Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
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Typically axles protrude 5.5 mm/side but less is adequate if you tighten the qr skewer properly. For example 126 mm rear hubs (137 mm axle) are often respaced to 130mm (normally requiring a 141 mm axle) using the original axle with no problems.
However, you do want to maintain the 100 mm OLD dimension so the wheel will fit in the fork dropouts so reducing the thickness of the spacer washers is certainly a good option. As noted, if the new cones have wrench flats (and I've never seen those that don't, although they might exist) you can dispense with the washers completely.