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My net making experience with rhododendron

A place to discuss tenkara nets. Techniques for making it, woods used, designs, etc.

Re: My net making experience with rhododendron

Postby FishinJosh » Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:14 am

I have been reading up on steam bending wood and may try something different next.

"Wood cells are held together by a naturally occurring substance in the wood called lignin. Imagine the wood fibers to be a bundle of rods with the space between them filled with lignin. The strength of this lignin bond between the rods can be decreased by subjecting the wood to steam. With unpressurized steam at 212° Fahrenheit, steaming for one hour per inch of thickness (regardless of the width) will soften the bond enough for bending."

That came from this article http://www.leevalley.com/en/html/05F1501ie.pdf

I think the boiling water is not penetrating into the branch enough.
FishinJosh
 
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Re: My net making experience with rhododendron

Postby FishinJosh » Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:52 am

So my research continues. I was soaking a rhododendron branch in a PVC pipe of boiling water then bending around a form. The branch broke. So I then made a simple steam box and steamed the branch for 30 min. I was able to bend a rhodo branch 3/4 in thick around the form fairly easily. The branch did break at a knot, even with proper steaming. The grain changes too much in the wood for even bending.
Here is a pick of the form. It is 10in diameter and made of scrap wood. The right leg of the branch was the one in the boiling water. The one clamped to the form was in the steam box.
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Here is the break at a knot on the steam bent piece.
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The steam box is a metal pipe I found in under the house about 3ft long. I used a solo cup with aluminum foil around it as a end cap. Put a hole in the end cap to release built up pressure. I steam one side of the net at a time putting the branch as far in as I can. I use old rags to fill in around the branch and the intake tube. The black tube came off a dryer and has not melted, yet. Put a slight angle on the steam box so condensation will drip out. The pipe gets very hot so use caution.

Image

So the takeaway from all this is if you want to use a harder wood (not pines) make sure you are steaming/heating up the wood well. Also having straight grain without knots is important.

I have a few nets in the works I'll keep y'all updated.
Thanks Josh
FishinJosh
 
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Re: My net making experience with rhododendron

Postby FishinJosh » Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:48 pm

The guide net
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FishinJosh
 
Posts: 15
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Location: Brevard NC

Re: My net making experience with rhododendron

Postby Billinoregon » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:50 am

I was wondering about rhododendron, as it is wild here in Oregon, too. I am thinking other species may be a better choice, perhaps hazel or vine maple.
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