Bent reel handle restoration

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Paul M
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Bent reel handle restoration

Post by Paul M »

Just out of curiosity, what "safe" methods are there, if any, recommended for straightening bent reel handles and knob spindles? I imagine a wide edged vice would be a good tool for a bent handle. Also, I suppose that the stress of bending various metals back into line will reduce strength. I guess I am more concerned about old brass reel handles, like on NY style reels. Is there something posted here on the website or is this a new topic to consider?

Don Champion
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Post by Don Champion »

Paul, the way I do this seems a little crude but it works. If it's the handle, I support the handle with a piece of wood under each side of the bend, with the high side of the bend in the up position. I place another small piece of wood right on top of the highest point of the bend and hit it lightly with a hammer. Then I check it with a metal straight edge. I use a 6" scale but anything straight will work. I may have to work on it several times to get it straight. Better to take it easy rather than overbend it and have to go the other way. For handle knobs I clamp the handle in a non-maring surface and put what I call a deep-well socket wrench over it. Then I just use finger pressure to move it back into place. Brass can take quite a bit of stress. Just don't overdo it. I have to yet break or damage a handle this way.

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Paul M
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a bigger challenge

Post by Paul M »

OK Don. Thank you. Now how about a slightly more difficult challenge... How about a strategy to straighen this brass handle. Is the approach more or less the same?

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Last edited by Paul M on Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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john elder
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Post by john elder »

wow, Paul...I'm trying to envision the force it took to tweek that round handle that way! I'm betting that's a fisherman's modification...if that bend had occurred in action on the reel, I would think it would have trashed the drive spindle, as well!

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Paul M
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Post by Paul M »

Hey John:
That's not my reel. It's an example from a current e-Bay sale. You make a good point I hadn't considered. I wonder if the gears have bent, too?

Regards,
PM

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Reelman
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Post by Reelman »

Looks like he dropped it a few to many times

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Post by Don Champion »

Paul - pretty much the same. Just support the handle with a small piece of wood under where it attaches to the gear and another under the handle knob. Brass bends easier than you would think.

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gadabout
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Post by gadabout »

Well here's a method that I've used with good results on handles which have two knobs that are relatively small, as on a typical baitcasting reel. I take a block of hardwood and drill two holes that are large enough to accept the knobs and at the same spacing that the knobs are spaced on the handle. The depth of the holes should be at least the length of the knobs. Then I put the handle on the block of wood with the knobs in the two holes. Then I take another block of hardwood and use it to make a "sandwhich" with the handle in between the two blocks of wood. This whole thing goes into a vise which clamps down on the sandwhich and straightens out the handle when you tighten it up.
Last edited by gadabout on Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Paul M
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Post by Paul M »

Thanks Gadabout. With a couple of diagrams or pictures, that would make a nice article in the Reel News.

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Jason
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Post by Jason »

Or you can just hit it with a hammer. Good as new.

Brass bends easy and that reel probably weights close to 2 lbs. Bent handles are pretty common with ball handle reels.

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Post by Araye50 »

My 2 cents based on the photo of the actual bend. IMO it appears that the handle's center 'stub axle' (or possibly even the main shaft) may be bent, in addition to the round handle itself. Its unclear how/if the handle comes apart. Its often considerably harder to successfully straighten a bent 'stub axle' than just saving a bend handle 'blade'. One nerve wrenching trick I've used is to gently use lever/wedge in this instance. Cover, reinforce & protect the side plate, using a substantial bit of metal for a fulcrum & attempt to apply force (opposite of what bent it) using flat blade screwdrivers to pry and/or wedge what's bent, with handle in place.

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BirdDog
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Post by BirdDog »

Here is a quick sketch that I threw together from Gadabouts description. Let me know if I am on track with the drawing based on the description?

BirdDog


Image

Image
Last edited by BirdDog on Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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gadabout
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Post by gadabout »

Persactly!

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BirdDog
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Post by BirdDog »

Great

I did notice that on the bottom drawing. I failed to add a hole in the top piece to accept the ball portion. I will attempt to modify the drawing when time allows.

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BirdDog
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Post by BirdDog »

I added an edited picture to the above

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Paul M
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Post by Paul M »

Nice job. Thanks.

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BirdDog
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Post by BirdDog »

No Problem, glad to be able to help

Don

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