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I'm getting ready to lap my first set of ferrules for a 3 pc rod.   I've looked in the archives, doesn't seem to be too much information on how to.   Anyone have any good suggestions for doing so without a lathe?  I was thinking of mounting the male on a dowel and putting in a drill. From there not sure to file and or use wet dry sandpaper on a steel block or what.  (John Silveira)

    I guess some use a lathe or drill to lap but the vast majority just use their hands,  jewelers files and/or strips of  #800 - 1200 grit sandpaper. The problem with power tools is that things happen to fast and you risk  over lapping ESPECIALLY if you have no experience. I start with a #3 or #4  Jewelers file and stroke my way around the end of the ferrule, polish with 4/0 steel wool and try the fit. Once I get the ferrule started I switch to strips of #1000 grit wet/dry paper. Wrap the strip most of the way around the ferrule and roll the ferrule within the paper. Polish with 4/0 steel wool and try the fit. Keep repeating until you get the fit you want. Take your time and don't rush. Each male will take about 30 minutes.  I should mention that I always lap the ferrules once they are attached to the blank and not before.  (Marty DeSapio)

    If I remember correctly, ferrules are usually only about .001" oversize, so you don't want to use any power tools to lap even if you have them.  I've had good luck starting with 400 grit wrapped around the ferrule and about 6 twists of the rod, then change to 600 grit and finally 1000.  I'll have to try the steel wool polishing in between the next time.  I also was taught to glue the ferrules to the rod before lapping.  (Neil Savage)

    You can get the Grobet files from Jeff Wagner.  (Chad Wigham)

    A couple months ago we had a thread here about the problem of galling when fitting ferrules. This happens when the fit is too tight. There was some off list communication also, and Don Anderson suggested trying WD 40 as a lubricant during the early stages of fitting. At the time, I was having a problem with a ferrule, and I thought the female had been damaged by the galling. I had a reamer with a smooth shank that was a close fit to the female, so I mounted the reamer in a padded vise, sprayed the shank with WD 40, and ran the female on and off it several times. Just as Don described, a grayish residue formed in the WD 40, and the roughness went away.  I tried it while fitting in the normal way as well, and it seems to have some promise. I do not advocate spraying WD 40 around an unfinished rod, so what I did was spray some on a cloth patch and wipe a little on the male. Final fitting should be done dry, of course. Anyway, I think Don is on to something here. The problem of excessive sticking with partially fitted ferrules seems to be alleviated with this technique. There are some industrial anti galling compounds out there, so there may be something better than the WD 40, but it does seem to work. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who tries this.  (Tom Smithwick)

      There are some dry lubricants that I have thought to try for some time on ferrules, just haven't gotten around to doing so. One of the best of which I'm aware is from Sentry Products. I've used the Sentry extensively on  pistols  and  rifles,  with   nary  a  malfunction.  (Martin-Darrell)

      Further to Tom's note about WD 40. I wiped it on with a Q Tip. No spray cans used.

      Saw a rod some years ago where the owner wiped down the rod shaft after fishing with WD 40. Wiped finish off finally and still he wiped it down. Finally sent it back to builder for revarnish. Varnish wouldn't stick to cleaned area. Whether or not silicone exists in WD 40, I haven't a clue but I would suspect that it might.

      Be careful, silicon on a cane rod = no finish will stick - ever.  (Don Anderson)

      I use 3 in 1 Oil, found somewhere around almost every good shop. I think I got the idea from Ray Gould's book.  (Harry Boyd)

      I buy WD40 in gallon cans ($8) and use it as a lubricant for all of my drilling, reaming and turning of ferrules. I'm no machinist but it seems to works great. During the reaming of the females I've noticed that there is a small 'glob' of very fine 'wool' that accumulates on the end of the reamer when it bottoms out in the hole. Seeing this has caused me to swab the reamed hole out with a 'Q' tip as soon as the reamer is withdrawn. I feel that it is possible that galling could occur if this 'wool' was not removed before attempting to fit a male to the hole. (Don Greife)

        As of old faith I do not attempt to cut steel for any reason without oil.  WD - 40 has been a friend of mine for many years!  (Ron Rees)

          WD40 is a great lubricant when turning aluminum on a lathe, or milling, also.  (Martin-Darrell)

    I mentioned my first planned attempt to lap ferrules and got some responses on how to do so. Went out looking for files and sandpaper and steel wool at the local Orchard Supply.  While there I found a nice little file actually designed to file "contact points" such as automotive.  It's a Nicholson tungsten point file 5-1/4 inches long by 5/16ths wide double cut for smooth finish. Well after miking the male .266 OD and the female 264 I had two thousandths approximately to take off. I mounted the male on a dowel and chucked it up in my variable speed drill, with the drill on my lap I just lay the file on top of the male ferrule and slide it back and forth with the drill on slow speed (slowly).  I thought this little file gave me a lot of control, I miked it down to 265 with the file work and finished up by placing a piece of 1500 grit wet and dry on the same file and polished the ferrule out.  Right around 264.5 approx.

    Anyway I'm pleased, it's smooth, real smooth, and POP (nice).  Took about 20 minutes.  (John Silveira)


I purchased ferrules that require some fitting and have them glued on the blank.  I'm fitting them by hand at the suggestion of my mentor with 600 grit carbide paper. I don't have a lathe to work with at this point.  It is going very slow, maybe 3.5 to 4 hours to take the nickel silver down from 251 thousands to 249 thousands over  an area about 1/4 inch long.  The ferrule is about 3/4 of an inch long where it fits the two rod sections together.  I have three concerns.  One is the time involved and the second is getting the ferrule seized.  Lastly, I'm concerned about getting the ferrule to sloppy. (Steven Tucker)

    There are a few points worth taking notice of when fitting your male/female slides:

    1.  Go slow

    2.  I use about 400 grit (very, very carefully), and then 3 of the 3M papers, finishing with the light blue one, and 0000 steel wool as a final polishing medium.

    3.  Go slow

    4.  Don't try to fit the whole length of the slide in one hit.  Do it a bit at a time, progressively.

    5.  Go slow

    6.  Fold your papers into narrow strips, about 1/4" wide so that you can be more precise  about what area you are lapping.

    7.  Go slow

    8.  Remember that the folded edge of your paper will cut more aggressively than the trailing, unfolded edge.

    9.  Go slow

    10.  Working on the metal will cause it to warm up a bit, and this will make it expand a wee bit.  From time to time, stop and let it all cool down and then retry the fit.

    11.  GO SLOW!  (Peter McKean)

      Are you saying he should go slow?  <G>  (Mark Wendt)

        That's how I'm doing mine (also no lathe).  I'm using 1200 grit sandpaper,  coarse steel  wool and 0000 steel wool I'm 90% done (a 5 mm band at the top of the male ferrule slide left) The rest fits with a firm push and pulls apart with that clean sweet pop.

        Its taken me about 6 sessions of 2 hours each (I'm sh*t scared of going too far and ruining the ferrule  :-)  )

        I also buffed the inside of the female with a piece of 0000 steel wool dubbed into a rope shape which helped.  (Nick Kingston)

          I know I may have somehow given the impression that going slow might be appropriate here.

          But I was talking "slow" just in terms of human endeavor, not bloody GEOLOGY!  (Peter McKean)

            Can ya narrow it down just a tad?  (Mark Wendt)

              Oh I see where I went wrong. Human endeavor NOT human evolution  ;-)

              Measure twice cut once taken to the extreme!  (Nick Kingston)

                By George, he's got it!  I think he's got it!

                The stain in the  cane goes mainly with the grain.

                To make a pickle of the nickel really is a dickle!  (Peter McKean)

                  The rain on the cane stays mainly off the stain.

                  If you tickle that nickel you'll get a trickle.  (Mark Wendt)

                    There once was bamboo from Peru,
                    whose ferrules got filled up with goo,
                    Upon the makers haste,
                    he had used library paste,
                    and now the rod fished like pooh.

                    Sank you belly  much. (Ren Monllor)

                    A trickle of nickels?  I could use them  ;-)

                    A flood would be good

                    BTW the stains in cane come mainly from rain.  (Nick Kingston)

    Denver Dave Collyer has an excellent ferrule fitting tutorial somewhere on the web, but I can't seem to find it right now.  Might anyone else have it bookmarked?  (Harry Boyd)

      It seems to have disappeared, I can't find it at the previous locations. For a while he had it on his web page then I think it was on the Rodmaker's Tips site but not now.  (Larry Puckett)


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