"Mud"

A place for members who build, repair or work on rods and reels. Please tell us about yourselves, your services and products and feel free to post links to your website or blogs.

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mhackney
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#21

Post by mhackney »

Yes, those do look better. I like the upper left. It seems counter intuitive that finer particles look better. You would think that the fine grains would melt and blend together and not have distinctive color separation.

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Michael
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#22

Post by WatercolorMan »

John the last batch looks incredible, the more I find out about what was done to make the plates the more amazing it is. Showing 4 different Philbrook reels at the same time was very cool way to compare the results from the past.

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#23

Post by Holireels »

Thanks WatercolorMan.  I been working hard all weekend on this because I will be gone most all next week for Thanksgiving and Salmon fishing and wont get a chance to work on it for awhile.  My final job was to mold one of my aluminum reel side plates using my tooling that I made.  This is the back side of the reel and it has a slight protrusion stickingout.  I think it came out well.  Whats cool about this stuff is that all the reels will be slightly different from all others due to the mixing of the mud:

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#24

Post by reelhimin »

John, I would agree with Michael.  I think the upper left one looks the most authentic.  I think you have nailed it.  When you have time after Thanksgiving could you post comparison pictures of the two salmon reels.  Until you started posting the pictures of different reels I never realized the wide variance in the side plates.  Amazing progress John.
Gary.

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#25

Post by mhackney »

John, that molded plate in the frame is excellent. Very authentic looking pattern and quite attractive. I made up some batches of my mud compounds this weekend and will post details - but between work and Thanksgiving, this week is a bust!

I am compounding with calcium carbonate (350 mesh) and I plan to try the wood flour too. It will be interesting to compare these materials. Perhaps we can arrange a trade, I'll send you a sample disk of mine if you send me one of yours!?

It would be an amazing thing to try to catalog all of the known marbled side plate reels. No doubt they are all different! Not only because of the nature of the material, but I can just imagine the builders were trying new things all the time to see what looked good. In Hoagy's book, 8 by Carmichael, he mentions that Payne (I think it was) preferred the look of the black ebonite over the marbled red and black! I really like the fact that you can manipulate the material and make each unique. That's a big part of why I am interested in this. The dyed and stabilized wood burls that I've developed for my reels are attractive (in a different way) but I am at the mercy of the supplier and the material.

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Cheers,
Michael
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#26

Post by cwfly »

Gentlemen:
I find it a privilege to follow your intense curiosity, detailed experimentation and skilled craftsmanship. It is especially interesting since it looks back to Mssrs. Philbrook & Payne [aka Paine] with that question: “how did they do that?”Thanks very much, Charlie
"History has a beloved cousin who has the family eyes and nose
but is a rather different creature - myth." Ken Cameron,
The American Fly Fisher, v. 28, n. 1, Winter, 2002, (AMFF, Manchester, Vt., 2002).

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#27

Post by mhackney »

I just returned from my Thanksgiving weekend to find Hoagy's box of P&P parts and tools waiting for me! It's an interesting assortment of parts and I will dilligenty photograph them and post. The marbled reel plates are small. There is one complete reel frame without spool and 2 other small but different sized plates. My hands were shaking as I unwrapped them!


There are a 2 unfinished feet - 1 nickel silver and one bronze. There is also another larger frame with a black side plate that appears to be molded in and may be mud. Also some handle cranks and 1 marbled grasp. Some springs too and a click gear.


There is what i believe to be a lathe plate for trurning the mid size raised pillar frames and side plates. The other tool is. A simple iron circle with a circular depression. It is drilled for the raised pillar post holes. It appears to be a mud mold but it is rather rough/pitted. I need to scrutinize these items mor closely under magnification.


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Michael
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#28

Post by Holireels »

Michael,

Thats awesome!  Look forward to the future post.  Did you contact Kevin Callaway?  The one side frame he had looked to have some tooling pins in it that Kevin thought might locate the side frame to the iron mold.  Be cool to see if these lined up. 

John

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#29

Post by mhackney »

I emailed Kevin and have not heard back. I'll resend tomorrow. There is a mid size frame with a black side plate that fits the lathe plate and the holes in the iron "mold". I hope I can get the rest of Hoagy's collection from Kevin to check all this!


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Michael
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#30

Post by Holireels »

Michael,

Something that Mark from ArtPlastics turned me onto is a vulcanzing press that Jewlers use.  This is basically the same press as the old timers, but instead of steam heated platens, it uses electrically heated platens.  I'm currently bidding on one of these right now and it seems the price ranges from $99 -$750.  This will allow for uniform heat on both sides of the mold.  Temperature range is something like 150F - 550F This could be used for both the "Mud" and for messing around with vulcanizing colored rubber.  Mark stated that you can get powdered rubber in various colors, so that might be a worth looking into as well.  The platens on the one I'm looking at are 8" x 5.5", which will suffice for size requirements.  Something to toy around with??

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#31

Post by ttrotter »

Guys, this is superb collaborative work and the end result is truly remarkable. I'm really enjoying this thread and appreciate you folks sharing with all of us.

Kind regards,

Tom

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mhackney
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#32

Post by mhackney »

Thanks Tom.


John, that is very cool! I don't know how those didn't show up on my radar! I found the device you have in the large photo. That's a great price for a new machine if it works. I found a couple of other lower price used, made in the USA machines that look interesting too. I think these could have a lot of utility! I am/was going down the path of building something that is the same in principle but with only a lower heated platen using the cartridge heaters (2) that I got from McMaster Carr and using my bamboo oven PIM and thermocouple for temp control.


I might pick one of these up to save considerable time (my most precious commodity right now)!


cheers,

Michael
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#33

Post by mhackney »

I finally got some time in the shop to start making and molding some mud! Here are some photos of my grinder and ground shellac and rosin.

Grinding shellac to a fine powder. I am going to motorize this grinder though, it's a lot of cranking!Image

Grinder, this one works very well.Image

Here is the grinder disassembled to clean.Image

Closeup of the business end. This is a hardened steel and replaceable.Image

Here are some of the other mud making materials I ordered to experiment with. From left to right:Yellow Carnauba Wax, Refined Candelilla Wax, Singapore Damar, Gum Rosin WW Grade, Rosin FF Grade, Gum Benzoin Resin
These are all materials that were readily available in the 19th century and appear in mud formulations and writings. Most are lower melting point (than shellac) and would be added to get the composition melting point down low enough to be moldable at steam temperatures (212°F/100°C).
Image

Gum Rosin chunks. This stuff smells sweet! It must be broken up in to smaller chunks in a mortar & pestle before putting in the grinder. It is soft and grinds easily though.Image

I am going to start making compounds in black and red tomorrow and hopefully press some disks.
Cheers,Michael
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#34

Post by mhackney »

Here are the softening and melting points for the materials I am testing:
Shellac - melting point 65-80°CYellow Carnauba Wax - melting point 83-86°C
Refined Candelilla Wax - melting point slightly lower than Carnauba Wax
Gum Rosin WW Grade - (palest grade) melting point ~ 169°F/76°C
Rosin FF Grade - (darker grade, bow rosin) melting point ~ 169°F/76°C
Singapore Damar - softening point is 67-75° C., melting point 99-115° C
Gum Benzoin Resin - quite soft at 75° C. and fluid at 100° C
Of course, these are rough values since these are complex mixtures and natural materials.
regards,Michael
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#35

Post by Holireels »

Michael,

Good start.  Check out this unit on the "bay":  Rock Crush, Pulverizer, Grinder:  This bench top electric grinder will take 3/4" rock down to 150, then to 400, and to Talc Powder, if so desired, plus the bucket/catch is very nice/clean.  Looks to be a nice system. 
Image

This would be a nice upgrade to the coffee/wheat grinders, plus, once you determine the correct mixture, you could make a large batch at one time.  The little grinders we are using take time to use, plus you are limited to very small batches.  Might be fun to mess around with.

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#36

Post by mhackney »

Wow! I did buy a used vulcanizer on "that auction site" this week. Should be here next. That should be pretty useful. I'll have to look at these units. One can never have too many tools!


cheers,

Michael
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#37

Post by mhackney »

I just finished compounding some black and red Mud. Here are the details:
1) I weighed out 40 gms of Shellac in a container
2) added 10 gms of Gum Rosin WW grade
3) added 100 gm of 325 micron Calcium Carbonate (see photo 1)

Photo 1 - 40 gms Shellac (golden material), 10 gms Gum Rosin WW (white material) in container at left. I only used 100 gms of the 150 gms of Calcium CarbonateImage

4) put lid on container and mixed by shaking and rotating for several minutes
5) divided in to 2 batches (75 gms for black and 75 gms for red mud)
6) added 2 gms of lamp black one batch (see photo 2) and remixed in container

Photo 2 - Materials and lamp black mixed together. At this stage, it is very light grey. Will it turn black?Image
7) melt tested some of the uncolored mixture (see photo 3), I used my PID to control the hot plate

Photo 3 - Melt testImage

8 ) added the black Mud compound to an 8" teflon coated frying pan and put on hot plate, slowly increased the temperature in 10°F increments to 300°F, at which pointthe material started to melt and blend (with constant stirring using a high temp silicon spatula) (see photo 4)

Photo 4 - Black Mud Forming!Image

9) I stirred the thick Mud for several minutes to make sure it was well mixed, the color was a deep black
10) removed the pan from the hot plate and allowed to cool

I then repeated steps 6 to 10 but used Red Oxide coloring. See photos 5 and 6. The powdered red pre-mud is a light pink.
Photo 5 - Red Mud MixtureImage

Photo 6 - Red MudImage

When the batches were cool in the pan, I flexed the spatula and the Mud flaked off. I placed it and the entire pan in a 1 gallon freezer ziplock bag, turned it over, and hit the bottom of the pan sharply with a wood mallet. Almost all of the Mud popped out of the pan in to the bag. A few more blows and it was all removed. Did the same with the red.
Some observations:
  1. the Gum Rosin has a most pleasant sweet fragrance!
  2. I bumped the temp up to 360° F for the red batch. It melted and blended much quicker and easier.
  3. I am not sure about the red color. It may look fine when mixed with black to make the marbleized plates but in the pan it looks too "brown". Red Oxide is a very common and old pigment though, so we'll see.
  4. For grins, I mixed some pure shellac with Mixol Oxide Red (#04) liquid dye and Mixol Orange (#18) liquid dye to test the color. The photo (7) is probably not going to show the difference well, but the orange dye is a bit brighter and may be a better option. This is the same dye that John used for his "red". I am going to figure out what pigment is used in this dye and try to find a natural powder to use.
  5. I snapped a large piece of the black Mud just to test its strength. It was about 3/32" thick. It was quite tough!
Photo 7 - Orange on top, Red Oxide on the bottom. You can see the very minor residue from the black Mud left in the pan.Image

Next up, grinding the Mud and molding!
cheers,Michael
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#38

Post by Whitefish Press »

Wow. Fascinating stuff, Michael!


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mhackney
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#39

Post by mhackney »

Holreels aka John started this Mud stuff. Check on the related threads and see the beautiful marbled plates he's molding! I'm making a mold now and my vulcanizer should arrive just in time to try it out. Meanwhile I am going to make another barch using wood flour, another traditional filler in Mud formulations.


Cheers,

Michael
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#40

Post by mhackney »

I have been doing some more research on shellac based molding compounds and found some interesting information. First up. I live in MA - just north west of Boston. Charles Goodyear moved to Woburn, MA to research his rubber vulcanization process that no one back home would pay attention to (I knew that).  
First up: here is a great link to a Powerpoint presentation from the University of Lowell Plastic Engineering Department on The History of Plastics. Slide 3 shows an original compression mold and a brush made from it from 1866 that was molded from a shellac based molding compound known as Florence Compound (due to its development in Florence, MA). The compound's inventor, Alfred Critchlow, founded the Pro Molding Corporation in 1847, thought to be the first plastics molding company in the US. (sidebar - Leominster, MA is known as "The Plastics City". It is in central MA near me.)  Critchlow and Samual Peck are given credit for Florence Compound. The rest of this presentation is very interesting too. Florence Compound is a mixture of shellac, resins,and wood flour and colored with lamp black and other coloring agents.
Next: Critchlow was an immigrant from Birmingham, England. He has a rather fascinating life (considering the century) having started a wooden button company, inventing Florence Compound, sold the molding business and bought a woolen mill where he manufactured the first vegetable ivory buttons in the US. He was a true 19th century entrepreneur. This link from the Plastics Historical Society shows a photo of Critchlow. The reference also says he experimented with gutta percha (rubber). In his 1856 patent #15,915 related to Union Case hinges, Critchlow artfully dodges any clarification on the molding compound: 
"The kind of daguerreotype or picture case, for which I have particularly devised my improvement is that which is common and well known, as being made of composition which when heated and in a soft state is pressed into a mold in order to form either half of the case. Now, this composition is usually composed of various materials, well &nown to those whose business it is to manufacture such cases."
Critchlow was also active on the Underground Railroad and employed fugitive slaves.
Florence, where Critchlow experimented and invented Florence Compound, was an early American manufacturing center. Samual Whitmarch establishe a silk mill along the Mill River (where I sometimes fish!) in 1837. He actually raised imported silkworms on homegrown mulberry leaves! I know there was another early silk center in Ct but was not aware of a connection to MA. This mill ultimately became the Nonotuck Silk Co and produced Coricelli brand silk. I believe Corticelli silk was used for fishing leaders and perhaps rod wrappings (but I need to research that).
It is interesting threading this history together! If only I had this level of interest in my High School and College History classes!
cheers,Michael
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