Flamed Cane: applying fly rod building techniques to pen making

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drgoretex

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Hello folks. Been a while since I posted, so I thought I would put a few pics of things I've been up to lately.


Flamed cane fountain pen with garnet thread wrap

Before falling headlong into pen making, I used to (and still do occasionally) build fly fishing rods - both graphite and bamboo. I wanted to try using some of the techniques that I applied to fly rods, only on pen making.



One of those techniques is that of the thread wrap, used to reinforce the ends of the rod segments (and to secure line guides). On the classic cane rods, the pale, or 'blonde' cane is often paired with a spring green thread wrap, while the darker, 'flamed' cane is often paired with a darker garnet thread wrap:


Blonde cane fountain pen with green thread wrap


Thread wrap on a fountain pen made of bamboo 'wood'


Bamboo Rod fountain pen with green and black thread wrap


Garnet thread wrap on flamed cane

The other technique I wanted to try was that of 'flaming' - a process used on the raw bamboo culm to give it a darker, textured colour by carmelizing and lightly charring the outer layers (usually with a blowtorch of sorts). After flaming the small culm, I took off the outer layers with steel wool, smoothed it, and gave it a good soak inside and out with thin CA to stabilize and seal it.


the flamed cane pen with garnet thread wrap and ruby acrylic end jewels

To finish off the bamboo rods, I added end jewels - in the case of the flamed cane pen, the end jewels were done in ruby red acrylic to match the thread wrap.


Ruby red end jewels in the flamed cane pen

Here's one last pic - a group shot of different bamboo pens: the flamed and the blonde cane fountain pens, and the blonde bamboo 'Rod' fountain pen (made of bamboo 'wood').

It seems I have become pretty obsessed with bamboo. But I'm hoping this has gotten it out of my system for a while.

Thanks for looking! C & C welcome.

Cheers,

Ken
 
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lyonsacc

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Ken,

Thanks for posting these pics. The pens are great!

Bamboo has been on my list of things to try. We planted some bamboo about 3 years ago and the plants are multiplying enough now to harvest some. I did pull one cane last year, it has been drying in the basement and I just haven't gotten to it yet.

Dave
 

oldsmokey

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Hi Ken, very nice pens. I to have made several rods. I made them using diamond wraps and other decorative wraps. I have toyed with the idea of using some of the new weaving techniques and wrapping the whole pen body. With the cost of the weaving equipment and the learning curve, never have got around to it. You have relit that flame.
Did you use a rod finish or CA? How is the transition between the wrap and the surface of the pen blank? I was thinking of inlaying the wrap into the pen blank.
Ellis
 

drgoretex

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Hi Ken, very nice pens. I to have made several rods. I made them using diamond wraps and other decorative wraps. I have toyed with the idea of using some of the new weaving techniques and wrapping the whole pen body. With the cost of the weaving equipment and the learning curve, never have got around to it. You have relit that flame.
Did you use a rod finish or CA? How is the transition between the wrap and the surface of the pen blank? I was thinking of inlaying the wrap into the pen blank.
Ellis
Thanks Ellis! The surface finish is just plain thin CA, several coats, buffed to matte. The transition from thread to pen surface is thankfully a little less crucial than in rod building (hence no epoxy finish) but is actually pretty good. Being the finish on the wrap is low build/low prfile, it comes out pretty decent.

A weave wrap on a pen - would love to see that. Guess you gotta make it happen :))

Cheers,

Ken
 

Janster

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Very nicely done. Actually quite beautiful. I would like the "Jewel" closer to the ends so they would stand out somewhat! Again,...........GREAT job! Be well...............Jan
 

TLTHW

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Very Nice. I have rebuilt several old fly rods and have been thinking about trying this for a while. Guess I will have to get serious now.
 

drgoretex

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I was thinking of using some to make pen cases with. Never occured to make the pen out of it.:bulgy-eyes:

I like the matte finish
Thanks, Phil.

Bamboo has a beautiful look to it. Bamboo pen cases are awesome.

Very Nice. I have rebuilt several old fly rods and have been thinking about trying this for a while. Guess I will have to get serious now.
Cool! I love rebuilding the old cane rods - was initially hoping to find a nice beat up old rod I could make a pen out of, but can't seem to find one with a big enough diameter. So now I have been trying to figure out a good way to plane a bamboo blank to hexagonal to look more like those beautiful classic rods... :rolleyes:

Cheers,

Ken
 

OZturner

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Love the concept and your work. Great Pen and technique.
Have you thought of making one in the Japanese style of a Brush Pen? .... Even if not for use or sale, it would make a great display piece.
 

drgoretex

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Love the concept and your work. Great Pen and technique.
Have you thought of making one in the Japanese style of a Brush Pen? .... Even if not for use or sale, it would make a great display piece.
Brush pen - I love it! That's a great idea. Going to have to look into the brush parts... :smile:

Cheers,

Ken
 

TLTHW

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Cool! I love rebuilding the old cane rods - was initially hoping to find a nice beat up old rod I could make a pen out of, but can't seem to find one with a big enough diameter. So now I have been trying to figure out a good way to plane a bamboo blank to hexagonal to look more like those beautiful classic rods... :rolleyes:

Cheers,

Ken

I have an old cane salt water fly rod that would be big enough but it is in to good of shape to cut up for this. Even though I have no where to use the rod.
 

drgoretex

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Cool! I love rebuilding the old cane rods - was initially hoping to find a nice beat up old rod I could make a pen out of, but can't seem to find one with a big enough diameter. So now I have been trying to figure out a good way to plane a bamboo blank to hexagonal to look more like those beautiful classic rods... :rolleyes:

Cheers,

Ken

I have an old cane salt water fly rod that would be big enough but it is in to good of shape to cut up for this. Even though I have no where to use the rod.
Yep, I know what you mean. I am not sure I would actually have the heart to take an old cane rod to the saw :eek: - unless it was seriously damaged and utterly unusable.

Ken
 

eranox

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Okay, now I'm motivated to get my fly rod out.

Those are the nicest pens I've seen in quite some time. I greatly prefer the flamed one, but they're both exquisite. For the end jewels, I'd like to see some nickel silver to remind me of the fly rod guides and reel seat hardware. Or perhaps some nicely figured agate, like they used to use in the stripping guides. Heck, I'd be happy with some plain old cork!

Beautiful pens, absolutely gorgeous. If you ever consider putting together a tutorial, I'd love to see it.
 

drgoretex

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Okay, now I'm motivated to get my fly rod out.

Those are the nicest pens I've seen in quite some time. I greatly prefer the flamed one, but they're both exquisite. For the end jewels, I'd like to see some nickel silver to remind me of the fly rod guides and reel seat hardware. Or perhaps some nicely figured agate, like they used to use in the stripping guides. Heck, I'd be happy with some plain old cork!

Beautiful pens, absolutely gorgeous. If you ever consider putting together a tutorial, I'd love to see it.
Those are some awesome ideas there, thanks very much! Great to hear from a fellow fly guy. :smile:

Ken
 
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