I started by cutting the two 8" discs from the 3/8" plywood stock for the spool sides.  Drill six 1/2" holes centered 2-1/4" out from the center of the discs and spaced equally around the discs at 60ยบ intervals.  Drill these holes through both discs at the same time to insure that the holed are lined up to accept the 1/2" hardwood former dowels.  They must be drilled vertically.  I used a drill press.  You can use a hand drill if you are careful.

Drill holes through the exact centers of the discs again drilling them at the same time and vertically to insure that they are lined up.  These holes will accommodate the metal tubing for the 3/8" carriage bolt spool axle.

Cut six lengths of 1/2" hardwood dowel each 2-1/4" long.  These are the spool formers.  Insert them into the sides of the discs using a waterproof glue to hold them in place.  I left a smidgen of each dowel stick out of both discs so that they could be nice and flush with the surfaces after final sanding.

Epoxy the metal tubing in place that the axle bolt goes through.

Drill a hole through one of the discs between two adjacent dowel former rods to accept the bolt that will hold the 1" wood ball crank knob.  Mount the crank knob.  Set the spool assembly aside today.

Now would be the logical time to make the additional spools because you have the tools and materials at hand.  I was anxious to see how the finished product turned out so I only made one spool.

The next step is the 3/4" plywood handle assembly.  Cut it out according to the drawing.  You would want to size and contour the hand grip to be comfortable for your hand.  Drill the holes for the 3/8" spool axle bolt and the 1/4" spool stop/wrist strap.  Drill the holes for the line guide mounting bolts.  Round the edges of the plywood handle assembly.
Cut the line guide from the 1/16" aluminum strap.  Other materials could be used for the line guide; stainless steel or a strong springy plastic.  This "pack rat" had the aluminum strap material in the old goat shed so that is what I used.  Be sure that the oval hole on the tip that your line goes through has no rough edges.  You don't want to fray and weaken your high dollar braided Dacron flying line.

At this point you might want to seal the plywood spool and handle with a good grade of polyurethane finish.  This will keep moisture and dirt from damaging the plywood and bring out the nice grain of the wood.  Before you apply the finish make sure the wood is sanded as smooth as silk.  You might want to apply a wood filler first.  Give the wood at least two or three thin coats of polyurethane to protect it.  Don't forget to do the crank knob.  Follow the instructions provided by the polyurethane manufacturer.

Now it all comes together.  Insert the 3/8" x 4" carriage bolt axle through the 3/4" plywood handle.  Remove some wood from the handle so that the collar on the head of the carriage bolt is recessed into the handle.  Slip on a flat washer and a 3/8" thin wall nut to hold the carriage bolt axle in place.

Now for the spool interchangability feature.  Slip another flat washer on top of the thin wall nut.  Mount the spool.  Slip another flat washer on top of the spool.  You must drill a hole through the 3/8" axle bolt to accept the hitch pin.  The pin will keep the spool(s) in place.  Keep in mind that your spools may vary slightly in thickness.  The hitch pin should hold the spool neither too tight nor too loose.  Remove the carriage bolt for drilling.  Reassemble and insert the hitch pin.  Place a vinyl end cap over the tip of the axle bolt.  The spool retainer is finished.

Slip the line guide into the slot on the tip of the handle assembly.  Drill the two mounting holes in the line guide and bolt in place using flat washers under the nuts.

Insert a length of 1/4" braided nylon line (or a leather thong) through the hole in the butt of the reel grip.  Knot the two ends together so that the loop will fit snugly over the crank knob ball and keep the spool from turning during your flying sessions.  Your sky reel is finished.

I put 1000 feet of 75# braided Dacron on my spool.  There is room for another 1000 feet.  Any more than that and you might consider filing a flight plan with the FAA to enter the astronaut program.  Remember having fun and sharing is what it is all about.

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