First, let me thank Albert, Tom and Walter for their guidance at our 2017 rod building class. It was a great experience and one that I'd recommend to any member curious about constructing their own rods. Although there are so many YouTube videos and other sources of this info, there is no substitute for experience which these gentleman have in abundance and who can save you some painful trial and error.
My first rod was a moderate success, after I finally overcame a rather irritating problem with my flex coat not fully curing. As suggested in our class, I would apply it in several coats with some curing normally and some remaining tacky for a couple weeks. I finally searched online and discovered that unlike regular epoxy adhesive, Flex Coat MUST be prepared in an exact 50/50 ratio and then mixed quite thoroughly in order to get consistent results. Adding a little extra "hardender" will actually cause the flex coat to NOT fully cure, but will speed up the thickening initially. In any case, a proper ratio and good mixing resulted in good predictable flex coats for me after this discovery. Adding this properly prepared layer on top of still tacky ones instantly corrected these problems, as well.
If all fails, you can always remove the guide and start over, but I found that removing it to be quite difficult. Better to take the time (and assistance needed) to get it right the first time.
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