Bamboo Tips - Contributors - Cleveland, Dave

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I am Dave Cleveland and was recently introduced to the list by Ron Barch in a note he sent me when I joined The Planing Form. I haven't built rods, to speak of, since my Grandfather passed away in 1978. He worked at Leonard from the 40's until the late 60's and built  custom rods in  upstate NY in his own shop part time.

I was wondering if anyone has any Penta Tapers they would share for Steelhead rods, Steelhead Switch rods and Steelhead Spey rods. I want to build a 9’ -7/8 wt, 10 1/2’ 7/8 wt and a 13’ 8/9 wt respectively. 

I completed my oven and bench just recently and have most of my Grandfathers tools. He gave me three 84" steel planing forms that my Father machined for him at Shepard Niles in upstate NY where he worked. Two of them are fixed multiple groove forms like Herters sold and the third is a Penta form that he never got to use, that my Dad also made. It has two grooves on each side and the center metal rail is fixed with each side being setup like a Wagner or the like hex form. The center fixed rail is 3" wide X 1 1/2" thick X 84" long. Each wing is 2" wide X 1 1/2" thick X 84" long. There are two grooves on each side and another two on the bottom that are different degrees of angles. I have the drawing my Grandfather gave my Dad to build it in July of 1969. I don't know why but the dowels and adjusting bolts look exactly the same as traditional forms but my Grandfather had them installed on 3 1/2" centers over the full length. That's is how he noted it in the drawing (does anyone know why?). They are constructed of 316L SS which is very difficult to work with (machining wise) and very heavy. I have moved several times in 31 years and I can attest to the weight. The 316L Stainless is polished on the top and bottom where the grooves are. My Dad used carbon steel helicoils to thread for the adjusting bolts. In the journal he kept his notes mention that Penta Tapers require a very close tolerance relative to straightness. To my knowledge he never completed any Penta rods himself but talked often about seeing lighter rods made that way and wanted to make Penta Steelhead Rods saying he believed they were stronger and better for mending long lines while corking. I therefore plan to embark on the journey to complete his intentions.

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