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The dreaded thread fuzzies
Posted by: Rick Handrick (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 30, 2023 09:21AM

I have a few rods under my belt with my Alps wrapper. Love the machine so far, but I seem to be getting some thread fuzzies happening. I build mostly ice rods, so I’m looking for a low profile way to replace/mod the thread carriage to go to a spool tensioning setup. I don’t want to go with the Al Engling carriage just because I feel that’s more bulk than I want to deal with. Has anyone modified the Alps carriage by removing the smooth vertical pins and replacing them with threaded rod to make thread spool tensioners? Obviously would remove the disc tensioner too. I want to try this, but thought I’d see if anyone has any advice first! Hoping the pins would be an easy removal and that I won’t just end up cracking the carriage base.

Another thought is to just buy the Pac Bay newer style carriage - can anyone confirm if this fits the Alps wrapper base?

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Re: The dreaded thread fuzzies
Posted by: John Cates (Moderator)
Date: January 30, 2023 10:01AM


Give me a call and we should talk. 512-858-7742

Flex Coat Company
Professional Rod Building Supplies

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Re: The dreaded thread fuzzies
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: January 30, 2023 11:35AM

First and foremost, do you have a thread issue?

One way to check for a thread issue is to have a very high powered magnifying glass, or microscope, lots of light and good vision.

The idea is to take your thread and place it under the magnifying system.

The, using a length of thread where you have enough to wrap about your hands, each a couple of times and then put as much stretching force on the thread you can; just up to and exceeding the breaking strength of the thread.

The thing that you are looking NOT to see, is to see Fuzzies pop up when the thread is stretched.

If you happen to have a spool of thread that is exhibiting this phenomena, is to take that particular spool of thread and throw it into the nearest garbage can.

This thread popping and creating fuzzies under tension phenomena, is fortunately limited to very very few threads out of a thousand spools. But, it does happen and if it does happen to you; throw away that particular spool of thread to eliminate the issue.

With respect to your thread carrier and thread paths and thread tension device.

Certainly, simplify the entire system to eliminate any potential chock points that could create problems for you.

One of the best ways to do this is to have your thread tension device the very last item in your thread path. If, your thread tension device is the last item in your thread path, then any other item in the thread path is likely to not give you any issues. i.e. any otherr thrread directing items, will not have thread under tension and possibly degrade the condition of the thread as it flows onto the rod blank and guide being wrapped.

Just as an example, here is the thread tension device that I have used, ever since I started building rods such a lont time ago. I can not take development of this idea, since it is a copy of the thread tension device that I used in rod building school. It is very simple reliable and trouble free.





In use, the thread stand and tension device simple sits behind the power wrapper. The front of the thread holder rests against the back side of the power wrapper and slides along the rod building bench which is a formica covered kitchen counter top. The base of the thread holder is a block of nylon. Hence, the unit moves along very easily and trouble.

There is one thread guide at the base of the oak board that elevates the thread to a level that is a bit above the rod being wrapped. The front rod in the thread holder is used as handle to move the thread up and down the rod as needed.

There is next to no tension on the thread at all until it gets to the tension device and then goes directly to the rod. Hence, nothing to inhibit the thread flow prior to the tension device and thus no effective rubbing of the thread any where before it gets to the tension device.

If you look at the thread h older for 1-5 lb thread spools, it is setup to pull thread from the top of the thread cone which is exactly how industrial sewing machines feed their insatiable appetite for thread. If you look at the thread path, the thread is pulled off the top of the cone. It goes straight up, then forward and back down to be at the same level as the thread going to the thread tension device from conventionally sized spools. Again, virtually no tension on the thread as it leaves the spool, goes through the 3 loops in the thread director and on to the basic thread holder.

With respect to your particular carriage.

Of course, if you want to get rid of elements in the thread path - remove them. If you want to use a nice slippery ceramic lined guide to direct the thread, go for it.

Ify ou can move your tension device to be the very last item in your thread path - it will be to your advantage in helping to eliminate tension on the thread through any other elements in your thread path.

Best wishes.

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Re: The dreaded thread fuzzies
Posted by: Rick Handrick (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 30, 2023 09:22PM

Thanks guys - curiosity got the best of me today, so 20 seconds and a center punch had the smooth spindles out of the alps carriage. A trip to Ace Hardware for stainless bolts, stainless and delrin washers, and stainless wing nuts - think I have a good solution!

Roger - was an issue with more than a couple thread spools, so I’m pretty sure it’s a hardware issue. I’ll probably have to disassemble that tensioner at some point and give the inner surfaces a good polish !

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Re: The dreaded thread fuzzies
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: January 31, 2023 12:47AM

I am surprised that you did not polish the inside sides of the tensioner - before - you ever first used it.

Take care

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Re: The dreaded thread fuzzies
Posted by: Rick Handrick (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: January 31, 2023 10:26AM

never had a wrapper with a disc tensioner before - didn't realize it would be needed. I have a pre-existing bias against them anyways, so was looking to change up the carriage even before I received the wrapper. The hand wrappers I've built in the past have been variations of a 'pressure the spool' method.

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