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  1. #1
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    Default What do you use for sealing whippings?

    I'm about to bite the bullet and refubish my Wallis Wizard. In the past I've used cellulose dope to seal and colour preserve the threads before varnishing, but is this the best option? I know Hopkins and Holloway do a thread sealant, but is it any better?

    What do you use?
    The Old Pedant

    Quot homines, tot sententiae. My blog

  2. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Meeghan View Post
    I'm about to bite the bullet and refubish my Wallis Wizard. In the past I've used cellulose dope to seal and colour preserve the threads before varnishing, but is this the best option? I know Hopkins and Holloway do a thread sealant, but is it any better?

    What do you use?
    Varnish!

  3. #3
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    Default

    By far the best -

    seal the whippings first of all with a PVA glue watered down a little and let it dry.

    Then use the H&H resin coating - resin + hardener - and apply it very thinly. I MEAN VERY thinly. If you get the mixture right it should take a couple of hours to dry, but you MUST keep turning the rod as this stuff slips around the whippings so easily. Being resin based though, you can stick it under water for as long as you like and that coating will never come off.

    You can treat the remainder of the rod (the cane bit) with varnish by all means.

    EDIT: just thought a little more - I'd warnish the rod, then whip on the rings, then seal them, then coat them. I think that's about right.
    Last edited by Jeff Woodhouse; 15-08-2010 at 22:08.
    "I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do! That is character!" - Theodore Roosevelt

  4. #4
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    Default

    It depends if you are going to do a sympathetic restorsation, Sean. The original Wizard was whipped in bright red silk, and simply doped and varnished.

    It helps to thin the dope with cellulose thinners to get a good penetration, though I know of others using French Polish with very good results.


    I personally finish with a few coats of Blackfriar Super yacht Varnish.

    ....................


    If you would like to do something more modern and higher quality then the sky is the limit. I don't like the H&H sealer..it is just thinned down PVA anyway, and doesn't do a very good job, too.


    Using two-pack resins is tricky, because you need to turn the rod section to evenly distribute the resin...even then you will get a tear effect that a good builder will spot...you need to alternate the direction of rotation to avoid this.


    A pal of mine has developed a rod turner to do this. You simply touch the rod section and the motor reverses!


    I use a home made whipping station that I addded a 'ballroom glitter ball' motor to, from Tandy for £10.


    I've not used proper resin from H&H and the like but did get a good result of a carbon float rod using two-pack resin from a modellers shop.

    You need to mix it for twice as long as you think and don't lift your mixing tool from the pallet, it's the only way to avoid bubbles. It will go streaky, then opaque, then clear...only now is it ready to use. A 12 minute setting resin still seems to take 20 minutes to set, though and goes runnier as it warms up, naturally from the chemical reaction.

    If you find it is setting miss-shapen you can get it runny again briefly by heating it up with a small angle-poise lamp.



    You can see why most people go the thinners and varnish route

    Here is the whipping station, pre motorisation, complete with lilac velvet from the Wife's dressing gown. She hasn't noticed yet.The big fat vegetarian cookbook is the silk tensioning system, but it's coated pages mean I still have to put a weight on top sometimes. Something of a work in progress.


    The Indifferent Crucian.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by the indifferent crucian View Post

    Here is the whipping station, pre motorisation, complete with lilac velvet from the Wife's dressing gown. She hasn't noticed yet.The big fat vegetarian cookbook is the silk tensioning system, but it's coated pages mean I still have to put a weight on top sometimes. Something of a work in progress.


    Hahahahahahahahh ..................I hope you took it from a hidden part !!!!

    I'm just imagining her putting it on --and thinking "Now where the hell has half of my dressing gown gone ??"

    You could always blame the moths I suppose ........
    It's a fine line between genius and madness -- I wish I knew which side of it I'm on !

  6. #6
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    Default

    Thanks for the input folks! I'd got into the habit of using varnish alone on carbon rods, but i've just done a Sealy match rod with green A grade thread and its too translucent for my liking. D grade doesn't seem to be as susceptible, but I think it looks a bit numb. I've now got a queue of rods to do - Milwards Specialist, Aspindale Avon, Chapmans 500 and then the Wizard. I can remember occasionally getting a patchy finish with dope when I was in my floppy hat days and I didn't want to do a load of whipping and then ruin it.

    I've been using the Seymo Professional varnish from H&H which I really like. It can be applied with a cloth or brush and dries in about an hour to to a lovely semi-matt sheen. as Jeff says, once I've stripped a cane rod I apply a coat of the Seymo varnish as a 'holding coat' before I whip on the rings.

    I lke the whipping station IC - questionable taste in decor though - glitter balls and lilac velvet

    I've been thinking of getting one of the commercially built ones as doing a load of intermediate whips is like tying flies without a vice and is very hard on the fingers.
    The Old Pedant

    Quot homines, tot sententiae. My blog

  7. #7
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    Default

    Sean, this is the guy who invented the rod turning rig that reverses.

    (Perversely he does all his whipping in his lap, without any mechanical help...the show-off.)


    ROD DRYING UNITS FOR SALE



    The motors from Maplin ( sorry, I said Tandy before) are very usefull...you don't have to buy the glitter ball....but you do need to invent a chuck.


    Maplin> glitter ball
    The Indifferent Crucian.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by the indifferent crucian View Post
    It depends if you are going to do a sympathetic restorsation, Sean. The original Wizard was whipped in bright red silk, and simply doped and varnished.

    It helps to thin the dope with cellulose thinners to get a good penetration, though I know of others using French Polish with very good results.


    I personally finish with a few coats of Blackfriar Super yacht Varnish.

    ....................


    If you would like to do something more modern and higher quality then the sky is the limit. I don't like the H&H sealer..it is just thinned down PVA anyway, and doesn't do a very good job, too.


    Using two-pack resins is tricky, because you need to turn the rod section to evenly distribute the resin...even then you will get a tear effect that a good builder will spot...you need to alternate the direction of rotation to avoid this.


    A pal of mine has developed a rod turner to do this. You simply touch the rod section and the motor reverses!


    I use a home made whipping station that I addded a 'ballroom glitter ball' motor to, from Tandy for £10.


    I've not used proper resin from H&H and the like but did get a good result of a carbon float rod using two-pack resin from a modellers shop.

    You need to mix it for twice as long as you think and don't lift your mixing tool from the pallet, it's the only way to avoid bubbles. It will go streaky, then opaque, then clear...only now is it ready to use. A 12 minute setting resin still seems to take 20 minutes to set, though and goes runnier as it warms up, naturally from the chemical reaction.

    If you find it is setting miss-shapen you can get it runny again briefly by heating it up with a small angle-poise lamp.



    You can see why most people go the thinners and varnish route

    Here is the whipping station, pre motorisation, complete with lilac velvet from the Wife's dressing gown. She hasn't noticed yet.The big fat vegetarian cookbook is the silk tensioning system, but it's coated pages mean I still have to put a weight on top sometimes. Something of a work in progress.


    For my most recent restoration I used PVA sanding sealer, which worked out pretty well, though I did suffer a couple of minor varnish bleeds under the ring feet, where the sealer hadn't penetrated properly. Previously I've been using Pale French Polish, which I have to say gives the best finish I've ever achieved, and being both thin and volatile you can apply liberally to get a good seal without risk of the excess leaving an uneven finish. The first rod I did with PFP (a J.B.Walker kit MkIV carp rod) is as good as the day I finished it, three years on.

    Going back further I've used banana oil (which is just thin cellulose), aircraft dope and even cellulose-based metal lacquer. The trouble with all cellulose sealers is that they are brittle when set and prone to crack as the rod flexes, allowing moisture through.

    I've also done a few with varnish alone, which is very long-lasting and flexible, but it gives a transluscent finish I'm not too keen on (though the Americans love it). If you do go for the see-through look, two things to watch out for; a) wear latex gloaves, or use a fly tying bobbin holder when whipping, as any grease from your fingers will make the affect blotchy, and b) make sure all the whipping turns are tightly packed together, as otherwise the gaps will show up when varnished. One way to test if a whipping is properly packed is to paint it with distilled water before sealing; the water replicates the translucent varnished state and will show up any gaps. Once dried out the whipping is completely uncontaminated and ready to varnish.

    For an Allc0ck's Wizard restoration I've found the best match for the original red silk to be Gudebrod scarlet A-grade nylon (not the NCP type) with two coats of pale French Polish as a sealer, and four coats International yacht varnish. However, Gudebrod appears to be going out of business, so you may have to hunt around for a supply. Don't whatever you do use Pacific Bay thread (too metallic), Fish-hawk thread (stretchy, unravelly rubbish) or Celebrated Talbot (too plastic-looking). If all else fails, I've got good results in the past with Sylko mercerised machine cotton thread, which is available in a wide range of colours and shades. Just make sure you burn off the fuzzies with an alcohol lamp before sealing.

  9. #9
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    Default

    That's all sound advice Fred, and it mirrors things I've been told by some other restorers who have had some fine results.

    It's a desperate shame about Gudebrod and I fear it will be permanent with the workforce sent home last month. I too, have had some acceptable results with Sylko and the shade range is enormous, but some are very 'hairy' ....others as good as silk.

    I did find I got a good penetration by thinning down Clear Shrinking Dope with cellulose thinners, but I must try this French Polish. It would be nice to do a whole rod and not get a single 'bleed', something that has so far evaded me!
    The Indifferent Crucian.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by the indifferent crucian View Post
    That's all sound advice Fred, and it mirrors things I've been told by some other restorers who have had some fine results.

    It's a desperate shame about Gudebrod and I fear it will be permanent with the workforce sent home last month. I too, have had some acceptable results with Sylko and the shade range is enormous, but some are very 'hairy' ....others as good as silk.

    I did find I got a good penetration by thinning down Clear Shrinking Dope with cellulose thinners, but I must try this French Polish. It would be nice to do a whole rod and not get a single 'bleed', something that has so far evaded me!
    The first rod I did with French polish was something of an experimental excercise, and not knowing how much to apply I had to rely on instinct. I gave the whippings (vintage Elephant brand green/black 'jasper' silk machine thread) a coat, making sure they were fully soaked, and left it to dry overnight. I repeated the excercise the next day, but found the whippings did not absorb so much, so only coated them quite thinly to avoid runs. I did however make sure I'd covered the edges properly and allowed a little to spread onto the cane, which I then wiped off with a finger (one of mine, as no-one elses was available). I also allowed some to flow between the ring feet and the cane under the whipping, as this is where you tend to get most varnish bleed.

    Once this second coat was dry I could see no advantage in repeating the excercise, so went straight onto the yacht varnish - two coats on the whippings only, then three on the whole rod. My labours resulted in no varnish bleed, perfectly smooth whippings which are still as sound as the day I did them and no nasty shimmers or whitish bloom you sometimes get with cellulose. The French polish actually gives a mellow, aged look to the whippings.

    The next project - a seven foot fly rod built on a new Chapman's blank - was whipped with gold Pearsall's gosammer tipped with two turns of cardinal. This received the two coat French polish treatment followed by the yacht varnish, and the final coat was rubbed down with toothpaste (a cheap, readily available and effective alternative to rubbing compound) and turned out far better than any rod I've ever done. As it's such a light, flexible rod I'd have expected to see some signs of cracking by now (two years on) but all whippings, including those on the ferrules, are perfect.



    Last edited by Fred Blake; 02-09-2010 at 11:16. Reason: Added photos

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