Cane rod reconditioning

murph

Well-known member
Points
6
Location
walsall
I recent brought a lovely little 6ft cane rod for use on the smaller beats on my clubs waters. Wow! I have truely fell in love with the aesthetics, aswell as the practicality of the rod.

As a result I thought I'd buy an 8ft cane rod, it broke the bank at £10 from ebay. It's nothing posh and I'm guessing it won't fish as nice as my 6ft. However, I brought it for one purpose. To attempt learning the art of cane rod restoration.

I've done a fair bit of homework on the subject but find most of the information is from America. So if I could get a bit more addivce from you guys that would be great.


I've removed all the guides, and labelled them, along with the location of them on the blank. My next job is to remove the varnish, and straighten the sections. To remove the old varnish I was going to use a razor blade, and to straighten the sections hold the affected areas over boiling water.

My real issues is what to do next, what varnish is best to use? And what to do before adding the varnish?

Hope you can help a little on this?

Thanks
 

Cooperman

Member
Points
3
Location
Leicester
I’m about to start a similar project and my initial trial with removing varnish would suggest that 800 grit paper does a good job (keep it wet) and then finish with 1200 grit paper, this will also be good to rub down between varnish coats. I don’t think I would use a razor blade.
 

yardbent

Well-known member
Points
48
Location
South Lanarkshire, Scotland
you need to talk to Splinters

my initial thoughts are that sandpaper 'may' round off the edges of the hexagon section whereas a blade will stay flat

talk to 'guidesnblanks re threads, and Roddance ONE epoxy

pictures of step-by-step would be interesting
 

murph

Well-known member
Points
6
Location
walsall
Yes I wouldn't want to use the sandpaper option incase you sand the edges. Another piece of information I was reading suggested that the best thing to use was a broken piece of glass... I enjoy having a pair of fully working hands so this is why I decided the razor blade would be the best option... I may be wrong though.

I could definitely do a step by step, I don't think it would be the most informative though.
 

splinters

Well-known member
Points
48
Location
Co. Armagh.
If it's an old rod try meths before you do anything else. A lot of the old shellac type varnishes will simply wash off with it. Let it sit on the surface for a minute or two and see if the varnish starts to lift. If it does, soak a cloth and wipe the soggy mess away. Re-wet the cloth often. Once it's clean and dry you can proceed. I had an old thread on refurbising an Ogden Smith but photobucket screwed it up, sorry. If the varnish won't dissolve you can try a mild stripper like Citristrip or similar. Failing that, you're going to have to use emery paper unless you're very good with a scraper. Use a sanding block to avoid rounding off the edges and go slowly on the tips. Wipe down with mineral spirit and use a tack rag before varnishing. I use Blackfriars Yacht Varnish on my rods. Some use polyurethanes but I think yacht varnish polishes out better. I dilute it 70% varnish to 30% mineral spirits. Any dust bunnies or flaws can be polished out with the nail boards Lewis Chessman flagged up in his thread. If you haven't done this before I recommend varnishing the rod before wrapping the guides on. If it finishes up too shiny let the varnish cure then take the shine back to where you want it with one of the nail boards or auto cutting polish on a wet cloth. A slightly dull shine will look more authentic than a high gloss. Never ever use a matt varnish. I assume you're going to brush varnish the sections? If so a thick water colourist's mop is good. Tape off the ferrules and hold the section thin end down. Load the brush well, you're not trying to brush the lines out, you're trying to flood the section. Work steadily down the section keeping a very wet line. You want the varnish to run off the end and drip. Hang up in a dust free area until dry. If you're already confident how to varnish well, ignore all of this.
Straighten by holding over a heat source like a variable heat gun on medium or at a pinch a hairdryer. Hold the section bent in the opposite direction to the set and wait until you feel the bamboo go plastic. It's a distinctive sudden loss of resistance to the bend. At this stage the cane should be hot but not too hot to hold. Take it off the heat and hold it for a second or ten until it cools in it's new shape. When you let go it should spring straight. Takes a bit of practise to get it right first go. Avoid heating the ferrules if you can, you don't want the bother of resetting them and heat can sometimes blow them off.
I think that's all.
Enjoy your project.

Simon.
 

easker1

Well-known member
Points
48
Location
Highlands
nowt wrong with using varnish remover, beats scraping and sanding, but do it sparingly,then wipe it over with light solvent to remove the residue, I use webrax rather than wet and dry then I give a few coats of Danish oil to give a nice semi gloss finish, easker1
 

murph

Well-known member
Points
6
Location
walsall
Thanks for that splinters. Why would you varnish then whip the guides after? Just to make the process of varnishing that bit easier?
 

splinters

Well-known member
Points
48
Location
Co. Armagh.
Yes, just that. It's hard to get a good finish when varnishing around the legs of guides. It's a different matter if you have a set-up to dip or pour your finish, but for brushing a clean blank is easiest.
All this is of course just my opinion, your mileage may vary.

Simon.
 

murph

Well-known member
Points
6
Location
walsall
Well I've had an hour or so in the garden, and with the use of a craft knife blade been held perpendicular to the rod have successfully removed all of the old varnish.

I've attempted the heat the bent sections with the wife's hairdryer, needless to say she wasn't best pleased. I've now ordered myself a heat gun that I will collect tomorrow.

In light of the current issues, what do you recommend for the whipping of the guides that should be readily available?

Regards John
 

Cooperman

Member
Points
3
Location
Leicester
Sorry to raise the subject of 1200 grit emery paper again but you will get a great finish with it prior to varnishing. You’ll be amazed how fine it is, after all it is used on car paint as a final rub down before polishing and waxing. Using it in small pieces with a small block of metal as a sanding block will ensure you don’t round any edges. It will only remove microns.
I’m loving the other great recommendations in previous posts which will be a great help to me with my project.
Chapman blanks will be able to provide you with whipping thread. Their web site is OK now
 

splinters

Well-known member
Points
48
Location
Co. Armagh.
Easker1 is right, I'd forgotten you can sometimes get that dark stain from emery. Webrax it is or Mirka abranet is another non clogging choice with a range from 180g to 600g. Easker's mention of Danish oil reminded me. You can acheive a nice rubbed finish with Birchwood Casey Tru Oil. It's a gunstock oil which dries to a nice finish similar to danish oil. Dries really quickly as well, you can add a layer every three hours at this time of year. Two or three layers then rub back with your choice of fine abrasive. Takes about six or eight layers to build a good finish. Probably similar products.
Danish oil finish here:- https://www.flyfishing.co.uk/threads/my-first-bamboo-build.539931/
Tru Oil finish here:- https://www.flyfishing.co.uk/threads/quite-light-cane.394688/
John Chapmans as good as any for threads, do you know the make and original colour/s? Is it old enough to be silk? If you know the make I'd bet John would know the exact colour.

S.
 

murph

Well-known member
Points
6
Location
walsall
Back again... Sorry I haven't replied for a few days, I've been trying to locate the required products to finish the rod off. Needless to say with the current pandemic I've not had much look.

As I result I'm opting for a slightly unorthodox finish. Gorilla Glue. I've had a look into it and it's the only product I can really get my hands on at the moment. The finish seems to be very easy to apply and is also a though finish.

I will keep you all posted on how it goes. I hope to begin the process tomorrow.

In the meantime I need to find myself a Cork handle that can be delivered.

Regards John
 

catzrob

Well-known member
Points
8
Good luck Murph. Sounds a great project. Would you share photos of the finished product?
 

liphook

Well-known member
Points
18
Thanks, as it turns out I've already downloaded that in the past:rolleyes: Must have been a half baked moment o_O
 

badcaster

Well-known member
Points
18
Murph, just saw this post, I'm on with a similar project, picked up a 2nd hand multi tip bamboo rod 7'6" with two tips. It was the action of the rod that grabbed me but it's an old cheapo model judging by the reel seat. The whole handle and seat needs replacing as well as ferrules. I've had the ferrules and guides delivered this week from guides n blanks, good turnaround in the current climate.
I'll post some pics soon
 
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