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Recently I've been having problems with stringers on my strips. I use a Bellinger Roughing and  Tapering machine to rough my strips. I have been getting strings of cane at the edges. When I try to remove these stringers, they often end up ruining the strip. I have tried leaving them on and planing them off but that hasn't worked out very well either. I have tried new cutters, soaking the strips before milling, and taking less material off per pass. Nothing has worked. The only thing I haven't tried is the more expensive cutters. Does anyone have any suggestions. I would buy the more expensive cutters if I knew they would solve the problem, but my current production has me replacing cutters 2-3 times per  month and that's a lot of extra money to put out if they really won't help much.   (Jeff Fultz)

    I hand plane and teach others. When they start getting stringers I advise them to check the angles. You know is the angle 60 degrees, is it sitting in the form and are you planning perpendicular to the form. Usually stringers stop at that. Usually they are holding the plane at an angle leaning toward the stringers.  I get this from A Master's Guide to Building a Bamboo Fly Rod Everett Garrison, or comments he and Hoagy  Carmichael  exchange  on their video. I have seen this problem become worse like yours. I hope this helps.  (Rich McGaughey)

      I also hand plane all my rods after I rough them on my machine. The problem, as stated earlier, arises while roughing the strips not while hand planing. I assure you that I have 60 degree strips and that I plane perpendicular to my forms. I did not learn this from a book but by making many rods.

      As too your teaching of others, I have seen your work and I would be very interested in hearing how your "classes" are going. I have successfully taught numerous classes on bamboo rodmaking and I have been very proud of the rods that some of these guys have made in my shop. Last week I had a student finish a flamed and impregnated 7' 6" 5 wt. rod built on taper that I developed. The rod is one of the best casting 5 wt's. I have ever handled. It's the first time I tried impregnating this particular taper. This morning I had another student start a class and within the first hour he had picked out his culm, flamed it and began to learn how to split strips by hand. He had a natural touch and we were able to split his strips down to 0.18". We got 32 near perfect strips out of one half of a culm. I really love it when these students just start working on a rod. Some have been reading, researching and collecting tools for 2 years, then in two hours they learn more than they ever did in those two years of mulling around!    (Jeff Fultz)

    Try taking off MORE material per pass and see if that helps. In fact, take a reasonably square strip and feed the thing through in a single pass.  (Jeff Schaeffer)

      I think these used to be called "fuzzies."  Rolling the strip between leather gloved hands removes them with less damage than "peeling" or scraping with the thread gage.  I have sometimes seen them appear on one side of the strip and not the other.  If so, it's usually the side where the fibers are more perfectly parallel to the strip.  More frequent flipping side to side while cutting multiple passes kept the taper from running parallel to the original split, and reduced fuzzies for me.  Or, yours may be entirely different.  (Grayson Davis)


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