Friday, December 13, 2013

Those #$%&@^* Cork Glue Lines!

Dealing with visible cork glue lines.

When gluing up your own grips using rings, have you ever ended up with unsightly glue lines? They are caused by uneven cork rings that have not been cut properly. Here are some tips to avoid/prevent ugly, noticeable lines between your rings. We found a very ugly cork ring to illustrate how to eliminate the glue line or at least have a very acceptable one. One of the first problems you may encounter is that some cork rings come bleached and you may have a thin glue line but it's white compared to the rest of your grip. Don't be afraid to use the bleached rings just follow these extra steps and they will disappear too.
Very ugly cork ring
High quality or expensive cork rings do not necessarily guarantee a flat or square ring. It's best to check before mixing your glue.

First, we sand the cork ring flat, either by using our 1/4" sanding arbor (see the image) using the lathe or the old fashioned way of just using a 220 grit sandpaper on a flat surface. Most cork rings you buy will have a 1/4" hole.

Sanded cork ring ready for gluing
After we have sanded all the rings we need for our grip, we use slow set epoxy and glue them together on a threaded rod with the specified bore. For this particular grip we needed a 5/16" bore, so we reamed the rings after sanding and glued them together on the 5/16" threaded rod.
After 12 hours we remove the glued cork from the threaded rod and push onto our 5/16" smooth arbor and then we ready for shaping.
Depending on the style we need, we sand to the desired shape, this grip is going to be a preformed western or reversed half wells ordered by a customer.

We start by sanding off the excess glue and then shape the cork grip.
VoilĂ ! Grip is ready for filling and final sanding. Taking a little bit of extra time you will be able to see the difference in the glue lines and you won't have the white lines either! Your custom rod doesn't deserve any less attention!

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