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Heat Treating - Nodeless


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I tried tempering some short strips in wife's home oven to learn how to splice nodeless strips. Oven has recently been calibrated by the Amana service guy, and it's certified "close enough for Betty Crocker." I tried 375 degrees for 15 minutes, then turned down to 200 degrees for 12 minutes. Next morning when I went to plane these for splices, found these strips are hard!! Beveling just one for a splice and the plane's edge is shot, beveled two and the iron doesn't even cut! Good irons, Hock, LN, even a Hock cryo. Is this from over-baking?

I did try breaking one of these strips, they don't snap easily, it took real effort, and it breaks into a spray of fine splintered ends, not just snapping in two. So I wouldn't say they're charcoal. Not much color change in the unflamed strips.

Have one of Bret's ovens on order, but hasn't arrived yet. How does one evaluate the results of a tempering schedule, short of completing the rod?  (Rick Funcik)

    When I have over cooked them they were easier to plane - they results were not shavings but fuzz like ripped

    cloth.  I usually cook them 4 minutes on each side at 375. I am guessing that I over cooked them 15 minutes .

    The cane was noodles and not usable.   (Rex Tutor)

    If there isn't much color change, chances are good the strips are okay.  Why they would be so hard and tough is something of a mystery to me.

    Are the shavings long and smooth, or do they crumble as soon as they get above the blade?

    How much cane are you removing in each pass?  I find that it's difficult to remove more than .005" per pass with even the sharpest of blades.

    At what angle are the blades sharpened?  If the angle is less than 30 degrees, that might explain premature wear and tear.

    Not sure if any of these questions are relevant, just trying to come up with some answers.

    How does one evaluate heat-treating methods?  That's a $64K question if ever there was one.  (Harry Boyd)

Rule

I just read the tip and FAQ section - in regard to planing forms (wood) has anyone used any of the resin impregnated wood to make their forms from?   I've heard the biggest problem with wood forms is the moisture content variables and instability and thought resin treated wood might be an improvement. Got any opinions or facts on this?

I liked the idea of the nodeless strips and being able to use a typical home oven (in the kitchen) to temper - due to the shorter lengths of the strips prior to gluing the splice joints -  are nodeless rods OK? any inherent problems?  Then again the same FAQ section intimated that "flamed"  cane is possibly the best as far as tempering? Wouldn't need an oven at all if this were so.  (John Silveira)

    I made 2 flamed rods from the same culm, same taper etc.  One was heat treated too, the other not.  (Not that I'm an expert, these were rods #2 and 3.)  They cast identically as far as anyone in my family can tell.  Don't know yet how they will stand up over time and fishing, but at this point flaming without heat treating seems to work fine.  That said, I have made a heat gun oven for my own use.  (Neil Savage)

    In truth, I've still got limited experience making rods, but I've got a little time this morning, and an opinion, so let me try to answer some of your questions anyway.

    >>the biggest problem with wood forms is .... variables and instability <<<

    I would expect changes in a wooden form to be gradual rather than instantaneous.  You might find tomorrow morning that a form you set today has different readings but once set it won't change drastically every time you look away or reach for a cup of coffee.   You can deal with it by checking your forms for the proper setting each time you go out to the shop to plane and by checking your strips frequently as you approach final dimensions.  This also holds true about steel forms and all other material in between.  Make your forms from the materials that are readily available to you and that you feel comfortable working.

    >>>are nodeless rods OK ? any inherent problems ? <<<<

    I don't know of any inherent problems in nodeless rods, a lot of folks make them.  To me making, or not making, nodeless is a personal decision primarily based on aesthetics.   I am the type that likes lumps in my mashed potatoes, so too, my rods will have nodes.  Others view it differently, but to each his own.

    >>>as far as tempering ?<<<<

    It is all across the board here.  PHY used a ring of fire to flame and temper his rods.  Many of us have built ovens and, as you may have gathered, those ovens range from an iron pipe and torch arrangement to elaborate computer controlled monsters.  I haven't read Bob Milward's book, but from what I have gathered from others, he suggests that heat has a detrimental effect on cane and I think recommends no heat treating at all.  I have a Cattanach style oven that I made but, knowing what I know now, if I didn't have an oven, I think I could get by somehow.

    So what you are finding out, John, is that rod making is a series of compromises that are the result of our individual abilities, the tools available to us and our own opinions of what a rod should be.  No two of us use the exact same process or tools to make a rod, no one of us makes a rod that is unfishable.  Granted some of our rods are only fished once and then left in the bag as adjustments are made to our process or new tools are made.  Few of us have made masterpieces the first time out of the gate.  I know I haven't.

    From my own experience, and from what I have seen in other beginners, I believe as beginners we tend to read a book and try to precisely duplicate what is being described.  It is a feeling that any other process, then that of our chosen guru, is wrong and couldn't possibly result in a decent rod.   What I have found is that, as much as I want to, I can't make a rod like Wayne, or George, or Jack, or Ray.  (I'm smart enough to realize I don't want to make a rod like Mr. Garrison.)  They each use a process that is tailored to their abilities and tools.  Their tools aren't available to me and my abilities don't permit me to fully adapt to their process.  So I have stolen a little from all of them and also from the list and now have my own process and tools.

    So gather the tools you can, make your compromises and make your rod.  The results will undoubtedly be a fishable rod but you will be able to see in that rod opportunities for improvement.  Now, having gone through the process, your abilities will have increased.  Review your process, improve your tools, make new compromises and then make a second rod.  The second rod may also spend most of it's time in a bag, but you're narrowing the gap.

    Hope that is of some help.  Some may view me as a heretic and accuse me of lowering the standards of making cane rods, but you asked for opinions and that is mine.

    BTW, I am a little slow starting in the shop today since it is currently below 30 degrees, with no hope of reaching 70 degrees (with luck it might reach the low 50's).   Talk about a compromise, I'm varnishing today!  I think I've worked it out but if my process doesn't work and results are poor, well, I own some sandpaper and some stripper and there will always be a warmer weekend, sometime.  (Tim Wilhelm)

      So what you are finding out, John, is that rod making is a series of compromises that are the result of our individual abilities, the tools available to us and our own opinions of what a rod should be.  No two of us use the exact same process or tools to make a rod, no one of us makes a rod that is unfishable.  Granted some of our rods are only fished once and then left in the bag as adjustments are made to our process or new tools are made.  Few of us have made masterpieces the first time out of the gate.  I know I haven't.

      From my own experience, and from what I have seen in other beginners, I believe as beginners we tend to read a book and try to precisely duplicate what is being described.  It is a feeling that any other process, then that of our chosen guru, is wrong and couldn't possibly result in a decent rod.   What I have found is that, as much as I want to, I can't make a rod like Wayne, or George, or Jack, or Ray.  (I'm smart enough to realize I don't want to make a rod like Mr. Garrison.)  They each use a process that is tailored to their abilities and tools.  Their tools aren't available to me and my abilities don't permit me to fully adapt to their process.  So I have stolen a little from all of them and also from the list and now have my own process and tools.

      So gather the tools you can, make your compromises and make your rod.  The results will undoubtedly be a fishable rod but you will be able to see in that rod opportunities for improvement.  Now, having gone through the process, your abilities will have increased.  Review your process, improve your tools, make new compromises and then make a second rod.  The second rod may also spend most of it's time in a bag, but you're narrowing the gap.

      These three paragraphs should be required reading for every newbie that comes along.  I wish I'd seen them when I first started out.  Like most new guys/gals, I was under the firm belief that if I didn't follow the "bible" to the letter, my rods wouldn't work.  Kudos to you Tim, for putting this in words.  (Mark Wendt)

        From a newbie to whom Tim was kind enough to relay this same theory, it took me from trying to follow the “bible” and getting everything together perfectly as they said, to actually starting to plane on a rod. Best words of advice I ever got. I hope that every newbie will follow his advice as I did. Thanks Tim!!!!

        Update on the insulated stove pipe oven. I got it finished and it does work, but if I had to do it over again I would stick to the rectangular style oven and forget all the headaches of working with the pipe and getting everything level working with a curved surface. The insulation they use between is a fine powder that comes out of every hole and getting them sealed  was  a  problem.  The  5  foot  finned baseboard-heating unit does work fine, 1250 watts heats up quickly and maintains the temperature well throughout the oven.  (Gary Jones)

      On heat treating, let me clarify Milward's conclusions on heat treating.  He states that heat treating does improve the strength of a rod and make it less resistant to taking a set.  He also states that any heat treating which significantly changes the color of the cane also weakens it.   His  suggestion  is  a  thorough  drying  cycle  of  150-200  degrees F for 2.5 hours, then heat treat between 300 and 350 degrees for 5 to 20 minutes just until the color starts to change.   (Milward   2001,  Section 1.2 p.13 and Section 3.4 p. 123)

      Tim's comment on form material is excellent and right on target - I made wooden forms and am still using them 4 rods later.  I don't think the resin impregnation would offer any advantages.

      This also holds true about steel forms and all other material in between.  Make your forms from the materials that are readily available to you and that you feel comfortable working.  (Kurt Clement)

        I really don't want to start an argument here (I'm lying... nothing is more stimulating that good debate... except maybe good se.... never mind...), but I finally read Bob Milward’s book and while I do agree with a lot of what he says, I cannot agree with his take on heat treating.  Yes, his logic does sound right, and in the limited tests he did, it demonstrated his point, BUT... rather than relying on the results one man's testing, I'd rather look at the history of bamboo fly rods.  Every major rod manufacturing company of the past (and some from the present) from Montague to H-I to Granger to Edwards, to T&T to Leonard to Payne made rods in methods that would be contrary to these seemingly popular ideas about the effects of heat treating.  Keep in mind that the shops of days gone by were not just a guy in a garage or small shop like we are today.  Leonard had a staff or rodmakers and an engineering department that did constant research on things like this.  Not for a few days to get results for a paper, magazine article or whatever, but for well over a century... from the 1860's to the 1980's. That's 130 years of research and development dedicated to cane rods and in my honest opinion, a staff of engineers working on problems for that long, probably had a lot better idea of how things really were than we can by reading a few books.  As I said, there are many things in Milward’s book that I do agree with, this is one that I cannot agree with.  That doesn't make me right, but then again, if Leonard was wrong, if Payne was wrong, if Gillum was wrong, then why is it that we can copy their tapers and get a $1200 or so when the originals will bring up to $4000... Are we, with all our "scientific advancements and research", really making the best fly rods today?  Sometimes I think we are, then I look back at history and see that these guys were not small shop/garage makers.  They had R&D departments that consisted of a group of engineers, not one man trying different things (testing?) on a limited basis and drawing what we sometimes consider firm and valid conclusions from those tests. One week, one month, one year, even one decade of dedicated testing still doesn't compare to having a Research and Development department in place for more than a century.

        Before I sign off, let me reiterate that I did read Bob's book, cover to cover at least three times and many sections of it a multitude of times, and I do think he has some very valid points and do have respect for him for being the first in this modern era of cane rodmaking to take the time to try to test and draw conclusions on a less than limited basis.  So, this email is not intended to question his book as a whole, or to impugn all of the work he did.  I did enjoy the book and I do think it has value.  (Bob Nunley)

        I talked to Milward about this because the book  says he continues the drying after the heat treatment. This did not seem right to me so I called him on the phone and talked to him about it. He does continue the drying process after the heat treatment leaves it in the oven AFTER heat treating. doesn't make sense to me but that's his program.  (Dave Norling)

        Is your disagreement with Milward's statements about flaming (the rod) as a heat treatment, or about his analysis of heat treating in general?  He does state that mild heat treatment with light browning of the bamboo is beneficial.

        On the few rods that I have built, I have flamed them - mostly as a coloring step -  and always have sap boiling out the ends of  the culm - IE. wet bamboo.  I then split, soak, straighten, rough plane, air dry, and then heat treat.   The old-time manufacturers probably did things differently.  Their cane was probably drier, they didn't soak (to my knowledge), they may even have sawn the strips and sanded the nodes.  Did the old manufacturers rely on only flaming as a heat treatment, or did they utilize a tempering oven as well?  (Kurt Clement)

          First, I've never considered flaming to be beneficial at all as a heat treatment method.  There was only one of the rodmaking greats of the past that flamed only as a heat treatment according to "lore", and that was Paul Young.  I have been told by a VERY experienced rodmaker that is still in business that knew Mr. Young from the many shows they attended together that says that was just hype, that Paul Young, did indeed use a heat treating regimen in addition to his "ring of fire".

          On to the question!  I do not agree that flaming is detrimental to the cane.  I think the two identical (one flamed, one unflamed) rods I had at SRG show that flaming DOES have an effect on the cane... it definitely slowed the recovery time of the flamed rod.  But, is that detrimental?  To me, no, it isn't.  It makes a difference the rods cast, but that doesn't mean that it's determent al.  As for flaming, I do it for cosmetics only, and it's a great way to hide watermarks on bamboo that you normally wouldn't use for a blonde rod.  Now, even for the many that agree that flaming is detrimental, is it enough so to hurt the cane for its use in making a fishing instrument?  In my opinion, no, again, historical evidence based on what we can see in Paynes, Leonards, Gillums, and any of the other great makers or rod companies of the past.  While I agree that flaming changes the action, it's being detrimental is just a matter of taste.  I know many who prefer a rod with a slower recovery.  I happen to prefer one that's more crisp. Either way, there are a lot of 50, 60, 70, even 100 year old flamed rods out there that are still good functional fishing rods, so I can't agree that flaming has any detrimental effect on the finished rod.

          Now, on to the heat treating.  I agree that heat treating is beneficial, but I have some problems with his assertion that heat treating to a significant change in color weakens a rod.  I feel there is more than ample evidence to support Bob's conclusion that heat treating improves the strength of the bamboo and helps prevent it from taking a set, so the color change assertion is where my main disagreement lies.  This disagreement is from personal experience and from looking at rods from the past that were a bit past "butterscotch" or even a deep caramel colored.  I just don't see any long term proof that heat treating to a point that the cane's color is significantly changed is detrimental.  Can I prove this?  No, but there are literally thousands of bamboo rods that were heat treated to a significant change in color that are older than I am, yet they are still fantastic rods, which are crisp, cast well and aren't any more prone to taking a set than a light blonde rod.  Not only do I base it on that, but I base it somewhat on personal experience.  A few times when things have gotten a little hectic around here, I've forgotten a rod and left it in the oven way too long (at least compared to what my normal heat treating regimen is). I've done it probably well over a dozen times.  I don't mean so that the rods were caramel colored, I mean they were cooked to the point that they were chocolate brown.  So, what happened?  Every one of them were great casting little rods and every one of them is still in service today in the hands of flyfishers.  One of them was a 3 wt that many at SRG last year and at Grayling this year saw that was almost BLACK!  I mean I burned the living hell out of this rod.  Know what... It cast just like a flamed rod, but it didn't come apart.  matter of fact, the first wood handled rod I made was one that I forgot and left in the oven for a LONG time that came out very very VERY dark brown, and it's now in the hands of a customer in Washington State that absolutely loves the action of it.  He wrote a letter that I'll put on my web site soon, where he said it was the best casting 3 wt he had ever owned.  This little rod was burned to a crisp, yet has tips that are only .046 overall flat to flat, and it's landed some pretty hefty fish, not only in this customers hands, but in my hands.

          OK, now that I've said all of this, I MUST say that my opinions are NOT based on any scientific data as are Bob Milward’s.  My opinions are based on my experience only.  I'm definitely not the most prolific rodmaker out there, having made a few hundred, where there are some out there with thousands under their belt, so please, don't take what I say as fact, just look at them as conclusions I've drawn from rods I've made, rods I've repaired and rods I've owned or cast.  You know what they say about opinions... their like a$$holes.  Everyone has one, most of them stink.  Mine may as well... my opinion, I mean... *S*

          I also want to say that I'm not slamming Bob in any way.  I do respect the amount of research he put into putting his book together.  Just because I don't agree with everything in it, doesn't mean it isn't a good book.  I would definitely recommend that everyone on this list obtain a copy and read it.  It WILL provoke thought and it DOES provide a lot of good information.  That's what a good book is supposed to do.  (Bob Nunley)

            I can confirm that from what I saw when I visited Todd Young at his gallery/shop at Traverse City.   The burning ring of fire was used then the splines were heat treated just like everybody else. Todd told me that was how it was always done and I saw the gear for it. The mill was pretty good to check out too.

            I must add here that Todd was pretty decent to me and Jerry Young when were were there. He held nothing back as far as what his grandfather and father did and what he does and it was a pretty interesting visit.  I'm not sure if Todd is always this open to talking to drop ins as we were but it was interesting and fun being there.  Funny thing happened when we were there. Todd's wife is obviously now of the surname Young, my name is Young, Jerry's name is Young and of course Todd's is Young.  Jerry and I arrived there and asked Todd's wife to see Todd. She asked who we were and we told her. She went off and told Todd we were there to see him thinking we were relatives I guess.  Todd comes in and sees we're not relatives so there are we four all with the same surname and none except by marriage (Todd and his wife that is) were related. I was afraid to ask if we were also all left handed but I was afraid we would be, last time I read of a coincidence of that magnitude an Infinite Improbability Drive had been used and I wasn't prepared to accept the consequences  [:-)]

            You wont understand the last part of this unless you know The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Sort of an in joke.  (Tony Young)

    I've made approximately 20 nodeless rods, all on wooden forms.  The wooden forms can't alter enough between setting and using unless you have a dramatic change in air pressure and the associated change in humidity like a cyclone is bearing down on you. The cyclone bearing down on Vanuatu at 356 kmh (221 mph) right now would do that over night but that's what it would take.  If you leave the forms for a week or so they may alter enough to need resetting but if you're micing the splines moving the spline a few mm one way or the other may be all it would take to get things right without having to reset the forms. Hardwoods tend to have more movement than softwoods. The forms themselves contrary to what you may thing don't really get shaved by the planing, only the high spots and that's a good thing anyhow.

    As for nodeless construction you may find it problematical. A lot of people do make rods nodeless including me for personal rods only now as it uses all the short lengths of bamboo left over after making them conventionally.  I've used a few different epoxies, UF and resorcinol but never used PVA glues including Titebond II which some on list swear by nor hide glue.  Personally I can't see how the PVA glues can work in the long run as PVA glue lines will slip in time and any movement at the scarf at all is disaster sooner or later. All glues and the bamboo itself slips during use but if the scarf opens out at all it's a problem.  Making the whole rod from Titebond II is great apparently but I can't see how the scarfs will last. I could be wrong and hope I am because there are probably more nodeless rods made with Titebond II or other cross linked PVA than any other glue.

    There are two problems you'll encounter when making rods nodeless.

    One is when you heat straighten you'll find that because the scarfs are closer to the heat source than the glue holding the splines the nodes will pop if you're not very careful. If a scarf pops even the most minute bit it'll fail as sure as apples fall to the ground sooner or later, most likely sooner.

    The other problem is simple use can pop them depending on what you use for glue. I had a hell of a problem using one type of glue made to what I thought was the right formula because I was told it was but the rods failed within a month or so, they looked fine and I used them a little before sending them off but they failed in use. I used another well know glue from known makers with the same results but after a longer period. In fact I just today bound some of these popping scarfs with white silk to hold them together and dipped the rod. I've used this rod a lot and caught some pretty decent fish but the scarfs are popping now about 3 years after making it  and countless cycles of casting. The glue on this was a very good rodmaking epoxy from a known source.

    The advantage of using epoxy is it's made from 100% solids and it will reharden to original strength when the heat is off but if a scarf still looks dodgy it'll fail.

    Hide glue is strong and it'll also re set to 100% of it's original strength when the heat is off.

    UF wont work period. I made an experimental rod where I didn't even attempt to straighten the rod just to see how the scarfs failed. Badly, didn't see a weeks fishing out.

    The only glue I've used that I found to work no matter what is resorcinol. Hardly anybody wants to use it due to the dark glue lines and nodeless makes it even worse with all the scarfs but it hangs in there.

    For my money it's resorcinol but I must try some real heat it up and use it hide glue one day.

    As a beginner you may like to consider resorcinol. You'll make others so having a rod with dark glue lines as your first is not that much of a problem.  (Tony Young)

    On the subject of flaming - 5 years ago I tried heat treating in an oven (at varying times and temps), flaming with a torch, flaming with a torch then oven heat treating. I liked the action on the flamed rod the best. Couldn't tell the difference from the one flamed and then oven heat treated from the one only flamed. If I want a blonde rod I flame only the inside of the culm. The action might be a tad slower and softer, but the difference is slight. Might be my imagination since I expect it to be so. I got rid of the oven and have been flaming only. Some people will tell you - and there is a book out that says the same thing - that flaming destroys the longevity of the bamboo. That may be so, but I like the action of a flamed rod and I will trade the (maybe) shortened life of the rod for the stiffer action. I figure if the rod lasts 25 to 50 years instead of 100 it's a good trade off for the better action. It is true I've never seen a really old flamed rod.  (Darryl Hayashida)

      A little blip on flaming.

      I had two rods at SRG (actually, I think I had 8 rods there, but just these particular two I want to bring up).  Both were identical... same spacing, exactly the same dimensions, both were cut back to back on the beveler in the same afternoon, both were heat treated at the same time, they had the same number of varnish coats, same grip length and shape, both heat treated exactly the same... with both casting the same line, almost everyone noticed that the flamed rod was much slower in "recovery" than the blonde rod.  Both cast very nice, but very different.  Nothing scientific here, but the two rods were made as exactly alike as is possible, even glued up on the same day, varnished on the same day, so all conditions for the making of these two rod's were identical...  Even the cane (that's something on which I wont' go into detail, but I don't buy into the "side by side" idea for strips, or anything even close to it).

      Honestly, I was amazed that the flamed rod didn't recover as quickly as the blonde rod did, even though I'd been told by someone much more knowledgeable and vastly more experienced than I, that I would find this to be true if I made like rods at the same time with flaming being the only difference (sometimes you just have to prove things to me, and this did prove that the maker who told me this was right); however I like the blonde better, but then again, I'm partial to most things blonde.... and fast...*S*

      Whew, that last paragraph was one sentence... see Tony Y., I'm learning from ya! (Bob Nunley)

        When I flame a culm I flame both sides - unless I want a blonde rod, then I only flame the inside. I flame the inside until the pith turns to charcoal - actually glows red right under the torch flame, so the heat penetrates all the way through. The other side (outside) of the culm is so hot I cannot touch it. I then wire brush off all the charcoaled pith.

        Most people only flame the outside, and then only to get the color so the heat doesn't penetrate too deep. In that case I can see oven heat treating would help.  (Darryl Hayashida)

          I'm a bit convoluted at this point; let me ask a few questions to clarify.

          For those rodmakers who  advocate heat treating  in ovens, post-flaming, is the benefit understood to be faster action, moisture removal, or decreasing the likelihood of the rod taking sets? (I didn't understand which conclusion Kurt was drawing about this from his post -- I apologize). I realize I'm talking to a group of people with diverse opinions here, but I'm very interested in the discussion and am trying to combine opinions and draw my own conclusions. Also, another rodmaker in this area built a fantastic 6 weight Gillum taper which I later duplicated. He flamed and baked (350 F for 15 min.) the rod while I only flamed my first tip. His rod is much faster and stiffer (really a beautiful creation, though I'm partial to my own for obvious reasons). The jury's still out on my second tip, which I DID oven bake,  as I've not yet wrapped any guides on it. Anyone willing to chance a prediction on it's speed or where it's point(s) of flex will move too?

          For rodmakers who don't heat treat, why not? rod feel or experience with durability, etc...? (Here's the dumb question in the email), I know moisture is bad for the rod, but why exactly? I can understand that cooking the natural sugars in the cane might break down organic fibers necessary for strength, but what sort of weakness or brittleness or noodles does H2O add to the mix?

          Has anyone seen older rods that were flamed and otherwise heat treated? or can anyone corroborate Darryl's thoughts on rod longevity?  (Jonathan Engle)

            Bob Milward’s book covers your questions very thoroughly.  If you have not read it, you would find it is likely the best definitive answer.  (Ralph Moon)

            I can tell you because I saw it that the current Young rods from the PHY stable are put through the Burning Ring Of Fire AND heat treated in an oven.  I was shown the Ring Of Fire but wasn't invited to look closely at the oven, the look of which struck me as an industrial pirate's treasure chest. The ring of fire is not enough to do the whole job as far as that particular rod making shop is concerned including when they were being made in numbers.

            John Zimny has written on the list previously that the Department of Trees in the US say the heating of wood with the intention of hardening it does not work and anything that is achieved is reversible when moisture reenters.  Could be right but I have to wonder about that for two reasons.

            One, I spent some time with Aboriginals, a lot of who still live off the land in the Northern Territory. A lot of whites say Aboriginals are lazy, many citing the meaningless fact they never invented the wheel. If these people ever got out of their car and looked at the terrain where a road hasn't been pushed through they'd realize a wheel would be as useful as a cigarette lighter on a bicycle and if they used reason they'd also come to the dazzling conclusion that lazy people who have to live off the land here would either starve to death in a week or die of thirst in a day.  The reason they are accused of being lazy is they don't do what isn't absolutely necessary, it wastes, energy that has to be replaced by eating a goanna or something. If you'd ever eaten goanna and knew that any ergs you use up have to be replaced by eating more goanna you'd never waste energy either. These guys all char their spear points and to me they always "seemed" a lot harder for it. They consider to not do it is stupid. They've been doing this for over 40,000 years and you'd have to think somebody would have tried something different if it wasn't necessary.

            Secondly, if you think about it bamboo and wood etc. all are made up of sugars and various other stuff. Heating must alter the state of these ingredients and if heated beyond a certain level the change must be irreversible assuming the rod is looked after. If you insist on keeping it in a wet or very damp environment the bamboo will take up moisture but I wonder what the rod would be like when it's dried out again?  (Tony Young)

        I believe the raw cane Vs. flamed cane item came out in the Grand Experiment. If I recall correctly, the raw cane did everything as well as any other rod, including not taking a set. John Long could hold forth much better than I on this, if he's of a mind to. John, you here?

        I think Tony reads lots of William Faulkner, as he does seem to emulate  that  style  of  writing,  with those long,  meandering, nearly run-on sentences, and as much verbosity packed into one line as is possible, the use of commas being plentiful, regardless of whether used in the correct context, or not, and forever laying out an idea as though an entire spool of fly line, gracefully brought forth, yet powerfully delivered, its essence permeating to the inner recesses of the mind of those who dare linger over it, who attempt to grasp its meaning as though from the darkest depths of Universal knowledge, intending to apply it in whatever manner deemed fit, yet always looking, searching for the unfathomable truth, lying near, lying far, lying nowhere in particular, seemingly always out of grasp, but so tantalizingly close as to elicit Pavlovian responses in anticipation of the acquisition of "The Secret".  (Martin-Darrell)

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