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Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:13 am 
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Hi Guys, I bought this reel last week, has anyone seen one of these with a finish like this on Aluminum?
Thanks
George




Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:34 am 
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George, it is a first version Blue Grass Reel Works model, offered in aluminum - a standard for that reel. The short lived company offered a German silver version for a few dollars more. You can read all about them on Ron's site here.


Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:19 pm 
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Jim/Ron, did these reels really some out of the factory with rough Aluminum like that or has George's reel spent some time in evil environments??! It did look like the reel in the ad for the aluminum model was certainly not smooth, but wonder if they were all that pitted.

Wonderful find, regardless, George! you have a toughie!


Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:38 pm 
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aluminum pits in alkaline water - a lime film on the surface will produce that result over time.
Not a lot was known about aluminum then, and its price was about the same as silver.
The Hall-Bayer process had only been refining aluminum since 1887.
Though it's the 4th most abundant element, aluminum comes from clay and very much wants to return.

Really great find and a keeper regardless.


Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:23 pm 
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You can etch aluminum like that with just a few months of fishing in saltwater.

Interesting that they kept the plated brass spool, posts and stand. Some other makers first use of aluminum were for spool flanges to improve casting distance.

Does anyone know how to identify or have a photo of Nickalum? I read it was an early nickel/aluminum alloy used in reels.

-steve


Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:24 pm 
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium_alloy
AA2218 92.5Al Cu 4.0; Mg 1.5;Ni 2
Nickel alumin, aka duralumin, has nothing to do with corrosion resistance. It's an early aircraft-grade forging alloy (pistons for radial aircraft engines).
The nickel is for formation of nickel-aluminide precipitates to limit grain flow, harden and strengthen the alloy.
It slightly decreases the corrosion resistance compared to AA10xx

One way to tell, if you dip it in vinegar bath, it will gradually form hydrogen bubbles on the exposed copper particles.

if you look at the list above, AA2024 was the alloy used for aircraft rolled sheet and used in Pflueger Medalist side plates.


Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:12 pm 
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Steve, I suspect those parts aren't plated...likely NS....all for the better!


Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:32 am 
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Thank you Ron. There sure a lot of different aluminum alloys. I should have known John. If the reel was that corroded the plating would be gone or at least thinned.
-steve


Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:06 am 
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Steve, aluminum is the stuff of airplanes, and it was WWI aircraft production that brought it into its own, and brought the price down. The alloys were developed over time with need - 6xxx essentially during WWII, and 7xxx and 8xxx in the jet age. Individual alloys were usually developed around the need for strength or forming characteristics for a single part. While there's science in metallurgy, its progress is still art.


Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:51 am 
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i thought I would resurrect this thread, since I have now had the reel in hand and been through it to investigate, clean and lube. The reel is now owned by Michael Nogay and we were both curious about what is up with this early reel.

I had romanticized that the rough finish was something intentionally created by bluegrass reel works, given the unique character it has with the stark contrast between the pitted side plates and the pristine NS components. However, after looking it over, i suspect that it was rescued after many moons under water or some place less than proper for storage. Whether the original owner was able to polish the original NS components (certainly possible given its resistance to degradation) or subbed in from another reel is unknown. However, the spool, gears, pillars, etc are all compatible with this frame, which would not be the norm if from another reel. In any event, here's how the reel is put together. Note the raised areas around the pillar attachment points...I thought those might be molding artifacts at first, but after seeing the pitting up close and also pitting over decorative edging, I concluded the raised areas represent protection of the side plates by the pillars and it all happened later:




Final cleanup still produced a really nice early #33 for Mike's shelf!







Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:32 am 
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Dr. Elder did his usual great dissection of the reel. I think John was particularly insightful to note that the aluminum pitting along the decorative edge indicates it was not designed that way.

One last point- the orginal headline for this thread is misleading. This is not a “Blue Grass” reel which was a less expensive, “mid-grade” offering some years later by B.F. Meek & Sons. Horton Mfg. of Bristol, CT also used that Blue Grass reel stamp into the 1930s.

Rather, this is a much rarer, earlier reel of “Blue Grass Reel Works.” According to Ron Gast’s website, BGRW was only in existence from 1899 to 1903. Luresnreels.com shows a photo example of a BGRW No. 33, circa 1900, but only in nickel silver and not in aluminum. The ad from Outers Magazine showing a BGRW No. 33 in aluminum is dated 1899.

In fact, the first ORCA newsletter published in January, 1991 at page 4 lists the approximate dates for each maker stamp.
Link: https://luresnreels.com/orcanumber1.pdf


Last edited by Mike N on Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:21 pm 
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I took the liberty of adding Reel Works to the title, to help with later searches....thanks for pointing that out, Mike!


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