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Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:46 am 
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What is the chemical composition of the hard rubber used in fishing reels? I've used Devcon 80 for repairing steering wheels, making knobs and gas/brake/clutch pedals, etc and fiddled with bakelite but I'm thinking of molding some reel side plates.

?


Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:56 am 
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The sulfur percentage and the applied temperatures and duration during vulcanizing are the main variables that determine the technical properties of the hard rubber polysulfide elastomer. The occurring reaction is basically addition of sulfur at the double bonds, forming intramolecular ring structures, so a large portion of the sulfur is highly cross-linked in the form of intramolecular addition.
I couldn't put it better. Basically, it's vulcanized tree sap w. ca. 1/3 sulfur. U don't just mix a few chemicals. Mfrs used various methods to make it and sold it under various brand names. It's obvious that reelmakers used various brands.


Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:51 pm 
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Among the ORCA membership there are a number of reel makers creating new high end reels in the traditional hard rubber sided styles and doing superb repairs to broken old reels too. I typically see their posts about such activities on Facebook invitation-only type groups for reel makers. Perhaps one of them would be willing to reveal sources of their raw materials and from that figure out what they are actually using from a compound perspective. I don't know if any of those folks actually make their own compounds or just buy ingots, dowels or whatever form the bulk material comes in. If nobody shows up to comment I can name a few names.


Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:36 pm 
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I promise that I won't just mix a bunch of chemicals. Scouts honor.

So, the compositions varied by manufacturer and likely also over time. Might be interesting to run various pieces through the gas mass spec just to see.

Due to some of the difficulties keeping densities and hardness uniform my guess is that the production of side plates likely were either molded then machined, others just machined out of sheet stock? Then set in a jig drilling to receive other components?


Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:46 am 
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Compared to bakelite, hard rubber is not very stable over time and tends to shrink. It does not mill or machine as well either and can't take the heat. These days, there are plenty of resins that are easier and less hazardous to work with than either hard rubber or bakelite.
-steve


Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:50 am 
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I promise that I won't just mix a bunch of chemicals. Scouts honor.
I believe you, but your original post made it sound as if you would be trying to cook up some Ebonite in your microwave.

By the time (1870s) HR came into use for reels (well after Parkesine), it was being manufactured here and overseas. Reelmakers probably had a substantial choice of products from which to mill parts. Seems highly unlikely that any reelmakers would have been making their own HR, though Fowler probably had some say in the formula for the HR he used for his reels.


Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:01 pm 
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I understood some current reel makers have used old bowling balls.
I have an old black ball with green/pink/white swirls that I think would make very interesting sideplates.

Dennis


Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:22 pm 
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I doubt Bowling balls got high quality hard rubber

But ofcource its possible to make sideplates from it.

I have used old hard rubber from germany for sideplate repairs and it worket well

Nikko ebonite from japan has very good reputation. I have a sheet and a round bar from them
but havent tried it yet

Johan


Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:30 pm 
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Johan:
How do you cut the bowling ball for making sideplates etc without hurting yourself? A heavy round object is hard to control. Also are you talking about the large 10 pin style balls or the smaller balls seen in European pubs?


Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:05 pm 
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Paul M wrote:Johan:
How do you cut the bowling ball for making sideplates etc without hurting yourself? A heavy round object is hard to control. Also are you talking about the large 10 pin style balls or the smaller balls seen in European pubs?


You must have missunderstood me .

I have never used bowling balls . I answered the post abow who heard reelmakers
were using bowling balls . I dont Think its good quality hard rubber in bowling balls but it is
" possible " to make side plates from it . And there are many cool colours on them :D

I have only used high quality hard rubber for my reel repairs .

All the best Johan


Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:14 pm 
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Voice of experience...don’t bother with bowling balls! The actual material one might use for a side plate is only on the outer shell...center is made of cork and other materials, depending on age. Given the curvature of the ball, by the time you have anything trued up enough to use, its too small to do other than make a reel like the ones in steve’s anti-big Reel post. I have pulled out a few pieces big enough to make grasps but even that is hard to do. It’s a Lot of work with a hack saw for very little gain.


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