Cork Handle Glue-up Problems

KyJw

Newbie
Sep 9, 2021
24
8
18
Branson, MO
Name
Kyler Wright
Boat Name
multiple
So on two consecutive rods I've had problems with really bad bonds between cork grips and the blanks. For example, a few days ago a rod I built had the butt grip (cork) ripped off during a big hookset (granted, it was mostly my fault, i made it a 9" grip system when I should've made it 12" so the butt slipped and got ripped off). On the rod in the attached photo, I glued everything up about a week ago and I decided to test and see if this rod would do the same on any portion of the rod.. turns out that I was right in doing that, because the rear part of the rear grip is now loose and doesn't have a good bond anymore. Two rods in a row using different brand cork grips (no I don't turn my own) and having similar things happen tells me it's almost 100% a ME problem. If this has happened to any of y'all, what was the problem and how did y'all fix it? (some facts; i did not sand the blank where i glued up, these were my 2nd and 3rd times working with cork since i usually work with winn grips or g2 carbon grips and have never had these problems, I don't have tape arbors under the cork in that spot since i had the inside diameter pretty tight with the outside diameter of the blank, I'm using thread master two part 15 minute adhesive, it seems to be only isolated to the marked spot on the picture as well as the butt grip on the other rod)

Snapchat-2010023029.jpg
 
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KyJw

Newbie
Sep 9, 2021
24
8
18
Branson, MO
Name
Kyler Wright
Boat Name
multiple
Also, is there any way of fixing it as it is now without tearing the grips off? FYI, I have aluminum winding checks on it, and the thread wrap has not been epoxied over yet.
 
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skrilla

allirks
May 26, 2006
2,778
8,061
San Diego
Name
Len
Boat Name
Camo Whammo
Could be a number of things...

Bad mix, didn't stick to 1:1 or 2:1 ratio depending in what brand you used. Easy to check. I always leave the excess out so I can poke it the next day to see if it hardend up successfully.

Not enough, sometimes when it's a tight fit you may have squeegeed too much epoxy off when sliding down the grip. I apply as liberally on the blank as well as inside the bore.

Dirty surface, always clean blank off with your favorite Cali banned ( or soon to be banned ) substance.

I'm not a fan of quick dry epoxy ( 5, 10, 15, 60 minute, etc). In my experience after it cures it becomes brittle, if not immediately then soon over time.

Otherwise you may have a helluva grip and need to ease up. :p:

Replacing a grip in that area with trim rings and reel seat already set is tough. I usually go with corktape and heat shrink. I have done it once where I split the grip down the middle, sandwiched the blank with both halves, and held them together with masking tape. Cleaned it up with some sanding and a prayer. It was hell but whatever gets the job done.
 
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KyJw

Newbie
Sep 9, 2021
24
8
18
Branson, MO
Name
Kyler Wright
Boat Name
multiple
Could be a number of things...

Bad mix, didn't stick to 1:1 or 2:1 ratio depending in what brand you used. Easy to check. I always leave the excess out so I can poke it the next day to see if it hardend up successfully.

Not enough, sometimes when it's a tight fit you may have squeegeed too much epoxy off when sliding down the grip. I apply as liberally on the blank as well as inside the bore.

Dirty surface, always clean blank off with your favorite Cali banned ( or soon to be banned ) substance.

I'm not a fan of quick dry epoxy ( 5, 10, 15, 60 minute, etc). In my experience after it cures it becomes brittle, if not immediately then soon over time.

Otherwise you may have a helluva grip and need to ease up. :p:

Replacing a grip in that area with trim rings and reel seat already set is tough. I usually go with corktape and heat shrink. I have done it once where I split the grip down the middle, sandwiched the blank with both halves, and held them together with masking tape. Cleaned it up with some sanding and a prayer. It was hell but whatever gets the job done.
Thanks for the reply man, now that I think about it (and since you brought it up) I might not have had enough epoxy at that specific spot, with how tight it was and the direction I slid it on (I slid towards where the reel seat is from the butt grip) it probably squeezed too much epoxy out. I know its not the mix ratio, since the excess on both batches came out pretty damn hard the next day, and I always clean my blanks with some denatured alcohol (and obviously completely dry it afterwards) so I don't think it was a dirty surface problem. So that only leaves the epoxy itself (it being a quickdry) or not enough epoxy, because I know damn well my grip isn't that strong LOL. What epoxy do you use?
 
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Wendell Fox

Member
Aug 3, 2006
448
323
77
Foster City, CA
Name
Wendell Fox
Boat Name
Boston Whaler 17
Thanks for the reply man, now that I think about it (and since you brought it up) I might not have had enough epoxy at that specific spot, with how tight it was and the direction I slid it on (I slid towards where the reel seat is from the butt grip) it probably squeezed too much epoxy out. I know its not the mix ratio, since the excess on both batches came out pretty damn hard the next day, and I always clean my blanks with some denatured alcohol (and obviously completely dry it afterwards) so I don't think it was a dirty surface problem. So that only leaves the epoxy itself (it being a quickdry) or not enough epoxy, because I know damn well my grip isn't that strong LOL. What epoxy do you use?
Next time try U 40 Rod Bond and be content to let it setup for 24 hours. Also rough up the gluing surface on your blank with an aggressive file before applying the glue.
 
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Hector Garcia

@hectorscustomrods on instagram
  • Dec 28, 2017
    1,449
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    Lake Los Angeles, CA
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    Hector Garcia
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    I need a ride.
    Ive fixed a couple of grips by getting a shitty kids syringe or needle, mixing up some 1:1 epoxy and making a small hole in the grip and shooting it into the hole. Then plugging the hole with wood glue or bits of cork I have on the floor.
     
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    K. D.

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    Apr 20, 2011
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    Bremerton, WA
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    Kerry Hansen
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    RIVER SLED
    I have never used your choice of epoxy. I have only used Rod Bond regular since about 1980 with zero failures. I would have the inside diameter such that there is a very little drag just before being in position. A very minor scuffing of the surface of the blank with Scotch pad to take shine off. Before sliding on blank, bevel the inside diameter of grip on leading edge when sliding in place so it doesn't scrape off the epoxy but rater funnels it into the grip interior.
     
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    mikek

    Almost A Member
    Jul 21, 2009
    157
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    Florida
    Name
    Mike
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    Scout 162
    I would have the inside diameter such that there is a very little drag just before being in position. A very minor scuffing of the surface of the blank with Scotch pad to take shine off. Before sliding on blank, bevel the inside diameter of grip on leading edge when sliding in place so it doesn't scrape off the epoxy but rater funnels it into the grip interior.

    Great info from KD! Pushing the cork up the blank with too tight a fit to begin with is most of the problem. I use Pro Paste Fast Set.
     
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    TroutStyx

    Newbie
    Jul 29, 2020
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    Vancouver WA
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    RICHARD D BOWERS
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    I have never had a handle come loose when using ProGlu standard formula. I like how it adheres to the blank even after most is squeezed out when sliding the cork or EVA foam into place. Another trick I learned recently for EVA foam is to apply the epoxy, then spritz it with Mineral Spirits - the EVA slides easily into place, and the Mineral Spirits completely evaporate leaving a solid bond with the epoxy and the handle.
     
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    K. D.

    Member
    Apr 20, 2011
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    Bremerton, WA
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    Kerry Hansen
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    RIVER SLED
    I have never had a handle come loose when using ProGlu standard formula. I like how it adheres to the blank even after most is squeezed out when sliding the cork or EVA foam into place. Another trick I learned recently for EVA foam is to apply the epoxy, then spritz it with Mineral Spirits - the EVA slides easily into place, and the Mineral Spirits completely evaporate leaving a solid bond with the epoxy and the handle.
    Since Cork is closed cell, how does the Mineral Spirits evaporate? Not sure of porosity of EVA and Hypalon.
     
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