a bamboo rodbuilder's workshop (page 4)

After that, interesting panels on taper design, pentagonal rod configurations, and rod finishing followed. Each panel was held by three or four different rodbuilders, showing their personal concepts and approaches to solve specific problems. E.g. the ways of designing a taper reached from graphic methods with pencil, plotting paper, and ruler to special computer programs. These were based on methods of controlled modification of known tapers, as well as on Garrison's algorithm. Comparing the results (rods) proved every method to be effective and useful.

And another beauty to be checked out
And another beauty to be checked out

The panel on finishing showed interesting new ways of finishing a rod with other materials and methods than varnish and dipping tank. Richard Sherman brought several, very good looking finished samples for demonstration. They had been hand rubbed using a special technique he has developed, using tung oil, tripoli buffing compound, Clearthane, Pro-Fin, and various other materials. Jess Wells, a professional violin maker from Portland, OR, told us about his experience when using varnishes for his work. It was especially interesting because his requirements are different for his instruments, but there have been a lot of similarities as well. It really helped me to get a better understanding about varnishes and their properties.

Tom Morgan of Twin Bridges, MT, the current owner of the Winston Rod Co. told us about the methods and materials he has chosen for his professional production purposes. He uses a combination of rubbing an final spraying his rods. The whole process is a little bit complicated and requires a lot of testing, special equipment and experience to copy it. Again I was surprised about the willingness of a pro to share his secrets with others. I have been talking about that with John Bokstrom, and he said that it is one thing to know how a certain trick or technique works, but it is something entirely different to do it properly. I completely agree to that..

At about 12:30 p.m. the 3rd bamboo rodbuilders workshop at Corbett Lake Lodge ended. Ray Gould and Jack Byrd felt relieved that all has worked well, no furious disputes, or other unpleasant events and I have to say that they have really done a very goodjob. The last thing they did was to book the lodge for the next meeting in 1994.

Bamboo talk--thats what the meeting is all about
Bamboo talk--thats what the meeting is all about

What I have got from it? Well, I have had the opportunity to talk to a lot of fellow rodbuilders, discuss technical things, solve problems, etc. I made many new friends and I learned a lot of new and unconventional techniques and ideas. Mr. Demarest helped me to solve my bamboo problem, in Germany it has become quite difficult to get any good material. Something disagreeable? Not really, only one thing, the introduction on saturday. One attendee after the other stood up and introduced himself, telling the others where he comes from and what he is doing. When itwas my turn I suddenly felt a little bit unwell. Over 40 Canadian and American rodmakers hushed to listen to the only German stuttering his name and where he comes from.

Corbett Lake Country Inn is a beautiful place to stay and fish and Peter McVey, the owner, a bamboo rodbuilder and excellent cook, has been a terrific host. We all had a hell of a good time.

After that meeting I really needed some time to digest all those things I have heard and seen. Altogether about 350 to 400 years of rodmaking experience have been on that meeting. On May 1 I returned from Canada. It has been a 10 hours flight over 9 tiffle zones and it took me almost two days to overcome the jet-lag, but boy, it has been worth it! See you in 1994.

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printed on  12.04.2024

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