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I seem to recall someone mentioning that he was building swelled butts by installing 6 strips of cane into the butt section to make the swell. I'd like to get in touch with this person.

Anybody know who this might be?  (Don Anderson)

    I've done a few that way.  Pain to do, but looks really good.  Did one with flamed bamboo and blonde inserts.  (Bob Nunley)

    That's what I saw and had in mind to do. Flamed cane and blonde inserts. Figured it would be a lot easier to deal with sanding the blond rather than keeping the colour on the flamed. What angle did you use for the insert and how long approx were they ahead of the corks?

    Think it might be a real pain to do as well.  (Don Anderson)

    Should have let my fingers do some walking.

    Thanx to all that responded and helped.

    Think there is more than enough ideas to keep me busy.  (Don Anderson)


I am toying with the idea of making a wood mortised grip.

I understand:

1.  the bamboo strips are constant thickness for the length of the mortise

2.  the wood strips are rectangular and of the same thickness as the bamboo strips (or they meet each other in the middle with or without bevels)

3.  the wood strip faces (that glue to the bamboo faces) get sanded to a taper ending in a fine point.

My questions are:

Presumably the wood strips (if they are the same thickness as the bamboo) have to flex along with the bamboo strips to make up the taper of the grip? If so how are they all induced to flex and kept aligned  - without one slipping in for example? Do you insert some sort of accurately tapered central dowel to hold them in place?

Or are the wood strips accurately pre-tapered in both planes first, which would not require flexing?  (Steve Dugmore)

    Boy, I can't remember where it is right now, but I'll look for a really good tutorial that I used for my first mortised handle.  In that, the individual used a fastidiously crafted hex balsa wood core that went inside all the strips.  I didn't, I just made a round dowel (cedar) and tapered it a bit to start the slope of the grip to the rod; I didn't taper the core down to the tip.  I didn't find the strips of wood that hard to bend into the from grip dimension to rod dimension, it was actually the bamboo strips that were the bugger.  As you state, the wood strips are wedges and are tapered to a fine tip in one dimension.  This allows them to bend; they actually need to be the same depth as the strip in order to make it work and be durable.  The bamboo is what makes the taper difficult; you are trying to bend 6 thick strips of bamboo into a tight curve.  If the bamboo is the same depth with the wood or without the wood, then it is simply a function of the width of the wood that changes the diameter of the grip.  That is really hard to explain.  Just make up 6 strips from scrap a couple feet long, and 6 strips of wood with equal depth and play with it; it really is the best way to get your head around it.

    To crank the thing together, I used nylon fishing line in 12" sections with I think a constrictor knot every 1" or so, and at the base of the taper where the wood ends, I used a pipe clamp lined with some clear vinyl tubing. I fit it several times before glue up.  I used URAC.  It didn't look like I had done it before when I finished; but then again, I hadn't.  I am confident practice will definitely improve my mortised grips.  I may soak and heat the strips and dry fit them next time to put a bit of set into the strips before I glue up. (John Wagner)


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