Sunday, March 4, 2012

Snapping Cane (Parody of "Splitting Cane")

After  a few missed tries at opening the door, I managed to ACTUALLY get myself inside the Laughing Grizzly. I was quickly greeted by Jake, the guard dog, and his companions Mike and Frank (not dogs). After quick introductions between me and Frank, it was time to get down to work. What work, you ask?
Bamboo fly rod making. Yesterday, I started the art of turning one stick into many small sticks, then back into fewer, slightly larger sticks. As Frank told me about the art of bamboo rod making, and helped me pick just the right piece of cane, some thoughts went through my head. They sounded like this: 1) Is this really going to be my home every saturday for the next few months? 2) That big rod on the table (shown below) looks a little big for Boulder Creek, and 3) Will I still have all my fingers at the end of today?

First, we measured out the length of the bamboo, which I didn't understand due to the fact that I'm not great at math. Frank learned this when he asked me some sort of multiplication. Umm, uh, well, what's the length of the average wiper? Then maybe divide that by 2?

Frank got the early measuring done fast, and before I knew it we were cutting the cane into halves, then thirds. What this left us with was pile of chopped wood. Chopped wood which Jake immediately grabbed a piece of and ran off with. We managed to get that piece back, not so much because we needed it (extra wood for the trash) but because we didn't want Jake to get any splinters.

One of my buddies, Rob Kolanda, was doing a tying demo in the morning. This meant that we couldn't run the belt sander and drown out his voice. This meant that I got to spend half an hour hand-sanding the nodes off the bamboo. After that was over, my arms needed a break.

We decided to pick out some pieces of cork and start building the handle of the rod. I listened to Frank's instruction carefully: Don't use pieces with cracks in them. The less holes, the better. Measure every piece individually. Don't eat that cork. 

Keeping all of Frank's words in mind, I started numbering the cork cylinders and stacking them upon one another. At this point I got to meet Brian. Brian is also building a rod, and stopped by today to work for awhile. Speaking of work, I'm still not really sure what he does. Something with phones I believe.

Our next step was having a nice, healthy lunch from the place down the road. You got it, a double cheese burger from Wendy's.

After lunch, we continued splitting cane until we had 48 small pieces of bamboo. This, Frank explained, was enough for two rods in case we made errors. Obviously, he knew about my previous work with splitting the other fine material: PVC for the kayak.

We ended the day by filing the tops of the nodes down to where they were almost invisible. So, to end on a fitting note, I leave you with a question: Will I survive the building of the rod? I will be taking bets on how many fingers hit the floor as of 8 pm Sunday night.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you got started! I'm betting 9! Just kidding. Have fun and keep us posted.