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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:29 pm • #  
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Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:20 pm
Posts: 267
Location: Michigan
Mates, Here is
A TECHNIQUE FOR TAKING APART EARLY MITCHELL 300 SPOOLS WITH STUCK FIBER WASHERS

Some early spools came with two fiber washers. These were usually the large capacity spools and they frequently had a fiber washer between the drag spring and the spool shell (See photo 1) which the small capacity spools lacked. Both types of spools had a fiber washer located on the base of the spindle which separated the base from the spool shell. (See photo 8.

The washers I am referring to are sort of an orange color (See photo 2) and were made out of a fibrous paper like material. This type of washer, when exposed to different types of oil, salt water, grease and so on, had a tendency to soften, swell, and expand when wet and then later as it dried, would harden and become brittle.

Sometimes, when this type of fiber washer would dry out, it would stick to either the brake spring or the spool shell or both. Also, the swelling of the wet softened washer caused it to expand tightly around the spindle post threads. (See photo 2) Once the washer dried out and hardened in this state, it would make taking the assembly apart, extremely difficult without damaging something.

This technique has saved many a dried out and brittle fiber washer for me.
1. Remove the wing nut. (Also known as a Drag Adjusting Knob) (See photo 1)
2. Determine if the drag spring is rusted, corroded, or damaged.
3. If the drag spring is in bad shape give it and the fiber washer a shot of WD-40 and let it soak in. (Do not try and force the spindle out of the spool or turn it yet.)
4. Most drag springs have two parts; one half is a round washer shaped piece that is attached to the spring arms. (See photo 2 & 7) Try and gently pry up an edge of the washer bottom with a small screwdriver or an X-Acto knife blade.
5. If the spring won’t budge, apply more WD-40 and let it soak longer until it does. (Do not push on the end of the spindle or try and remove it yet.)
6. Hopefully, the brake spring has now been removed and the fiber washer is completely exposed. (See photo 2) Note whether or not the fiber washer is wrapped around the spindle shaft. (See photo 3) (Do not lubricate the fiber washer any further, at this point.)
7. To remove the fiber washer, place your thumb on the washer (See photo 4) and press it against the spool shell.
8. Now take your other hand and rotate the spindle base so that you are unscrewing the fiber washer from the spindle shaft threads. If necessary, use the wing nut to determine which way to turn to unscrew the fiber washer. Work it a tiny bit one way gently and then the other to loosen it up and then unscrew it. (See photo 5) You may have to get your fingernails under the washer at first in order to grip it and hold it still. If it is stuck to the spool shell, use something to pry its edge up gently, just a tiny bit. Then try unscrewing it again. (See photo 6)
9. Hopefully you will be able to unscrew the fiber washer all the way off of the spindle shaft and preserve it in one piece. (See photo 7)
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10. To put the fiber washer back on, screw it onto the spindle post threads like you did to remove it, only in the opposite direction. Resist the temptation to force the fiber washer up or down the spindle shaft as this may cause it to break.


Hope this works for you as well as it does for me.


Kind Regards,
Bill :tup


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:23 am • #  
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:00 pm
Posts: 305
Hi Bill, very good instructions and photos. Should definitely save a few fiber washers. I have come across a few spools in that condition. Thanks for posting, Dennis2149


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:29 am • #  
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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:00 pm
Posts: 136
Location: New Jersey, U.S.A.
Very good and thanks for taking the time with it. I would like to add a quick safety tip, personally not sure that I would want to pry (yes I know it works well and at one time would have tried it myself) with a knife blade and risk having a piece of broken blade flying around.


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