Ramrod tips

Discussion in 'The Gun Builder's Bench' started by berdar, Jul 13, 2019 at 9:15 PM.

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  1. Jul 13, 2019 at 9:15 PM #1

    berdar

    berdar

    berdar

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    Guys,

    I have everything laid out to make a few ramrods. I plan on using epoxy and pins. I’ve made them before and while perfectly function-able, the tip to rod fit wasn’t as best as they could be.

    How do you build your ramrods?
     
  2. Jul 13, 2019 at 10:04 PM #2

    hanshi

    hanshi

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    I fit them to the rod, glue them and then pin them. So far they've all worked just fine.
     
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  3. Jul 13, 2019 at 10:36 PM #3

    Zonie

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    After getting my ramrods to the length I want I lay the ramrod on a table or workbench and place the blade of my Exacto-Knife (or hobby knife if I'm using an off brand) so that it is pointing straight across the rod. Then, while pressing down on the knife I rotate the rod away from me. The location of the blade is about 1/2 inch from the end of the rod. As the rod rolls, the knife will cut a groove into the wood and if the knife was perpenducular to the rod, the cut will meet the place it started. Once this is done, I increase the depth of the cut using the same process until the cut is about 1/32 of an inch deep.

    Once the depth is reached, holding the knife blade at an angle of about 30° to the rod and about 1/16" closer to the end of the rod, I cut down into the wood leaving the sharp shoulder that the metal tip will end up resting against.
    Once the wood all the way around the rod is removed, with the rod still laying on the table, I get out my small flat metal cutting file and begin filing off the remaining wood at the tip, rotating the rod slightly as I file.
    I pay special attention to make sure the file never touches the wood on the edge of the shoulder I made.
    I continue rotating the rod and filing until the remaining wood at the tip will just slightly clear the bore in the metal tip.

    Once this is done, I measure the depth of the hole in the metal tip and cut off the smaller end of the wooden rod if it is needed. I want the length to be the same or slightly shorter than the hole in the tip.

    Using a 5 minute epoxy I very lightly coat the inside of the tip and the outside of the smaller cylinder on the rod and press the tip in place, making sure it butts tightly against the shoulder.

    After the epoxy has set up I use a center punch to make a slight indentation in the metal tip about 3/16 inches from the shoulder. Then, using a 1/16 inch drill bit I drill straight down, thru the metal, the wood and the metal producing a hole completely thru the tip/rod assembly.

    I have a pocket knife with a blade that has a tip that is about 45° so using this knife I stick the tip into the hole and rotate it to create a 45° countersink. After one countersink is formed, I do the same thing to the other end of the hole.

    I picked up a piece of 1/16 inch brass rod from my local Ace Hardware store and using some metal wire cutters I cut off a pin that is about 1/16" longer than the rod is in diameter. Pushing this thru the hole and letting about 1/32 of an inch sticking out both sides of the rod I place the end of the pin on the small anvil on my vise. Then, using a small hammer I tap the end of the pin, first on one side and then on the other until the exposed end is pounded down into the countersinks.
    Using my flat file I can then file off any of the mushroomed pin that is sticking out above the outside of the tip.

    RAMROD.jpg

    I don't use pins larger than 1/16" because if I did, I think too much of the wood would be removed from the small wooden projection that goes into the metal tip.
    I want enough wood at that pin location to give strength to the rest of the wooden tip outboard so it won't shear off easily.
     
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  4. Jul 13, 2019 at 10:51 PM #4

    berdar

    berdar

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    Thank you Zonie! I appreciate the advice.
     
  5. Jul 13, 2019 at 11:44 PM #5

    Pete G

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    I use a tubing cutter to mark the rod, file the diameter to almost fit the tip, then I chuck the tip in my cordless drill and run tip onto the recess on the rod. The tip cuts the rod to an extremely tight fit that will never loosen. After that I drill and countersink a 1/16" steel pin and file down flush.
     
  6. Jul 14, 2019 at 12:45 AM #6

    Sidney Smith

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    I do the same as Zonie. I mark the length of the tip on the rod then cut with the exact knife in the same manner Zonie described. I the shave off just enough wood to get the tip to slide onto the end. I then sand off just a bit more to allow room for the epoxy the glue the tip on. When the epoxy is cured I then drill and pin the tip in place. I then file the pin flush then peen the ends to keep the pin in place. Them finish up with 400 grit sandpaper. Then finish sand and stain the rod the a couple coats of linseed oil.
     
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  7. Jul 14, 2019 at 2:43 AM #7

    Tom A Hawk

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    I use Ferr-L-Tite, hot melt arrow head adhesive. Works great. Also use this for sticking a hooked breach tang to the barrel for filing and inletting. When filed, fitted and finished the tang comes off with a little heat from a torch.
     
  8. Jul 14, 2019 at 11:27 AM #8

    berdar

    berdar

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    Thank you everyone for your advice!
     
  9. Jul 14, 2019 at 12:23 PM #9

    dave_person

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    Hi,
    There are several ways to do tips depending on what they are for. Others describe gluing and pinning, which is great for the ferrules that will hold a cleaning jag. I typically use those for the end of the rod that goes into the ramrod hole. For the other end at the muzzle, on long rifles and American fowlers, mine have a pronounced swell for the last 4-5" or so and I usually do not install a tip.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    On English fowlers and rifles, I usually install a brass or horn tip on the muzzle end. These are not pinned. I cut the shoulder in the rod to fit the tip, then I slit the end in the middle for about 2/3s the length of the tip. I make a tiny wooden wedge, like you would make for an axe handle, that will slip into the slot and spread it. If my tip is open at the end, I leave the wedge long, put glue on the rod, install the tip and then tap the wedge home. Then I trim it flush. If the tip is closed on the end, I cut the wedge shorter then the slot, put glue on the rod and slide in the wedge a little, then put on the tip and tap it all home.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    dave
     
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  10. Jul 14, 2019 at 5:08 PM #10

    Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776

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    I do similar to what Zonie describes but no where as neatly, I'm sure. Word of warning: I have tried brazing rod for pins. Stuff is too hard to peen properly. Left over electrical wire copper works just fine.
     
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  11. Jul 14, 2019 at 11:12 PM #11

    hanshi

    hanshi

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    Mine are done very similar to Zonie's. I use a copper tube cutter rather than a knife and my work is, well, mediocre. It works, though!
     
  12. Jul 15, 2019 at 1:46 AM #12

    Zonie

    Zonie

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    I tried a tube cutter but the blade on it isn't really sharp enough to cut a razor edge on the wood.
    I then tried using the tube cutter to lightly mark the circular cut around the rod to use as a guide for my hobby knife but again, it kind of crushed the wood where it marked it.

    That's when I decided to do the "hold it perpendicular to the rod" method. I will admit that butting a small square against the rod to give me a good idea of just how to hold the knifes edge to make it perpendicular helped a bit. :rolleyes:
     
  13. Jul 15, 2019 at 3:23 AM #13

    8 BORE

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    Putting a tip on a ram rod is easier that spitting in a spitoon, but you seemed to have found a book on "how to". By the time I read all that I could have installed at least 2 rod tips.
     
  14. Jul 15, 2019 at 5:01 PM #14

    EC121

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    For an easy close fit you can countersink the opening in the tip a little, and when seated, it will bypass any wood at the bottom of the rod shoulder and butt right up to the wood. Then pin it as mentioned above. When gluing, I usually screw a jag with the threads greased into the tip to stop any epoxy. There are as many ways as people installing them. Lots of options to pick from
     
  15. Jul 15, 2019 at 6:26 PM #15

    Zonie

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    I guess some folks can read a lot faster than other folks.:rolleyes:

    Oh. I didn't have to find a book about how to do it. I just write it from my memory. Saves digging thru all of the shelves in my library.

    Be sure and let us know when you have more helpful bits of advice. :D
     
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  16. Jul 15, 2019 at 7:21 PM #16

    Carbon 6

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    I think having a library is a good idea.
     
  17. Jul 16, 2019 at 3:44 PM #17

    mushka

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    What kind of wood are your ramrods made from? Asking everyone that makes them? Do you carve them yourselves or where do you get them from? I carved a pistol rod with the tips but it's mostly just to look at. Probably wouldn't hold up under regular use.
     
  18. Jul 16, 2019 at 5:51 PM #18

    Kansas Jake

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    I’ve just used a small nail as a pin. Cut off the head and peened it in a vise and then cut close after installation on the sharp end and then peened both ends. I then file flush with the end.
     
  19. Jul 16, 2019 at 7:44 PM #19

    dave_person

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    Hi,
    They are usually made from ash or hickory. Probably hickory is most common in America and ash more common in Europe. Some high-end guns had rods made from rosewood or blackwood, and a few used baleen from whales. You can get hickory dowels from most muzzleloader builder suppliers. Be careful, some sell rods from a Southeast Asian wood called "ramin", which I find weaker than hickory but more importantly, it has been logged almost to extinction.

    dave
     
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  20. Jul 17, 2019 at 12:28 AM #20

    JB67

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    I like the use of a pipecutter to mark the rod.
     

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