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Is crowning of the ferrule tabs a common practice among most builders? I think they look nice but I have the hands of Thor and always seem to bugger one of the tabs at the very end of the process. Any tips or tricks of the trade you might want to pass on? (again?)  (Jon Holland)

    I don't crown mine. Cosmetically it might add to the look when ulta transparent thread is used on them, but I can see no structural benefit for doing it.  (Will Price)

      I don't crown mine either. I do thin them some though.  (Timothy Troester)

        Crowned and thinned, in that order. I thin them by putting a mandrel inside and using a small file.

        For crowning I just use a triangular file cutting on the push stroke away form the base of the splints.  Occasionally you do get a disaster, you can scrap the ferrule or just glue the broken splint on afterwards so it looks OK. The technical reason for crowning is that the stresses are spread across the half inch or less of the splines and not concentrated as a shear stress across the end of the ferrule metal. I also use slightly thicker thread on the ferrule splints than elsewhere on the rod, its easier.

        I wonder if Duronze may be worse than Nis for splint breaking as I broke one off my only Duronze ferrule to date.  (Robin Haywood)

    I do crown them, I believe that it helps the transition between the cane and the ferrule. What I do is insert the tail end of a 3 corner needle file and spread the tabs ever so slightly then I use this file to crown the tabs, start out almost with the file laying down and then as you start seeing an angle cut start rocking the file up some. With a little practice you can get the job done in a short time. What I have noticed is that this also helps with the thread not cracking where the ferrule ends and the cane starts. This is what works for me but certainly not the only way to do it.  (Joe Arguello)

      Do you also thin the tabs towards the tips and if so do you do it before or after cutting the crowns. (Larry Puckett)

        I do thin the crowns but I do it after I glue the ferrules on the blank! What I do is crown the tabs, debur them and make sure the ferrules are clean inside. Then I glue the ferrule onto the blank and tie them down with some thread as in binding thread. When they are dry I am very careful not to flex the section so as not to break them free. I then use the small 3 corner file and thin them down and feather them to the blank, now wrap them. Hope this makes sense and helps.  (Joe Arguello)

    Wayne's book tells how to do it with a strip of sandpaper tacked to the workbench.  (Neil Savage)

      The easiest way to do this is with your Dremel and a small fine diamond cut of disk. It takes 5 minutes.

      Dremel 76dd

      This sort of thing.  (Gary Nicholson)

        I really must get myself a Dremel!  (Robin Haywood)

      I do it with a three cornered jewelers file. (Dave Norling)

    I also crown my ferrules to improve the transition of structure between the ferrule and bamboo. It is my technical opinion that one wants as smooth transition of the EI modulus through the ferrule to the bamboo, and also to minimize local edge stress where the ferrule and bamboo meet. I also thin the ends of the crowned ferrules after the crowning on my lathe using a very low speed and very fine sand paper (1000 grit) and before assembling them on the prepared bamboo.  (Frank Paul)

    Forgive my ignorance, but what is crowning on a ferrule? I'm new to rodmaking and following the ferrule links with great interest, as I want to learn to make them on my lathe (also a newbie at machining).  (Chuck Pickering)

      Thanks for asking.  Have a look at this picture:

      Boyd, Harry Ferrule Wrap

      Those ferrule tabs have been formed into a shape that resembles a crown.  Those particular ferrule tabs are overwrapped with white silk, which becomes transparent when finish is applied.  (Harry Boyd)


To all who sandpaper ferrule crowns:

Last week, I think, there was some discussion on crowning ferrules.  Well, I used to use Cattanach’s technique trying to hold sandpaper strips in the fingers of one hand while manipulating the ferrules in the other.  Needless to say, trying to hold a small strip of sandpaper in the fingers of you left hand (apologies to you southpaws) is nearly and impossibility so here is a link to a drawing of a simple tool I made to hold the sandpaper strips.  The first time I used it I nearly wet myself.  It made the job so easy it was almost a pleasure. (Al Baldauski)

Bauldauski, Al Sandpaper Holder

    I just put one end of the strip in my vise and hold the other tight with my left hand and slide the ferrule along the strip with my right hand. It works just fine.  (Hal Manas)

    You can also tack one end of the strip of sandpaper to the workbench.  Of course, us toyl junkies.... (Neil Savage)

    Where did you get the clamps and brand name if possible.

    I know that this is exactly what I need but I can’t seem to find small clamps that will hold.  (Ren Monllor)

    Tony Spezio had a nice little gadget in a recent Power Fiber article that I'm going to build. I built a rod and the owner wants an extra tip now so I need something to give him so that he can fit the ferrule on the new tip himself. Hopefully Tony's gadget will do the trick. It's a small clamping block with a hole drilled in it that also holds a piece of sandpaper that you can tighten up on the ferrule with a couple of spring loaded wing nuts. Then you just turn it by hand to sand the ferrule.  (Ken Paterson)

    Your idea looks very interesting - looks like an old sling shot device.  What I have been doing is using two fine machinists files - one triangular in size with a 30 degree angle on the cutting edges and small; and a shallow 10 degree angle file that is about 1 inch wide with angles on  two sides  (4 cutting surfaces). I use the smaller file to start the cuts in the slots and finish the work with the smaller angle file. This seems to work fairly well for me as I hold the ferrules by hand. I do tape the ferrules so that I do not score the "good" part while doing my file work. Just another idea.  (Frank Paul)

      I start my crowns with a file and finish with sandpaper.  The sandpaper gives a finer finish and is less aggressive so I don't slip or overdue it near the end of the process.  (Al Baldauski)


I have just crowned 2 sets of ferrules for rods that I finished (it took several hours)  and have done  so since I started building rods, but I am wondering if I need too.

I have seen old rod that don’t even have slits in the ferrules and some with but aren’t crowned and they look fine. I know it is supposed to relieve some stress and keep the finish from cracking around the base, but some of mine still have cracked and  it does have a nice look.

So how many of you crown and how many don't?  If so maybee some other reason why,  and if not Why? and do you see and problems.  (Rick Barbato)

    I crown my ferrules and taper the tabs to a rounded triangular shape. I believe in provides stress relief at the ferrule-bamboo interface and helps to prevent excessive shear stress at the ferrule-bamboo joint where the rod flexing transition occurs. I have   had   very  few  wrap-varnish  stress  cracks  at  the ferrule-bamboo interface. A flexible tung oil based varnish is also important for the ferrule wraps as a hard varnish that is hard/rigid has a higher tendency to crack. Just my experience and opinion.  (Frank Paul)

      I started cranking up the thread tension when I get to the tabs. That seems to help, but not totally convinced.

      That was interesting what you said about the varnish. I've been wanting to try shellac, but concerned about it being too hard and if it might crack. Any thoughts on shellac??

      I crown my ferrule tabs and place them on the flats. seems to fit better.  (David Dziadosz)

    I'm a "don't." Payne didn't, Leonard didn't, Heddon didn't and as far as I can tell from the pictures of his rods I've seen, Dickerson didn't, that's enough for me.  (John Channer)


How many people crown their ferrules, and how many do not?

I have done it both ways, and to be perfectly truthful, have never yet had a problem with not crowning.  Certainly it is more difficult to fit ferrule to blank with a smooth transition if you don't crown, but it does, to my eye, look neater once done.

How about the masters of the golden age  Crowned or not ? Present age?

One of those questions, I guess, to which there is no real answer.  (Peter McKean)

    I've seen a couple of old rods and drawings of old rods that had crowned ferrules, but it was the Victorian era, they were into lots of decoration then. I don't and have never felt the urge, it's not one of the things I feel is important.  (John Channer)

    Sometimes I crown and sometimes I don't. My criteria for crowning generally is based on the thread I use. If I use a light or clear wrap that allows the crowning to show, then I will crown them. If it is a dark color such as Java beige which turns a very dark translucent color(about like root beer) or if the threads are to be color preserved and remain opaque, then I don't crown.  Why waste the extra time and work when it can't be seen. I'm of the opinion right or wrong, that crowning is cosmetic only and has nothing to do with making a better rod. I've restored 2 rods by E.W. Edwards and the ferrule tabs were almost paper thin where they met the blank, but they were not crowned. I've never seen a Dickerson with crowned ferrules. In fact most of the classic high end rods that I have handled did not have the ferrules crowned. When I do crown the point goes on the flat. I have seen a lot of crowned ferrules that were made by modern makers that aligned the points with the apexes. I don’t because I believe that the rod will flex better with the apex lined up with the slots and the wider tab portion with the flats. That's just my opinion though. If any scientific study has been done that proves that crowning is better or that one alignment method is better than the other, I'm not aware of it.  (Will Price)

      Can't add a lot, those who have done a lot of restorations would know better. But, by inspection:

      • D Duck (Garrison copy): Slits, crown points on the corners
      • Garrison: From the Book, he used slit Super-Z ferrules; does not mention crowning, but one picture on page 117 does seem to show vestigal crowning
      • Early EW Edwards Touradif: 5 slits on the butt female; 4 slits on the mid male; hex rod
      • Later Edwards/Bristols: no slits/crowns
      • N Uslan: Crowns on the corners
      • J Payne: Slits only?
      • HL Leonard: Slits, and crowns (?)
      • Mills Standard: No slits nor crowns
      • RL Winston (G Brackett): No slits but feathered finely (Keane)
      • FE Thomas: Slits

      Garrison emphasizes his priority for the feathered ends to be across the corners, with the slits on the middle of the flats, giving added protection to the glue lines at a point where the stresses are very high. I also note that these older makers by no means used Gossamer, but more like Belding/Corticelli size B silks for the ferrules that is thicker than Naples, although by Garrison they were using more modern glues but still looking to protect the sections. I note also that several manufacturers double wrap silk at ferrules, and Winston also double wraps somewhat at the guides. Because of this and some use of color preservers, I can't always see what the ferrule is like.  (Sean McSharry)

        I read somewhere (can't recall exactly where....may have been on Clark's) that crowning and thinning the metal at the crowns adds a bit of flexibility in the area where the cane enters the ferrule. This supposedly has the benefits of helping to prevent the varnish on the threads cracking but also due to added flexibility in the area reduces the likelyhood of having cane failure at the ferrule. I guess it also may impart a bit more "action" in the area of the ferrule which ordinarily is a dead spot.  (Norm Knieriem)

    I don't crown although I do feather the tabs and mount the ferrules with the tabs to flats.

    I've noticed that I don't get cracking @ the tab/cane junction with exception of 2 rods. One is where I chose a lousy glue application and the other was  glued with hot melt glue  way back when. I double the wrap on the cane and then a single wrap on the ferrule. Seems to work OK. Been doing it this way for the last 150 rods.  (Don Anderson)


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