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Ebony Inserts
Posted by: John Wright (---.om.om.cox.net)
Date: April 05, 2018 03:52PM

I am building a new rod and want to use ebony insert and ends of the cork handle. Has anyone ever used ebony? How difficult is it to work? Thanks.

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Re: Ebony Inserts
Posted by: Bill Hickey (---.nycap.res.rr.com)
Date: April 06, 2018 07:03AM

Ebony is very dense, but with sharp cutting tools its really not all that difficult to turn. I have turned a few pieces for fly rod reel seat inserts, but it is not a popular choice since it lacks the figure/grain that most people want when turning something for a custom build. I went and bought cutting tools that have replaceable carbide cutters, they last a long time and for the amount of turning that I do, its just easier to replace a cutter than invest in the stuff to properly sharpen tools.

One place you might run into some trouble is on the ends of your cork grip, getting it bored to the right diameter to fit the blank, having a decent lathe and accessories would be an advantage. If I am picturing what you want to do, I'd make those ends first, getting them to the bore size along with the outer diameter and taper, glue them to the ends of the cork grip, put the grip on a mandrel and turn it to match up with your Ebony end pieces, then you will only have to ream out the cork to fit it to the rod blank, if you use a Mandrel to turn your cork. Same method if you mount your rings individually to the blank, then turn.

Another option if your not into turning something that dense, find a wood species that you can dye or stain, Ebony also has some weight to it compared to other wood species.

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Re: Ebony Inserts
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 06, 2018 11:45AM

I use Ebony quite a bit for for building fly rod grips. As Bill mentions above, it is dense, but turns very well and will finish very smooth and clear. I use it whee I want a black feature, be it grip ends or accent rings in the grip. I find it no harder to deal with then other hardwoods, like maple, etc.

In my building of grips, I turn the materials to a round oversize, then bore to a mandrel diameter I wish to use. If the grip is all wood, I bore to 20mm and insert a foam core to reduce the grip weight. After gluing up all the pieces, I turn the finished grip shape and size.

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