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I don't know if anyone else does this or not.  

When building plastic models the builder often "dry fits" the parts to make sure of alignment.  

I've started binding my finished sections without glue, then looking at them through one of those workbench lighted magnifiers.   I can mark places where the pieces don't line up right (node, suspect glue lines, etc.)  then I can take the sections apart and make minor adjustment, and try again. 

It's made me much more careful with my final planing.   (Terry Kirkpatrick)

    Sounds like a good idea to me, I do it in general woodworking, why not in rodmaking.  Just be careful of the corners that they don't get damaged.  (Neil Savage)


Gaps & glue lines

One hates to think  that they're inevitable ~ but, maybe they are. The question before the house then, is what in the world to do about those nasty little seamy seams.  After more than a 100 hours of sweat and tears is the result 'kindling'?  Despite sharp planes, and the exercising of great care, there still seems to be those tiny 'chips' in the vicinity of those (dratted) nodes.  What say some of you?  And Thank You for your (kind?) remarks.  (Vince Brannick)

    I sell rods, so any sections with glue lines go in the reject pile, to be used for repairs on old clunkers where looks and taper matter less than winding up with a useable fishin’ pole.  (John Channer)

    Here’s what I do when I find a node that tears or chips (and no matter how sharp the blade is on a certain nodes it just seems to happen):

    • I place the strip 1 or 2 stations (5”- 10”) down the forms.
    • I plane the strip down to the form in this position
    • I then slide the strip up the form to the final position.
    • I scrape the offending node on both sides until it is flush with the form. I scrape it  with a Stanley cutter blade (I have a box of 100 of them at any one time). I flip the blade over as I scrape back and forth– a tip from Tony Spezio – thanks again Tony
    • I then continue to plane the strips until nearly flush with the form. The plane simply rides over the offending node which it can no longer bite into
    • Finally I scrape the whole strip with the Stanley blade.  (Stephen Dugmore)

Build nodeless<G>.  (Will Price)

I'd be willing to guess that if your nodes are chipping and showing minute seams you never quite got them flat.  A well flattened node should sit flush and level with the groove in the planing form.

I'm with John -- I can't let visible glue lines, small chips, or open seams out of the shop on a customer's rod.  But it's been a long time since I had to scrap a blank because of glue lines.  (Harry Boyd)

Soaking the strips really helps tame the nodes. You still have to take off the last .010 or so dry, but by then the worst is over.  (Frank Stetzer, Hexrod, Taper Archive, Rodmakers Archive)

A couple of things:

  • As mentioned, you gotta get the cane "grain" straight through the node area. If you get small chips forming, restraighten the strip. I do it all the time. Seems like a strip grain occasionally like to "take off" left > right. The strip has to be straight not only vertically but the grain has to be straight.
  • Your plane angle may be a tad shallow. thought I'd finally found Nirvana when I raised the plane angle to 45>50 degrees included.
  • If it still chips, reverse the forms and cane and plane from the opposite end. A couple of passes, flip end for end again, flip the strip over and a couple of passes.  (Don Anderson)

I think Tony S. and I both came to the same conclusion.  Test wrap the strips and then look for voids.  When I find one I mark the strip on the outside, with a ^ pointing at the location.  Then, after unwrapping the section, I mark the face I want to fix by rubbing the side of a pencil along it.   I return it to the form and sand that area until the pencil mark disappears.    I may be changing the taper on the strip by .001 or .002 but in the scheme of things, I'm probably changing the taper less than 2%.  And for those of us who are less than 98% anal attentive, that won't affect the taper!

Since I've been doing this my blanks come out a lot more glue line free.   (Terry Kirkpatrick)

To all you good folks who advised me how to prevent gaps and glue lines, Thank you!  Aren't any of you sneaky enough to 'plug em'? The ones you don't sell, of course?  Real good pieces of advice, however ~ and much appreciated.  (Vince Brannick)

      Did anyone forget to say, "Really Sharp blade!!!"

      If so, let me say it for them. 

      You need a REALLY SHARP BLADE!!!"  (Terry Kirkpatrick)

      The other thing that helps minimize tear out at the nodes is to close the throat of the plane to an opening just large enough to freely allow the curl to pass through.  (Mark Shamburg)

        Indeed, also a well tuned plane helps.  Most important is a sharp blade though.  If you're using a modern Stanley 9 1/2 (as opposed to one from 40 years ago) you might want to get a Hock blade.  IMHO, the blades in modern Stanleys are garbage.  (Neil Savage)


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