ROD BUILDING TIPS
Easy Epoxy Clean Up

By Richard Garbowski

From Volume 5 - Issue #1 issue of RodMaker magazine:

RodMaker Magazine

As I think over the years which little hints or ideas help keep my rod building a little more sane, one of the best tips for easy clean up is the use of black electrician's tape. Specifically the commonly available one with the slick surface and the other sticky side. When wrapped around the ends of reel seats I find that upon drying the simple removal of the tape will eliminate much of the use of solvent for cleaning up after installation.

Simply clean near the edge of the handle parts not covered by tape and let sit overnight. Next day just peel off the black tape and the reel seat will remain free of adhesive. The thing is that most epoxy or rod building adhesives won't stay on the slick (non-sticky) outside of the black electrician's tape and removal of the tape afterwards eliminates any use of cleaners or solvent to remove adhesives on the reel seats. This is especially useful with graphite reel seats and the time and difficulties in removing epoxy or adhesive from the threaded ends.

You can apply the use of the black tape with butt caps or other handle elements you may wish to keep clear of adhesives. It's a good idea to check first if the sticky side of the tape might react with some coating on some materials (I've seen this with some "unconventional" butt caps.) With standard graphite this should be no problem. Also, remove the tape promptly when dry as it could be a clean up job at the reel seat hoods from the sticky side of the electrician's tape (but still can be easily removed with alcohol), if left for a long time.

This idea of using black electrical tape may be old hat to many of you long time rod builders. Yet I still hear of many builders who are surprised and delighted when they find out about tape's effectiveness in saving time and solvent and the resulting look of a nice and clean transition of the reel seat with the rest of the handle. It's cheap, easy and works just great. Give it a try on your next rod. ~ Richard Barbowski

Publishers note:

If you have any tips or techniques, send them along! Help out your fellow rodmakers! ~ Publisher, FAOL

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