Friday, February 7, 2014

Alignment Dots

Alignment dots seem to be a love it or I don't need them item.

For those who like to have them on their multi-piece rods this article is for you. Alignment dots or 'ferrule' dots make the job of assembling a rod together and lining up the guides very easy and simple. And there is an easy way to add them to any rod without a large investment of money or time. You can add them to your custom build or you can add them to a finished factory rod, no problem.

The first photo shows a finished section of a rod and samples of different dots using an assortment of household items, with the second photo showing those tools.

A - Doting Tools (from nail salons or polymer clay tool)
B - Straight Pin
C - Straight Pin with ball end
D - Straight Pin with Plastic end
E - Hair Brush (One of the 'bristles' from a new style hair brush - Found at dollar stores)
F - End of a finishing brush
G - End of a Flex Coat disposable Brush
H - Pick ( Old tool from tool box!)
I - Small Phillip head screwdriver
J - Pen Tip (old one that is out of ink is fine)

So you can see there is lots of things around the house that will work for applying the dots. Different items make different size dots, so find the item that makes the size of dot you want. If you use a straight pin - get yourself a pencil with a good eraser on the end and sick the pin into the eraser and now your pin has a nice handle.

The first thing after you have gathered your materials, is assemble your rod and make sure the guides are lined up. I begin with the middle sections so after they are on both sides I can take the rod apart to do the other sections without working with one long piece!

Apply the white or whatever color you decide by using whatever tool you decide. The size and shape of your alignment dot is entirely up to you. Would you believe that all the dots on the sample blank were done with 'White Finger Nail Polish'  that I got at the dollar store?  I took the brush that come in the polish and put a small quantity of polish on a piece of paper and then dipped the tool into the polish and then onto the rod. You don't want a large blob of polish just enough to make a dot.  I cleaned off the tool after I did a couple of dots so the polish wouldn't build up on the tool. If the polish on the paper starts to get thick, stop and put some fresh more out on your paper. If you make a mistake  - wipe off the polish right away with a Kim Wipe or something that won't leave any lint. Let the dots dry completely so as not to smire the polish. There is no need to put anything over the nail polish - it will stay on for a long time and if it should come off just remember the tool you used and get your nail polish out and redo the missing dot.

Having alignment dots sure makes the job of putting your multi-piece rod together.

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