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Double Check those Measurements

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A renowned rodmaker shared one of his personal tapers with me via email.  I planed out the butt section, but when it came time for the tips I could not get the forms closed far enough. I spent an entire evening opening and closing the forms trying to duplicate his tip dimensions. Try as I might, the tip side of my forms was too coarse to produce tips with those ultra-fine dimensions. This went on and on. I became convinced that my forms were overcut, and about twice as deep as they should be when closed. I took the forms apart to check for debris, and checked the depth at every station. Everything was right on. Glancing up at the taper sheet, I realized that the tip diameter of 0.033 seemed odd, and I checked my taper library and the list archive. Almost all tips were about 0.070 or larger, and only a few were slightly smaller. It was then I realized that the taper I had received from him had strip dimensions (1/2 rod diameter) and not rod diameter. I had divided the strip dimensions in half, and had spent three evenings planing away on strips that were smaller than any taper in the history of rodmaking. I tried making the section into fly tying bodkins, but it was too fine for even that. And of course it was one of my best culms.  (Jeff Schaeffer)

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