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I'm trying to assemble a model chronograph. At several steps, the instructions say to insert wooden cocktail sticks (toothpicks) through narrow holes in wheels. Unfortunately, the supplied toothpicks refuse to go through. They go part way in, then get stuck.

Following the manufacturer's instructions I've tried lubricating the cocktail sticks with candle wax (unburnt candle).

I've also tried lubricating the sticks with sewing machine oil.

I've even tried a different batch of toothpicks from the supermarket.

Still the sticks get stuck part way through the wheel. If I push any harder, they just break.

Any suggestions?

  • The toothpicks being too large seems to be a very common complaint with these models. For some users (based on Amazon reviews) the waxing works, for others it doesn't. Someone suggested using "a can of PAM": maybe try that? – Joachim Dec 9 '18 at 7:55
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Try bar soap or silicone spray. Soap is definitely slipperier than wax and you likely have some on hand.

Silicone spray is super slick and useful in lots of situations. It will stay slippery longer than the soap which may be a problem if the pin is supposed to stay put once its in.

Maybe a bit of sanding with fine grit sandpaper would help as well, corrects oversized pin and smooths the surface for less friction.

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