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I built my first dozen rods with the help of a cordless hand drill.  During my pre-lathe period I needed a way to turn corks and to prep ferrules.  This did meet my needs well.  I initially tried it with a corded hand drill but I thought that the speed and power was a bit much to handle without the security of stability.  With a cordless hand drill I was able to get speeds low to help rough out cork grips as well as to finish them.

Prepping ferrules was a snap with a cordless drill. I used the poor man's method of a modified reverse drill bit with a ferrule mounted to the shank and the cutting edge chucked up.  I'll have to admit that I still prep my ferrules this way even though I have a nice lathe.  One tip given to me by Tony Larson is to buy a cheap set of import pin gauges.  I bought a 'minus' set and use about 3 of the 120 in the set as they fit my commonly used ferrule sizes.  Chuck this up in the cordless hand drill and then mount your ferrule snugly to this.  Sand/polish accordingly.

Despite all the growing machinery in my basement (it is funny to buy a fancy lathe to use it about 10-20 minutes/80 hours/rod = or about 0.2-0.4% of the time to make a rod), I still prep my ferrule stations by hand. 

Hope that this helps.  (Mark Lee)


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