Finding Dropped Parts!

You got 'em, we know how to clean 'em
Paul Roberts
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Finding Dropped Parts!

Post by Paul Roberts »

Better safe than sorry! I've learned the hard way. Some say that's the best way. I'm not so sure. :bash:

Make darn sure that your work space, in particular, the floor beneath your workspace is “dropped-parts-friendly”. You will drop parts and they may be… impossibly tough to find. Physical laws of the universe —a number of them in fact— make certain that this will be so. I have come to lay a white, un-patterned, drop cloth beneath my workstation. I keep a 1000lux work light handy that can shoot light low across the floor to create shadows from even tiny objects.

When I drop something, I freeze, then carefully step away, so I don’t wreak further chaos in the cosmos, checking the soles of my shoes/slippers for a potential stowaway. Then to all fours to inspect…everything. Luckily, I’m a good “noticer” (credit to Patrick McManus for that fitting title) and have a lot of experience as a naturalist/hunter/tracker (think Tom Brown); I at least know when I’m in deep sht and how not to make it worse!

Case studies in humility:

#1: I dropped a Langley ‘gear box’ support screw and I heard the ‘tick’, ‘tick’, ‘tick’, and then the sickening metallic ‘clink!’ as it ended it’s trip in the baseboard heat radiator against the wall beneath my desk! I had to pop a section of baseboard moulding, dismantle the radiator, then resort to a mini shop-vac to suction the crevice. Sorting through the debris, I found it! Phew!

#2: I actually did… the unthinkable! I’m not sure whether I should feel stupid, or proud. I guess I got to feel both. Was refurbishing another SkilKast and I actually lost one of those minute ball bearings from the AB stack! They are about the size of a #12 shotgun pellet (think medium-sized sand grain)! Static electricity flung it onto the floor!

I instinctively froze —like when you’ve just arrowed an elk or deer and need to hear the direction and distance he’s gone— and heard that minute bearing, click onto the floor then roll behind me at about the 4-o’clock position. To make a harrowing story short, I thought, "A-Ha!", and grabbed a rare earth magnet and began combing the floor crevices. Unfortunately, I live in the Rocky Mountain foothills —prime mining country (Our mountains are like swiss cheese with mine shafts and vent holes). So, all the dust and sand that tracks into the house (we also live on dirt roads up here) is mostly iron-ore and therefore magnetic. So everything collects on the magnet! I took to sweeping the floor with a dampened hand into a tiny dust pile under that 1000lux beam and my 3X glasses and it eventually rolled right out into view! PHEW!

That little bearing is back where it belongs, and I have a second SkilKast ready to test drive.

SkilKast AB stack take-home lessons:

—Take reference photos of the stack order as you go so there is no way you can get them in the wrong order. Also, note that the cam —into which the tiny ball bearings go— has a proper orientation. The two SkilKasts I’ve dismantled have the upper side of this cam stamped with “UP”, which is darn thoughtful. The Pflueger people impress me more and more as I dismantle, and reassemble, their reels. But just in case we ever open one up that isn’t so stamped, or have one that the AB doesn’t work properly, it’s worth knowing that the cam has a proper orientation.
I’ll add some of my reference images to the SkilKast thread I started recently.

—Always work on a damp rag or paper towel to keep static in check. I live in a very arid climate so I keep hands moist too. Moist fingers have much better feel than dry, and esp cracked (and painful!), fingers do. A big help with tiny screws too.

—These minute SkilKast bearings are also magnetized, obviously how the Pflueger people, and I, manage them —in static-free environments. This makes the static issue —‘jumping bean’ bearings— a harrowing surprise. I use a pair of fine curved needle nose pliers with magnetized tips. They stick, but must be separated with a toothpick.

Phew! I hope this helps someone, sometime. Or at least entertains someone some late night when they can’t sleep or work on a reel.

Cheers,
Paul
Last edited by Paul Roberts on Mon Feb 01, 2021 12:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!: A Protocol. Hey, I knew I could contribute something!

Post by Midway Tommy D »

You might as well get used to it, Paul. You'll have many more harrowing experiences like that, as we all do. I'm fortunate enough to have light colored short knap carpet and ceiling registers in my in my reel room so parts don't roll very far. :D

Springs do head into orbit every once in awhile, though. :lol:

Wait until you expand into opening up one of these loose balls puppies. :shock:


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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!: A Protocol. Hey, I knew I could contribute something!

Post by arley »

As far as that style housing a la Alcedo I don't mess with 'em . I send them out. I thought I'd fix a Shakespeare auto fly reel once , dropped the spring, it turned into the equivalent of a ball of string. Beyond my poor repair skills.
you can tune a piano,but you can't tuna fish.

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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!: A Protocol. Hey, I knew I could contribute something!

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Midway Tommy D wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 4:16 pm
Wait until you expand into opening up one of these loose balls puppies. :shock:
:shock: I hope I never do!! If I find one, I'll send it to you. Or would that be cruel? :lol:

Yes, and automatic fly reels... scary! Luckily I don't won't be collecting any of them.
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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!: A Protocol. Hey, I knew I could contribute something!

Post by 40fordflathead »

Paul, you just said collecting. I think you are in trouble now.
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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!: A Protocol. Hey, I knew I could contribute something!

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40fordflathead wrote:
Thu Jan 28, 2021 7:57 pm
Paul, you just said collecting. I think you are in trouble now.
Bruce
Ha! Yes, in fact I've been in trouble right along; As soon as I saw Ron McAlpin's gorgeous bassin' outfits. I was actually looking at display cases the other night! :roll:
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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!

Post by Ron Mc »

I always work in a Spanish cedar cigar box - doesn't always save springs from flying, but generally catches screws and washers, and they can't roll past the box rim.
I'm also working under my Ott magnifier + lamp so I can see everything I'm doing, no matter now small.
Image
Also if I take a break, can close the box and latch it, so everything stays even if the box gets bumped.

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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!

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I have found that a white terry cloth towel tends to tame down those free flying screws and small parts that despite my best efforts, have escaped the surly bonds of my shakey fingers. When I fail to put the towel down and figure "hey it's only one screw, I can do this" then find myself on my hands and knees with a flashlight, I am reminded of a now-departed mentor, and famous black powder gunsmith, Roy "Pa" Keelor who was a discussing a very small part found in a flintLock called the "fly". His quote was," I have spent 40 years as a black powder gunsmith, of those 40 years, 25 were spent on my hands and knees looking for the fly"---LOL
I love to get old reels, work on them until they run as smooth as silk and the take them fishing using pre-1960 plugs, mostly surface fishing for Largemouths after dark.

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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!

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Bill... LOL, literally. That really got me laughing. Both, "hey, it's only one screw..." and Roy's "25yrs"! :D

Ron, that's a good idea. Esp being able to close the lid and walk away.
I've been working on a layer of paper towels under a piece of cotton flannel that keeps parts in place pretty well. I'm using a few different compartmented sorting trays too, heavy enough not to flip over when I do something spastic. A textured wide-bottom thrift store dog bowl for the final rinse. As I get more familiar with the parts I'm finding I need fewer sorting compartments. I might look into a low-sided tray of some type to work in. Another reason to run the thrift store beat. :)
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Paul Roberts
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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!

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Well, I did it again. I'm collecting up some real doozy's here. :oops: Not sure I should even share this one; It was that… careless. :doh:

I was test-casting a Coxe 10C and sent out a boomer of a cast aided by a good tailwind. A loop managed to slip behind the spool. So I had to take the reel apart. And I was standing in a mountain meadow with a dead grass and couple inches of snow beneath my feet! I guess I’d forgot that the little spool-shaft pinion gear is loose in there -not retained by a c-clip. It was gone in a flash! And I had 40yrds of line out! I had to hand wind all that line back onto the spool.

I probed gently into the snow for a bit before, marking the area, and heading into the house for a magnet. I popped a Model 60 apart to see if it’s pinion was magnetic. It appeared to be steel and was! Back out in the meadow, the small rare earth magnet I had just couldn’t get through the snow and grass. I even ran an extension cord from the chicken coop to try a heat gun on the snow. It worked to some degree but not where the snow had become packed where I’d stepped.

I called a friend who has a strong 80lb magnet and a metal detector. He came up and we checked the small carefully marked area, finding… screws. As we dug up another screw I, on my knees, spotted a circular-shaped glint, illuminated by a sun ray that just momentarily popped out of the clouds. The sun was at just the right angle and the little pinion gear oriented just so, with the circular bushing end pointed up, that I spotted it! I found it!! :shock:

We tested it with the metal detector and it barely gave a chirp. With so much metal in the ground it was not likely we’d have found it. And, it turned out not to be magnetic. It was bronze-copper colored (tarnished brass?) and not steel as in the 60. While passing the detector over it my friend brushed it and it disappeared again! It had simply rolled over and, filled with mud, it looked just like a tiny ball of mud. Had the gear not been oriented just so, and the light just so, I’d have been looking for a parts reel.

I am surprised the gear is not held in place with a retaining c-clip, in either of my Coxe reels. I can imagine that has surprised, and horrified, many an angler over the years while out on the water. The only helpful take-home here is to know the pinion gear is loose inside that quick-take-down reel. I shouldn’t have to suggest one not open a reel in a snow-covered meadow. :roll:
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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!

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Experience is a wonderful teacher. A Coxe pinion gear bouncing around the bottom of an aluminum rowboat is a
lesson I have not forgotten.
I love to get old reels, work on them until they run as smooth as silk and the take them fishing using pre-1960 plugs, mostly surface fishing for Largemouths after dark.

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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!

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Bill Sonnett wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:51 pm
Experience is a wonderful teacher. A Coxe pinion gear bouncing around the bottom of an aluminum rowboat is a
lesson I have not forgotten.
Except when you get a little older & your memory ain't what it once was. :Bawl: I find myself often struggling with a project/process and just about the time I'm done I go "dang it, I remember figuring out how to do this about 10 or 15 years ago"! :bash: One of the hazards of not doing things on a regular basis and being well matured, I guess :) .
Love those Open Face Spinning Reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco)

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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!

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Bill Sonnett wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:51 pm
Experience is a wonderful teacher. A Coxe pinion gear bouncing around the bottom of an aluminum rowboat is a
lesson I have not forgotten.
Thanks for the confirmation, Bill. I'd checked the schematics I could find to see if my reels were just missing a c-clip before posting. Hey, I hope all is going well your way. Wishing all the best for you and your wife.
Midway Tommy D wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 11:50 pm
Except when you get a little older & your memory ain't what it once was. :Bawl: I find myself often struggling with a project/process and just about the time I'm done I go "dang it, I remember figuring out how to do this about 10 or 15 years ago"! :bash: One of the hazards of not doing things on a regular basis and being well matured, I guess :) .
Part of the problem is having all the options we have nowadays. If I had one reel to my name, things would be a lot simpler. I used to make, and collect, archery bows, but soon enough realized that... for each bow I acquire I need another set of arrows. And, arrows are where the real work is, esp if you like the pretty -no, make that gorgeous- wooden, feather-fletched, ones.

I don't doubt I might one day hear the 'clink' or 'sploop' of a Coxe pinion gear while out on the water. You know... thinking ahead... I could throw a light microfiber towel into my fishing kit, so that when I do need to disassemble, I can do so safely.
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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!

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PS Paul -- don't tell anyone but I have extra Coxe pinion gears-----LOL
I love to get old reels, work on them until they run as smooth as silk and the take them fishing using pre-1960 plugs, mostly surface fishing for Largemouths after dark.

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Paul Roberts wrote:
Mon Feb 08, 2021 2:21 pm
I don't doubt I might one day hear the 'clink' or 'sploop' of a Coxe pinion gear while out on the water. You know... thinking ahead... I could throw a light microfiber towel into my fishing kit, so that when I do need to disassemble, I can do so safely.
To avoid that carry a pair & a spare, or two, so you can wait until you are home to attempt losing parts. :D
Love those Open Face Spinning Reels! (Especially ABU & ABU/Zebco)

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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!

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Thanks, Bill. I figured someone around here would have a few.

Tom, that's a good idea. However, that could get crowded in my little boats! I fish from a 10ft kayak and a float tube. Space is at a premium. And I wouldn't want to have to bother Bill with such a request. I'll do my best to keep my gears where they belong.
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I fish with a vintage Coxe 25N during daylight hours. I have learned long ago to take two outfits with me for that rare occasion when a fine braided line jumps the spool flange. Only one way to fix that and that is to take the reel apart. I simply set the reel down and pick up another one. I have had the same problem with both the teardrop-shaped Shakespeare Sportcasts. I stopped using them for exactly that reason, and the idea of removing several screws to get those reels apart in the boat is a very bad one. Several evenings were ruined before this sunk into my thick skull. There is nothing more frustrating than heading down the lake one and one-half miles in a 12 ft rowboat powered by a 1962 3 hp Evenrude (I am the original owner) only to have to make the choice between heading home or attempting to disassemble the reel in the boat.
I love to get old reels, work on them until they run as smooth as silk and the take them fishing using pre-1960 plugs, mostly surface fishing for Largemouths after dark.

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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!

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Ouch! Yes, fishing can be frustrating. It's such important time that it can be especially frustrating when... things happen. And... things do happen out there.
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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!

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I found this while cleaning out the storage space, an old i-Pad cover, with a felt-like covering and a magnetic 'hinge'. It
actually came in handy!
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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!

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Here's another one! Doh! :doh:

When unpacking a reel from its shipping package... don't throw the box away until you've thoroughly checked for loosed parts. Missing the AB cap on a Coxe 25-2. It was in the seller's photo but not on the reel now. I have to assume it was loose and fell off during shipping. :(
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Bill Sonnett
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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!

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I always check the Coxe 25 AB cap as closely as possible with the magnification feature on eBay. Many show a hairline crack which means that they will eventually fall off. Reattaching one so that it is still functional has proven to be a challenge. The first time I tried this many years ago I used the tiniest bit of JB weld applied with a needle to what I thought would be the correct spot. That AB knob has remained forever frozen on that reel now for more than two decades--LOL. By the way Paul if you need any clean 25's I have some to spare.


Image
I love to get old reels, work on them until they run as smooth as silk and the take them fishing using pre-1960 plugs, mostly surface fishing for Largemouths after dark.

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Hey Bill, you are definitely Mr. Coxe 25.

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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!

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Oh, the humanity...
Well, I don't fish in confined spaces, so I carry the little plastic cases with divided compartments. The stand screws on my Penns work loose after a while. Amazingly, I have a "find it" magnet here at home, but have never carried one on a trip. :oops: I'll wager that there are thousands of these screws in the sand. If I go at night there are two spares of each reel because it is futile to try to make a repair under a dome light in your lap or on a cooler top with a mini mag in your mouth....and worst of all near a coleman with the thousands of bugs that all want in your nose and ears.

Fishing is fun and easy. Always successful and never a problem. Wanna buy a bridge?

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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!

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Bill, the resolution wasn't good enough on the one image showing it. As it is, the AB still works, but it requires small pliers to set. I'm pretty much thumbing anyway.

The reel's clicker was also silent. The pawl was fine but the ratchet was free-spinning. Tried some metal epoxy but it didn't hold. Likely there was still some grease in there that my mineral spirits and toothbrush didn't get. I then got some CA in there and will see how it holds. If not, I will be looking for a spool.


Shellbelly, that's a tough one! I've tried the magnet on parts at my bench and found that many parts are simply not magentic. Too much brass, bronze, zinc, aluminum, and chromium out there! I wonder if chromed steel screws simply won't be 'found' with most magnets?

To the seller of my reel... I mistook you for another seller who regularly deals in old reels. Apologies for assuming a bit much of you in our conversation over my neutral rating of our transaction.
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Re: Finding Dropped Parts!

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when you get the sprocket off and cleaned send me a good pic of it and the place it is to be mounted. Usually, there are grooves and teeth that fit together to prevent rotation. Do you think it was press-fitted?
I love to get old reels, work on them until they run as smooth as silk and the take them fishing using pre-1960 plugs, mostly surface fishing for Largemouths after dark.

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