 minutes away, at the moment. Also, where to get the glue.  I heard that "dap" glue would work.  But I'm unsure about using it.  (Robert Hicks)

    I use Titebond II - water proofed, Elmer’s available at most hardware stores, at a very reasonable price.  No heat treatment, about 20 minute work time, you must use low heat on the glue but I can still straighten with this glue. There is no mixing, just squeeze the bottle.  I am working on # 27. I have tried resorcinol  and can't see a difference except ease of use for the Titebond II.  (Rich McGaughey)


Just got back from Ace's Place. Couldn't resist bringing home a 1# tub of dry "Weldwood Plastic Resin Glue", by DAP ($5.99). Just add water for joints stronger than the wood itself! Warning on the label says it contains Urea-Formaldehyde Resin, Formaldehyde, and Ammonium Sulfate.

Is this something for rodmaking? Since it's dry, I'm guessing it has a long shelf life. Is this like the URAC glues?  (David Dziadosz)

    Works great.  Be aware that it has a shelf life of only 1 year.  I use it in all my classes.  You can get the batch number of the label and call DAP and they can tell you when it was made.   (Doug Hall)

    No, it's urea formaldehyde, long known in the UK  as Cascamite, and now, for no  reason anyone trained in marketing would accept, Extramite or something. It needs to be kept cool and dry or its shelf life can be very short. Otherwise, it works, like they all do, we don't have a glue problem.  (Robin Haywood)

      Cascamite/Extramite/Singleshot etc are all horribly useless for rod building IMHO. Cascamite was used by Allcocks, Hardy and almost all the UK rodbuilders in the 50-60's and these are all prone to delamination today.  (Paul Blakley)

      I thought Cascamite was a casein glue. While I don't remember exactly the difference between casein and urea  formaldehyde, I know there is one.  (John Channer)

      The glue is as described by Paul and I have used  it for only  one rod, that was enough.

      I did a strength trial, it was fine, I checked its pot life,  that was fine. I glued up a rod but that was way too frantic for my liking.  Although the glue will remain workable in a pot for ages, when spread thin it soon starts to set up and get very sticky.

      Due to the filler it leaves some traces of glue line.  This is not a problem with a blond rod but don't brown tone with PP and then change your mind.

      It is a very stiff glue and gives a crisp blank but that and its cheapness are not enough to encourage me to have another go.

      That said I have a model boat and several pieces of furniture glued with it over 30 years ago and they are still going strong.  As are my collection of Allcocks rods, I've yet to have one delaminate but one day maybe.  (Gary Marshall)

        I'm not desperately fond of the stuff because of its short shelf life and its granular texture. I've never had a particular working life problem with it,  but I may have used it a bit sloppy and not on blanks, only corks. I have a feeling that urea/phenol formaldehydes are subject to bacterial attack, probably in moist conditions, and it is this which  probably  leads  to  delamination.  I have a beautifully delaminated B.James MKiv here, probably glued up using some sort of formaldehyde, it had been kept in a shed for years. I expect it would have been just as bad with the various PVA based Titebonds.

        Following Paul's recommendation, I've gone on to resorcinol on the current rod, now curing. I've got the hang of cleaning up the brush and my hands, it's the cleaning up of the blank next! Being the idle inertia governed animal I am, I suppose I shall use the Resorcinol until it runs out or I get bored, polyurethane is the next victim. I rather like it for woodwork, but its shelf life is not good, perhaps I'll keep it in a refrigerator when I get some more.

        I've just sorted through the collection of weird cane rod-alikes, property of my brother, that clutter up one of the roof spaces here, there are Allcocks, Martin James, Milwards, all sorts of crap coarse rods. Mostly from the fifties and still revoltingly intact. Pity, if they delaminated I could replane them into something useful, like a load of replica Dickersons or something. Saves all that preparation time. Last winter I left a cane sea rod from the 60's out in the weather to see if it would delaminate, it just got wet. Would have made a nice brook rod. Recycling old cane could have a real future.  (Robin Haywood)

          I'm feeling lonely. Why is it that we never have a raft of questions about Epon??  (Larry Blan)

            Well Larry, why do people use other glues? I've used Nyatex and then when it finally, was pretty much gone, I bought Epon. Still can't decide which I like best! The only other adhesive I've used was T-88. That was gave to me from my boss who just finished an airplane and before I bought the Nyatex. I still use it for cork rings. What's shelf life? Cleanup, my binder looks like it's barely been used. Even after 50+ rods. Figures out to be cheaper than any of the Monkey Goo's, better than Titebond I through IIIIII. Better looking than purple. No offense Mindy, but Dad doesn't use it either!  (David Dziadosz)

              Once again, my usual post regarding glues.

              "If everyone used Nyatex, there would be no glue threads".

              Five year shelf life, hours of pot life, and after 24 hours you can nick off the binding string and heat set. You don't even need to rebind. Simple one to one mix, and it isn't fussy about estimated volumes. Since it is heat set at 235 F, no temperature experienced by a rod in normal use will ever affect its strength, and no worries about heating for straightening. Never had a failure.  (Jeff Schaeffer)

                You can pretty much say the same thing about Epon, except for one thing.  No shelf life.  I think Bill Fink has some that's over 20 years old.  (Mark Wendt)

    That's what it is, mix with water URAC. It is very coarse though and no amount of grinding in a pestle seems to make any difference, I could still see the glue in the seams the whole length of the 2 rods I made with it. Fine for rods for yourself, but I wouldn't use it for rods I was going to sell.  (John Channer)


I've started my first rod last January and have since completed five.  I've been part of this list since the beginning and have found it to be educational and entertaining.  Every once in awhile there is a thread about glues - some of you like urethane, some epoxies, and some Titebond type, yet to date I have never seen any comments about plastic resin glues like the one marketed by Weldwood for 50+ years.  I used it to when I built my inboard ski boat, my water skis, and my wooden landing nets.  Is there a reason?  Please share your collective wisdom.  (I used Titebond III for my first five blanks.)  (Tom Key)

    More than fifty years ago I used that glue type to make  my duck and goose decoys. They've been used extremely hard in salt water and cold and heavy wear-and-tear. That is one tough glue!  (Bill Fink)

    I know it has been used. I just cannot remember anything about it. I know it has been talked about on the list. Maybe someone will remember.  (Timothy Troester)

    I've tried it and it's basically powdered Urac that you mix with water. It has all the inherent strengths and weaknesses of Urac, it has a shelf life, it sets up fast so you have to get the binding and straightening done quickly and it leaves more noticeable glue lines than other glues. On the other hand, it is very strong and water resistant if you use before it goes bad and you can usually get it locally.  (John Channer)

      Is there a simple/easy way of knowing when this stuff goes bad? I bought a tub of the powder and have been using it on some woodworking projects and gluing cork rings for handles. Seems to work pretty good, for being over a year old. I figured since it was a dry powder, it would last forever!  (David Dziadosz)

    Weldwood Plastic Resin Glue is very similar to URAC (another plastic resin adhesive). It's basically a powdered urea formaldehyde glue that you mix with water. It's super strong stuff and has a longer shelf life than URAC, over 1 year. It has a very long pot life, 2+ hours at normal temps and cures fully in 12 hours at room temp but can be accelerated with heat. The other nice thing about the Weldwood Plastic Resin is you can mix by weight or volume. Don't try that with URAC (weight only).  (Jeff Fultz)

      Actually, I've never had a problem mixing URAC by volume. But I have looked at Weldwood and probably will try some once my URAC runs out.  (Chris Obuchowski)

        Be sure to tell us about it. I am sounding around for glue. I have used resorcinol exclusively until recently.  I love resorcinol, but times change.  (Timothy Troester)

          I do all my glue mix up by volume.  Buy a box of plastic picnic teaspoons.  When measuring the powder, don't pack it, and scrape it off level with straight edge (popsicle stick).

          For Resorcinol, it's four parts liquid to three parts powder, to one part denatured alcohol.

          For URAC 185, it's two loose parts powder to four parts liquid.  For my next rod I do with URAC, I'm gonna try the water/crystal ammonium carbonate/liquid resin recipe you can find at the TIPS site, rather than the powder.

          When I finally run out of URAC, I'm gonna try the Weldwood Plastic Resin. It's a urea formaldehyde glue just like URAC, but you mix it with water, and there is no powder filler to it (so it won't fill gaps, but it also won't add appreciably to your glue lines either).

          Each of the above will give you enough glue for a butt section, or two tips (though I often mix up a batch for each of the sections, so that I have all the time I want to bind the section and make sure it is straight before moving on to the next one. Hell, the glue is relatively cheap, and most makers will have to buy a new batch due to age before they run out).

          If anyone hasn't already read adhesives & finishes parts I and II, by John Zimny over at Jerry Foster's Rodmakers Page (Google it), under FAQ's etc., you owe it to yourself to do so.  There is a complete discussion of Resorcinol, URAC, Weldwood, PVAs (like Titebond) and Urethane adhesives,  so you understand what we're working with.  (Chris Obuchowski)

            To mix easily by weight, see Rodmakers' scale.  (Tapani Salmi)

            I have been giving Weldwood some thought. We used it to splice wood aircraft spars and in building wood airplanes. I used it for years doing this. The wood ribs and spars I built for my airplane over 40 years ago are still in one piece. I think we are talking about the same glue.  (Tony Spezio)

              It is a good glue for rodmaking, but there are a few cautions. One is shelf life. It will last a long time if stored in a cool dry place in a sealed container. The tub it comes in is junk. Buy it from someone who sells a lot of glue. I think Wicks Aircraft stocks it, or Aircraft Spruce. Put it into a mason jar. If the moisture does get to it, you will notice that it does not dissolve easily. It's always good to glue up some test sticks before using an old glue on a rod.

              The glue is not as heat resistant as Urac or resorcinol so straighten at low heat levels. On the plus side, it is easy to work with and dries very hard, making a nice crisp rod.  (Tom Smithwick)

                Has this stuff changed in the last few years? Here are some comments from the archives on it. (Larry Puckett)

                Yes I have. I tested many various different types of glue by planing two strips and gluing them together, then bending them until they break. The DAP Weldwood Plastic Resin is the only one that I have had let loose before the bamboo broke. Others have said that I probably got an old batch, because in reality the glue is a type of URAC, and many others have used it with great success. If you use it, make sure it is fresh.

                Darryl Hayashida

                I can concur with Darryl's experience. I also found that it would not put up with much heat, as in straightening.

                A.J. Thramer

                Tried DAP Weldwood Plastic Resin a few years ago.  Resulted in the only joints which have ever delaminated at the glue line. 

                Gary Dabrowski

                Not to mention that the Weldwood is nasty stuff to have airborne in the shop. A liquid or one part glue is best in my opinion especially if there is no real advantage over the other option. The Weldwood is just not heat resistant enough for me to try again. I made three rods with it and found that it easily bubbles at the seams if you over heat the strips to straighten. That cannot be good! Yikes....

                Bob Maulucci

                  I don't think it's changed since WWII.  I think it's one of the glues they used to build minesweepers and PT boats.  (Neil Savage)

                    I don't think it has changed, either. It must be used with some understanding like any other glue. The things to watch out for are:

                    • The cane must not be too dry, the glue needs a moisture content.
                    • Shelf life. If in doubt, glue some sticks together and destroy the joint after it cures.
                    • Temperature must be above 70° F, warmer is better.
                    • Straighten with care.  (Tom Smithwick)

                  Just as a side note, I use the DAP Weldwood product, especially in classes.  One of the keys if you choose to use it is to realize that it has a shelf life of only a year.  You have to get the batch numbers from each can and call their tech support folks.  It is actually hard to find fresh.  It is very common to find containers that are 2-3 years old on shelves.  (Doug Hall)


Has anybody had experience with Weldwood plastic resin glue, for gluing up bamboo strips to make blanks.

At present I use Nyatex, and the Weldwood was suggested to me at the Somerset show.

Another suggestion was for a heat treating regiment of 275 degrees for 14 hours. It seemed like a bit much but I thought I would run it past the list for some comments.  (Ren Monllor)

    Isn't this, or a version of it, what Glenn and the guys over at Sweetgrass use?? (Todd Talsma)

      You know Todd, I really don't know what they use. I do know they make beautiful rods though.  (Ren Monllor)

      They use an acid catalyzed PVA glue that is a special order in large quantities and I'm pretty sure is a 2 part mix.  (Larry Puckett)

    Why change from Nyatex? It is one of the best adhesives you can use. Heat treat Nyatex strips at 235 for 3 hours. Whoever told you 275 for 14 hours was blowing smoke where the sun don't shine. I think they were blowing more smoke about the Weldwood too. (blowing smoke is new term to replace "all wet")

    I have used the Weldwood Plastics Resin for boat building. I think it would work fine for rods but, you will have to use a lot of pressure when you bind since it is so thick.

    Enjoy the ease of use of Nyatex.  (Jerry Drake)

      As far as the heat treating Milward did a book on the topic and at the Canadian Grand Gathering talked about the best regimen being 325 for 10-20 minutes. Less than 325 no change and greater was charcoal.

      His testing I use 325 for 12 minutes  (Gordon Koppin)

        I think you missed the point. Heat treat Nyatex glued strips at 235 for 3 hours to set the epoxy. If I remember right,  Nyatex will break down at somewhere around 290. (Jerry Drake)

          You are correct.

          Milward was talking about the heat tempering of the cane not the glue setting.  (Gordon Koppin)

      Don’t get me wrong, I am a very happy Nyatex user; have been for quite some time. It was suggested though, rather heavily emphasized, by a rod maker who’s been doing this a lot longer than I.

      As far as heat treatment goes, I use the same heat treating regime as yourself. Again, it was also a major suggestion by this other rod maker and I thought I’d run it past the list for comments as to what the differences are or might be. I would think it would stiffen the end product quite a bit, but will I have crossed any thresholds that might render the blank unusable?  (Ren Monllor)

        If a proven track record and the recommendation of a long term rodmaker are what piqued your interest, just order some Epon and be done with it. Recommendation courtesy of Bill Fink.  (Larry Blan)

          Someone on the list was doing tests on the stiffness of our common glues.  I can't remember who it was?  I contributed a sample of liquid resorcinol.

          Anyway one thing to watch out for with Weldwood is its short shelf life.  If you get a can that has been on the hardware store shelf for a couple years, it may be degraded.  One more thing to go wrong, IMHO.  (Frank Stetzer, Hexrod, Taper Archive, Rodmakers Archive)

    Titebond III.  (Mark Heskett)

    I don't even cook turkey that long. Do you baste it every hour, too? That's a pretty high temp for the length of time they're speaking of. Sounds like you'd get the cane a bit too "done" for my liking.  (Mike St. Clair)

    I used it to build the wood spars and ribs on my home built airplane, it is still holding up after over 40 years. I think it is a bit thick and sets up quick. I would stick with the Nyatex. I used a sample of Nyatex twice, I find it about the same as Epon that I use.  (Tony Spezio)

    Weldwood is basically just a dry form of URAC with the walnut shell hardener and has all the same problems. I used it on a couple of rods and wasn't thrilled, the glue lines were too thick even though I ground the dry powder in a mortar before I mixed it and mixed it a bit thin. I also didn't care for how the corners looked, with 3x reading glasses there were noticeable glue lines the full length of all sections that I know weren't because of my planing, they looked a bit granular.   (John Channer)

      You actually helped me make up my mind about using the product. At the Somerset show, it was said to me that my cane work was really very good. I thank Tony for having said to me that if there is a glue line in any blanks he makes, it goes in the garbage; I follow the same rule for myself. No Glue Lines on my rods.  (Ren Monllor)

      What are the problems w/ URAC 185?  I am using it and have had some problems w/ it myself, but am curious as to what others have to say.  (Michael Johnson)

        I'm sure by now you've noticed how short the open time is, I don't want to have to work that fast to get the rod bound. I also found that it consistently made my sections .010 fatter than they were supposed to be with the walnut flour catalyst it comes with, using ammonium chloride knocked it down to around .004, but it still sets up too fast. I switched to Epon and am content, it works just the way I want it to and really isn't much worse to get off after it dries than URAC or anything else.  (John Channer)

        URAC is an excellent glue, and its handling properties seem perfect for our purposes. There's a problem with its rather short shelf-life, but this is easily overcome by storing the glue in a refrigerator.

        Secondly, the powdered catalyst contains a little walnut dust to provide some gap-filling properties. This is probably fine for ordinary woods, but bamboo is tough and unyielding, and the walnut powder sometimes shows up as a glue line. Again, easily corrected by substituting a liquid catalyst of ammonium chloride.

        Lastly, when heat-straightening a finished section, you need to be especially careful -- URAC glue lines can become distorted rather early in the process. I don't know if the glue is actually breaking down, or if it's simply swelling as it becomes temporarily plastic. But, either way, the swollen glue line does not return to its former "seamless" state.

        Toxicity may be an issue too, but this is true of many industrial glues. Ventilation or a good respirator seem prudent.  (Bill Harms)

        I have used URAC exclusively and have never had problems with fast set up. When I can glue up a butt and two tips with one batch of adhesive I don't think there is a problem with fast setting. I now usually take my time; it could be up to a total of 45 to 60 minutes with binding and rolling the sections and hanging up. When I first started I was under the impression that I had to work fast because of the glue setup - a big mistake in my opinion and incorrect information in some of the literature (my opinion) concerning URAC. I get much better sections working slower. I also use the walnut filler (be sure to make sure it is a very fine powder) and refrigerate my adhesive; currently working on a two year old batch. I don't seem to have any glue line problems but I do get about a 3 to 5 thousands increase in overall dimensions at the butt. I do some compensation for this issue in setting my taper. I don't notice as much at the tip; not sure why. Just my experience. I weight out my mixtures on a digital scale and try to follow the directions from Nelson Paints tech sheets. If you don't have them, call and ask as they were very willing to send me all the information I asked for. I currently have a new can of URAC in the "fridge" that I have not opened and purchased last year. Probably will break it out this spring and pitch the older stuff just to be sure all is OK. Adhesive is not costly.  (Frank Paul)


A couple of my friends are running experiments on a variety of glues, but my interest (for the moment) is in the Weldwood Plastic Resin product.

Several test results suggest it may be ideal for our purposes, so I'm wondering why we haven't all been using it all along. The product has been around "forever;" it's cheap, commonly available, user-friendly and is used regularly by boatbuilders, furniture-makers and builders of experimental aircraft. We've all known about Weldwood, yet it's rarely discussed among rodmakers.

The product highly water-resistant, but not completely waterproof. Still, when protected by varnish, apparently you'd need to boil your rod for a few hours to cause a breakdown. (So, if you do this fairly regularly, it's probably best not to use Weldwood.)

I haven't tried the product for rodmaking, but I'm wondering what other folks' experience may be. Where are the drawbacks?  (Bill Harms)

    I've used glue we have here that may be similar called Selley's 302 plastic resin. It's a UF powder with a liquid catalyst and it's excellent. You mix the powder with water then add the hardener.

    The only drawback with UF glues seems to be shelf life and I was once told the reason shelf life has become such a problem of late ie. the last few years is that UF glues are having less and less formaldehyde in them.

    I wound up always testing the glue with some kind of destruction test before I used it on rods due to some failures due to the glue just cracking apart but when it worked it gave excellent results and a very stiff action compared to Epon and resorcinol.   (Tony Young)

    I have used a lot of it in years past. I would suspect it would be too thick and it sets up fast. Thinning it would weaken it I suspect. This is just my opinion, not facts. I have found some in the hardware store in our rural area,  it looked like it had been on the shelf for years.  (Tony Spezio)

    I used Weldwood for maybe a year. Glued up probably a half dozen rods with it. I know Doug Hall uses it and uses it in all his classes. I never had any problems with it tacking up too quickly but I only mix enough to one section at a time. I'd guess I had maybe 15-20 minutes. before my gloves started sticking to the shaft. If you keep a small bucket of water handy you can just rinse off and keep going. It's cheap, easy to use, pretty much nontoxic, water cleanup, pretty good stuff but, (here comes the other shoe:>) first and most important,  in my opinion,  is that it's basically precatalyzed URAC with a filler (walnut shells?) The filler is a little coarse for bamboo work (IMHO again) so getting no glue lines is tough. It does mix up a little thick but the real problem is, if you roll it between your fingers it feels a little gritty. If you look really closely at a glued up section you can see some minor to very minor glue lines. If you take a 5x magnifier you can see a little "grit" between the strips along the glue lines. Second, shelf life - the fresher the glue the better, it will absorb moisture out of the air and clump and start to kick if it's exposed to too much ambient moisture. The plastic tub it comes in is poor protection. I would get as freah a container as possible and put it in a glass jar when I got it home. Give it a try, if you can figure out how to manage the "grit"  problem I'd probably go back to it. Meanwhile I've got a ten year supply of Epon.  (Dennis Higham)

      It also only has a shelf life of 12 months.  By all means, before you buy it, get the batch number from the container and call the tech number to get the date.  I find (on a regular basis) containers that are 3-4 years old on store shelves.  If you take the time to mix it well, you will not have any problems.  (Doug Hall)

      Did you try a mortar & pestle on the stuff? Might that work?  (Art Port)

        Yes, I tried a mortar and pestle, ground til my fingers hurt, didn't make any difference, stuff is still too coarse. It works great for laminating sheet goods of various kinds and I believe it's original purpose was for making plywood, but glue lines don't matter much in plywood. I would use it without hesitation if I was just making rods for myself and friends, but when you take someone's money they expect more these days. Handmill users who can cut a reliable 61.5 degrees might get along with it just fine, but I would deduct .010" from my target dimensions to allow for the glue.  There was a lengthy discussion discussion of the pro's and con's of Weldwood not too long ago.  (John Channer)

          I wonder what would happen if you sifted it first?  Any one tried that?  Or is all of it too coarse?  (Neil Savage)

            I ground it first, then sifted it, if you do it the other way you have the same problem as sifting the walnut flour catalyst that comes with URAC, you sift out the active ingredient. I like Epon and there just doesn't seem to be any reason to mess with something that I consider to be more trouble than it's worth.  (John Channer)

          It seems that one of the biggest concerns is with the glue lines (even though they are small), and that when you sell to customers they expect perfection.  How is it that Orvis has gotten top dollar for rods with hideous purple glue lines all these years.  I guess it's all about saying you have an Orvis cane rod.  Go Figure!  (Tom Key)

            I think there is a difference between purple glue lines from purple glue and glue lines caused by crooked planing and chipped nodes. If one likes resorcinol one has to get use to the purple lines.  Resorcinol is a good glue. (Timothy Troester)

              Would you also think that there's a difference between glue lines from purple glue and glue lines from catalyst grit(s)?  (Vince Brannick)

              This is what I've come to love about this list - the ability of it's members to cut to the chase and take no prisoners.   Thank you Harry for reminding me that the pursuit, even thought it may never be achieved, is perfection - this is not said with sarcasm in my voice.  As for being spanked for my "newbieness" about purple lines being the result of "resorcinol"  (the  quotes are for timothy) glue (duh), I decided to look at the glue lines more closely on the only two "name rods" I have in my possession (Orvis and Wojnicki both circa 1990's on loan from a buddy) with my wife's geologist  hand lens - very powerful.  Both had glue lines and tear outs (the Orvis was worse), but of course the Orivs was much more visible because to the "resorcinol" glue.  I'm learning that if I do not frame my responses to questions posted on the site with EXACTNESS I can count on being shown no quarter and even fragged by the very guys who are supposed to be on my side.  However, that is what makes this list so much fun.  Thank goodness I'm old and don't have thin skin, and I think I'd even be willing to introduce most of you to my wife.  Carry on - I'm off to the Fly Fishing Show in Pleasanton, CA to look at glue lines with my hand lens!  (Tom Key)

            Garrisons' rods also had glue lines because he used resorcinol, however the glue lines were from the resorcinol penetrating  the bamboo and not because there were gaps in the seems.  That makes the difference! However, I have seen Orvis rods with small gaps, marketing hype probably made people overlook this flaw. Glue lines from resorcinol are also evident on a lot of Bill Phillipsons' rods as well.  (Will Price)

              I'm no old hand at any of this rodmaking stuff.  Thirteen years ago I started making tools and stuff.  I completed my first rod a little over 11 years ago, and nearly 150 since.  In that time I have attended 15 rodmakers gatherings, dozens of shows, and lotsa fishing trips.  I have seen quite visible glue lines in rods from South Bend, Granger, Heddon, Phillipson, Orvis, Leonard, Dickerson, Young, Garrison, many modern makers, and many other classic makers whose names don't come to mind right now.  In fact, probably the only major maker in whose work I have never seen glue lines is Payne.  That does not mean they are not there -- just means I haven't seen them.

              And yes, there are a few of my rods running around out there with big ugly glue lines.

              But that doesn't make it okay.  When I was a kid and begged to do something all the other kids were doing, my folks would say "Just because every other kid in town is jumping in the lake that doesn't mean you should too."  For me and many of you, an important part of making bamboo rods is, to borrow a phrase, "the relentless pursuit of perfection."  Though I have never even come close to perfection, I keep pursuing it.

              Here's the long-winded point I'm after:  Eliminating glue lines and other visible flaws is part of that pursuit.  If it takes some effort and patience to secure glues, finishes and other components that aid us in that pursuit, well, the effort is worth it.  Sounds to me like the Weldwood glue is to URAC what Devcon is to Epon or Nyatex -- an easier to acquire poor substitute.  (Harry Boyd)

              Well, I can honestly say that I have never gotten a glue line in one of my rods! (but I would be lying) and mama told me not to lie :>)  (Joe Arguello)

              What I don't understand is this: Who made the decision that maroon (OK purple) glue lines are bad and that everybody else's rod blanks should all look the same?  (Tony Young)

                I personally think those purple glue lines are cool, I just don't like the mess of using that darn glue. I have always thought that the purple glue lines on an old Phillipson was part of what set them apart and made them kinda special. That being said it's the gaps in the glue lines that mean you should be subjected to caning :>) pun intended!  (Joe Arguello)

                  I have a Battenkill made in 1953 and it is almost impossible to see the glue lines and they definitely are not purple — more of a dark brown/black. Was Orvis using resorcinol back then? If not I wonder what they did use -- anyone know?  (Larry Puckett)

                    Cannot say that I know, but on one of my visits to the Orvis operation in Manchester, I observed that the tapered strips were allowed to soak in what appeared to be a formaldehyde 'soup' prior to 'stringing up'. I've inquired since, whether that was actually part of the gluing process as well, but never received a definitive answer. This was probably in the '70s, so may not in any way address your question.  (Vince Brannick)

                    There must be color variations. The stuff I've always used is definitely maroon. I've been messing about with boats for years and I'm yet to see what you'd call purple glue lines. The older rods I've seen haven't been exactly offensive to the eye either.  (Tony Young)

                  It's the gaps in the work that should set the rods apart not the color of the line.  (Tony Young)

                I would say that it was probably the "buying public." Seems glue lines became associated with poor workmanship due to the open seam glue lines on a lot of the mass produced rods. The  buyers got to the point that they didn't want to see them even if it was the by product of the glue curing to a dark color. They came to equate that if a rod didn't have glue lines it was automatically a good rod and as we all know "that ain't necessarily so."  (Will Price)

                  My reading of the Garrison (Carmichael's) rationale for the appearance of the purple glue lines was that they were due to the color actually 'soaking into' the bamboo at the very thin edges at the junctions of the splines. The question in this time frame, is where is Borden's resorcinol glue available if someone does want to use it?  (Vince Brannick)

                    I tried to Google it and got no hits.  It was on ACE Hardware's web site a year or so ago, but not now.  I found DAP Weldwood resorcinol several places though.  (Neil Savage)

                  I've mentioned this to a few people in the past and on this list too but it seems to me that there are certain things that also ain't necessarily so and it's said the buying public demand it but I think rodmakers say it and people go along with it.

                  Resorcinol glue is one. Many, many people wont touch it even if they don't sell rods simply because the crowd seems to think it's inferior due to the color.

                  It has a shelf life but it's a long one so it's better than URAC for that reason and it's easier to use and clean up than Epon with no post heating issues so better than epoxy for that reason.

                  The action is more like URAC than epoxy. It has a long open working time but best of all it makes the rod look like a bamboo rod and it doesn't look like the hundreds of others being made.

                  Titebond II and III are also good but the open time is too short most of the time in my climate without messing about but the glue lines with them are a little wide I find. I don't care what people use, sparrow spit may work too just don't knock a good glue that'll keep everything stuck together long after everything else has fallen apart around it because of what appears to be mob rule amongst rodmakers when it comes to the color which if you look at it is actually quite nice for a change.

                  Now, if you're faint hearted don't read were warned.

                  Since I'm on a roll about mob rule I'll hijack the header while I'm at it and add that people who want to really lash out and swim against the current might like to use resorcinol and make a good many sized rod and not persist with the silly notion that all bamboo rods should be less than 7.5’ and #4 rods with sweet dreams of casting delicate mayflies on gossamer onto spring creeks with dumb trout waiting in line to commit harri karri. Get real and make cannon and see what a real rod can do even if it does weight a little more, something you can blast into 20 knots and manhandle a 7 lb brown in a current. If you use silk like you should be on bamboo you can still fish mayflys on little water, it works here on mayfly rivers where do it and the browns around here aren't exactly dumb.

                  Don't go in half measures try a Dickerson Guide Special or something and convince yourself that not all bamboo rods have to be wands made just like all the rest.  (Tony Young)

                    Hear, hear!

                    I make 'em up to 12.5 feet long, USING RESORCINOL, and the majority of the rods I build are 6 wts and 5 wts (usually 8' for Pacific northwestern USA fishing).

                    I'll second the idea that many myths get perpetuated in cane rodmaking without substantiating evidence to support them.

                    They call me an iconoclast.  (Chris Obuchowski)

                    That would be  that marketing thing. You can do it just as well, tell your customers the silly Americans just don't know good glue when they see it.

                    All the talk about 'glue lines' is really pretty funny when you consider that  the only  drawback ever  attributed to  resorcinol is  its lack of gap-filling properties.

                    Epon (yawn) does not  require post-heating. In fact, the only reason for heating epoxy is to reduce the viscosity, speed the cure or (when applicable), to increase the HDT.  (Larry Blan)

                      Blast! Sorry Tony. I know you have American customers too, and that might not fly to well with them. Just tell them that Crocodile Dundee uses Resorcinol!  (Larry Blan)

                        That's OK, I don't really care what glue I use. I tell the punter what I think and often as not they say use resorcinol because that's what I think. If they want no lines I use Titebond III unless they really want epoxy and I'll use Epon.

                        Personally I prefer resorcinol as you know.  Croc Dundee only uses it to hold his cigarette paper together.  (Tony Young)

                      I'd sooner not speak unkindly of my American cousin's ideas on glue thank you very much  :-)

                      When I used Epon I didn't post heat it and it worked fine but it seems the usual thing to do  amongst makers so I mentioned it. I really hate cleaning it up though.

                      My problem with it is it's action which I could get used to if I wanted to but prefer that from UF or resorcinol. Titebond II & III is really good too but it cures to fast and I dislike messing with things that may upset it's cure in any way beyond it's designed use.

                      On sloppy work resorcinol's lack of gap filling is a problem but we're talking big gaps here normally only found on carpentry and boat building where the tolerances of work are to within the nearest boat rather than within the nearest few thousandths or whatever you work to. Even the worst planing imaginable on a rod can't produce work resorcinol wont fill it'll just show up.

                      I do keep wondering about the color thing with resorcinol. For those who use it, exactly what color is it over there at this time not older rods? Here it's brown/maroon and the glue lines are definably dark  tending to black if anything not purple.

                      The thing that miffs me about this is the follow the leader way it it. It's hardly scientific but when ever I'm around a place where people come to fish and I spend a bit of time at these places I tend to talk to fishermen. Often we'll meet on a river and the subject of bamboo rods often comes up because I invariably happen to be using one. I am yet to find an American fisherman who doesn't actually make rods actually using a bamboo rod in NZ where I live when I'm not in Tasmania is one of  the destination spots to go yet a hell of a lot of these blokes do own bamboo rods. I've found it best to not mention I make one or two myself to get an idea of their thinking and I'm constantly told bamboo rods are not very good in the sizes you need for NZ rivers so they go and buy a Sage 9' #5 or #6 for the trip and keep the bamboo for special days in little mayfly rivers. I would imagine it's the same in Canada and Alaska. This is not the punters thinking it's what the rod makers are telling them. Guides don't help because they often as not will open giggle at the mention of bamboo but if the punters really like and had confidence in the rods they'd take them. I very much doubt the day has come when that the total number of fish caught on graphite rods yet has reached that of bamboo over the years.  (Tony Young)

                        I worked 17 years doing cabinetry and millwork.  We used a lot of  resorcinol for our exterior millwork. Messy sticky stuff!! I can say that with my experience, the resorcinol (Dap/Weldwood marine resorcinol glue) was indeed purple in color! The product stained everything - clothes, skin, wood, etc. Depending on the thickness of the glue joint it would range from purple to black, and in different light, it could look more purple than black. It definitely would stain the wood if it sat on the surface, and no matter how careful I tried to be, I always came home with purple hands. That is until I started wearing gloves!! Then it was just purple splatter marks on anything not covered - arms, face etc. Just my experience!! For what its worth!!  (Paul McRoberts)

                        I got some horrible purple stuff one time and I sent it back. It was also really thick. The stuff I got from Custom Pac was much browner and I have got some that was tan in color. (Timothy Troester)

                          There are variations in resorcinol and I wonder if that's what's happening here?

                          Apparently to make resorcinol cheaper they use a higher % of phenol which may be what gives the purple color? I'm just thinking aloud here. I've never used it that was purple ever here but I also only ever get glue I've been using for years going back to when I was a kid building boats.  (Tony Young)

                        "I do keep wondering about the color thing with resorcinol. For those who use it, exactly what color is it over there at this time not older rods? Here it's brown/maroon and the glue lines are definably dark tending to black if anything not purple."

                        This is exactly how I would describe the color of the glue lines in my old Battenkill. I'll be interested to see the responses to your comment.  (Larry Puckett)

                          I have used the stuff for over 25 years, and it has always been reddish brown that darkens with age or heat. But I have also seen Garrison rods where the glue line is a distinct purple, and there is an area of visible penetration. The seam it self is flawlessly tight, but the glue line is wide because of the penetration. I can't duplicate the visible penetration, nor the purple color. I think the formula must have changed at some point. I do thin with alcohol, and bash the cutoffs apart after glue up. The glue is strong, and basically indestructible. I have even put spliced strips through heat treatment at 350°. The glue turn jet black, but seems to lose no strength.  (Tom Smithwick)

                          The problem is that there are dozens of resorcinol glues. If you google the word you will be amazed. Also Bill  Phillipson didn't use Resorcinol. According to Banjo's site he used a related glue called Penacolite. It is a popular glue with aircraft builders. Perhaps Tony S. Could chime in.  (Doug Easton)

                            Well, if you Google Penacolite you will find several different formulations. Also, "Cascophen" seems to be similar to Penacolite.  Both appear to be combinations of resorcinol  resin and formaldehyde.  Not so sure you won't get an allergic reaction from sanding it... (Neil Savage)

                            I fly a lot & take my bamboo on the planes all the time.  I have never been given any grief for taking them as carry ones even 8'0" 2 piece rods.  As a matter of fact one time when I was flying to Alaska the flight attendants took especially good care of the rods & made sure they were in a safe closet by the crew.

                            I am right now building some 4 piece rods that will make travel easier.  But not because I have been given trouble for the longer tubes i just want to make it easier for me to  carry them on my kit bag.  (Bret Reiter)

                            OK, that sounds like a good answer to the issue -- some brands are purple and some are not. Can anyone name brands that are purple and those that are maroon/brown in color. That way we will know which to buy and which to avoid. I can live with the dark lines but purple glue lines are a bit too over the top.  (Larry Puckett)

                              Cascophen and Aerodux give  brown/reddish lines definitely not purple.  Both of these glues are Resorcinol Phenol Formaldehyde.

                              The Aerodux (and perhaps the Cascophen) contains a fine filler which determines the glue line thickness, thin but measurable, presumably to prevent starvation and allow some gap filling.  The glue can be thinned with methylated spirits (denatured alcohol?) which means it can also be stained with a spirit dye, usually red to emphasize the color a bit.

                              Used it quite a bit a few years ago but my customers prefer not to see any lines so now I use UF (Aerolite 308).  (Gary Marshall)

                                I'll second Gary's observations here(the Humbrol resorcinol is sold as Extraphen) but add that I used to get resorcinol from Tony Young (hello Tony) when he lived in Oz and before the customs people prevented him shipping it.

                                The resorcinol from him in those days was a dark maroon color.

                                You can even make resorcinol colorless by adding a little "Tioxide" which is the pigment used to make white paint.

                                One last point, Gary is referring to Aerolite 308 when used with GBPX hardener and NOT Aerolite 306.  (Paul Blakley)

                                As long as we're on urea formaldehyde glue, I expect a lot of you remember the smell of the pickled frog in high school biology?  Formaldehyde is bad for you now, but it must not have been then.  (Neil Savage)

                                  Sounds to me a little like what Garrison was using wasn't resorcinol at all. Maybe he was using Penacolite but considered it to be resorcinol since it probably is one of formulations that were (are) getting about and the reputation has stuck since then?

                                  Beats me how the dreaded purple glue line stories ever got such wide and long term circulation against what is observed on rods being made that are clearly not purple.  (Tony Young)

                                    In deference to a comment that Mr. Garrison may not have been using resorcinol at all ~ p. 88 of the 'book' informs us that in the late forties "Gary came upon the new liquid  resin adhesives".  Further along we are told that "It is sold today under the name Resorcinol Formaldehyde Resin, better known as "Elmer's Waterproof Glue" ~ (that's the product which was made at the  Borden plant  in  Bainbridge, N.Y.) The text also notes that there are two kinds of the product; "Cascophen R-224" and "Cascophen R-216" and gives reasons why the R-224 is the one to use. Also it is noted that "the dark wine-colored glue line that is unavoidable", wasn't liked by some rod enthusiasts. There is also reference to the adding of alcohol to the mixture that would add more penetration ("often as deep as .012") to the "hard primary fibers (sic) of the bamboo strips". Convincing?  (Vince Brannick)

                        I know some folks who like bamboo just fine, but won't take it on airplane due to the poor security for checked luggage (like it's apt to disappear in shipment & the airline assumes no responsibility) and it's pretty hard to get it on as carryon.  Little old ladies can't even take their knitting needles on a plane these days.  (Neil Savage)

                          I know they're out there and I said it wasn't scientific and I know I don't see them all but I've spoken to quite a few people now who own them yet don't take them and the story seems to be same.

                          Some of these guys are spending big bucks too and would have no worries in insuring their baggage.  (Tony Young)

                            Are you saying what’s the point in having a nice bamboo rod if you won't use it? If so I agree. Last time I went to the USA I had 2 Bamboo rods in checked luggage I figured what was the point in all the hard work and care only to leave them at home? There are plenty of option in checkable luggage these days to ensure your rods not only arrive but arrive intact (was going to say in one piece but my rods weren't one piecers tom start with! LOL).

                            Maybe its back to the issue you mentioned in an earlier post - people seem to get bamboo rods for light delicate applications only - not realizing, or maybe forgetting, that they make superb streamer and heavier application tools as well.

                            I know I haven't used my carbon rods since 2004 when Bret Reiter made me my rod (and Bret I use yours way more than the one I made).

                            In fact if I ever get out of the one bedroom apartment and into a house Mrs. Nick has promised me a rod and tying room  will be  part of the deal and the next rods will be a 8.5’ 6/7 wt streamer rod and an 8 wt rod.

                            I like the light stuff but I LOVE tossing streamers.  (Nick Kingston)

                              You have it exactly. I'm also saying rod makers shouldn't be afraid to recommend heavier rods than has been the norm and that they should be recommended for all types of trout fishing not just the light 4 oz and less type rods.  (Tony Young)

                              "Most of us have rods in many weights-

                              But Tony's rods are all V8's".........

                              (Old Aussie Saying, circa 2008)

                              Hello, Nick

                              Tony tends to be a bit one-eyed about Lyle Dickerson's rods, and with some justification, as they are reputedly fine pieces of work;  and because he is a V-8 man, he has sort of settled on the big daddy of them all, the Guide Special.

                              That's fine, if you like them, which I do not!  I have made three, and in fact cut the hardware off the third a couple of weeks ago to re-use.

                              But that is neither here nor there - whether or not they are great rods is purely a matter of choice and of opinion, and Tony's is as good as mine.

                              But Tony is quite wrong when he assumes that we do not make heavy rods, because we do.  I make a lot of copies of Harold "Pinky" Gillum's 8'0" 6-weight rod, and in my hands it is just so far superior to those bloody bargepoles of Guide Specials that there is no comparison. And, for those who   want   them,   I  make  an  8'6" 7-weight developed up from the same rod. I  have one of each amongst my personal rods, and I daresay I could find them if you gave me a couple of hours to hunt around.

                              Most of my fishing is done on smallish rivers for trout with an expected maximum weight of around 4 pounds.  I can cover these rivers easily and adequately with a 7'6" Garrison 206, or with  a Payne 101.  On the smaller streams,  a Payne 98 or similar is perfect.

                              Sure I could fish them with the Gillum, but why would I want to.  I could use Chernobyl ants too, if I wanted to, or Stimulators with rubber bloody legs!!! Or carbide bombs!

                              I could shoot rabbits with a .500 Nitro Express as well, or putt with my driver!

                              We have all tried, I am sure, the BIG rods, and we keep them or lose them according to our preferences.  The fact that I continue to make a few means that there are lots of fishermen out there who love to use them, mainly on stillwaters or in the salt.

                              Oddly, I make pretty well none of the little "Banty" style rods;  you would think that the bell curve would have two ends, wouldn't you?  But in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland in Australia, it is a one-ended curve.   (Peter McKean)

                                This is not quite true.

                                Here in Tassie I live  less than a 5 minute walk from the Elizabeth R and 15 minutes drive from the Maquarrie R. mayfly rivers both and about an hr from around 20 other places and I tend to use a Driggs taper and Dickerson 7612 a lot unless the wind is up which it usually is then I use a 7614 or Guide Special taper rods.  So I do use lighter rods too, very often like every few days or so.

                                In NZ I live literally 200 yards from the Buller River or a lot less than that when it floods and you would be using a putter to drive on that river if you use anything less than an 8' #5 but the fish can be pretty big there and the current is really fast and often the wind gets up as well as the other 4 rivers within half an hours drive of it so a #6 or #7 is the way to go. Lighter would work but it's risking it.

                                The issue isn't the size of the fish it's the conditions.

                                Because I'm unlucky enough to have fished pretty much every single day for the last few years in widely different places I've done a bit of thinking on the subject and have to conclude that you can use whatever you like, I'm not a rod nazi but on average it's generally better to go a little more than less because weather conditions can make light rods unusable while a heavier rod will generally handle it. The point is you match the rod to the conditions. Often the conditions warrant a bigger rod yet punters are told to stick with the little ones giving the impression that bamboo is fine for little stuff but for serious work use your Sage.

                                My entire point has not been that people wont make heavier rods, I know they do my point is they tend to try to steer people into lighter ones when there's no reason to do so. If a heavier rod is required tell the punter that instead of pandering to the notion that all bamboo rods should be wands. If you happen to do this then great but I suspect most haven't tried the BIG rods for fear of braking the 4 oz barrier.

                                I spoke at length to a punter in the pub in Murchison one evening who had a few bamboo rods made by somebody I wont name. I asked him why he didn't fish with them in NZ. He told me there are no bamboo rods made that are worth using in NZ due to the weight they have to be to do it. I asked him who told him that he told me the rodmaker! The maker could sell this guy another rod except he'd convinced him light rods are the only way to go. It was after being told this that I began quizzing people on a regular basis and it became a very common answer.  (Tony Young)


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