Replace the internal brake assembly

The internal brake assembly goes from the brake adjusting knob, through an internal channel in the base of your miniSpinner, around a stainless steel turning pin, then up through a hole in the base where it will be connected to the swivel on the brake band.


The miniSpinner's brake tension assembly begins at a metal eye in the left rear corner of your miniSpinner. The assembly consists of a spring, a length of monofilament or Spectra fishing line, a swivel, and a loop of Spectra line that disappears into a small hole in the base at the right rear corner of your miniSpinner.


Inside your miniSpinner the Spectra line makes a 90 degree turn around a stainless steel shaft below that small hole, then runs to a spring, then to a shaft that is attached to the wooden adjusting knob on the right side of your miniSpinner towards the front.


The brake tension is adjusted by turning the wooden knob on the right side of your miniSpinner. When you turn the knob clockwise, it winds the cord around the shaft, which pulls on the swivel and tightens the brake band where it passes over the groove in the end of the bobbin. This applies a braking force to the bobbin and causes the miniSpinner to pull harder on the fiber that you are spinning. When you turn the wooden knob counterclockwise the cord unwinds which slackens the brake band and reduces the braking force applied to the bobbin.


The adjusting cord inside the miniSpinner is 60 pound/30 kg test braided Spectra line, so it has a breaking strength of 120 pounds/60 kg (it's doubled) and is very unlikely to break in normal use. If, however, you need to replace the internal adjusting cord, here's how it's done.


To remove the brake tension assembly:


  1. Remove the flyer and bobbin assembly.
  2. Disconnect the brake band spring from the eye in the base at the left rear of your miniSpinner.
  3. Now, direct your attention to the swivel at the other end of the monofilament brake band.       The eye of the swivel is attached to the Spectra loop using a larks head knot. Tease that knot in the Spectra loop using a needle or sharp toothpick until you loosen the loop.
  4. Pull an inch of slack in the loop of Spectra, then slip that loop over the entire brake band assembly; spring, brake line, and swivel. If you did it correctly, you will now be able to pull the loop of Spectra out through eye of the swivel. Set the brake band assembly aside.
  5. Turn your miniSpinner upside down and use the Allen key provided with your miniSpinner to loosen the screw beneath the brake tension knob around 2 turns. (The Allen key is the little “L” shaped tool in the plastic bag stapled to your miniSpinner instructions).
  6. Turn your miniSpinner right side up and pull out the brake tension knob and the gray plastic bushing it rides in. The Spectra internal assembly should be attached to the brake tension adjusting shaft; pull the entire assembly out of your miniSpinner. You may need to wiggle the internal spring a bit to get it out through the hole, but it will come out.

To reassemble:


  1. Insert the shaft of the brake tension adjusting knob into the gray plastic bushing, then tie the new brake tension assembly to the adjustment knob by threading the end with the knot through the hole in the adjustment shaft, then open the loop and thread the wooden knob through it. That's a lark's head knot. Take up the slack so the cord is tied to the adjusting shaft.
  2. Make a threading tool by taking a 2 foot length of monofilament fishing line or thin wire and bend it double. Use pliers to squeeze the resulting loop so the end is a very sharp bend.      
  3. Now, thread the pointed end of your monofilament loop from the rear of the miniSpinner towards the front. Open the back of your miniSpinner and note the 3/8” hole with a stainless steel shaft passing across it horizontally. Pass your threader below that stainless shaft and towards the front of your miniSpinner until you see it in the hole for the brake adjusting knob. Use a crochet hook or needle nose pliers to pull the loop a little way out of the hole.
  4. Pull the loop of the adjusting cord through the loop of your threader, then pass the knob at the other end of the adjusting cord and the spring through that loop of adjusting cord, tying it to your threader with a lark's head knot.
  5. Now, with the adjustment assembly tied to the threader, pull the threader out the rear of the miniSpinner, feeding the adjustment assembly into the hole for the brake tension adjusting knob. You may need to fiddle a little to get the spring to go into the hole, but it will go.
  6. Wind the adjusting cord around the shaft by turning the knob clockwise, then insert the shaft into the hole, taking care not to get the line caught between the bushing and the wood. Turn your miniSpinner upside down and tighten the Allen screw beneath the knob to lock it into place. Tighten it just enough so that the knob will remain at the position you set.
  7. Thread the kinked end of the monofilament threader down through the small hole where the adjusting line is to emerge from the base. Be sure to feed it on the side of the stainless shaft nearest you.
  8. Thread the Spectra adjusting cord through your monofilament loop (like a needle threader) and pull it out the top, thereby pulling the cord through that little hole in the base of your miniSpinner.
  9. Thread the loop of adjusting cord through the eye of the swivel, pulling about an inch through the eye. Then, feed entire brake band through the loop of adjusting cord; spring, monofilament brake band, and the swivel. When you're done, you will have a lark's head knot that ties the swivel to the adjusting cord.
  10. Hook the spring to the eye on the other side of the miniSpinner.
  11. Reinstall the flyer and bobbin.
  12. Check your work.       Pull on the swivel and turn the wooden brake tension adjusting knob counterclockwise. You should feel the swivel come out of the base as you turn the knob. Likewise, if you turn the knob clockwise you should feel the swivel pulled towards the base.