Bamboo Tips - Contributors - Tuttle, Ralph

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My name is Ralph and I am a knowledge junkie and have been all my life.

Unfortunately, several years ago (2002) I was introduced to a more potent form of addiction when I discovered a bamboo rodmaking book while on a trip with my brother who expressed an interest in becoming a rodmaker. Fortunately for him he was able to avoid getting addicted but I was not so lucky. My addiction has progressed into becoming both a tool junkie and fly fishing junkie as well. This list is just a subtle form of the drug and assures that I will never run out as a daily dose shows up each morning.

I have made all of the obligatory tools: Medved beveller, oven, fluting jig, four string binder, reel seat mortise jig... This has led me to acquire another lathe and mill so that I can cope with my addiction. I have fallen so far as to make a CNC beveller mill and written the software to control it. Wrote a program to take RodDNA tapers and generate Gcode to run it. Made a taper measurement system so that I can delve even further into the abyss of taper history and knowledge. Read numerous books on the history of rodmaking and pondered the methods each has come to express.

Through this new addiction I have met many more people like myself. Outwardly they appear normal and many, like me, have normal jobs and some even have intact families. All have encouraged me at every turn in my downward spiral. No doubt to feel better about themselves knowing they have secured another into their fold.

My wife is not afflicted by this and has truly enabled me with only an occasional eye roll or patronizing ‘that’s nice dear’. She made an attempt this past year to bring me out of it by requiring a total kitchen remodel. I have been able to use some of my other tools over the past nine months in this vain attempt of hers to bring me slowly away from the light side, I have not once touched my rodmaking endeavors (not totally true, I snuck away this last July and attended CRR again) I know that I have not kicked the habit and I can feel the old urges swelling.

In Minnesota we have many months where time passes slowly and our addiction festers and grows. Pray for me.

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