I'm working on perfecting my wrap finishing and want to know how much sanding do those of you who feel you have a good system for nice wrap results.

  1. How many coats before you do any sanding?
  2. Do you sand until all the surface is smooth, or just knock off the high spots?

Last but not least is there a good web site that shows the plans for a Drip System? Been using foam brushes to this point. Have wife's permission to drill a hole in the cellar stairs.  (Jim Tefft)

I put 3 coats of spar or poly allowing to dry 24 hours between coats. I then dip 1 or 2 coats on the whole rod (with poly I steel wool between coats). I then sand with #1000  the whole rod wraps and all. I more or less just knock the high spots down on the wraps. I tack off with mineral spirits and dip the final coat.  (Marty DeSapio)

How many coats? Depends on thread size and how much you thin your finish.  More thin coats is better than a few thick ones.

I thin my finish a lot. I want it to soak in good and dry fast. After it starts to build up, I let it dry good and sand with nothing coarser than 1000 grit sandpaper between coats till I get a good finish, then I do a final dip to blend it altogether.  (David Dziadosz)


I'm wrapping with YLI or Pearsalls Naples silk. Varnish is Epiphanies cut with turps. My question is... How many coats of varnish do you guys put on before sanding your wraps (if you sand your wraps) and what grit paper do you use? Do you sand wet or dry or with some magic elixir? How long do you wait to sand, assuming drying is at room temps?  (Mike Givney)

I put enough coats of varnish on  the wraps to completely cover them, wait 3 days after the last coat, then sand them with 1200 grit wet/dry wrapped around a piece of wood(specially picked from the scrap pile for this job, (3/4" wide, 1/4" thick and roughly 5' long) used dry, I go thru a lot of it. I sand the wraps with the thin side of the scrap wood, after the whole rod is varnished I use the wide side between coats, Which reminds me, I dip twice after I get the wraps done, 3 times if absolutely necessary.  (John Channer)

I build the varnish with five coats (one per day) and then let dry for two or three more days.  Then sand the fuzzies an' stuff with 1500 grit wet-or-dry.  Cut a sheet into little  2" x 2" pieces, and work carefully by sanding only the flats.  Apply a couple more light coats of varnish and sand again.  Then, one final coat.

You can wet-sand (though I don't) by dipping an edge of the paper into mineral spirits.  Your paper will last MUCH longer, and the grit will cut more efficiently too.  But the problem is that you can't really watch your progress, since the wetted surface masks the chalky look of the sanded surface.  (Bill Harms)


I put 3 coats of varnish on my wraps and sanded the bumps off after a week's drying time with emery boards of varying grits 600 to 1500, I am guessing.

This made the once clear, clean bumpy wraps a ugly cloudy and dull finish, though I did get rid of the bumps.  I am planning on dipping the rod in a dip tube.

But how do I get my luster back on the wraps?   (Matt Baun)

The next coat of varnish will restore the gloss. Making them dull and nasty looking is what sanding is supposed to do, that's what helps the next coat stick. (John Channer)

Yeah, that sand paper will do that. Before you add more varnish to the mix you might consider using some method to remove the dust from the wraps and the rest of the rod as far as that goes.  (Timothy Troester)

They are supposed to look dull. If you can still see shiny spots, those are the low spots and will show up in the final finish. If you want to see what the finished wrap will look like after dipping, you can apply some varnish on the wraps with a lintless cloth or a good piece of paper towel. Just wipe it on the wraps real light. If the wrap looks smooth it is ready to dip. If is is not smooth, I would apply another full coat of varnish and sand again. I personally prefer steel wool.

If you use steel wool, pass a magnet over the wraps to pick up any particles that might still be there after wiping down.  (Tony Spezio)


I put two warm unthinned spar coats on some tip wraps about 1 hour apart.  I was intending to start putting thin coats after that.  I had to leave it for a day or two and am wondering if it's safe to go ahead and start with thin coats or do I have to start over?

The thread texture is still showing somewhat as well as the fuzzies.  It's dry to the touch. Is it safe to sand it a little or will that just ruin the silk? (1st rod if you couldn't guess)  (Bruce Johns)

Don't sand wraps until they are completely covered with varnish, sanded thread will look "wrong" no matter how much varnish you put over it.  (John Channer)

I do sand after one or two coat......just very lightly with 600 grit to know off the fuzzies. If I am feeling aggressive, I sand with 400 but I wouldn't recommend on your first rod. I sand between each coat to keep buildup to a minimum and keep things hex shaped.  (Barry Janzen)


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