Restoration of Reels

You got 'em, we know how to clean 'em
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Nemo
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Restoration of Reels

Post by Nemo »

I am sure that there are differing opinions on the care of the reels we collect and how we should restore them. One thing that I should say about my idea of restoring reels. I think just like a person who got a 1923 vintage race car. I want to keep it as original as possible. However I want it to be in working condition and if possible like new condition. I do not have a problem with replacing parts as long as they match what was removed and have similar marking or lack there of. If I had a very corroded old reel I would re- chrome the reel if I thought it would be economical for me to do so. I would seek to chrome the reel with similar techniques using modern machines. This is the common thought of how to restore machines in this country and in the countries museums. You go to the Smithsonian and look at the trains or steam engines and you will see fully restored and often functioning machines. I think documentation is a very good idea and increased the value of a reel or any restored artifact. I write down every detail of my restoration process and when and where I bought the reel. I don’t like the word Patina. It is a word that is used by antique dealers who do not have the time or desire to clean what they sell. With furniture you want to have the older look of an aged piece. Removing the original finish decreased the desirability and value of the piece. On a machine patina is just dirt, grime and corrosion. I want my reels as clean, shiny and functional as they were when they were new.

Ron Mc
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Post by Ron Mc »

I believe its better to not try replating (nickel) on the reels.
Get them as clean as you can and keep the patina intact.

as everybody knows, I'm a fan of using diluted vinegar to clean old reels.

Nemo
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Post by Nemo »

I use lime-a-way gell and a tooth brush and then I use auto wax on the surface for a sealer.

I would only replate a reel if i could it cheeper than buying new replcement parts and I was intent on using the reel for fishing. I would not plate a pre war reel or replace corroded parts. I would replace broken or missing parts.

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m3040c
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restoration

Post by m3040c »

I think that restoration is a personal thing. It can be carried to a point of insanity where the piece winds up better than when it was brand new. That happens in the car world all the time and I see it happening in the reel world too. I personally don't do that. I believe that a good clean functioning piece is the beginning. But also, when I see a beatifully restored Vom Hofe, I am impressed and and I also know that some person spent hours detailing it. That is not an easy task and should have some value.

There are collectors that leave the reels as they found them and collectors that make them look like they are gleaming pieces of art. It is the old "Eye of the Beholder" thing. One thing is for sure, patina is patina and not dirt, grime and greese. As many collectors have shown, polish up a brass reel to where it looks like shiny new gold and put it on a shelf. In a few years of exposer to air it will have a patina. That has a value too.


---------------TO EACH HIS OWN---------------------

Don Champion
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Post by Don Champion »

Nemo, Mike,
I agree with both of you. I believe it was Milton Lorens who once described patina as "crud". When You first get a reel and it hasn't been cleaned, it has dirt, slime & whatever from fish & bait and a host of other things we don't want to even think about. I like to remove all that and return the reel to it's original state, if at all possible, using replacement parts. After that, if the metal darkens over the years, so be it.
Don

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