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Has anyone tried the 303 stainless steel for reel seat hardware? Sounds like it's pretty easy to turn. Is it a bright color?

Also, I ran across a new R405 Nickel. It's supposed to be easier to machine than the 400 Monel.

Any idea what these metals look like? How they machine? How they would hold up for reel seat material? Any information would be helpful!

Would either of these make good metal for reel seat hardware? These both come in hex and that would be good for my "No Knurl" hardware. I prefer nickel silver, but to get it in 3/4" hex, I haven't enough money to invest in precious metals! And it's time consuming to mill the hex into the round stock.  (David Dziadosz)

    I make reel seat hardware out of 303 stainless steel for the same reason you mention. NS is just too darn expensive.  The one thing to keep in mind when turning stainless is never let your tool get even a little dull. Stainless will work-harden under a dull tool and make things difficult for you. I also make the female ferrule section on big rods from 303 stainless steel. I have a set of size 18 ferrules on a rod that use stainless for both male and female. They are working fine too.  (Jerry Drake)

      Jerry is correct in his assessment of 303 stainless. It is a variation of the standard 304 stainless which has a small amount of sulfur added to make the metal more brittle. This allows the chips formed when turning to break away rather than gum up on the tool. The appearance will be that of a bright, silvery metal that can be polished to a highly reflective luster if you want. Monel 405 is a similar free machining variation of Monel 400. It would work and look great, but it's 63% nickel. If you think NS is expensive...  Unless you can buy scrap cut off pieces somewhere, I would forget it.  (Tom Smithwick)

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