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Saltheart

Straightening out a decorative wrap

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Hi Al,

Did a decorative wrap last night. I guess its a quad but maybe not (its 8 double threads up and down evenly spaced to form diamonds). Anyway , there are a ton of diamonds now and I ran into a problem starightening the whole mess out. I kept going over it with the burnishing tool pushing the threads straight and lining up the diamonds but it appeared I was chasing my tail. Seemed like the big problem was no particular place to start from which I could reference to starighten the rest out. I'd go all the way up and around but found at the end I was still pushing thread around that I thought I had already starightened out once. So what's the trick for getting a starting point to reference the rest of the corrections to?

 

[This message has been edited by Saltheart (edited 06-07-2001).]

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Good Morning SH,

 

The secret to laying out perfect decorative wraps is the very first thread you lay down that marks the centers of the pattern.

 

I have been using a Clemens Butt Wrap Alignment Tool for more than twenty years and it's the easiest way for me to lay out a pattern.

 

Once the centers have been marked then lay down the first thread so that the thread cross the center marks perfectly.

 

I then anchor down both ends with masking tape and apply a thin coat of color sealant wicking off any excess.

 

Take a hair dryer or heat gun and gently apply heat to the thread to make the CP slightly tacky. Then do a final check of the thread alignment. Apply a little more heat to dry off and let it completely dry.

 

Yoy now have a good and straight starting point to complete your wrap.

 

As you as building up your pattern, periodically pack down your threads to remove any large gaps.

 

When the pattern is complete and you have wrapped on your tie-down bands, but before cutting the tag ends of the pattern, apply another coat of CP and wick off the excess. Again hit it with a hair dryer to make it just tacky and do a final pack-down of the threads to remove any remaining gaps. The tackiness will hold the threads together.

 

Let it dry for two hours and apply a second coat of CP, wick off the excess and let it dry for two days (48 hours) before applying your finish.

 

Let me know how you make out.

 

Al

 

 

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Al... I think I have a problem similiar to Salthearts. I lay out the centers and put down the center thread fine. Once I get out from the center...I have a hard time keeping the thread packed together and have to spend a lot of time packing them with a burnishing tool. Are there any secrets to laying down the thread perfect from the start or is it just something that comes with time and practice? Thanks!

 

Charlie

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Charlie,

 

It's time and practice getting the tension right. There are a few tricks I have learned over the years.

 

Sounds like some of you should come to a Rodcrafter seminar, either the National in Allentown, PA or the regional I run in CT. We had several SOL's at both seminars this year and I know they had a great time.

 

Al

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Thanks Al. Yes , I think one of them seminars would be good. I was reluctant to go as a total beginner but after building a few rods , I bet you can learn a ton in a short time watching someone else.

 

What's the difference in the programs between the big National one in PA and the regional one in CT?

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No internet access for a few days. Going to the seminar as a beginner is the BEST thing you can do. There is a ton of info out there and everyone is willing to share it with you. Bring along a few rods you've built, and have others critique it. They will point out many things you never even noticed. This will definitely improve your skills.

 

As for getting the threads to go down perfectly - I think that all depends on the type of wrap you are doing. Wraps with few crossover points, such as diamonds and chevrons, will lay down much better than a wrap made one thread at a time with many crossovers - such as a St. John's Cross. Also the diameter of the blank makes a difference - the smaller the diameter the blank, the harder it will be to lay the threads down perfect. There is a way to get the threads nice and tightly packed though, but you have to understand which threads will be packed in order to eliminate gaps.

 

I will usually begin packing threads half way through a pattern. At this point, I want to get the center of the pattern nice and tight, and make sure there is equal space for the closing of a pattern. For me, I do not worry about the last pass I made. I use that thread to hold the first few passes I made while packing. Confusing - I guess, but try moving the threads where they cross over each other - this will usually lock the threads in place if the thread was wrapped with the proper tension. Then on every pass I pack the prior pass. Do not try and pack all threads at once when the pattern is done - it will be really difficult.

 

I spend twice as much time packing as I do wrapping. Open wraps - the last pass will not really be as tight as you want it to be - do not fear. Apply the CP, and while it is tacky - maybe 45 minutes - pack the last pass nice and tight. Also, any other threads that were difficult to pack - now they'll move and the CP will hold them. Closed wraps - if measured and spaced properly there should be almost no gaps in the pattern. Any that are can be burnished. Burnish away from the center of the pattern, and try not to burnish metallic threads.

 

One more tip I find useful. When the pattern is done do not apply the CP until you've tied it off. This is a little scary to do at first, but I've figured out a pretty good way that is safe if you're careful. Start the tie off with moderate tension. After about 10 turns, increase the tension to the point where you would wrap a guide, and again after another 10 turns apply full tension (not full where the thread will break, just a bit more then the guide wrap tension. Wrap for about 1/4 - 1/2 inch, depending on the length of the tie off bands you desire. Take a piece of masking tape and wrap it around the entire band you've just made. Ease back on the tension a bit, and move the thread away from where you will cut off the threads. Cut off the tape or whatever you use to hold the threads, take the loose threads, hold them up, and with a razor blade cut them on an angle away from the tie off band wrapped with tape. Do not cut straight down, try to angle the razor blade parallel with the blank, and leave them from 1/8 - 1/2 inch long. Adjust the tension of the thread to where it was before, take off the tape, and wrap over the cut threads and tie off. Should be a nice smooth tie off.

 

The reason for adjusting the tension - When the CP is applied, there is sometimes a lot of movement of the threads in the first pattern. I belive this is similar to hollow bucktail flaring when tying flies. The first few wraps do not disturb the threads, and by the time the full tension is applied all the threads in the pattern are completely locked in.

 

WOW - that was long. Hope this helps, Billy

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