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Form Setup - Station Identification

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On my Golden Witch wooden forms (or other push-pull forms), what area constitutes the "station" and thus the area where I measure? The big screw?  The little one?  In the middle?

Also, any tips on a good taper for saltwater fly fishing?  I have an Orvis 8.5' 8 wt that is really not for 8 wt and therefore not really a heavy enough gun.  I usually like to throw a 9 wt line in my environs.  Special coatings for the metal parts?  Hollow build?  (Joe West)

    I mark off 5" stations with a "Sharpie".  I don’t think it matters much where they are as long as they are 5" apart (assuming the taper is measured at 5" intervals.)  I mark at the dowels on my forms, they are centered between the screws.  You can still get a cup of coffee with my opinion and $1.00.  (Neil Savage)

    I mark the 5" center on my Golden Witch forms on the "pull bolt" seems to hold the measurement more accurately as you adjust the nest station. I also loosen them up quite a bit and pull the forms together starting at the tip end of the form. I have found with the wood forms that if I try to adjust by the push / pull jumping around stations you will get a hole lot of "screwed up" dimensions. Starting at the tip and working down seems to keep the forms straighter which makes the taper more smooth and gradual.  (Pete Van Schaack)

    I get this kind of questions from the several guys I have helped build their first rods. The answer is, it doesn't make a lot of difference as long as you are consistent. I always put the depth gauge right in between the push and pull. Then the separation is 5 inches.  I also put the tip on the same (right in between the push and pull) when planing it, for the same reason.  (Rich McGaughey)

    I just define the midpoint of the push-pull screws. I think you could also pick the pin that is between two stations. My opinion.  it is is your choice to some extent with respect to the dimension that you are trying to achieve for the taper location.  (Frank Paul)


I thought I’d share something that I have come up with to keep track of my station settings on my forms.  I place a drywall “shim” taped on the table alongside the form with the setting marked on it at each station.  A drywall shim is a piece of stiff cardboard 1.5” wide 48” long and about 1/8” thick.  I kept losing my “sharpie” station setting marks on my form and find this is a good way to keep an eye on things at a glance.  You can keep the station settings to even a four piece easily on one of these shims.  You can also store these with a hole punched in the end (hung on a nail) for future use or reference to particular rods.  Drywall shims are sold in packs of about 100 at your local home improvement store for about $7.00.  (Mike Monsos)

    I use a strip of wide masking tape and jot down three numbers for the strips alongside each adjustment station - much oversize, 20 thousandths over and then final dimensions.  I plane all strips to the first dimension before tightening up my form and planing some more.  (Greg Dawson)

      My method is to write the last 2 digits of the dimension right on the enamel side of  strip with a sharp pencil.  Except for the first few stations of the tip, there is plenty of width if you write small.  Makes it easy to check the planing at several places with the caliper.  (Frank Stetzer, Hexrod, Taper Archive, Rodmakers Archive)

        While on the subject, here's my method. A long strip of masking tape alongside the form board, marked with sets of 5" locations. Then at each 5" station, pencil or ink lines across the form and the strip. Measurements taken constantly as planing proceeds, at these lines ~ from enamel corners to opposite flats to attain equal dimensioning  on both sides along entire length. Don't bother with enamel-side flat to pithy crest.  (Vince Brannick)

          I use rolls of adding machine paper.  I tape a strip beside the form for both tip and butt sections.  I mark the station number, target dimensions,  .020 over dimensions, the final dimensions, where the butt and tip should start/end, rod serial number,  and  and anything else of note.   When I finish the rod, I roll the 2 two strips of adding machine tape together  and put them in a drawer.  If I ever have any questions about the strips in that rod, I have that record to go to.   (Dave Cooper)

          I run the masking tape along side the form board.  Mark target dimensions, then run an additional set of numbers that are target numbers plus .010.  Forms are set at the +.010 dimension. Strips come off the beveler at about .030 over final dimensions, are planed to the +.010 dimension.  Forms are then reset to achieve final dimensions and the last .05 to .010 are planed away.  (Paul Julius)


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