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Fixing my broken TUSA Tamo

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:50 pm
by pechelman
So I broke by tamo yesterday, but I wasnt about to give up on it. I've really enjoyed this net, so I decided I'd give it a shot at fixing it with some pretty basic supplies you can get at your local auto or home repair store.

Listen to the warning on the website here about their Tamo; CARRY it in your hand when you're descending a steep bank.
I had thought about this literally not more than 10seconds before i slipped and fell on it.
Live and learn.


First was gathering all the needed items, in this case, some epoxy, fiberglass, and the usual suspects. And of course, remove the net from the tamo.

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Next, I needed a way to clamp together the tamo at the neck\hoop juntion while the epoxy was curing, and figured a #6 woodscrew would be a pretty simple solution. I also decided that I would just leave it in the tamo permanently to help things stay nice and tight throughout the repair process and future use of the net.

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Hole drilled and ready to install the screw so I could trim off the pointy end
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Screw installed, hose clamps loose installed, and getting ready for the epoxy bond of the broken halves.
Grind off that little pointy end so its flush with the net. I think it was a 1.25" screw, but dont quote me on that.

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Clean the two surfaces to be bonded, either using some compressed air or a clean brush. Just knock the dust out.
Apply a coat of epoxy to both sides of the surfaces. Start with the hoop so you can lay it down while you're applying epoxy to the handle so you dont have to worry about the epoxy running off. If you did the handle first, you'd have no way to hold\set it to keep the epoxy from running off. Stick the two halves together, fully install the screw, and position\tighten both hose clamps to keep things nice and snug while setting. I used 5-min epoxy here, and it was the perfect amount of pot life. 60min would be overkill imo.

Here it is all glued\clamped up.
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While you're letting it cure, go prepare your work area and materials for the fiberglass.
Dropcloth and paper on the worksurface to keep things neat and clean.

In this case, I cut 4 narrow strips of glass and 1 of those, I cut in half to make 2 shorter strips.
I used the two short strips first. Lay those over like a U so the long fibers run in parallel to the handle.
Then use 2 of the 3 to wrap from the handle up to the hoop. One going to the left and one to the right.
The last strip i used I started it from the hoop and made a slight X over the junction and finished the wrap on the other side.
You'll also notice some fiberglass tows in the background that I would use later to wrap around the glass to help debulk and squeeze out some excess epoxy.

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If you've never done composite work before, dont be intimidated, its just glue and cloth.
First step is to mix your epoxy. I used a little less hardener than called for so I would have a longer pot life.
Standard pot life was 12-15mins, but i used about 60% of what they called for and got about 30mins. Plenty of time if you're organized.

The next step once you have your epoxy mixed is to lightly paint epoxy on the surface where you want to place glass.
Put DRY glass cloth on the area and wrap it where you want it. DONT saturate it like the instructions usually call for.
Once the glass is in place, use the paint brush to DAB the epoxy into the glass cloth. This way you use a minimum of epoxy and remove air pockets at the same time. Be sure you're just dabbing straight into the cloth and not brushing at this point or you'll be pulling away lots of fibers. The idea is that you want to push the fibers into the wet epoxy below it so you're wetting out the fabric from below. Really insures a good product.

Here i was on my 2nd to last layer of glass. Its a little resin rich, but good enough.
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Also notice the hande. I wrapped the handle in a plastic bag to minimize the amout of epoxy i'd get on the handle.

I didnt get any pictures after this, but I decided I wanted to use those fiberglass tows AND some black tying thread I had left over from when I used to do lots of saltwater fishing. I wasnt really too concerned with how neat it was going to look, I just wanted it to debulk the glass and help me squeeze out some of the excess epoxy.

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And thats pretty much it.
Its curing right now, but when its fully set, I'm planning to hit it wiht a little sandpaper to smooth things over.
Probably followed by a coat or two of clear and then tying back on the net.

hopefully this helps inspire someone to fix their broken tamo rather than throwing it away

Re: Fixing my broken TUSA Tamo

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:11 pm
by Daniel @ Tenkara USA
Very sorry about the tamo breaking! Yes, that is a lesson that is a bit hard to learn, still think about the first tamo I had, which I purchased in Japan at a high price and broke when I fell on it.

But, THANK YOU very much for your complete post on how you fixed it. I'll make it a sticky.

Re: Fixing my broken TUSA Tamo

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:16 pm
by tsegelke
Those are some great steps taken to fix your net.

I would say with all my woodworking experience, your net is stronger now than it was. Nice work

Re: Fixing my broken TUSA Tamo

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:55 pm
by pechelman
@Daniel
Glad to post this and contribute. Thanks for the sticky :)

@tsegelke
thanks for the vote of confidence. i feel the same way
i used to do a lot of composites work at a local racecar fab\repair shop. since ive left ive thought about a ton of projects i wanted to do, but so far this is the only thing ive done. did it more or less how id have done in using higher quality materials. Now im just worried ill fall on it or something else and have it break somewhere else! ;)

and besides breaking the tamo
theres more incentive to not break one, and thats having to restring the net. wow, that was a pain.
but its ready to go for tomorrow!

anyway, i'll let the thread be for now
if anyone has any questions about the repair process, feel free to ask them here and/or message me
ill reply in this thread