Planing Forms determine tapers.

From this to this. The 1/4” straightened,  dried, and power planed strips are now ready to be hand planed down to an itty-bitty 1/16” triangle.

Seeking perfection, I decided to build a “professional” set of planing forms. Started with two 1”sq by 72” cold rolled steel bars.

A 60 degree “V” shaped channel is filed between the bars on both sides to hold the bamboo strips while planing. One side of the form is for butt sections and the other for tip sections. The tip side's channel tapers from .03125" to .117", the butt side's channel tapers from.117" to .144".

I used a very aggressive 14” Mill Bastard File to form the channel. The channel angle is guided by a wood block cut at a 30 degree angle. Channel shoulder depth is accurately measured with a micrometer. Bolts hold the two bars together and allow the channel depths be adjusted within .001” tolerances.

It is imperative to smooth the planing surfaces so your plane blade does not gouge the metal surface and dull the plane blade. I used my Porter Cable 4 x 24” belt sander with #36 and #80 grit. It’s a beast and it gets the job done so much faster than a using a hand held metal file. There is a link on my Final Thoughts page explaining form building in excrutiatingly minute detail.

There are about a zillion bamboo rod tapers out there. This chart was a starting point for me and I have since developed my own tapers for four, five and six weight rods. 

Here is what you will want to achieve with your new planing form.