Repairing a cork handle.

splinters

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Feb 18, 2013
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2,105
Location
Co. Armagh.
I've seen a couple of people ask about fixing broken corks. The advice is always to replace the handle but that isn't always necessary and it can be a real pain to do. Here's a quick sbs which will work on any type of rod blank. I would normally do this on a lathe but I've tried to use tools everyone either has, or can get cheaply.
You'll need:-
As many cork shives as will fill the damaged area.
Enough jubillee clips to cover them.
A very sharp blade.
Masking tape.
Expanding PU glue.
Sandpaper.
A way of measuring the diameter of the blank.
A pot of boiling water.
A rats tail file or reamer will help but aren't strictly necessary.
latex gloves are good for keeping staining glue off you.


"Oh no!!! The mice have been at my handle the blighters!!"
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1damaged.JPG


Use the sharpest blade you have to cut around the edges of the damaged shive.
2sharp blade.JPG

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Once you're at this stage you can take out the centre safely.
3edges first.JPG

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Leaving you with something like this.
4cork gone.JPG

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Tidy up a liittle with a file or sandpaper, even the wife's nail file will do. It doesn't need to be too accurate but the straighter it is the easier it will be later.
5file.JPG

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Measure the size of the blank. Micrometer, vernier, ruler, it doesn't matter what you use and it only needs to be close.
Then ream out a replacement cork shive to size with a round file, rasp or reamer if you have one. At a pinch sandpaper wrapped around a thin stick or drill bit will do.
7rats tile.JPG

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Now the magic starts. Slice the shive with a super sharp blade, a scalpel or double edge razor blade is good. Notice how the shive is cut at an angle, this gives more gluing surface for fixing.
8razor blade.JPG

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Now it gets a little strange. Boil the cork briskly for ten minutes. This softens it and makes it possible to slide it into the space in the handle without it breaking. You'll have to find a way to sink it. The picture doesn't show it but mine's wired to a lump of lead.
10boil.JPG

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When the cork's nicely softened apply glue to the blank. Use Gorilla glue or a similar expanding PU as they are activated by water. Your cork's wet at the moment after all. Make sure to apply glue to the split as well.

11glue.JPG


Then just squeeze it into place, the soft cork will go on easily.
13slip on (1).JPG


Now quickly wrap the piece with masking tape and slide the jubilee clip over it. The tape will stop the glue sticking to the clip. Sanding tape off is easy, sanding a jubillee clip off is hard. Tighten the clip until it compresses the cork a bit. This will squeeze it outwards into the space around it a little, taking up any slack in your filing. Allow to set overnight.
14jubilee.JPG

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The next day take off the clip and you should have something like this.
15set.JPG

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Start sanding to shape. I did this with 120 grit on a block followed by 320 to finish. Take your time and work around the cork evenly. Keep some of the dust aside in case there are voids to fill when you finish. Mixed with wood glue they will hide any flaws in the cork.
16sand.JPG

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Almost there and time to switch to finer paper.
17nearly.JPG

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All done and the job's as good as a good 'un. This will work equally well for end corks as well but do watch that you've clamped them firmly with the jubille clip. They do tend to slide away from the handle if held loosely. Other than that, try to keep the join away from where wearing fingers will rub on them if you can.
18done.JPG

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I hope this helps someone out.

Simon.
 
Last edited:

beryl

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Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
9,579
I had a soft spot on a Greys GTi right under the thumb. My first expensive rod:p

I scooped out the soft spot and filled it with ground cork and aradite. It was an obvious repair but cheap and efffective.
 
G

guest37226

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Superb educational thread will def use in future

Cheers Simon :thumbs:
 

luke troutstalker

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May 19, 2011
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11,359
Location
Cheshire.
Excellent, especially the methodology that everybody can do.
Masking tape is handy stuff, it stick to things, but won't be stuck to, epoxy doesn't like it either.
 

blue diamond

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
264
Many thanks for sharing this, I currently have a sage xp with a piece missing out of the cork and was trying to figure out how to go about a repair. I also happen to have everything needed to follow this excellent tutorial
 

black knight

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Joined
Mar 27, 2010
Messages
47,313
Location
Blackburn, Lancashire
Thanks for SBS guide to repairing a cork handle Simon. It is good to know and will come in in the future. I'm guilty of doing a patch up job with pieces of cork glued into damage spots. So far they are holding.
 

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