I am trying to finish a rod in the Leonard Hunt Series colors. At the Catskill gathering two years ago, Ted Simroe reported that Leonard used oil based mahogany stain on the bamboo. I tried staining some test sections and they sure do not want to take a dark color. Any suggestions will be appreciated. I had a Hunt Series rod made by Marc Aroner and it was very dark in color. Two coats only result in a slight mahogany tint.  (Ron Revelle)

I have had no luck with stains for bamboo, but I have had some success with dyes. I would try TransTint dye in alcohol. I can send a picture of a rod I dyed that way. I like it, sometimes it can go awry, but as long as you dye the unvarnished bamboo, it will work. See Mark Wendt's article in Power Fibers #13 for more detail on how he does it. My procedure is pretty much the same.  (Bob Maulucci)

I have dyed a couple rods - and it seems that instead of an oil base stain - you might want to try a water or alcohol base art marker - they lay the color on the surface and don't try to penetrate the pours - the brand I have used from a local (Grand Rapids) art store was the Pantone brand - and there were a hundredish colors to chose from. In the store you can actually test them so take a scrap strip with you - they have an excellent Purple.  (Wayne Cattanach)

I have tried to stain cane using wood tar - it is a very old Finnish tradition to protect boats and any wooden particles to be used outdoors using tar. The wood tar comes from the pitch of the pine (as wood turpentine) and in old times it was produced a lot in northern parts of Finland with big forests. It gives a very nice brownish matte shade to the cane. I like the smell too which it is unfortunately lost after varnishing! I have used wood tar so far in seven rods and I am going to continue - the color is really nice!  More about pine tar here.  (Tapani Salmi)

I would think asphaltum, a petroleum distillate fractile (decidedly low end), would work well too. I was used on fine furniture.  (John Zimny)


After a much too long divorci-cation I am making shavings again. I managed to lose everything but my tools (good lawyer)

I want to make a Payne reproduction and was told that I should use Belding Corticelli Size A 5115 Brown, 3030 Primrose and 8238 Purple and seal them with clear shellac before finishing.

Any thoughts on this wrap recipe?

Yes, I've gone the Java Beige with Varathane 900 route but would like to try this out instead. I'd once again like to hear what some of you have to say.   (Eamon Lee)

I don't know for sure where I got this. It's from someone on the list from years ago.

I hope it helps some.  (Mike Shay)

Pearsalls Sherry Spinner, size “Gossamer” can be used in place of Corticelli Java Biege 5115 (Payne Brown), size../em>

Corticelli Lettuce #____ is used for Leonard’s Pale Green, Size../em>

Corticelli Java Beige #5115 is used for Payne Brown, size 4/0 also../em>

Corticelli Antique Gold #5175 is used for Dickerson’s Chestnut, size../em>

Corticelli Pongee #____ is used for EC Powell’s Tan, size../em>

Some time ago, I refinished an early Payne. I could not figure out how to match the thread, which had a glazed appearance, so I called Hoagy Carmichael and asked him about it. He told me about the use of the white shellac, and the following colors:

Belding Corticelli size A

brown - #5115
yellow - #3045
purple - #4867

I don't know if they might have changed later, but I got a perfect match using these.  (Tom Smithwick)

I'm just now in the process of applying 5 coats of thinned "white" shellac to the wraps of a Payne restoration.  I'm applying one coat a day and when they are dry I will wait at least a week before applying spar varnish.  If the shellac is not absolutely dry the varnish may bleed into the wraps and cause an uneven color.  Also, I bought some "clear" shellac and discovered that it is a shade or two darker than "white" shellac.  (Ted Knott)

Speaking of Shellac.  Were you aware that Zinsser has produced a new canned shellac that is stable for a much longer range of time than other caned shellacs.  For those of you using shellac, this might be a more inexpensive answer than making up your own or guessing about shelf life of purchased material.  (Ralph Moon)

I think either Hal Bacon or Bob Deckers said that the wraps on Payne rods were, at least at some point, finished thusly:

1:1 of white shellac to alcohol is the very first coat on the wraps.  Following this, 3 coats of Valspar #10 were brushed on the entire rod.

That was it.

Somebody correct me if I am mistaken, but those are the notes that I have from the gathering last fall.  (Carl DiNardo)

Corticelli 5115 is too fat.  Payne used what was probably 3/0 or 4/0.  It is very flat.  Somewhere I have some thread that was removed from a broken butt section/parts rod.  As for the sealer, I understand it was lacquer.  But don't take my word for it.

My suggestion is not to ask the folks on this list, but ask Walt Carpenter instead.  He would know better than others.  (Chris Lucker)


I'm working on an exact Garrison replica and finding "Monastic Simplicity" ain't so simple. Re: Garrison wraps:  Now I know top wrap on guide closest to female ferrule is brown - but it appears to be a lighter shade of brown than that of the ferrule - male ferrules seem that way too.  Anybody know about this - what color browns the G-man  used?  Any stray color pictures would be appreciated.  (Darrol Groth)

I have used clear wraps, but I never had matched the brown he used at the ferrules. I always use black! Hides everything.   (Bob Maulucci)

Most times, the thread on top of the ferrule will look lighter than the thread on the cane, due to the ferrule being silver and shiny, and the cane being darker and not as reflective.  If you want to experiment, make a test wrap on a piece of can, and also on a ferrule, with the same color thread.  Then soak the thread with water.  While the thread is still wet, you'll get a very close approximation of what the final color/transparency will look like, if you aren't using color preservative.  (Mark Wendt)

On page 162 of the "Bible", Carmichael wrote: "Garry used a Belding Corticelli Size A white for his guides, and a combination of Holland Mfg. Co. 181 Size 0 and 743 Size B tan silks for the ferrules and foregrip winding."  (Ron Grantham)

I found out if I'd done my homework the answer is on P. 162 of "The Book" - which are old Holland #'s 743 & 181.

As a side light, I couldn't match these exactly and consulted Hoagy who didn't know what modern threads matched either - so he sent me some of the old man's original thread!! Most of it is now on the rod and small sample in my copy of 'the book'.  Still have some if somebody needs some for matching purposes.  (Darrol Groth)


Does anyone have a thread recommendation that would result in nice brown translucent wraps?  I've tried to use Pearsall's Java brown with different sauces but the final results of all of them are a really dark, almost black wrap.  The thread itself is actually a nice light brown, but when you add any kind of finish, the change is dramatic.  (Scott Bahn)

Try the Pearsall's Chestnut.  (Paul Julius)

YLI #159 size 50 turns a fairly dark golden brown but not nearly as dark as the root beer brown of the Java .The actual color of the YLI #159 is antique gold. Pearsalls gold(just regular gold not antique) turns a nice medium honey color. I will add a disclaimer in saying that this is the colors I get BUT the first thing that goes on my wraps is Threadmaster. If you don't use Threadmaster or Flexcoat Lite as your first coat I'm not sure if the results will be the same.  (Will Price)

May I suggest Pearsall's Chestnut. The thread is light tan but turns a nice brown when translucent.  (Lee Koeser)

A nice brown? That reminds me of when I worked in a paint store. I use YLI #241. Its a nice brown (as opposed to those evil ones) shading towards the yellows. It is light enough to show guide feet without looking washed out. Pearsall's probably has a gold color that will do the same when the varnish hits it.  (Larry Lohkamp)

Here are some more YLI colors:

227- Yields reddish brown, slightly darker than 241

226- Yields a slightly lighter brown than 241

215- Yields orange brown about as dark as 226

My color descriptions are for the look when saturated with epoxy such as FlexCoat or RodSmith.  (Tim Anderson)

YLI 242. If you look at it before varnish it will scare you away.It is almost pink, it is called Pinkish Brown. With Helmsman it turns to a mellow translucent brown. I use it for my house colors with dark brown tipping. Can send you a shot of the finished wrap.  (Tony Spezio)

Clover Tire  Harvest Gold (#74) ain't bad either.  I tip it in Burnt Sienna.  (Darrol Groth)

I would second the recommendation of YLI 226.  I am wrapping a special rod with it right now.  Kind of a light chestnut, looks nice on blonde cane. There is no need for epoxy (I hate that stuff).  I just use Helmsman Spar Urethane slightly thinned with good turp and they come out great.  (Jack Holton)

I also recommend YLI #226 on blond rods.  Anglers Workshop carries it in sizes 3/0 and A.  They relabel it and sell it under their own name as #815 which is an alternate YLI code for the same color.  (Robert Kope)

I’m in love with translucent Antique Gold Pearsalls. When you varnish it (without color preserver, of course) it comes out a yummy

Caramel color.  Tip with Java Brown.  Compare to Chestnut and see what you think.  (Reed Guice)


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