From Volume 5 - Issue #1 issue of RodMaker magazine:
Guide feet come in many shapes. Many guides now feature feet which
are much wider than what was common many years ago. The idea is
that a wider foot puts more surface on the blank and helps to reduce
any tendency of the guide to move or shift under pressure. This is
fine, but some rod builders have found that in many cases and
depending upon the blank being used, the edges of the guide feet
are wider than the blank! If you find this to be the case in your
particular usage, feel free to remove material from the edges of
the guide feet, reducing the width to a point where it is as
narrow, or narrower, than the blank width where it will reside.
Some builders will taper the foot shape so that the end culminates
in a near point. Others will leave the end fairly rounded, much as
the guide came from the factory. Either way is fine, although you are
likely to find that the more area you have at the end of the guide
foot, the greater the tendency for finish cracking at that area
may be. The most important part of the shaping procedure, however,
is the tapering of the foot end from top to bottom. You actually
want this taper, or slope, to approximate a "ramp" starting with
the top of the foot and tapering to an almost knife edge. The
steeper you "ramp" the more difficult thread wrapping and finish
edge cracking will be.
A more shallow angled "ramp" will allow the thread to climb onto the
foot easier during the wrapping process and also allow for some
amount of flexibility at the foot end, hopefully reducing the
tendency to crack the finish at that edge.
How do you know if your taper or "ramp" is correct? It's pretty
easy to judge once you start wrapping. If the thread just doesn't
want to climb up and onto the foot without a good deal of manipulation
on your part, the foot edge has not been reduced to a fine enough edge.
You can fight it, or go back to the file, grinder or sandpaper disc
and try again. After awhile you will know what is required and get
things right on the first go 'round. ~ Tom Kirkman
If you have any tips or techniques, send them
along! Help out your fellow rodmakers!
~ Publisher, FAOL