Bronze Frame Reel – Front End Ring

The North Branch Reels metal shop is not yet back in operation after its relocation from Michigan to New Mexico. I have unpacked almost all the moving boxes and built two new workbenches.

Here you see the mill on one bench, waiting to be lifted onto its chip pan. The elephant in the room is a large woodworking project that is occupying the second bench (foreground). The metal shop will wait until this is finished.

So I have had little new blog material for some time. This seems to be a good time to go through the drawings for my current reel design, which I will refer to as the “Bronze Frame Reel”. Over the past two years I have made many posts about these reels. It may be called “Reel 44” in some places.

The drawings to come describe two reel sizes, which I designate as “5 weight” and “3 weight”. They originally appeared in this blog on 29 May 2014 and 14 July 2014.

I have not gotten around to making an overall assembly drawing, but the design is simple and there are many photos in this blog.

Here are the two sizes of front end ring. I have been making them from c544 bronze, which is available only as round bar stock. You can buy 2.5 inch diameter from On Line Metals. For 3 inch diameter, go to a specialist metal supplier like Farmers Copper.

Handling and sawing the large diameter rod stock is difficult; you might consider making the part from brass flat bar.

Dates of earlier blog posts on making this part:
17 May 2015, 24 Feb 2015, 11 Dec 2014, 30 Sept 2014, 12 July 2012, 12 Nov 2011
Use the “Archives” pull-down box on the right side of this screen to quickly locate past articles.

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4 Responses to Bronze Frame Reel – Front End Ring

  1. William OBrien says:

    Thanks for your new messages.

    Your bronze designs are truly a work of art !

    As an arts educator, I appreciate all of the work you have put into them.

    Although they are a little beyond my financial means, this doesn’t mean I can’t admire them.

    Keep up the beautiful work. They are the best examples of form and function.


    Bill O’Brien

  2. says:

    Dave Good to see you are getting settled. Had a Grayrock board call with Richard last Sunday and he mentioned you had sold your Lovells home. Congratulations. Have you had a chance to fish there in NM yet?

    Am making a batch of your 5wt raised pillar reel in brass with bronze reel foot. First batch entirely made with my new Tormach 770 with Rapid Turn. I am using AutoDesk’s Fusion 360 CAD/CAM for all the parts. The reel foot was a pretty complicated part to CAD and CAM but it worked out really well and is very accurate and very little handwork after machining.

    By the way on the plans it looks to me like dimensions on the hole spacing for the pillars that hold the reel foot are off. I changed them to coincide with the foot spacing.

    Well it is snowing here right now but so far it’s been a pretty mild winter. Good seeing and reading your posts again and glad you are getting settled.


    Sent from my iPad


    • dave49 says:

      Hi Greg, thanks for the note. I am really pleased to hear of your CAM venture. I do not plan to follow this path myself, but it is clearly an option for the hobby machinist.
      Have not been fishing in NM yet, but expect to get out in Feb.
      On the 4 screws that secure the foot to pillars, their centers are the corners of a rectangle .500 by .230 inch. I am blind to the drawing error, if any, so give me a little more info.

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