ROD BUILDING TIPS
Thread Tensioner

By Michael D. Hurley

I've just read Tom Kirkman's response to a question from Gary, Williamsburg, OH regarding exactly how much tension to use in wrapping a rod. (RodMaker Magazine, Sept/Oct 1999)

Tom said he'd give the idea of measuring the tension more thought. Here's food for that thought:

At the wrapping bench, set up you fish scale so that it can be suspended horizontally behind the thread tensioner. Wide the thread from the tensioner, through the hook on the scale and then forward to the rod blank, begin to wind the thread, then coat a stretch of thread near the scale's hook and the scale's hook with some super lubricant - silicone wax, Teflon spray, etc. to minimize drag, and pull the tension for the rod size/purpose (ferrule wrap/guide wrap(single foot & snake). Since you now have a 2-to-1 pulley effect, the thread tension will be half what's shown on the scale, but that's immaterial, in that the trainee will duplicate the set-up to get the right "feel." How to fasten the other end of the scale I will leave as an exercise for the reader, since it depends upon your bench set-up.

If you wrap rods by dropping a spool of thread into a bowl on the floor, sitting in your easy chair with the thread run under your thigh for tension, and just holding the blank in your hands, you probably think this is much ado about nothing, but we don't all do things alike. ~ Michael D. Hurley

Publishers note:

If you have any tips or techniques, send them along! Help out your fellow rodmakers! ~ Publisher, FAOL

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