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The herringbone on the small gears does not engage the "big gear" or the "big gear wheel side" completely, they appear to only engage 50% of the thread because they point in opposite directions . After putting it together, greasing it and breaking it in a little I think this is actually by design. Seems to work the gears just engage a little differently than then pinion to the spur gear which mates 100% across the surface of the gear. 1.6mm nails worked perfectly as axels too. good recommendation.