Welcome to my bamboo shop, located in the basement of my house. Outside of standing on the concrete all day and the dust that spreads throughout the entire house, it is a great place to make bamboo rods because it has a consistent year round temperature and humidity levels, which is very important to making bamboo rods. It also allows me to spread out my materials and tools.
As you can see, I use the Bellinger line of tools to help speed up the process of making blanks, but in the end I still use my good old Stanley No.18 Knuckle block plane to plane out my strips to final dimensions. There is nothing like the sound of my Stanley gliding over a strip of bamboo in the planing form. The hiss that it makes is a very soothing and almost hypnotic like sound, it is one of the most enjoyable steps of making bamboo rods, and one that I can and will do for hours! After creating all the dust and shavings, and spreading all the glue in creating a blank in the basement, I have a spare room that is dedicated to wrapping all the guides and beginning the details of the finishing process. Once done there, the almost finished bamboo rod heads back to the basement and into the dipping room.
One of the other fun aspects of having a shop like this is being able to share it with my students who take a rod making class from me. Everyone who takes the rod making class gets to use the same tools and go through the same process in the shop that I do when making a bamboo rod. Not only do my students get to enjoy making their very own bamboo rod with the best tools and materials, at the end of the process they get to fish with a rod that they made. It takes that same feeling of accomplishment and joy that people who tie their own flies to fish with get to a whole new level!