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I can't speak for aluminum bronze, but if you want a good ferrule material which is different from nickel silver, try Special free cutting phosphor bronze alloy # UNS54400.  (SAE CA544)  The metallurgical characteristics are very similar to nickel silver, and it has excellent machining qualities.  The tensile strength is 68,000 as compared with ns which is 75,000. Yield strength of Bronze is 57,000 to NS  62,000,   Elongation is 20% as compared to 10%,  Try it you will like it.

I have made a number of ferrules from this material and had no problems machining it, even with no coolant.  The appearance of freshly machined metal is a shiny yellowish bronze.  However the material gets a patina of surface tarnish rather rapidly and turns to a dark bronze color that is almost as attractive as blued NS. The tarnish does not seem to affect the fit.  I keep pretty close tabs on a rod I made over 20 years ago, and the ferrules are just like the day I made them except for the color. Like Bob said if you don't like the bronze color, wrap them, but I think that it is very nice looking.

The specs for AL bronze show  a higher  tensile strength,  about 80,000 PSI, but  much  lower  yield  strength  43,000  elongation 20%.  This is for the C62300 alloy.

A helpful calculation of cutting speed in feet/minute is RPM X D  (Ralph Moon)

    Looks like most bronze alloys have similar yield strengths as NS. 544 bronze does look like it is a good choice for ferrules.

    This is what I found for bronze specs:

    Alloys are listed by their CDA (Copper Development Association) designation.

    Yield strength is the amount of pressure a material will accept before becoming permanently deformed.

    Rockwell hardness measures material hardness.

    The following information should be considered only as a guideline. For specific applications, proper testing is required.

    Alloy 220 (Commercial Bronze)- Has rich bronze color and polished finish. Excellent malleability, ductility, strength, and hardness. Hardness is Rockwell 58 B scale. Melting point is 1910° F. Yield strength is 45,000 PSI.

    Alloy 316 (Leaded Commercial Bronze)- This leaded bronze has a high machinability rating. Hardness is Rockwell 70 B scale. Melting point is 1900° F. Yield strength is 57,000 PSI.

    Alloy 510- This phosphor bronze alloy is spring-tempered for endurance in repetitive processes. Hardness is Rockwell 78 B scale. Melting point is 1920° F. Yield strength is 58,000 PSI.

    Alloy 544- This phosphor bronze alloy is easily machined due to its high lead content. Hardness is Rockwell 80 B scale. Melting point is 1830° F. Yield strength is 57,000 PSI.

    Alloy 630- This aluminum bronze has excellent corrosion resistance. Heat treat it for higher tensile strength. Hardness is Rockwell 96 B scale. Melting point is 1930° F. Yield strength is 65,000 PSI.

    Alloy 642- High aluminum content makes this bronze nonmagnetic while giving it excellent toughness and corrosion resistance. Heat treat it to increase tensile strength. Hardness is Rockwell 90 B scale. Melting point is 1840° F. Yield strength is 60,000 PSI.

    Alloy 655- Silicon helps resist corrosion from salts, acids, and alkalies. Hardness is Rockwell 90 B scale. Melting point is 1880° F. Yield strength is 55,000 psi.

    Alloy 863- Manganese bronze adds high mechanical strength, good corrosion resistance, and favorable castability. Hardness is 225 Brinell.  Melting point is 1693° F. Yield strength is 65,000 PSI.  (Darryl Hayashida)


For those interested in a bronze for ferrules.  I have used successfully:

Special Free cutting Phosphor Bronze rod--uns54400

  • Chemical Composition : CU 87.75%, ZN 4%, Pb 4%, Tin 4%, Phosphorus 0.25%
  • Mechanical properties :   Tensile Strength PSI 68,000,  Yield Strength PSI 57,000, Elongation % in 2" 20, Rockwell Hardness (B) 80
  • Physical Properties:  Density .321, average coefficient of thermal expansion at 68 degrees to 572 degrees F-0.0000096
  • Fabricating performance
    Cold forming  good
    Machining excellent
  • Specifications  A.S.T.M  B139 Alloy 544
  • Federal QQ-B750
  • S.A.E  CA 544

I last bought it at $29.30 for a 3/8 x 36  Beware, that was  in 1980. My NS notes are not too complete, but Tensile Strength is about 75,000, yield strength 62,000,  elongation about 10% and Hardness 80. Composition si 65% CU, 15% Ni, 20% Zn.  (Tony Young)


I bought some 642 aluminum bronze rod for ferrules and have a few questions.

First, I did a sg calculation by weighing 12% NS and the 642 alloy and found only a 9% weight savings.

Also I read somewhere that 642 is difficult to machine, especially for thin cuts.  My test cuts indicate that it cuts like butter.  Possibly it needs to be heat treated before machining?

Any light you can shed on this would be helpful.  (Dennis Bertram)

    You actually weighed it, WOW what a concept.  :), Good for you. I never weighed it but I am sure your numbers are right.  My research indicated more weight savings than that.

    It machines very well, the problems I have had is that it tends to splinter... not much fun picking out Duronze slivers from your fingers but it seems to happen just about every time I work at the lathe with the stuff.  Other than that, I haven't had any problems with it.  (Kyle Druey)

      Is that splintering solely when working it or when of the rod too?  (Rich Jezioro)

        When working it on the lathe.  (Kyle Druey)

    I just made a set of ferrules from Duronze for an old rod. It does seem to machine a little harder than some other metals. I did find if I used a higher speed for turning than I normally would, it cuts a lot better. I just turn up the speed till the cutter stops squealing.  (Tony Spezio)


If NS is becoming so hard to get, I just want to throw out the question "Why not brass?" I seem to remember a while back a thread where someone was commenting on its virtues for use as ferrules and other hardware and even posted pictures. I do not remember what the "knocks" were against its use. Naval brass appears to be a possible attractive alternative. Thoughts anyone?  (Bill Bixler)

    I can't tell you why not, but I have some Super Z (actually marked with the SZ stamp) ferrules made from brass I have used on 2 rods with no problems so far.  Both rods about 6 years old.  (Mark Petrie)

    It could be used. The British and the French seem to have used it for ferrules. It machines well, and blackens easily, but is not as strong, or as corrosion resistant as NS. I personally think Duronze is the material of choice for ferrules. I would consider Duronze as overkill for reel seats, however, and think brass is an excellent choice.   (Tom Smithwick)

    Brass is certainly traditional.  In the 19th century, brass fittings were the epitome of luxury.  I think the biggest argument against brass, though, is the weight.  On a 2-piece rod it's noticeable, but not unacceptable.  On a 3-piece rod, I suspect that it becomes more noticeable.

    Post WW-II, aluminum became the material of choice for production rods.  Lighter, stronger and cheaper than brass, and just as easy to machine.   (Paul Gruver)

      The problem with aluminum is that it doesn't work well with sliding joints. It tends to "gall", that is, it tends to weld together when sliding. Lubrication helps, anodizing does, too.  As Tom pointed out Duronze, a copper/aluminum alloy, is a  good substitute for NS without the galling tendency but suffers from greater weight than aluminum.

      A weight comparison in lbs/cu. in. is:

      Nickel Silver   0.323

      Steel   0.283

      Duronze  0.278

      Aluminum  0.098  (Al Baldauski)

        So nickel silver is heavier than steel?  I did not know that.  Not that I doubt or dispute your figures in anyway Al, just that this is one of those things to file under "learn something new every day."  (Harry Boyd)

          Weight relationships are not very intuitive.  We generally get our impressions from experience and or reading.  But even that doesn't usually give us apples to apples comparisons.  I have worked with metals a lot and still have difficulties.  Some densities I've memorized from frequent use but other, no.  For instance, I would have guessed copper to be much heavier than steel, like 2 to 3 times, but it's only 14% more.  Nickel, too.

          Copper  0.323 lbs/

          Nickel  0.322

          So when you put copper and nickel together in any proportion you come out heavier than steel, but not a lot.  (Al Baldauski)

            You also need to take into account what you're actually making. You can make brass and Al ferrules but they have to have thicker walls than NS or Al Bronze for them to last. I made the point before that when you're making ferrules from either Al Bronze or NS you really end up with ferrules of about the same dimensions meaning almost the same weight too. Al Bronze is stronger but harder to work than NS and more expensive too but it's over building strength wise so you're left with a decision based upon aesthetics which is perfectly OK and good enough but it's best to know that and not get too carried away about it's touted benefits as a ferrule material.  (Tony Young)

              Just finished my first set of hardware with Duronze not long ago and didn't find it at all hard to work with. Course I'm no machinist either. Just needed a bit faster speed than with NS. It was also comparable to NS in price and is readily available. Just need to find a source for Duronze stripping guides.  (Wayne Kifer)

      My experience with aluminum is that ferrules tend to bind and gall. Also the aluminum female ferrule on my Heddon glass rod has stretched.  (Doug Easton)

        Herters used to sell brass ferrules. Can any of the Old Timers comment on the alloy or durability of those ferrules? I made a new tip section for an old Herter's spinning rod that had a brass ferrule. It Seemed to be tight and worked good. The rod had been fished a lot.  (David Dziadosz)

    To answer your question 1st think tradition (because that's the way it's always been done) and the fact is if you sell rods most buyers are way to anal to get past something different. Somehow the term nickel silver, because of the word silver, has taken on a meaning by most to mean jewelry grade metal instead of white brass. Many of the old production rods used brass ferrules but they were normally chrome plated. The rod I was using at the FYAO had brass ferrules on it but no one would know unless the rod was apart. I knew I was going to use "blued" ferrules on the rod and wanted to hold the  expense down to as little as possible. My brother had made several things for himself and me out of brass tubing as well as solid bar stock, most notably brass ramrods for our muzzleloaders (we got tired of broken ramrods including one made from boron that was supposed to be unbreakable yet broke while we were hunting, skewering him through the palm of his hand). We made a set of step downs out of brass rod and they work fine. I "blued" them with Birchwood Casey Brass Black and they look great. The only yellow showing is the male slide. I like them so much that I will probably have him make another set for my next rod. I don't know what the weight difference would be, if any, between brass and nickel silver but I'd be willing to bet you can't feel the difference when using the rod. (Will Price)

      Rarely see or hear of NS ferrules splitting. Not the case with brass.  (Vince Brannick)

        Restore enough Montagues and you will see more split NS ferrules than one person ought to see in a lifetime.  (Will Price)

          I also restore a lot of rods and come across many split ferrules.  Most of these are brass (probably because most of the rods I restore have them) but the failure is not generally due to an inherent fault of the material, rather the design.  Some split from the open end of female ferrules that have no welt but most cracks progress upwards from the split at a ferrule tab (sharp corner) and nearly always where a ferrule is loose so is rocking back and forth on the cane.

          One reason brass ferrules work loose on old rods is that the ferrules were not designed with moisture stops.  Almost all loose brass ferrules show corrosion on the inside that breaks the glue bond.  If moisture is prevented from reaching this area the problem is prevented.  Decent brass ferrules can give good service over many years.

          On the subject of strength even basic brass is adequate without excessive wall thickness but many old ferrules were made of hard drawn tube and this material is more than strong enough.

          As to the original question "why not brass" my response would be "because there are better materials available" and nickel silver has the history and all important acceptance factor that has already been noted.  If nickel silver gets harder to get and in the UK it is already limited and very expensive it may be necessary to offer viable alternatives and of these aluminum bronze would come top of my current pile.  (Gary Marshall)

          Yes, I have seen many Montague (Chrome or Nickel plated) ferrules which displayed age (fatigue?), linear cracks. Some may have been plated over Nickel Silver, but most were brass. (Lower end rods).  (Vince Brannick)

        I made brass ferrules,  but for a coarse fishing rod for ledgering, where weight is not really an issue. Both the tubes of the super Z ferrule were a bit heavy. Where could I find brass tubing in 64ths, like the NS ones? Any NS tubing available in small quantities?  (Geert Poorteman)

    NS can be hard to get here in Australia so over the years I've experimented a lot with different metals and I have to say NS is made for the job.

    I know better than I have made Al ferrules they say work great but it galls sooner or later or breaks or corrodes.

    Been using Al Bronze other wise known as Duronze and I really think it's a very good gimmick because you can't really turn it that much thinner walled than NS to get lighter ferrules and if it's turned the same dimensions as NS the extra strength isn't warranted IMHO. It's very tricky to turn in the small sizes too though it looks very nice and if it's your thing go for it but be careful as to the alloy you get because there is a very hard one out there that'll test you a bit.

    Brass comes in a hell of a lot of alloys and you could find one that would work but it'll get that tacky brass look in no time and probably verdigris sooner or later. I have some old Hardy snake beaters here with brass ferrules that clearly work so of course it can be done but some don't appear to have been given an overly hard life yet the ferrules seem a tad loose for the amount of wear.

    Personally I think the thing to do is look a bit harder for NS. If I can get it here you blokes can.  (Tony Young)

    Bought a box of very old ferrules that were blued or colored.  Some had price stickers on them and when I cleaned off the sticker goo the bluing came off as well and they are brass.  I steel wool them to the brass and  use them for vintage rebuilds and so far no problems.  Looks kind of neat too.  Almost all gone now though. (Richard Perry)

    Anybody have experience with Monel?  (David Gerich)

      No real experience,  but I used to sell the stuff back in the day. It has a reputation for being gummy and hard to machine, on the other hand it has a low work hardening rate and draws very well. I think one of the Colorado makers used it for a while for drawn ferrules. It would be great for that purpose, but is obscenely expensive these days, and drawing metal is a multi stage process requiring a lot of expensive tool and die work in addition. It would only be worthwhile if you needed millions of parts.

      The metal is extremely resistant to corrosion, even doing well in sea water. If you could find it as seamless tubing that might be the way to go, but if you had to have it custom drawn, you will run into the same problem the NS tubing guy have,  a large  minimum order at high prices.  (Tom Smithwick)

        If we use any of these exotic materials from drawn tubing do we know how to bond them all properly. I know I can solder, use anaerobic adhesive, on Brass and German Silver.

        Seems like most everyone who uses the other stuff uses solid stock?  (Jerry Foster)

          Good point, Jerry. In the case of Monel, it's a nickel copper alloy, and I suspect the same things that work on NS, would work on it, though it would be wise to inquire about types of solders and fluxes. I think people use Duronze solid stock solid stock because it's easily available, more so than tubing. It also has high strength as bar stock, so you don't need to worry about the strength of drawn tubing Vs bar stock. I would definitely do some research before soldering it. I think it would be OK, but the addition of aluminum in an alloy can produce some quirky results, so I would do some homework first.  (Tom Smithwick)

            I've used Monel rivets on boats and I can tell you that any thickness you can get it in will be strong enough.

            I don't remember the exact size of the pop rivets I was setting once, maybe 3mm possibly but the only way I could set them was to use a concertina type rivet gun and it took almost all I could muster to set them.

            It is tough strong stuff!  (Tony Young)

              If you are interested, this site has tech info on Monel.  (Don Schneider)

          I use bar stock.

          Has anybody used Monel? Now that would be interesting.  (Tony Young)

      Monel is not that bad. INVAR or Super INVAR on the other hand can be a little dicey. If you really want some fun try Tantalum.  (Mark Shamburg)

    While we're discussing it, nobody has brought up stainless. I don't know much about it, other than I've seen a bunch of South bends with stainless ferrules and don't recall seeing any of them with splits like chrome plated brass ferrules were prone to. It looks kinda like old nickel and I suppose it could be polished brighter than the old SB's were, but I don't think it blues worth a hoot, though japanning might be an option. (John Channer)

      It is a very strong material. You are right, you cannot blue it without doing some things that no layman should consider. How does 600° boiling salts sound? That's because bluing is corrosion, and stainless is highly resistant. Japanning would be fine. The real issue is galling, which is the tendency of metal surfaces sliding against each other to pull off particles, sort of like throwing sand in the gears. Any metal will gall, depending on the tightness of the fit. That's why a NS ferrule not quite fit yet requires a lot of force to separate, but with a bit more fitting works fine.  A ferrule made from the common 303 stainless must be fit much slacker than we are used to to avoid galling. On the other hand, it is corrosion and wear resistant, and the fit will hold for a long time. I can't write chapter and verse on galling, even though I was in the stainless business for a long time. A lot of the research is apparently proprietary, and I've never been able to find a unified source comparing the different metals for this characteristic.

      It varies wildly, based on seemingly small variations in the metal. To give you an example, 304  stainless contains 8% nickel, and galls if the sliding surfaces have about 20 PSI pressure joining them.  201 stainless,  which replaces about 3-4% of the nickel with manganese, galls in the 200 PSI range. It's not available as bar stock:-(

      I have not yet had the time to experiment, but the big answer to galling is dissimilarity. If you are willing to accept a female made from one metal, and a male from another, the problem is minimized. The specific gravity of stainless is about .287, so make the bulkier female out of it, and the male from NS, brass, or possibly another type of stainless, like a non nickel bearing 400 series.  (Tom Smithwick)

        Thanks for the input. For the first time ever, I wish I had an old SB laying around. As I recall, their stainless ferrules were drawn, undoubtedly both male and female were made from the same alloy and had to have been cheep, or SB wouldn't have used them, but seemed to work fine in spite of all that.I don't make my own ferrules(yet), but might be persuaded to if the various sources of good ferrules get to be too expensive.  (John Channer)

          I've got about 20 old South Bends laying around and almost all have chrome plated NS ferrules.  The oldest one I have (pre 1920 I believe) has brass ferrules with English twist guides.  The only models I know have stainless ferrules were later model 290s and 291s.

          Just a little note for your files.  (John Dotson)

        Using different metals can have it's own problems too. You can end up with a bimetal reaction causing corrosion.  I'm sure Tom or some of the other list members know which metals are compatible, and which react.  (Chris Obuchowski)

          That's called galvanic corrosion. The two metals become, in effect, a battery, and the least corrosion resistant metal is destroyed. There is a scale of corrosion resistance with gold on top and zinc at the bottom. As I recall it, the further apart on the scale the metals are, the faster the reaction.

          However, for this to happen, the metals have to be in a solution. Consider the pocket knife. NS bolsters, brass liners, and a steel blade. You can carry one in your pocket for decades without a problem, but leave it in a bucket of water and trouble starts, add a bit of salt, and it's a lot worse. It's a big problem around marinas, where stray electrical currents find their way into the water sometimes. That's why outboard motors have sacrificial hunks of zinc attached. It goes first, and can be replaced, as opposed to dissolving the motor itself. For our purposes, I don't see a problem, although I might think twice about such an arrangement on a salt water rod.  (Tom Smithwick)

            I knew it had a proper name, and that the process was basically the way a battery works.

            RE: NS and steel, I'd add this anecdotal caution;  a couple years ago I was making a ferrule on my lathe, and got interrupted for a few weeks. I left the 18% NS ferrule part in the lathe against the live center.  The parts were dry. When I returned, the polished surface of the live center had corroded/oxidized enough that I had to replace the live center.

            Now, I'm much more cautious about which metals I leave in contact.  (Chris Obuchowski)

              When I returned, the polished surface of the live center had corroded/oxidized enough that I had to replace the live center.

              That should not have happened. In no particular order, I would suspect that:

              • Maybe some cutting oil got onto the metals. If it contained some chlorine, as some do, that would do it.
              • A lot of humidity in the shop?
              • A stray trickle of electricity. Was the machine unplugged, or just switched off?  (Tom Smithwick)

        I've been meaning to try the dissimilar metals route for some time, particularly titanium female with Nickel silver male in the hope that a nicer fit up could be achieved.  The Ti galls like stainless so the fit has to be just right.

        The main problem I think is one of acceptability rather than mechanical or corrosion problems.  There may be plenty of logic in Ti/NS but I doubt that many customers will be beating a path to my door over it.

        I gather there are some good gall resistant stainless alloys out there now although they might as well be unobtainium as far as most rod makers are concerned. (Gary Marshall)

      Stainless would probably work quite well.  It's a real beyotch to turn or machine though.  Work hardens very easily.  You could always heat blue, would give that nice old-timey swirly bluish tint.  Heat it up then quench in oil.  Not really a real blue, but it do look nice.  (Mark Wendt)

      It mustn't be too much of an issue because you haven't seen any with splits but SS will work harden. (Tony Young)

        I was kind of fishing for comments from others. Just because I haven't seen any with splits doesn't meant there aren't lots of them. I've probably had a dozen rods in the shop with SS ferrules, not many in the grand scheme of things.  (John Channer)

          Just because I haven't seen any with splits doesn't meant there aren't lots of them

          I would doubt that. Stainless does work harden, which makes it harder to machine, but it takes enormous deformation to make it crack. Many people who fabricate stainless leave the part in the work hardened condition because they want the extra strength. I have seen very few cases where the part was successfully made, and then cracked later due to excess stress. I doubt that anything that you could do on a lathe would come close to causing that kind of problem.

          Same deal on your Monel rivets, Tony. Monel is fairly soft in it's annealed state, The tough ones you encountered were likely formed from annealed rod, but left in the cold worked state to increase strength.

          Mark, heating stainless is way more complicated than messing with carbon steel or copper alloys. There is a Pandora's box full of stuff that can go wrong in certain temperature ranges. It's best left to the guys who get paid to do it. That doesn't mean the home blacksmith should not turn it, stretch it and bang on it. just leave it alone when you are done.

          I was unaware South Bend ever used stainless. I wonder if they were drawn or machined? I heard Orvis used stainless ferrules on their SSS model. I have never seen one of them either.   (Tom Smithwick)

            I was only mentioning that as a way to accomplish a patina sort of blue.  Kind of like you see on stainless steel exhaust pipes or headers, where it's a heat discoloration rather than a chemically etched blue.  (Mark Wendt)

              Yes, I knew you were talking about a color effect. But the muffler grade stuff is made to operate in the temperature range that causes it. The stuff likely to be used in ferrules, alloy 303, precipitates carbides into the grain boundaries in the temperature range likely to blue the metal, which has a bad effect on corrosion resistance, and strength. (Sorry you asked?) About the only safe heat coloring you can do is to brown the stuff at 5-600°. Maybe a run through a self cleaning oven cycle would give you that. But then the inside of the female, and the male slide is coated with a brown oxide, which can't be good for abrasion on the surfaces. Like I said, Pandora's box. If you wanted a non reflective surface, I would suggest finishing with a heavier grit emery cloth and leaving it at that.   (Tom Smithwick)

                Gotcha.  Or, if you want a nonreflective surface, use something other than stainless steel.  Like, oh, nickel silver, maybe?   ;-)  (Mark Wendt)

                  Nickel silver, brilliant!

                  The knife boys are doing some pretty wild stuff when it comes to coloring stainless, a visit to a forum or two might yield a tip or three. Of course, they are usually working with higher grade alloys, and employing ancient alchemists to do the coloring. I saw a wild looking Damascus pattern that had a blued blade, but the Damascus process created swirled "nickel lines" that did not take the color, resulting in silver lines on a dark blue background.

                  Caution: really nice knives cost as much as really nice rods, and I understand it is an incurable addiction.  (Larry Blan)

              Well - You got me thinking. I just took a duronze prototype downstairs and tried to blacken it. I first tried the Kodak fixer route, which works for me on NS, and it barely worked at all. I cleaned the thing up and tried again with Birchwood Casey brass black. It worked great. I doubt that you could tell it from a colored NS ferrule.  (Tom Smithwick)

              Call me Mr. Obvious if you want. But is there not the option of wrapping your ferrules no matter what you make them out of?  (Tom Kurtis)

            Setting a rivet would definitely work harden it I would suggest.  :-)  The strength of a Monel rivet is what I find amazing.

            Still, getting back to boat fittings anybody who uses SS shrouds (almost everybody) knows it'll work harden and break. The typical place for it is where a turnbuckle and the SS wire meet. The shrouds are free to move everywhere until the turnbuckle where it's held. At this point the work hardening takes place.

            It would seem to me and maybe it just doesn't happen in practice that a ferrule would experience the same thing. Possibly a rod just doesn't exert enough force for this to take place in the same sort of way. That's assuming you can get as far as making the ferrule anyhow. If your cutters dwell on it long enough it'll harden so much you'll think you're working with titanium  :-)  (Tony Young)

            I have about 5-6 feet of stainless rod .  I have tried to work it on my lathe, but all I get is jagged cuts and totally unusable end product.  Anything I can do to make it easier to cut?    (Ralph Moon)

              Quite often the problem is with the cutter bit rake angle.  (Vince Brannick)

                OK, I found it.  Thanks to you and to Tom for the help.  I'll try to get it right.  As of now, I have to replace my half nuts before I can do anything serious on the lathe.  A good friend sent me a new pair, but I have been putting off the chore until the shop warms up a little. It is in my basement and unheated and gets mighty frigid down there.  I do have a kerosine heater that manages to  bring up the temperature to around 50 after an hour or two.  Needless to say I don't get much done in the winter time.  (Ralph Moon)

              I assume you are using a HSS cutter. If so, as Vince suggests, make sure you have your clearance and rake angles correct. They are important with stainless. The general advice is to go slow, maybe 50 SFM, but take a heavy cut. The reason for the heavy cut is that the surface does work harden as you cut, and you want to be underneath the work hardened area with the next cut. Don't let the tool point ride on the work without cutting, and don't stop a cut part way, also because of work hardening. I would round the tool point a bit, and keep the cut well oiled. It might help to know exactly what alloy the  bar is,  if you know. Magnetic?

              Big time caveat. My expertise is in stamping, drawing, and springs. I'm just learning the machining end of things, so hopefully you'll get some other advice as well, but that's where I would start. (Tom Smithwick)

    Here again, another example of what makes this list great. I have learned more about metal in the last 2-3 days than I have in the last 30 years. Every thing that I even thought I might have to refer to later is safely tucked away in a folder. I plan to acquire a lathe sometime in the next 2 years before I retire or at least semi-retire (might have to work a couple of days each month to make up the difference between what I can draw at 62 Vs what I could draw if I continue beating my brains out until age 66). I'd like to start making my own reel seats and grips but I doubt I'll make my own ferrules. With pros like Bailey woods & Tony Larson turning out great ferrules and companies like REC turning out ferrules why bother. The preformed grips that Russ Gooding sells are really nice IMHO and not that expensive. I have only made 2 grips myself, but my method since I don't have a lathe, Involves gluing the rings up on a piece of all thread, mounting the all thread in my PML and turning is a pain in the a double scribble! What's a PML you're probably asking yourself? Why a poor mans lathe of course, consisting of my variable speed drill mounted handle up in my vise with the trigger duct taped open so that both hands are free to work the files and the sandpaper. Not glamourous but it gets the job done.  (Will Price)


Is there any problem with combining brass ferrule plugs with NS ferrules (galling properties of brass or some sort of reaction)?  (Louis DeVos)

    No problem, Louis. Using dissimilar metals decreases galling, and unless the metals are submerged, galvanic reactions are not possible. Brass and NS wouldn't react much anyway. Those metals are frequently used as liner and bolster in pocket knives without problems.  (Tom Smithwick)


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