Early in 1998 John Zimny put together a nickel silver tube buy. Because of the number of sizes, minimum order weight per size, and setup charges, it is not economical for any one rodmaker to purchase on his own. This minimum order figure was over $9,000! A handful of rodmakers joined in with John and each bought a share and we were able to buy over $18,000 worth of NS tubing. Realizing that this buy was once in a lifetime opportunity, I bought a second share. This tube was that extra share and was available to rodmakers and sold out.
This Nickel Silver tubing was drawn to the exact specifications required for making Ferrules. When this supply is exhausted, there will be no more until someone else goes through the considerable time, effort, and expense required.
In 2009 and I did a 2nd NS tubing buy. However this time we could not afford to buy tubing in exact sizes. The cost of that is now over $100,000 and shares would be over $5,000 and closer to $6,000. We are now following the approach used by Dickerson, Payne and Leonard and have one larger size tube - so called Mother tube and be able to draw or push it down to the desired size. This method has the benefit of being able to have custom sizes. This is the cost effective method for rodmakers to obtain the ferrule tubing they desire.
Along with the NS tubing, the rodmaker needs a set of dies and mandrels with which to draw the tubing down to a desired size. The die controls the OD and the mandrel the ID of the drawn tubing. Historically these dies were shop made from steel. However, today the desired material for these dies is carbide. They signigicantly reduce the amount of effort to draw and push tubing. They are polished to produce smooth surface on the tube. Finding a source of carbide dies has been problematic because most shops will not deal with a "small" order of a handful of dies. We found a local source for these carbide dies. They are supurbly crafted and will not wear and last a life time or more.
The Group Buys are now Closed and we do not plan any more.
The favorite ferrule used for Bamboo Rodmaking today is the "Super Z". This ferrule was invented and patented by Luis B.Fieraband. He has never enforced this patent. I have a copy of the diagram of basic dimensions that he used in his patent available below for download. This should assist you in your ferrule making.
Here are two different Internet sources I have found for the solder, flux, tourches, charcoal blocks and other accessories that are required for ferrule making. Most of the supplies required are available from Jewelry making supply sources.