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Compass Marine How To | all galleries >> Welcome To >> Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box > New Packing Rings
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New Packing Rings

This is the last step! In this picture I have two of the three rings wrapped around the shaft in a stepped and alternated order. You must be sure to offset the rings butt joints 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 for a three ring box or 1/2 & 1/2 or said another way 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock for a two ring box.

It's also perfectly fine to wrap one ring at a time and push the nut over it BUT WITHOUT TURNING IT until you get all three rings into the nut and staggered. It's best when using this method of "stuffing rings" to mark the outside of the nut with a Sharpie marker where the joints are and then when all rings are in the nut, and staggered, you can finally thread the nut onto the box.

I custom made my own tool for this & it has a similar thickness to the flax for "stuffing the nut" (see the "tool" below). I don't advise the use of a pick to stuff the flax into the nut as this can cause significant unlaying or twisting of the flax especially with GTU. When ever possible try to get at least three rings of packing in your stuffing box as most are designed for at least three. Some nuts can actually fit four & if so go for it but make sure you have enough threads to get a good hold for the female nut.

One more very important note is that you really need to use the correct size packing. Going one size to big can eventually wear a groove in the shaft and one size to small will never seal properly. Please use due diligence to determine the proper packing size for your particular stuffing box.

Nikon D70s
1/60s f/4.0 at 50.0mm full exif

other sizes: small medium large auto
Bernard 23-Jan-2018 17:43
I have a 25.4mm (1") diameter shaft and the ID of the female nut is +-37.5 over the peak of the threads (inside). This gives me a packing size of:- 37.5 - 25.4 = 12.1 / 2 = 6.05mm. (1/4" packing is 6.35mm) Pushing the packing in over the shaft and into the thread is REALLY difficult, and am therefore concerned that this will be too tight of a fit. If I used 3/16" packing (4.76mm) and inserted 4 rings, would this 'seal' properly when I tightened the nut. This solution concerns me as it seems too loose! Any ideas would be much appreciated!
PS: Your presentation of this subject is superb!!
the other guest 05-Jun-2013 11:33
The comment above by "Guest" is right on. I have a difference of 3/8" between the shafts(1 1/4) and threads(1 5/8) measurements. Divide by two ...... 3/16ths packing. It was a perfect four ring installation in a '73 Seacrest. Thanks to Compass Marine for the info pages.
Guest 17-Sep-2012 14:22
Measure diameter of shaft and then measure diameter across the threaded male end of the stuffing box. Make allowances for the depth of the threads (i.e, the correct width will be slightly less than if you measured across the outside of the threaded part. Subtract the diameter of shaft from the diameter of the threaded part and divide by two..this will be the size of the "gap" between the threads and the shaft which indicates the space you have to fil with packing
paul johnson 06-Nov-2007 18:14
I have only 1 1/2 inch of space between the female nut and the male threaded assembly, what would be the best way to insert the packing into the female nut? I don't think your tool would fit. thanks PJ
Tony Krarup 03-Jul-2007 20:19
I restuffed the gland on my Stag 28 - nightmare of a job lying on top of the engine and working blind. Your descriptions and photos are first class and deserve a far wider audience. Thank you for putting so much time and effort into it.
don 16-Apr-2007 21:59
How do you know what size packing to buy? You say "Please use due diligence to determine the proper packing size for your particular stuffing box"

Is there a formula? Like 7/8" shaft with a 1" cut should use 1/4" packing?, for example.
Any hint here?

Thank you,