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Tamo #8: Juniper

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Tamo #8: Juniper

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:19 am

I'm very proud of my latest tamo, made with a juniper branch I found while visiting Colorado. I hadn't worked on a tamo frame in probably about a month, so yesterday I decided to finish this one. I had already cut the splices and shaped the frame as round as possible (not perfectly round you'll see), but still needed to make the splices perfectly flat and even with each other - a lot of work, I'll tell you. For this one I didn't use the pins that I have in the other ones to join the two arms of the hoop, but instead concentrated on making as long and perfect a splice as I could. The length of the splice is 2.15, while the diameter 0.33 (so roughly 7 times, which is close enough to the rule of thumb mentioned by Chris on a previous post of 8 times). The rattan wraps were not absolutely necessary, but one side the wood was pretty thin and had a weird curve, so I decided to wrap it. The other side had a small crack, I mostly carved the crack out, but it was still there and I decided to add some symmetry by wrapping it too.
Image

I had been looking for branches that would offer something very unique and exciting about them. It's hard to call them "flaws", but that's what I have been looking for. This juniper branch was relatively high up and hard to see if it was really going to work. After I found it (hours of looking), I spent some 15 minutes, at least, looking at all the details of the branch, trying to bend it into a round shape, seeing if it would really work before cutting it. After I saw its potential, I cut the branch.

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The handle had an awkward curve to it, the opposite way from where I needed it. Before yesterday I had started cutting it and shaping it into something thinner at the end. I was going to have a thinner handle. But then I realized, after some initial carving, that if I cut it straight it would be of very similar diameter, and luckily even shape, as a deer antler Steve had sent me. It worked perfectly, they were really meant to be put together. I can always use some extra protection in the water anyways.

Now I'm debating a bit on the coloration and finish of the tamo. I think pure tung oil, retaining most of the natural wood color will work well on this one since the antler is white. But, what do you think?
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Re: Tamo #8: Juniper

Postby JDP1292 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:43 pm

Looks awesome!!!! keep up the great work!
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Re: Tamo #8: Juniper

Postby tnitz » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:01 am

I was thinking it's probably about time for me to take my juniper off the frame and work on it this weekend. It should be dry by now.

I am hoping to try to retain some of the orange color of the bark and heartwood when I finish it so will be looking at some kind of orangy stain, I think. Tung oil will help, but I may mix in a little oil paint just to give it a little more color.

As for the antler, it's color is what it is, I don't know that the color of the wood will really effect how it looks, to be honest. It might, I just can't picture one being better than the other - both are natural materials so I think our perceptions of what looks best change when our color pallette is naturally limited.

If you do decide to stain the wood, be rather careful around the antler portion - it can and will absorb some of the dye/colorant. And it becomes difficult to remove that color later - it gets into the pores and darkens areas you probably don't want enhanced. You can bleach it out, but it really is hard on the antler and hard to get the smooth sheen back.
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Re: Tamo #8: Juniper

Postby ToddW » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:00 pm

Very nice branch! I haven't made a natural color frame yet, I'd be curious how yours would look. I've been using Watco's Teak Oil Finish for my tamos because of the UV protectant qualities. It's linseed oil based and has been working well for my hardwood frames. I've also been using the water-soluble dye on the frames; I've found I can layer different colors for some very cool results. 8-) Something to think about, perhaps.
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Re: Tamo #8: Juniper

Postby patrickgarner » Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:37 pm

Utterly unique. Keep posting progress photos!
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Re: Tamo #8: Juniper

Postby ToddW » Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:54 pm

I'm curious how you accomplished such a long splice. I haven't been able to achieve the ideal ratio yet. Did you use a saw or knife?
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Re: Tamo #8: Juniper

Postby rsetina » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:03 pm

Looks great Daniel. I'd leave the color natural. I used a dye on my first one and I've decided to keep my tamos natural from now on. I've been looking for branches to use but they are so few in So Cal it's hard to find one. But I'll keep looking.
Rick

テンカラ。小さなストリームのシンプルさ。
My Tenkara Rods:
13' Ayu, 12' Yamame, 11' with a conversion handle, and an Ito.

My Wife's Tenkara Rods:
12' Ebisu and 13.5' Amago, 12' Iwana with a conversion handle, and an Ito.
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Re: Tamo #8: Juniper

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:51 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm very happy on how this one is turned out and hope I can get some better pictures soon.

Yesterday I finished a new one, and that splice is my very best so far. Believe it or not it's 4.1 inches! And, it was the smoothest, best fitting one so far too. I still needed to file and sand to get the pieces to join perfectly, but after a while it worked perfectly.

I made a cast (broken arm cast not fly-fishing cast :) ), as per Stephen's recommendation: simply align the two pieces where you want to cut them, wrap with some cord, and apply a bunch of white glue (regular white glue), to make somewhat of a cast. This will help keep them together as you cut. Then, I picked the beginning and end places for the splice, and with a saw with very low set started cutting in that angle VERY SLOWLY in the beginning to get the grove done just right(Japanese saws are best for this, and look for one with a back support, the one I used is pretty flexible and I had to keep holding the back of the saw to keep in a straight line). Instead of cutting both pieces at the exact same time as has been done and suggested before I cut one side at a time, keeping the same angle and size on both.

For this juniper net I'll keep the natural color, with tung oil only.

Today I bought some good dies for my next nets, I like the look of some Japanese nets I got that are more of a solid color. I think it will really depend on the wood and its features to die or not.
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Tenkara USA, founder
打仁得流, テンカラ大使
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Re: Tamo #8: Juniper

Postby rsetina » Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:44 am

Here's link for a Japanese Saw with a backbone to keep it stiff. For $45 it's a good buy. There may be better saws but this one should do the job.

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page ... nese%20saw
Rick

テンカラ。小さなストリームのシンプルさ。
My Tenkara Rods:
13' Ayu, 12' Yamame, 11' with a conversion handle, and an Ito.

My Wife's Tenkara Rods:
12' Ebisu and 13.5' Amago, 12' Iwana with a conversion handle, and an Ito.
rsetina
 
Posts: 1514
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:55 pm
Location: La Crescenta, CA

Re: Tamo #8: Juniper

Postby tnitz » Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:48 pm

Here's mine. Took it off the frame and spliced it yesterday. Am still sanding down the splice so no pics of that yet. Once I started sanding I realized how thin the branches became - I don't know yet, but may end up reinforcing the hoop with rattan or something.
Attachments
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