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When attaching a tip top, Wayne Cattanach suggests putting a sliver of ferrule glue in the tip top tube, then heat the tip top, and slide it onto the bamboo.  To get that sliver, melt ferrule glue and let a drop fall on a piece of clean glass.  Let the drop cool and with a razor, cut parallel lines through the diameter of the drop.  Peel up the little slivers of glue for the tip top.  (Chad Wigham)


A tiptop I glued on shifted and is now not properly aligned.  The glue has set though.  Is there a method to soften glue (heat, hot water)?  (Louis DeVos)

    Depends on what type of glue you used, but heat from a hairdryer should loosen it within a minute or two. I just did one last night that way. Try with low heat first, then move up if you have to. Don't wear gloves. If the tip is too hot to hand hold, it's too much heat for the cane. Don't twist to get it off, just a straight pull.

    If you used epoxy, this method may not work.  (Rob Holland)


The geometry works out that the apex-apex measure equals roughly 1.15 times the flat-flat measure. For tip-tops I try to stay somewhere in between. For example:

Flat-Flat = .070 x 64 = 4.48/64ths

Apex-apex = .070 x 1.15 = .080 x 64 = 5.15/64ths

So you could use either 4.5/64ths or 5/64ths. I'd probably go with 5/64ths so I wouldn't have to sand off as much of the apexes.  A 4.5/64ths tiptop would work fine too.  (Tom Bowden)

    So if we are so concerned  about taking anything off the apexes, why don't we build up the ferrule stations and turn them to the diameter of the apexes?  I think Letcher Lambuth did this.  (Scott Grady)

      If the ferrule station measured .070", I would. I try never to take anything off the apexes at the tip top. I believe this is why so many classics are 1" short.  (Marty DeSapio)

        I agree with Marty.  Not much to gain cutting down the most sensitive part of the rod.  (Jerry Madigan)

      I like to leave a little bit of apex rather than completely rounding out the station. The advantages are (1) leaves some room for air bubbles to escape when setting the ferrule and (2) you don't cut too deeply into the power fibers. If you built up the taper at the ferrule station & then rounded it, you'd lose these "advantages."

      In reality, I don't think it makes that big of a difference.  (Tom Bowden)

        What Lambuth did was glue bamboo on the outside of the section at the ferrule station and turned it down.  This way he didn't lose any of the power fibers.  (Scott Grady)

          Thanks for clarifying. I once did this myself after unintentionally over-sanding a ferrule station. It worked well - better than trying to use glue as a filler.  (Tom Bowden)


I have to remove a tip top which is glued on with 5 minute epoxy. Any suggestions on how to proceed?  (Roland Cote)

    I have an electric kitchen range and I have excellent success removing ferrules and tip tops over one of the small burners. I turn it on and wait until the coil is red hot and then expose the part to be removed to the heat generated by continually rotating the area about 4-6 inches above the coil. I periodically check to see if it can be pulled off (be sure to use a heavy towel or cooks mitt for this as it will be HOT!!). Another method, that I have had mixed results with, is to heat it in boiling water, which will soften the glue. (I believe it was Dave Engerbretson who advocated using an electric range or hot plate for this some years ago.)

    As a sidebar note, if you are trying to remove a male ferrule over the stove heating element, be sure to build a "backstop" using a towel, etc., as sometimes the glue can generate quite a bit of gas pressure and it sounds like someone just fired a .22 when the ferrule comes flying off ( I will plead the fifth if anyone asks where I learned this!).  (Frank Schlicht)

    Sure... Heat gun; go slow as to not weaken the glue on the splines.

    Been there, etc.  (Eric Koehler)

    Gently heat it, then stick in ice - repeat as needed until it comes off.  (Peter McKean)


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