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Making a Garrison style reel seat is a butt joint between finished wood and cork.  Unsolved problem I’ve run into is how to achieve a perfect flush joint.  You have varnished/finished wood with one diameter and cork.  How to make that connection without damaging the finish on the wood.  The easiest way is to glue wood to cork and sand.  But finish adds a few thousandths onto the wood diameter.  It seems to be a chicken/egg thing.  If you finish the wood and turn the cork to the finished wood dimension them chances are good the finish will be marred.  Any tricks?  (Rich Young)

    Turn them either both at the same time or turn the wood first then bring the cork down to it then use an oil finish on the wood that doesn't build up much on the surface. Or just use a regular wood or cork reel seat insert and save yourself the headache in the first place.   (John Channer)

    The several seats of that style that I've made have mated quite well at the transition point from cork to wood. My wood section receives a minimum of four coats of good quality spar varnish prior to assembly. When sufficiently dried and polished, a band of draftsman masking tape (perhaps 'painter's tape' would work well) is wrapped around the the end close to where the wood meets the cork. The the cork is then sanded to the surface of the tape. When the tape is removed, the cork is judiciously sanded to level of the varnish. It may also be wise to wrap a thin layer of 'Syran Wrap' over the varnish before applying the tape ~ in fact the tape may even then be unnecessary.  (Vince Brannick)


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