Another reel by Terry from Idaho. He has been busy designing and making one-off reels for his own use. I think this one is just slightly larger than his first reel. Pictures and captions below by Terry.
Here a 1-1/4” long piece of aluminum is being cut off of a 12” long billet of 3.5” diameter 6061 aluminum in my horizontal band saw.
Editor’s comment: For someone just starting out in reel making, a metal cutting bandsaw does not have to be at the top of your tool list. Vendors like Online Metals will cut bar stock to custom lengths.
Now about ½ of the sides are cut out of the reel frame. Note the 2 holes drilled in the top of the reel frame to the right of the area that has already been cut out. These holes are the alignment for the milling cutter to start to cut out the right side of the reel frame.
Interface of the reel foot and frame. On this reel, I cut a radius in the bottom of the reel foot that fits the outside radius of the reel frame. I think this makes the reel slightly stronger since I did not remove any material from the outside of the reel frame so the reel foot could fit in a slot. This just leaves a little more depth of aluminum material where the screws that hold the reel seat in place pass through the frame.
Editor comment: This is a small but important detail. The securing screws need to have about 3 threads engagement into the reel frame, and making the interface curved helps. It is also possible to turn the screws around, threading into the foot from inside the frame. I did this on my “Reel 37”. Had to fabricate a long countersink to reach across the frame.