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Mitchell Reel Museum Discussion Group

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:52 pm • #  
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I've lost track of how many Mitchell's I have opened up over the years. Some I'm certain had never been apart, but many had been prior to my getting them, and I have seen a lot of different colored grease with various consistencies.

I know what the original grease looks like, both when it is still very clean, and what it looks like when it is dirty and dried out, but I got to wondering if Mitchell used one particular grease since they started, or if there were different variations ?

While I don't think it is likely that Mitchell made their own grease,
I guess it is possible, but I am also wondering if the grease they used was specially made for them, or if they found a regular production grease that they liked to use, or did they actually make their own grease ? Or does anyone actually know ?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:07 pm • #  
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Mike, I don't know the answer to most of your questions, but I do know that any reel from 50s, 60s and 70s that I've deemed (NOS/never opened) as original grease has all been the amber colored grease...

Sandman


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:16 pm • #  
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Mike 408,
I guess the only way to ever know what grease was used on the assembly line and any details about it, would be to find someone who actually was there, saw it, used it, and knew what kind and where it came from. :sFun_eyescan: Perhaps, someone who fits that description, is still living or their documentation of it exists. 8o

By the way, how can you tell if grease is the factory original grease? :sCo_hmmthink:

Kind Regards,
Bill :tup


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:20 pm • #  
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CDSAND7640 wrote:
Mike, I don't know the answer to most of your questions, but I do know that any reel from 50s, 60s and 70s that I've deemed (NOS/never opened) as original grease has all been the amber colored grease...

Sandman



That has been my experience too Sandman.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:40 pm • #  
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GreatLaker wrote:
Mike 408,
I guess the only way to ever know what grease was used on the assembly line and any details about it, would be to find someone who actually was there, saw it, used it, and knew what kind and where it came from. :sFun_eyescan: Perhaps, someone who fits that description, is still living or their documentation of it exists. 8o

By the way, how can you tell if grease is the factory original grease? :sCo_hmmthink:

Kind Regards,
Bill :tup



I think you are right Bill, although I thought there might be a possibility that one of the members here with more experience
than I have might have heard, or even read some info pertaining to the original grease, but in all honesty a lot of people probably never think about it.

As far as being able to tell if the grease is original or not, as Sandman mentioned, I have always gone by the color of the grease that I have found inside of reels that I was fairly certain had never been opened before, or at least never been thoroughly cleaned, removing the original grease. It seems to have a slightly different consistency to it as well compared to other similar greases.
I seem to remember pictures being shared on here showing the grease when a reel was opened up too but maybe I am mistaken.

I've seen the inside of numerous vary early Mitchell reels where
the grease has gotten very dark in color and become hard as well. I always guessed that it was a combination of age, lack of use, and possibly contamination by dirt, and or water over the years, but that is purely speculation on my part.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:47 am • #  
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I still had the remaining portion of the original tube of Garcia grease that came with my 300 back in 1974. It was a clear, translucent grease.
As far as I can tell, it seemed identical to the Abu Garcia grease that is currently sold on ebay by various sellers. That is what I'm using now.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:44 pm • #  
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Your post got me thinking. I also have a newer tube of ABU Garcia grease that is clear. Mine didn't come with a reel, I purchased it separately a few years back. I also have a small tube that is an older version that did come with a reel, but I haven't taken it out of the box or thought about it for quite awhile, so I don't remember off hand what year that particular reel was made, but I think it was early 60's.
That tube has never been opened, but I'm curious what color the grease is that is in that small tube ? Not curious enough to open the sealed tube though


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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 4:36 pm • #  
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By today's standards, the old grease that was used in Mitchell reels of the 50's and 60's is not very good at all. I think the original grease has a Lithium soap (not sure). It had a big problem with the oil separating out and the remainder getting hard. Lithium base grease is normally amber in color, but when the oil and base separates, the base soap turns dark and hard.

I see many old boxes that has oil stains on the bottom where the reel sits. The oils comes from the grease.


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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 10:41 pm • #  
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Mates,
See post below for more on Mitchell grease.
Its on the MITCHELL REEL TALK BOARD and titled: "Need Help Translating From original French to English". (Link may log you out so you must log back in to see the images)

viewtopic.php?f=65&t=6094

Kind Regards,
Bill :tup


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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 3:01 am • #  
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Excellent information Dolphin3111. I had never understood what happens with the original grease in old reels, but your explanation makes perfect sense.

As regards being able to identify factory original grease in old reels, it's just a matter of experience. It is something you get a feel for after a while. The general condition of the reel is a good clue, especially if it appears used or lightly used.

JF.


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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 5:11 am • #  
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This is an interesting topic. I have never given much thought to grease before.

I have opened 6 reels that I think are internally original and attach photos. The grease in the early reels is clearly as Dolphin3111 described, and hardens and darkens. Oil leaks out and spoils the boxes. They used very little grease in the early reels.

Mid-period reels have an amber grease used more liberally and it doesn't seem to harden as much.

Later reels have a much lighter semi-translucent grease in various colours including light and dark green and red. At one time a bead of grease/silicone was run around the joint of the housing and cover plate.

I'm sure members can supply pictures of other reels.

The reels I am showing are in date order roughly 1949, 1953, 1967, 1970, 1973 and 1975.

JF.


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Last edited by Jeremy Fisher on Sun May 12, 2019 5:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 5:13 am • #  
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More photos :


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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 12:38 am • #  
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dolphin3111 wrote:
By today's standards, the old grease that was used in Mitchell reels of the 50's and 60's is not very good at all. I think the original grease has a Lithium soap (not sure). It had a big problem with the oil separating out and the remainder getting hard. Lithium base grease is normally amber in color, but when the oil and base separates, the base soap turns dark and hard.

I see many old boxes that has oil stains on the bottom where the reel sits. The oils comes from the grease.


Some of the current synthetic offerings definitely have advantages.
I would be curious to see how a reel that is serviced with a high grade synthetic grease, and not had much use for 30-40 years, looks after that time,compared to the old dry hard grease many of us have seen.
I could be wrong but I think the old original greases they used years ago would still work fine if the reel had been used occasionally to keep things moving and mixed up a little


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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 12:50 am • #  
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Thanks for the pictures Jeremy. I got a reel awhile back that had a similar bluish green grease in it. I have no idea what brand it is
but I do know it was almost next to impossible to clean it off.
I tried all of my usual cleaners that I use for internal parts, lacquer thinner, mineral spirits and even soaked the parts in hot water with Dawn dish soap, and the grease just laughed at them...

I should have just left it on the parts. It wasn't hard, it was clean and the reel turned easily, and I don't think there is any doubt that the grease will work for a very very long time...
I'd actually like to know what it was LOL..

I know it is something most people don't really think about it, but I am always interested in the differences in technology of grease and oil, and how much they have changed over the years.
Who would have ever guessed that one day you could buy a grease that has the same stuff in it that keeps eggs from sticking to a frying pan.


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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 6:38 am • #  
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Dear Mike,

I have always felt that the early full-bails are Mitchell's finest, although I have never studied the internals.

This topic has prompted me to open a few reels and I attach photos of reel nos. 145323, 6 or 894743 and 1514218. All are beautifully assembled and seem to have the same very soft grease which has hardened hardly at all. It has leached out of the reels into the boxes.

The earliest reel has the plastic transfer gear. What I found interesting is that the slide guide on 2 of the reels is completely flat towards the rear, which I haven't noticed before.

It seems there is always something new to see!!

JF.


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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 2:13 pm • #  
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Great pictures again Jeremy. I've honestly lost track of the number of 300 reels I have owned, and out of all of them that I had opened up, I don't remember the flat slide plate. I'm certain that I have had and maybe still have, some that were that way, but my
memory isn't what it used to be. Makes me wonder what else I have missed along the way :blush

That may be a good project for today, to round up all early 300's and open them up. In theory, it makes sense why they changed the design and added the side rails to the rear of the plate for added guidance and stability


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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 8:43 pm • #  
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Mike 408,

With regard to your question about modern greases bleeding out, I can say this.. Modern day greases do bleed out over a period of time but not nearly as much.

I set out several years ago to find the best fishing reel grease. I already had experience with greases since I spent 37 years as a mechanical reliability engineer for a major chemical manufacturer.

There is a category of grease called "Aluminum Complex". It has a unique property of not bleeding out and that's why it's used a lot in the food processing industry. That in combination with a few other properties make it ideal for fishing reels. Some manufacturers of AlC grease use synthetic Polyalphaolefin (PAO) as the oil. Mobil 1 auto oil is PAO.

Yamaha Yamalube Multipurpose Grease is an example of an Aluminum Complex Grease with PAO oil. It is a very dark blue color. I use it on all of my fishing reels.

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 12:06 am • #  
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Mike 408 wrote:
While I don't think it is likely that Mitchell made their own grease,
I guess it is possible, but I am also wondering if the grease they used was specially made for them, or if they found a regular production grease that they liked to use, or did they actually make their own grease ? Or does anyone actually know ?

Mike 408,
I can now answer some of your questions.
1) Did Mitchell make their own grease? No, not in 1946. I say this because it has now been substantiated Mitchell recommended owners use either Gargoyle Grease C. N. Very Soft, or Gargoyle Grease Sovarex Number 1 by Vacuum Oil Company, for the first Mitchell Reel mechanisms and VASELINE OIL for the axles. If they had their own product, I doubt they would recommend their customers use someone eases.
2) Was the grease they used specially made for them? No, none of greases and oil mentioned above was made specifically for Mitchell in 1946.
3) Did Mitchell have a regular production grease that they liked to use? TBD It seems likely they used the same greases mentioned before, however, that has not been proven as far as I know.
4) Does anyone actually know? Now we do and we have the proof right here at the MRM. :sHa_yes:
Kind Regards,
Bill :tup


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 3:17 am • #  
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dolphin3111 wrote:
Mike 408,

With regard to your question about modern greases bleeding out, I can say this.. Modern day greases do bleed out over a period of time but not nearly as much.

I set out several years ago to find the best fishing reel grease. I already had experience with greases since I spent 37 years as a mechanical reliability engineer for a major chemical manufacturer.

There is a category of grease called "Aluminum Complex". It has a unique property of not bleeding out and that's why it's used a lot in the food processing industry. That in combination with a few other properties make it ideal for fishing reels. Some manufacturers of AlC grease use synthetic Polyalphaolefin (PAO) as the oil. Mobil 1 auto oil is PAO.

Yamaha Yamalube Multipurpose Grease is an example of an Aluminum Complex Grease with PAO oil. It is a very dark blue color. I use it on all of my fishing reels.

Image

Image


I seem to recall reading one of your posts discussing this particular grease before. I had intended on getting a small tube
but I've yet to do it, but it's not like I have shortage of different brands of grease.

I used to shoot Glocks and 1911 45's in competition and I would shoot 6-7 days a week, and shoot 400-500 rounds per day.
I used my guns hard and at the time, I was using primarily Tetra Lube and it was holding up very well and the guns were showing almost no wear even after that many rounds. I also used Super Lube a little too, and if I remember correctly, they are both an ALC product. I figured if it worked that well under those conditions, it should work good in reels too, so I used it on several reels and it seemed to work very well, but my reels don't get used every day.

I even got some of the Quantum Hot Sauce grease that is supposed to be great, and used it on a few newer higher end Daiwa and Shimano reels and it seems fine, but the stuff turns everything it touches red... I haven't used it on any other reels since, and I've never got it anywhere near any of my Mitchells.

Does the Yamalube stay the same consistency in hot and cold temperatures ?

Mike


Last edited by Mike 408 on Fri May 17, 2019 3:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 3:21 am • #  
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GreatLaker wrote:
Mike 408 wrote:
While I don't think it is likely that Mitchell made their own grease,
I guess it is possible, but I am also wondering if the grease they used was specially made for them, or if they found a regular production grease that they liked to use, or did they actually make their own grease ? Or does anyone actually know ?

Mike 408,
I can now answer some of your questions.
1) Did Mitchell make their own grease? No, not in 1946. I say this because it has now been substantiated Mitchell recommended owners use either Gargoyle Grease C. N. Very Soft, or Gargoyle Grease Sovarex Number 1 by Vacuum Oil Company, for the first Mitchell Reel mechanisms and VASELINE OIL for the axles. If they had their own product, I doubt they would recommend their customers use someone eases.
2) Was the grease they used specially made for them? No, none of greases and oil mentioned above was made specifically for Mitchell in 1946.
3) Did Mitchell have a regular production grease that they liked to use? TBD It seems likely they used the same greases mentioned before, however, that has not been proven as far as I know.
4) Does anyone actually know? Now we do and we have the proof right here at the MRM. :sHa_yes:
Kind Regards,
Bill :tup


Hi Bill,

Thanks for the information. Much appreciated. It's funny you mentioned Vaseline because I remember my dad using it on his Mitchells when I was a kid, and it has always stuck in my mind for some reason.

Mike


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