We have selected these premier Swiss-made files to aid the rodmaker in his or her craft. Many rodmakers balked at the expense of these precision files in the last catalog, but after purchasing a set, called to thank us for suggesting them. They turn a thirty minute (and sometimes iffy procedure) into a quick three to five minute job with consistently successful results. Use the #6 cut to fit the male slides to size. Work in increments of two to three light passes across the male slide, then test fit – you can’t add metal once it’s gone! For smaller diameter ferrules, or as you’re getting close to final fit, retreat to a single pass of the #6 between test fittings. Once the male seats to full depth, or nearly full depth, then take one or two passes with the #8 cut to smooth the fit. For final polishing, use our micro-abrasive Polishing Papers…the blue paper in particular. Lapping files should be used with a lathe, but can be used by hand. Ours come standard with a hardwood handle because lathes and an unhandled file are a very dangerous combination.
In the comparison shot, the relatively coarse #6 Cut is on top, and you can clearly see the texture of the file; the #8 Cut is on the bottom and it looks and feels like steel velvet, almost indiscernible, but oh so effective.
Pardon some repetition relative to what’s written above. Recently a client, Rob, wrote: Wish me luck on the ferrule fitting. I’m a pretty good rodmaker, but ferrule fitting vexes me to no end.
I responded, but before you read the response – which pushes the ease of using Ferrule Lapping Files – please remember that there are MANY ways to skin a cat. The polishing papers sold on our website are perfectly functional tools sold at a great price. Compared to a set of lapping files they’re a bit over 10% of the expense and you can achieve the same basic result, which makes them extremely valuable as an option for the occasional rodmaker. Even for a rodmaker with lapping files, the finest (blue) paper can be nice if you need to sweeten the fit just a smidgen after using the #8 cut file. If you are planning to lap using only the polishing papers, then the bit I wrote below has a great tip … if you’re using a lathe to spin the ferrule.
So, here’s my response to Rob:
Ferrule Fitting….are you using lapping files? In both cuts? I take males down to a ‘rough’ fit with the #6…usually to the point where they’ll seat full depth, or just shy of full depth by 1/8” or so…always testing the fit after every pass of the file, or every other pass on the initial passes of sizes #13 and up…always removing swarf before testing the fit so you don’t score the inside of the female. Once darn close with the #6 cut, usually just one or two passes with the #8 makes the fit smooth as butter. You can achieve similar results with polishing papers, but not nearly so quickly…and for most folks, not so ‘evenly’ along the length of the slide. The fact that the teeth on the files are fixed to an immoveable object (the body of the file blade) and it’s easy to keep that file blade tangent to the slide while “sliding” the file (from the shoulder, down the slide, and off the end), keeps the material removal even and thus the fit is very even across the length of the slide. There shouldn’t be much in the way of gaps and high spots such as you can get when using sandpaper which tends to ‘gouge’ the slide (at a micro level) where the paper is pinched in your fingers, which themselves are conforming the paper to the shape of the more or less round & squishy objects…again, this is in contrast to the file which remains crisp and flat as it is maneuvered down the length of the slide. If you do use polishing papers, it’s best to wrap them over a popsicle stick to give the papers rigidity, comparable to the files. Of course this only works with a lathe…if you’re working off the lathe, that’s a separate issue. Really hope this make sense. Sometimes explaining with words is tougher than actually going through the motions.
And if you’re curious about those polishing papers, here they are: