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Pre formed cork grips
Posted by: Bill Giokas (---.hsd1.ma.comcast.net)
Date: October 01, 2010 02:32PM

Ok, so who make good quality pre formed cork grips.? I'm still mulling over weather to get a Hobby lathe , full metal mini lathe or wood lathe with accessories. It's the cost of the full mini lathes that's getting to me. For 400 you can buy a lot of pre formed grips. However, I still like the idea of making my own grip. Thanks Bill

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Re: Pre formed cork grips
Posted by: Ron Weber (---.ph.ph.cox.net)
Date: October 01, 2010 02:51PM

Pre-formed are ok, but if you want to add any accents, or mix or a specific shape of your own, you won't be able too. Also keep in mind that if you want to do your own reel seat inserts, you will also be able to do so. The cost of the lathe is actually minimal, the real costs involved are the turning tools, mandrels, chucks, live centers etc. I actually turn my own cork grips on my old home made power wrapper and I would be lost without turning my own. I still look every day for a lathe that I can start turning inserts on , but with my limited budget, have not come across the right deal as of yet.

Ron Weber

Southwest Custom Rods

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Re: Pre formed cork grips
Posted by: Alex Dziengielewski (---.scana.com)
Date: October 01, 2010 03:51PM

You can always buy preformed and shape them and also add inserts. Sometimes it can speed the process (not having to stand and glue rings, etc), not eliminating as much material, tenon already cut, etc....


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Re: Pre formed cork grips
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: October 01, 2010 04:31PM

Don't discount the idea of using preformed grips.
Yes, it is great to make your own grips and get them to the exact shape that you want.

But, one of the downsides - today - is the high cost of quality grip material. If you want to use cork to make your own grips, you will often spend as much as $3 or $4 per ring for really nice grips.

Having said that, it is not too likely that you will buy preformed grips with super high quality cork. But generally speaking the preformed grips have cork that is acceptable for many uses. You sometimes have to try different vendors and or quality levels to get the ones that you want.

Also, Bil, if you want to make your own grips - you don't necessarily have to buy a lathe to turn your own grips.

If you want, you can do grips on essentially any threaded rod that can be inserted into something to spin the rod. This could be a drill, a drill press, an inexpensive drill style lathe, or a bench mounted motor with a chuck on the end of the motor.

I do agree that it is nice to make your own grips and allow yourself to experience that part of creative rod building.

If, you look at about 90% of all of the production rods being built around the world, they all use preformed grips. (One exception might be some of the high end fly rod manufacturers).
In the interest of time, the manufacturers choose to design a handle, have a cork company build handles to their specifications and then simply use the completed handles in their rod production.

Also, I agree with Alex in the use of preformed grips as a starting point to make your own grips. Here you get the advantages of a generally lower price for the prebuilt grtips, have the bulk of the gluing and shaping completed, and you then just need to either shape and or finish the handle in the way that you want it finished.

If you look through some of the pictures on the photo section, you can see several examples of various lathe setups. Some new, some old, some home made.

If you want to make your own lathe, you simply need to have a turning source in the form of a motor, or a gear or belt driven head stock that can hold a mounted chuck of some sort. Then, you need - for the best results - to have some sort of tail stock or rod support to hold the non chuck end of the handle while you are shaping it. This may be a conventional pointed style tail stock, or a simple three ball mounted triangular rod support.

Good luck

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Re: Pre formed cork grips
Posted by: Jeremy Wagner (---.dhcp.embarqhsd.net)
Date: October 01, 2010 07:28PM

Alex is right on track. I found a vendor a couple of years ago that had a pile of 12 or 14" large diameter cork grips on sale for $3 each. I loaded up! Now, when I need to turn a custom grip, I just grap a piece and turn it. BTW, I don't have a functional lathe yet. I turn everything on a drill press with a makeshift tool rest. It works very well.


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Re: Pre formed cork grips
Posted by: Richard Steiner (---.16.186.227.cust.uslec.net)
Date: October 02, 2010 02:43AM

I am not really sure how far you want to go with this but I can Email you some pics of a "drill lathe" I made that works great for what I do.

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Re: Pre formed cork grips
Posted by: bill boettcher (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: October 02, 2010 03:44PM

There are a lot on the photo page Mine is after the Flex coat type : [www.rodbuilding.org]

Bill - willierods.com

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Re: Pre formed cork grips
Posted by: John Straight (---.netsync.net)
Date: October 03, 2010 03:15PM

Bill, Has anyone answered your first question, "who makes good quality preformed cork handles?" Best I have found are top end Struble and REC. Personally if I want something custom I have gone to carbon/fiber sleeve over foam core. Hope this helps

JLS Custom Rods
Cassadaga, NY

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Re: Pre formed cork grips
Posted by: bill boettcher (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: October 03, 2010 03:33PM

I have not built on them - yet- but yoga cork blocks may be an alternative try a Google search on them.

Bill - willierods.com

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Re: Pre formed cork grips
Posted by: Jon Schrock (---.cinci.res.rr.com)
Date: October 03, 2010 06:34PM

I use St Croix handle kits if I am not making the handle my self. They have a large selection of styles and length.

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