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Anybody know of a source for NS rod?  I know somebody asked this earlier but I missed it.  Was curious to see if there was a cheaper source than where I am currently buying it.  (Lee Orr)

    I've been getting mine up to 5/16" from Sheffield Knife Supply out of Florida.  They will send cut lengths in both 6" and 12" if I remember right, and they're relatively cheap.  It's the 18% stuff too.  (Mark Wendt)

      Actually I needed rod for reel seat hardware 3/4" and at least at some 1".  (Lee Orr)

        I get mine from Busby Metals on Long Island, NY.  I purchase it in 1" diameter and 12 feet long.  This will give you enough NS bar stock for reel seat hardware for a very long time.  This was also the most cost effective source I could find.  Goldenwitch sells or did sell, NS bar stock in smaller lengths.  (Wayne Daley)

        Check out  Jantz Supply.  They have 1" diameter NS, 6 inches long. What they sell is 18% NS, but it tarnishes to a yellowish color. Polished up it is the regular silver NS color.  (Darryl Hayashida)


Where should I go for aluminum and NS rod stock for ferrules?  Looking for a couple feet of both.  Is the 5/16ths big enough for 12, 13, 14, 15/64ths ferrules?

Not interested in tube, already got some from Chris Bogart.

Finally, how is it to machine silicon bronze?  I assume that if Winston uses it, it's not bad functionally.  Thoughts?  (Joe West)

    I am a self-taught machinist so I am no expert, but I found Duronze to be awful to machine to a smooth surface -- maybe the aluminum content that keeps it gritty?  I think Winston uses Duronze - not silicon bronze.  Is Silicon Bronze brittle?  I have never seen it used in any application where wall thickness is less than 0.125".  (Chris Lucker)

    Try Sheffield’s Knife Supply in FL for Nickel/Silver rod.  Not sure if they carry aluminum rod.  However, Metal Express would carry the aluminum and possibly the Nickel/Silver rod, although I think they just sell hollow Nickel/Silver stock.  (Bob Williams) seems to be the one-stop shop for the rodmaker. It seems a little expensive though.  (Joe West)

    Silicon bronze is very tough stuff, more so than NS or AL. It is not brittle. It can be machined into very durable ferrules and reel seat hardware. You must keep your tooling sharp and use cutting oil especially when drilling or reaming. Polishes up like gold. Looks impressive on a rod.  (Don Schneider)

      Thanks for the info about silicon bronze.  Do you happen to know the alloy number that is readily available?  Also, wondering about it color since you mentioned "Polishes up like gold".   Sounds very interesting!  (Ted Godfrey)


I found a place that sells 752 NS rod in sizes up to 1 inch in diameter, and the prices are fairly cheap. A foot of 3/8 is $6.16.  1/4, 5/16, and 3/8 are the most useful sizes for me. 752 alloy is the stuff I tried out that tarnishes to a yellowish color, although it is 18% nickel. They have an online ordering system, but for some reason you can only order up to 5/16 online. Larger than that you have to call them. Maybe they just haven't taken the time to list the larger sizes online.

The place is (Darryl Hayashida)

    Got to nosing around after your post and found some interesting information on metals at the Metal Reference web site.

    There is an interesting chart here.  If you browse through their site you'll find this information displayed several different ways.

    Unfortunately most of the 18% Nickel Silver is found in the form of wire or sheets. (Tim Wilhelm)

    Outstanding!  I've been trying to find a cheaper source for the larger sizes too, and it seems everyone that sells the larger sizes either wants to sell in quantity, or wants your first born male child as payment.  Thanks!  (Mark Wendt)


I'm looking for a small amount of 7/8" diameter, 18%, solid bar stock nickel silver. I'm too lazy to do all the searching myself!  (David Dziadosz)

    From a previous post:

    I found a place that sells 752 NS rod in sizes up to 1 inch in diameter, and the prices are fairly cheap. A foot of 3/8 is $6.16.  1/4, 5/16, and 3/8 are the most useful sizes for me. 752 alloy is the stuff I tried out that tarnishes to a yellowish color, although it is 18% nickel. They have an online ordering system, but for some reason you can only order up to 5/16 online. Larger than that you have to call them. Maybe they just haven't taken the time to list the larger sizes online.

    The place is  (Darryl Hayashida)

    The rounds are available at They will even cut it in pieces for you. I buy it by the foot, and have it cut into three or four inch pieces.

    The real problem is that it is far easier and less expensive to make butt caps out of .650 x .720 tubing. For the end cap you can solder a piece of sheet NS, or turn a plug from the round stock and solder that in. However, I have run out of my small supply of tubing. If anyone knows a source, or has some they want to sell or trade let me know. My guess is that someone arranged for a run of this stuff some years ago as a group order, or they sold it to other rodmakers.

    I have several feet of the .680 ID thin walled stuff, but prefer the smaller .650 diameter for the cap and use the .680 stuff for the ring.   (Jeff Schaeffer)

      Youch!  $40 a foot, with shipping for a 12" piece of 3/4".  Price does go down a bit buying multiples though.  (Mark Wendt)

      You can also make an end cap with a nickel (5 cent piece)  (Dave Norling)

        Yes, but they aren't nickel anymore.  (Neil Savage)

          Not so.  While pennies are made of copper-plated zinc, and  "silver" coins are now made of a copper core clad with a 25% nickel - 75% copper alloy, nickels are made of the same "nickel-silver" alloy,  but without the copper core.

          See this link.  (Robert Kope)

            The site you reference (U.S. Mint) says "25% nickel, balance [75%] copper. Not to say it won't work, but it's not really nickel.  OTH, I don't know the composition of 18% nickel silver.  (Neil Savage)

              There are many different formulations of alloys which fall within the  general term of "Nickel Silver". All contain copper, nickel and zinc, while some formulations may additionally include antimony, tin, lead or cadmium. A representative industrial formulation (Alloy No.752) is 65% copper, 18% nickel, 17% zinc. In metallurgical science, such alloys would be more properly termed nickel bronze.

              Some nickel silver alloys, especially those containing high proportions of zinc, are stainless.

              Nickel-silver alloys are commonly named by listing their percentages of copper and nickel, thus "Nickel Silver 55-18" would contain 55% copper, 18% nickel, and 27% other elements, most probably entirely zinc. A two-element alloy may be named for its nickel content alone, thus NS-12 is 88% copper and 12% nickel.  (Larry Blan)

              Thus nickels are not nickel silver which is an alloy of 55%  Copper 27%  zinc 18% nickel  (Ralph Moon)

                Nickel and copper have a similar internal structure, and will  alloy seamlessly in any proportion. There are a large number of  alloys. High nickel, low copper alloys are high strength, high  corrosion resistance, and are called monels. They are generally made  by the nickel producers,  like International Nickel.

                The low nickel end of the spectrum is the nickel silvers, which are  made by the copper companies.  Go to the Olin Brass web site, click on "copper alloy guide" and you will get a chart of the common  coppers, brasses, and nickel silvers. 752 and 762 are the ones most  commonly used by rodmakers. Not on the chart is 792, which contains a  little lead, to make it free machining. You will run across it if you  look around a bit. Nickel silver was named because it looks like  silver, and was (is) used in place of silver in less expensive  jewelry and tableware.  (Tom Smithwick)

                  I'm not sure how a nickel would look if it were polished, but the ones in my pocket don't look anything like my nickel silver reel seats.  Maybe the mint coats them with something?  (Neil Savage)

                  I was told that nickel silver was an ersatz development in wartime Germany (hence the German silver appellation) maybe during WWI? Any truth to that?  (Art Port)

                    Whoever  told you that is mixed up. The alloy is an early  one, and was apparently developed in China. The Germans did develop  the modern alloys in the early 19th century, and marketed them to the  world. War had nothing to do with it. There were some stainless  alloys developed here in WW2 that substituted manganese for nickel,  and perhaps that is what your source may have been thinking about.  (Tom Smithwick)

              "Nickel Silver", (also known as German Silver) is a nickel-copper alloy. 12% nickel silver (NS12) is 12% nickel, balance copper, and has a bit of a pinkish hue.  18% nickel silver is 18% nickel, balance copper.  It has more of a silver color, and a "warmer" glow than you'd see in regular Sterling Silver (which, by the way is 92.5% pure silver, if memory serves).  US minted "nickels" are 25% nickel, balance copper (well, maybe some zinc). Which means they contain more nickel than standard 18% nickel  silver ferrules, winding checks, etc.

              And by the way, you won't enjoy trying to work pure nickel.  It's an extremely hard metal, and won't respond well to turning, forming, etc. Hence the copper...  My guess (purely that) is that it was originally called nickel "silver" because it was less expensive, but had similar machinability properties as true silver.  (Tim Preusch)


I'm searching for a source of nickel silver 3/8" round bar stock.  I'm looking to do some initial work on ferrule making.  Any leads that you all might supply would be most welcome.  (Paul Julius)

    Jantz Supply has it in stock p/n an124 $11.95 for 12 inches Phone is 800-351-8900 web site.  (Gary Nicholson)

      Busby Metals out east quoted $12/foot.  Expensive stuff.

      Why don't we all use Duronze instead of the Nickel silver??  (Paul Julius)

    I get most all of my nickel silver bar stock, except for the large sizes from Sheffield Supply.  (Mark Wendt)

    Jantz Supply

    - or -

    Thomas Net.   (Ren Monllor)


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