Birch Bark GripsMichael Hackney
Birch BarkBirch Trees are native to the North EastValuable building material since pre-historic times    Can be cut, bent ...
Why Birch Bark Grips? birch bark grips are attractive they transmit more “feel” than cork they are great in the hand; not ...
Anatomy of a Birch Bark Grip      Olive Wood Butt         Birch Bark           Olive Wood Tip          Burnt & Burl Cork  ...
Birch Bark CollectionPlease do not cut bark from living treesdowned trees yield excellent barkUse a box cutter to cut a “v...
Birch Bark PreparationThe bark will tend to curl and needs to be flattened & dried    stack the bark between 2 pieces of 2...
Making Birch Bark StacksGlue up 1 to 1 1/2” tall stacks of bark rings    Use the short stacks as accents or to build a gri...
Making Birch Bark Stacks       Glue up a stack of rings           coat 1 side of birch bark ring with glue           slide...
Making Birch Bark Stacks   First disk glued   Second disk - note grain orientation   Completed stack
Building the GripFrom this point, the grip is basically made like a cork grip    use the short stacks of birch bark like c...
Turning the GripTwo choices for turning the grip:  1. glue up on a mandrel and turn on the lathe  2. glue up on the rod an...
Turning the Gripuse a sharp gouge to rough the grip into a cylinderbe careful at the transitions between bark, cork & wood...
Finishing the GripApply the finish after the grip is glued on the rod    When turning on a mandrel, the grip WILL break in...
Finishing the GripApply Tung oil with 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper  The slurry fills in the imperfections  birch bark absorb...
Grips         Birch Bark        reel seats too
Now for SomethingCompletely Different
Faux Birch Bark
Turning the Grip
Cigar Shape Works Best
Burning in the Tip & Butt Sections
Undercoat with White Acrylic
Drybrush “Maple Sugar Tan” & White Blotches
Drybrush “Mudstone” & “Maple Sugar Tan” Stripes
Drybrush thin “Rain Grey” stripes
fan brush “Burnt Umber” & Black Crescent Scars
Topcoat with Matte Acrylic Varnish
Guide Wraps and Ferrule Wraps Too
The Aspen
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Birch bark grips

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This slide set takes you through the process of making grips for fishing rods using natural birch bark. The grips are beautiful and feel great in the hand.

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  • Birch bark grips

    1. 1. Birch Bark GripsMichael Hackney
    2. 2. Birch BarkBirch Trees are native to the North EastValuable building material since pre-historic times Can be cut, bent & sewn Strong & water resistant cardboard-like bark Paper-like outer skin used for paper Medicinal properties - preservative, anti-bacterial
    3. 3. Why Birch Bark Grips? birch bark grips are attractive they transmit more “feel” than cork they are great in the hand; not slippery, not rough lightweight they can easily be kept looking like new high quality cork is so #$%^ expensive birch bark is cheap and “Made in America”
    4. 4. Anatomy of a Birch Bark Grip Olive Wood Butt Birch Bark Olive Wood Tip Burnt & Burl Cork Burnt & Burl Cork
    5. 5. Birch Bark CollectionPlease do not cut bark from living treesdowned trees yield excellent barkUse a box cutter to cut a “vertical” slit through the barkSlit around the tree in 2 places 6” apartUse a putty knife to peel the bark starting at the vertical slitAvoid limbs and other large scars Collect a LOT of bark!
    6. 6. Birch Bark PreparationThe bark will tend to curl and needs to be flattened & dried stack the bark between 2 pieces of 20” long 1x8 pine cut strips to 18” long use 4 clamps to flatten the bark allow to dry for a few weeksOnce dry, the bark can be cut in to circles with a hole saw peel off the white paper layer use a 1 1/2” diameter hole saw with a 1/4” pilot drill bit sand rings lightly with 220 grit sandpaper
    7. 7. Making Birch Bark StacksGlue up 1 to 1 1/2” tall stacks of bark rings Use the short stacks as accents or to build a gripTools & Supplies Several sets (10) of ring clamps: one 1/4” x 2 1/2” hex head bolt two 1 1/2” diameter fender washers or 2 plywood disks one 1/4” nut or wingnut Tightbond 3 or epoxy
    8. 8. Making Birch Bark Stacks Glue up a stack of rings coat 1 side of birch bark ring with glue slide it glue facing up on to the 1/4” bolt coat next birch bark ring with glue slide it glue facing up on to bolt orient grain 90° to previous ring add enough rings to make a 1 to 1 1/2” stack Use 2 wrenches to clamp the stack tightly When dry remove from clamp ream stack with a 1/4” drill
    9. 9. Making Birch Bark Stacks First disk glued Second disk - note grain orientation Completed stack
    10. 10. Building the GripFrom this point, the grip is basically made like a cork grip use the short stacks of birch bark like cork rings birch bark is very fragile until it is glued onto a core difficult to remove from a mandrel difficult to ream to fit rodBirch Bark Grip Design use contrasting materials & colors all bark is a little boring since bark is a medium brown, darker and lighter contrasting elements work well
    11. 11. Turning the GripTwo choices for turning the grip: 1. glue up on a mandrel and turn on the lathe 2. glue up on the rod and turn the rod on a lathe
    12. 12. Turning the Gripuse a sharp gouge to rough the grip into a cylinderbe careful at the transitions between bark, cork & woodgo slow and let the tool do the work birch bark is harder than cork but softer than pine be careful that voids don’t tear outrough grip to within 1/16” of final dimensionsperform final shaping with sandpaper - from 100 to 400 gritdon’t worry about small imperfections/voids in bark
    13. 13. Finishing the GripApply the finish after the grip is glued on the rod When turning on a mandrel, the grip WILL break in several places when you remove it, don’t fret! carefully mark breaks with a pencil so you can realign glue the breaks when you glue the grip to the rod lightly sand with 400 grit once glue has cured
    14. 14. Finishing the GripApply Tung oil with 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper The slurry fills in the imperfections birch bark absorbs a lot of finish let dry and apply 2 more coatsUse Tru-Oil for the final finish 8 light coats applied with a cotton cloth
    15. 15. Grips Birch Bark reel seats too
    16. 16. Now for SomethingCompletely Different
    17. 17. Faux Birch Bark
    18. 18. Turning the Grip
    19. 19. Cigar Shape Works Best
    20. 20. Burning in the Tip & Butt Sections
    21. 21. Undercoat with White Acrylic
    22. 22. Drybrush “Maple Sugar Tan” & White Blotches
    23. 23. Drybrush “Mudstone” & “Maple Sugar Tan” Stripes
    24. 24. Drybrush thin “Rain Grey” stripes
    25. 25. fan brush “Burnt Umber” & Black Crescent Scars
    26. 26. Topcoat with Matte Acrylic Varnish
    27. 27. Guide Wraps and Ferrule Wraps Too
    28. 28. The Aspen

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