Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Connecticut River
Not hard to strip off handle. Use dull knife (so you don't cut into the blank) to peel off corks, torch reel seat and twist off when nice and hot. Take knife and sandpaper and get rid of epoxy residue. Use a hack saw and cut off winding check being very careful to not cut into blank. Actually you dont cut all the way through and when you very close to being all the way through use a screw driver placed into the cut slot and twist.
Your right much cheaper buying blank and building from scratch. I just don't have the patience, skill set, tools, inclination, etc., etc. to wrap all those guides!