I posted this to the Rodmakers list, but want to ask it here also in case there are MHM users that are not on that list:
I am dismayed, disillusioned, distressed, disappointed, disgusted, disheartened, discouraged and any other applicable dis-words. And then there is desperate.
I'm working on my second rod ever (first one was in 2011). I'm close the point of glue-up. Still working on final planing of tip strips, but wanted some glue-up practice. I also became intrigued with the notion of making chopsticks from scrap, partly because my granddaughter has been using chopsticks as a result of Japanese lessons and activities in her school. I thought what a great way to engage her in making something of her own liking, by getting her to help with making chopsticks. The latter has gone reasonably well, we had fun this week gluing up several sets. That resulted in my dilemma.
Initially, I practiced on bona-fide scraps and those turned out okay, but with more gaps than I want. I'm using a Morgan Hand Mill for planing and had forgotten to remove the apex/chimney, so I thought the gaps were probably due to that (but given what happened subsequently, it am doubting that was the problem). I wanted to do a better job, so I took parts of culms and split and planed longer, new strips for two more pairs. These were nodeless in the region that would be used, but had some nodes toward the thick end that would be cut off. I planed them carefully and made sure the apexes were gone. They were nearly perfect when dry bound, both with tape and with dry thread binding. Only one or two gaps associated with nodes in the cutoff area. I tried to ensure they were dust free at the time of glue-up, but I am having trouble figuring out what else might cause the extensive, long gaps that resulted. Used Titebond III.
I am using a Bertram 4-string binder and have used some targeted "clove-hitch" spot tie-ups to close noticeable gaps, for example at some of the nodes. Could too high thread tension cause this? Tension is set at about 96 grams each thread. Instructions say ~45 for 4-strings, ~96 grams for 2-strings. I wasn't seeing any glue squeeze out as a result of binding, but when I did some of the spot ties, there was definite squeeze out.
I'd like to hear thoughts on what could be happening to cause these extensive gaps.