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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » Repairing an Owen reel (for reference)? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

drhackenbush
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Just got a new Owen utility reel, and it's in fine fettle, but for future reference, is there a correct way to open it up when the thread needs to be changed? I don't want to cause any damage to it, and the accompanying instruction sheet only recommends using the same type of thread and tells what to do once it's opened, but doesn't say how to actually open it correctly.

Thanks!
Ron Reid
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Hi:

I used to have an Owen reel, which is really just like all the other reels, including Kirkendal. It is very well made.

The most important thing is to just be careful when you pry the top off. I believe there is a felt pad and then playing card (cut into a circle) underneath the pressure plate. You have to be careful about the spring. You have to take it out of the center post (the notch) when you replace the thread. Once you've done that, you have to wind it - be VERY careful on this part. I've had the spring come out into a big ball of mess because I was careless.

But, really, it's not too hard at all. Just go slowly and carefully. I also believe that sewing machine oil is recommended to lubricate it every once in a while.

Ron
drhackenbush
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Ron -
Thanks for the info!
drhackenbush
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By the way, how quiet is it supposed to be? Using the built-in brake, it's like the dry rustling of the wind, and using my thumb and forefinger as the old-school brake is somewhat louder. Something tells me it's not going to be totally silent, but what is your experience with the Owen in this regard? Is it supposed to be lubricated every so often? Lots of questions, but I consider this little wonder a long-term investment and I want to make sure I keep it in top condition for years to come so I can keep using it. I do realize that when I use it I'll be at a reasonable distance from the audience so they shouldn't hear anything, especially under cover of the silk, but this is my first experience with a high-quality utility reel and it's new territory for me.
hugmagic
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Use a very tiny bit of vaseoline for the lub. It is less likely to run or dry out.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
drhackenbush
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Richard, thanks. I guess my concern is that the reel definitely talks. Is it just that it needs said lube, or am I missing the point that it will make a little noise but the audience won't hear it anyway? It makes a very dry spinning sound both pulling out the thread and reeling it back in. Is that what the vasoline would get rid of? Or is it the noise of the spinning playing card washers and shims?

Thanks.

P.S. I'm also getting the sense that the real issue is that I don't yet know how to handle it correctly and need to use a lighter touch because when I use it slowly, it is much quieter. Hmmm.
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