Fiber washers: What's their purpose?

While rummaging through the washer assortment at the hardware store, a question was raised which I've never asked (and the owner of the store was busy). What are fiber washers for? In 20+ years of doing small plumbing repairs, I've never seen one in use. I'm asking because I have a massive leak in my shower, due (apparently) to a worn valve seat that chews up rubber washers in about a week. While I'm mulling over whether to go for a nice, new single handle setup, would a fiber washer be tougher, and maybe give me two weeks of use, instead of one?
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why not grind the seat smooth again?
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Or just replace the seat altogether? Save the water. Tom
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Where the removal tool needs to grip the seat, those surfaces are completely stripped. Looks like my predecessor tried to use a screwdriver or something. It's a disaster. In another thread, someone recommended something that looks like a tapping tool, in reverse, but if I keep throwing money at this, and it approaches maybe half the price of a nice, new Moen single-handle faucet, I'll probably just say "enough is enough".
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Doug wrote: Where the removal tool needs to grip the seat, those surfaces are completely stripped.<snip
The stripped seat extractor works like a charm, better than the grinder, IMO. Tom
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That's the next thing I'm trying (in about 5 minutes).
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On Wed, 22 Feb 2006 18:05:00 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

I cant imagine anyone dumb enough that they would change their faucet washers every week or two? No one has that much available time that they could waste on something so menial. Thats just freakin stupid Bubba
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For someone like you, who's unemployed and just sittin' around the double-wide watching Jerry Springer and trying to find his dick under the blubber, there's plenty of time to putter. This washer takes about two minutes to change, and I haven't had time to take on the bigger work of dealing with the cause, or replacing the whole thing. But, I'll be sure to get to it ASAP, and let you know how it goes so you can get back to shagging your mom/sister or whatever you call her.
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On Wed, 22 Feb 2006 20:20:59 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

Got you all worked up now, havent I? Starting to make you think and wonder, "Damn, he is right. How fucking stupid can I be to be changing my faucet washers every week? Kind of like being in the Marine corp and being told to move that sand pile 10 ft to the right............then when you are finished, move it back 10 ft to the left. Bubba
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good luck, usually worked for me.
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On Wed, 22 Feb 2006 17:52:20 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

If you haven't found that steel blade refinisher, or it didn't work, maybe you could try a small conical or bigger spherical grindstone to smooth out the seat. Just be careful to hold the drill straight and in the same place all the time.
(I thought fiber washers were there to wash the fiber.)
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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