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Node Flattening

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Here are some pictures and/or drawings of Node Flattening/Straightening devices from various makers.  If the name of the submitter is underlined, you can go to the submitter’s web site.


Tony Spezio

Tony Spezio 01

Notch cutout at the node prior to straightening.

Tony Spezio 02

Spline in the vise for node flattening.

Tony Spezio 03

Detail of notch in “sacrificial” vise jaws.


Robert Holder Node Press

I have been talking to Tony Spezio about pressing nodes and the Waara node press.  As with Tony I agree that displacing the nodes is a easy and quick method.  Then again the Waara press is nice because you don't have to have a vice to crush the nodes.  The new found method that Tony uses by putting a notched plate in the jaw of your vice and placing the node ridge in that notch as you press the node.  Then filing the small ridge off once you have pressed the node you are left with is a small area has been worked on.  Seeing his rods sure makes a believer out of me, for my nodes were never that small after I filed them down. So it started me thinking (and sometime I think this is dangerous) and my designing side of my brain kicked in.  Why not have the best of both worlds.  So I took the basic idea of the Waara Node press and combined it with the notched plate idea and came up with this new contraption.

The details of this handy tool are as follow.  First the tool was made from a two pieces of steel welded together.  The first piece was 1/4 inch thick 2 x 2 angle iron.  The second, was a piece of 1/4 thick bar that measures approx. 2 1/4 x 7 1/2 inches. There were several factors why I chose this heavy of steel but I don't need to go through all that right now.  I mounted the toggle clamp on the base and put some 1/4" spacers under the clamp to put the center line of the clamp ram a tad bit higher as opposed to mounting it flush on the base.  The clamp ram in my machine is a bit different than the original design because I found out that tack welding a bolt to the face plate (a 1" x 1" x 1/4" piece of steel) was a little hard to keep everything square and plum.  So the welder opted to drill a hole and tap it through the plate and weld the all thread on the face and then hitting the face with a grinder or belt sander to make it flush again.  Then the clamp ram was taken to the end mill and a 1/8" wide and 1/16" deep grove down the center of the face plate was milled.

So that is it in a nut shell.  Personally I didn't do all the welding and stuff, that is were I sweet talked a few of the guys at my work to do that for me.  I just designed it and made the drawings for them, being that I am a draftsman by trade makes that part of the job easy.  It just took me working during one of my lunches to create the drawings.

The few scrap nodes that I have press with this machine sure look nice. Once I got done all I had was an area of about 1/4" that was touched by the file and a flat section of cane.  I am looking forward to use this on the next rod that I am starting on in the next month or so.

Robert Holder Node Press 01

Robert Holder Node Press 02

Robert Holder Node Press 03


Martin-Darrell Node Straightener

Martin-Darrell Node Straightener 01

This is as good as I can do with the camera I have. Hope they turn out okay. The first photo shows them rotated 90° from their normal position in the vise. The second shows their normal position. The vise has a hand wheel on it, too -- makes for more rapid pressing. You can't tell from the photo, but the bottom of the V-groove is relieved, so as not to harm the apex of the strip. I think I used a .030 end mill for this, and cut it something like .050 deep.

Martin-Darrell Node Straightener 02


Brian Smith’s Node Press

Brian Smith’s Node Press 01

Here is the node press that I use.  I built the pair stacked on top of each other to save on space.  I wanted something I could move around the shop easily and still have it close at hand.  It’s important for me to let the strip cool as long as possible in the jaws, so I use this rig along with my original Pony vise and I can be working on 3 strips at once.  I’m actually heating a strip all of the time instead of standing at the bench watching one strip cool down.  It’s a much more productive method and provides a much more efficient use of a heat gun.

The maple jaws press on the end grain and are secured with disc magnets epoxied into the block.  I tried using the adhesive strip type of magnet, but found that over prolonged use, the strip began to shift or slide out of position.  The blocks with a single magnet have a rare earth type of magnet which is much stronger than the conventional style.  They cost more, but I think they’re worth it.  I sanded a recess into the face of the blocks to allow the node to be displaced versus crushed.  The original idea came to me from Ray Gould’s design.  I sanded out different profiles for different node shapes and the magnet allows fo a quick jaw change.  I still use cardboard or notecard paper shims to enhance the pressing if it’s needed on one side or the other of the node.

The cutout on the sides of the base are there if you want to clamp the unit to a bench.  I haven’t found that necessary though, due to its overall weight.  I painted the bar stock using the powder paint for lures and jig heads but it chips pretty easily.  I’d recommend regular enamel spray paint if someone else is going to make their own.

Note:  If you don’t have the machining capabilities, go out and buy an inexpensive drill press vise or two and mount them on a board back to back like Bill at Corens Rod & Reel did.  It’s fast, easy and all you have to do is make the jaws.  You could even stack three or more in a stair-step type of arrangement and go from there.

Brian Smith’s Node Press 02

Brian Smith’s Node Press 03

Brian Smith’s Node Press 04

Brian Smith’s Node Press 05

Brian Smith’s Node Press 06

Brian Smith’s Node Press 07

Brian Smith’s Node Press 08

Brian Smith’s Node Press 09


Jeff Fultz’s Node Straightening Jig

Jeff Fultz’s Node Straightening Jig 02

Here is the very simple straightening jig that I came up with in the wee hours of the morning. The picture above (front view) shows how the vise is mounted to the workbench. I had to cut out a relief in the front support of the bench to mount the vise. I bought the vise at Home Depot for around $15. The picture below (top view) shows how I put a strip into the vise and then use the simple wedge to apply pressure to remove kinks and bends. If the kink or bend is going the other direction I just place the strip in the vise with the pith side facing up. This simple jig allows me to leave the strip in place until fully cooled, an otherwise somewhat arduous task if held by hand. I can then proceed to heat up another strip while waiting for the current strip to cool.

 Jeff Fultz’s Node Straightening Jig 01


Robert Kope’s Node Press

Robert Kope’s Node Press 01

Robert Kope’s Node Press 02

Robert Kope’s Node Press 03

Robert Kope’s Node Press 014

Robert Kope’s Node Press 05

Robert Kope’s Node Press 06


Ralph Tuttle’s Waara Node Press Photo

Ralph Tuttle’s Waara Node Press 01


Chad Wigham’s Node Press

Chad Wigham’s Node Press


Art Port’s Node Filing Jig

Art said that he got this idea from an article in “The Best of the Planing Form, Volume 2” written by Tom Fultz.

Art Port’s Node Filing Jig 01

Jig with scissors for scale.

Art Port’s Node Filing Jig 02

Flamed strip needing filing.

Art Port’s Node Filing Jig 03

End shot showing hold-downs (mini-shelf brackets), strip to be filed, scissors for scale.

Art Port’s Node Filing Jig 04

Strip in position for filing.

Art Port’s Node Filing Jig 05

Strip and file in position.

Art Port’s Node Filing Jig 06

Finished strip.


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