The Van Buren New York Reel

The reel is nearing completion so I’ll start to post photos showing how I put it together. I started with the front plate. This is a hollow chamber that contains the transmission for the multiplier and the stop latch. After close scrutiny of the original, I determined that the case was turned on a lathe. I started with a 1″ long piece of 2″ brass rod. After facing both ends, I hollowed the backside of the plate. Once hollowed, I cut the front plate from the bar and held it in the lathe chuck to face the cut end. I then turned to the thickness of plate and left a little protrusion for the bullet area in the middle that covers the spindle. I carefully lathe file the bullet shaped profile to match the original. Finally, I rounded over the edge and cut the decorative grooves on the face and side wall using a very narrow “V” tipped graver. Here is the result:

Once the front plate was completed, I fabricated the back plate from the same 2″ bar. This plate has a small lip for the front plate to sit in to. The backside of it is also hollowed out to allow the spool side plate to recess in to it. Here are some photos of it:

And here are the parts assembled:

These are unfinished parts at this point. They will be polished and after the reel is assembled, distressed lightly to simulate usage.

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5 Comments on “The Van Buren New York Reel”

  1. royce Says:

    Michael … this needs to go in your next book. Splendid work.

  2. mljhackney Says:

    Thanks Royce. It is a great learning process! I am trying to duplicate the construction techniques of the original based on tooling marks, etc. I do think I am going to have to make several of these.

  3. John e Says:

    oh, wow….nice work, Michael! I’m anxious to see the final product mounted on the rod!

  4. mljhackney Says:

    Me too John! Have you mailed it yet? I will take LOTS of photos of the rod, reel and line together.

  5. Jeff Says:

    Great post nice job thats a real labor of love to do that will be back to check out more. Make sure you show us the finished product.


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