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Just had another humbling experience.  I'm starting to make ferrules from thick walled nickel silver tube and have had several solder joint failures.  On my first attempt at a male ferrule I chucked up the tube, machined the end flat.  Chucked up some nickel silver bar stock in the tail stock and used silver solder to join the two pieces.  Released the bar from the tail stock and cut it off about an eight of an inch from the tube.  Proceeded to turn the bar stock stub down to the size of the tubing and the joint failed.

On my next attempt I machined a cap with a knob that fit perfectly into the tubing.  Soldered it into the tube and then tried to turn it to size.  I turned it down to the size of the tubing but it popped out when I tried to take some metal off of the end to give me a thinner wall at the bottom of the ferrule.

If any of you guys are using thick walled tubing I would sure like a description of what works for you.  (Frank Caruso)

After "talking" with Frank, here is some additional information:  Since this post I mastered the solder problem with a package of solder that came with the proper flux for it.  I also made the caps with an area that fit snugly into the tube.  I have since also purchased bar stock to make ferrules and some 1" diameter to make reel seat hardware.

    I solder reel seat caps, and have found that it is a good idea to use a bit of flux.  (Jeff Schaeffer)

      I haven't tried to make ferrules from tube stock, but I used to do a lot of jewelry soldering.

      Parts must be absolutely clean - no oxidation, no oil, no fingerprints. The type of solder must be correct for  the type of metal you are using. For nickel silver what they call easy or soft silver solder should be used. Flux must be used - again of the proper type. If flux isn't used the mere act of heating the item will oxidize it before the solder melts. The nickel silver must be at the solder melting temperature first - heat the NS around the joint first, then melt the solder. Blasting the solder with the torch directly without heating the surrounding NS will lead to a poor solder joint. When the solder melts it must flow and just about disappear into the joint. If it beads up it is not a good join.

      It does take some practice.  (Darryl Hayashida)


For those of you who make ferrule from tubing, do You stamp the moisture plug from sheet or cut it from bar rod?  (Danny Twang)

    I have made a few sets of  ferrules from tubing, and have been quite amazed at how simple it is.  Assume you are making a 12/64 ferrule for a 1 tip rod.  If you are using tubing the way I make them, I use some 12/64 for the males, 14/64 for the female and 16/64 tubing for the welt.  The wall thickness of the tubing is equal to 2/64th's.

    I make 2 males and cap them with some brass solid stock (very slight mortise is made to fit the brass inside the tubing) which is soldered in place.  I use Stay Brite solder. Then I take one of the males and turn it down to fit inside the larger 14/64th tubing.  This is then soldered into place.  I then take a very small piece of 16/64 tubing and that becomes the welt, also soldered into place.  The male that fits into the female has the moisture cap.  Sort of a telescoping tubing idea.  The remaining male than has to be fit to the female portion.  The entire process is very quick and the ferrules are look great.  It seems to be much easier than making them from solid stock, as I find it very difficult to hold to the very tight tolerances required. I make mine using my Taig lathe.  Find the info on the Super Z ferrule and that will give you your lengths etc.  (Mark Babiy)

    I turn one to fit the tube right on the bar rod. Fit the tube on it and solder. than cut the bar off. A lot easier than trying to fool with the small piece of metal. It does take a slight bit more heat to solder.  (Tony Spezio)

    I use bar stock.  (Dave LeClair)


've recently been blessed with access to a friends machine shop, after hours, with free reign of the lathes and milling machines. My experience level is consistent with a short course in high school, way back when, on a South Bend floor model.

Does anyone know of instructions, in a step by step progression, for turning ferrules?  (Mike Givney)

    Golden Witch will provide you with instructions when you buy ferrule tubing. I would not be surprised at all if they gave them to you without buying ferrule tubing.  (Jeff Schaeffer)

    Since no one has answered this, in Power Fibers Volume 6 there is an article on making ferrules on a lathe. You might have to buy the back issue CD.  (Darryl Hayashida)


Does anyone have advice, links or instructions available on making NS ferrules from tube stock?  (Jim Macy)

    The bottom line: there is not a whole lot of info out there.  I suppose because tubing is hard to come by too few people ever get to the stage of needing or supplying information. 

    I think SRG in a few weeks will be a good source of information if you might be planning or able to attend.  I am going, and that is something I hope to learn a lot about.  (Tyler Beard)

    It looks like we've got this covered at SRG this year.  If you're not able to attend, I hope to video James and Alan's presentations (with their permission) and post them on my blog.

    Ferrule dimensions for tube type ferrules can be downloaded from my blog.  A couple of instructional documents provided James Dempsey have been added to the downloads including an intro to drawn tubing and a tube pushing document.  If you're coming to SRG this year, I'd print out both documents provided by James and bring them to the gathering.  That will be a great opportunity to ask questions and take notes.  Look for the downloads menu in the right hand frame of the blog.  The blog link is included below.  (David Bolin)


I have been making myself some of the ferrules that I use, but quite frankly find it easier to buy them from Bailey Woods, and, whilst still being frank, I get a better quality product that way.

It is worth the while to develop the skill set, though, in my case, so that I can build a specific step down, or duplicate a ferrule that is out of production, or something similar.

I have been doing the obvious and turning and boring my ferrules out of nickel silver rod, but am wondering whether I should not be trying the process of using tubing. 

I cannot, for the life of me, locate the stuff on ferrules made out of tubing.  Can somebody please help me with information about where the process is written up?

If anybody feels like commenting, is there any advantage, or am I simply passing some time here?  (Peter McKean)

    There's a tutorial available that Harry Boyd recommends. I don't have the address at hand, but have it somewhere. If I locate it shortly, I'll post it for you if Harry isn't able to provide it. My only criticism is that it doesn't  describe turning out the moisture seals, male end and female dam. I've found tubing harder to turn than bar stock, but that's probably a matter of adjusting speed/feed and cutting angles. Seems like the drawing process may introduce a 'toughening' of the material. Hope you get some good responses ~ I'll be watching.  (Vince Brannick)

      I heartily recommend both the series of articles in the last several issues of Power Fibers, and the excellent videos and instructions on Chris Raine's blog. Have a look here for the blog. I think you can still get the Power Fibers via download.

      And yes, the process of drawing work hardens the tubing, making it more durable than bar stock. I have used bar stock ferrules from GW and Rush River and been quite happy with them. And I don't see them failing any time soon. But having the ferrule made from a harder material (drawn tubing) sounds better to me.  (Harry Boyd)

        The down side to work hardening is it also makes the material brittle if overdone.  I don't have enough experience to know just how far you can go before you need to anneal.  (Neil Savage)


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