Mother of All Bamboo Fly Rod Roughers II

After more than a few years of building bamboo fly rods, I became frustrated with the methods I used to accommodate the tools and machines that were available commercially.  Rather than blaming the tools, I decided to start making my own – starting with a bamboo fly rod rougher.

A “system” is what I needed.  Something straight-forward that would produce a bamboo fly rod in the method I thought was most accurate and most repeatable.

The tediousness of building bamboo fly rods has been a necessity if a good rod is to be produced.  This has always been do in part to the methods and machines available.  Developing a “system” to process culms of bamboo to finish bamboo fly rod sections without all the fussing and failures is my goal.

Adapting good ideas as well as coming up with new solutions to create accurate strips has become a necessity for me.  The second step in processing strips for me is the rough beveling of the strips into triangles.


A departure from all of the commercially available roughing bevellers, the MOAR employs some very novel approaches to creating accurate strips.

Rather than the universally employed system of roller/wheel type hold downs, the MOAR uses quickly interchangeable hold down blocks.  Rather than employing arms with spring tension, the MOAR uses a free weight system that provides a consistent tension on the strip throughout its travel through the rougher.

The interchangeable blocks also run close into the cutter itself, so that the bamboo fly rod strip is supported and guided by the blocks to within a total of 1/2″  from the end of the infeed block to the beginning of the outfeed block.


The blocks themselves can be changed out quickly to accommodate  different width strips.

The z axis is controlled by a single knob on the top of the MOAR.  The router motor runs up and down on four precision bronze oil bearing bushings.  The bushings are fit to 4 precision rods.  The cutters, supplied by Forrest Maxwell do an excellent job of producing an exact 60 degree angle in the bamboo.


This is one pass.  A .250″ rectangular strip cut to a  .200″ equilateral triangle.

The MOAR is the basis for the next machine, a CNC taper beveller.  Stay tuned.

Posted by on February 22nd, 2009

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