Category Archives: Abrading

Rotary Tumbling

Since I began making reels in 2011, I have been using a vibratory tumbler to finish parts. This is effective for aluminum and brass reel parts when used with”plastic pyramids” media. A typical part would get 4 hours of vibration, … Continue reading

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Making a Washer Flat

At the base of the spindle, my reels have a thrust washer. It is meant to take any axial forces generated during cranking. If this washer is thicker on one side than on the other, the spindle will not sit … Continue reading

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Aluminum Finishing

By now I have made enough reel parts of aluminum to have established a routine procedure for finishing. My goal is to arrive at a finish that is uniform but not highly reflective. If the aluminum is shiny before anodizing, … Continue reading

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Abrasive Grits

A recent discussion at Reelsmithing caused me to think about the size of abrasive grits and the roughness of the surface that they would produce. My intuition was that an abrasive particle of 0.001 inch diameter might produce a surface … Continue reading

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Sole of the Foot

The AFFTA standard for fly reel feet calls for a 0.350 radius on the bottom. It seems strange that they chose this decimal fraction of an inch; why not 11/32 so the radius can be cut with an 11/16 ball … Continue reading

Posted in Abrading, Foot | 5 Comments

Finishing Plastic

To finish metals, I often use wet/dry sandpaper. The finest grit that I have on hand is 2000. That seems to me to be fine enough for metals; I don’t really want a mirror finish. But when I have tried … Continue reading

Posted in Abrading, Materials | 2 Comments

Metal Finishing

When I made my first reel, I used wet/dry sandpaper to remove tool marks on the aluminum parts. On lathe parts such as rings and spool ends, I started with 320 grit and progressed through 600 and 1200 and ended … Continue reading

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