labor of love = it’s a wheel!

10 oct 2 (2)

Originally uploaded by purlingswine

Do you see it? all shiny and old/new?

This wheel was among some antiques being sold at the Pickle Festival on Sunday. One of the historical society members had it for sale, but it was covered in dirt, has only one bobbin and I wasn’t completely convinced it would work.

My friend Flair helped me to negotiate a sweet deal and I brought it home. I have spent yesterday and today cleaning it up.

I first gave it a bath with Murphy’s. Then I put two coats of butcher’s wax. It is a Canadian production wheel with a cast iron treadle and a clamp for tensioning (can you tell I did a bit of Internet research as well?). So I thought I would put some Linseed oil on the metal parts.

I could not get the cap off the Linseed oil and I grabbed some peanut oil out of my pantry. Well, it made the metal look so nice that I rubbed it into the entire wheel.

I should have just coated it with peanut butter because now Mr. Poe keeps licking it!!

Anyway, it cleaned up beautifully (check out the Flickr pages for some before shots) and it is going to work. I just need some advice on the double drive situation. It seems that the bobbin and flyer are spinning at the exact same rate and the yarn is not being pulled onto the bobbin as a result. I did find a cotton string for the drive band, but that did not do the trick. I wonder if I have too much oil on it and it’s simply too slippery ?

anyway, guild is in two weeks and it just so happens that the topic will be equipment! I am sure that someone there will be able to get me on the right track. For now I will have to be content to simply stare at it!

10 thoughts on “labor of love = it’s a wheel!

  1. What a gorgeous wheel! A couple things to try for the bobbin: Get a rat tail file and stick it right down through the bobbin and smooth out that hole really well. Any gunk in there will slow down the speed of the bobbin. Also, you want the bobbin pulley to be a nice sharp V groove. If it’s too shallow and rounded it will make the drive band slip and affect your takeup. In general, for good takeup you want the bobbin pulley to be about 2/3’s the diameter of the flyer pulley, so you may need to deepen that bobbin groove a little to get close to that ratio.

    Some of the antique wheels that I get have bobbins that look nice but aren’t fully funtional. Sometimes they are there for decorative purposes or they’re just replacement bobbins since the original ones got lost over time. I’ve had good luck monkeying with the bobbin pulley to make them work! Feel free to shoot me an e-mail, I’m interested to see how it goes!

  2. Wow, that looks like a completely different wheel from the one I saw that day. That wheel must have been calling (haunting) you all day while you worked….”Ann, it’s me. Take me home. I’m lonely. I’ll make a great addition to your little family. You know you want me.”

  3. Awesome!!!

    Are you sure it’s supposed to be double drive? From the photos it looks like both grooves are attached to the bobbin and are just there to give different drive ratios. (My limited wheel experience comes from a reading of the first half of the Big Book of Handspinning.)

  4. God that wheel is beautiful. I wouldn’t even care if it never worked.

    …and here I was going to make fun of you for the pickle festival thing, I never could stand them, you know them being green and all;)

  5. Oh, that’s BYOO-tiful! After all the loving care (and licking, of course). I am spinning illiterate, other than admiring the finished product, but looks like other readers have some great suggestions. Hope they help; it’s so rewarding to take something unloved and make it able to do what it was designed to do, again.

  6. I am late…. but just wanted to pipe in that your new/old wheel is gorgeous! Any woodcrafter worth his weight would take up the challenge of making some more bobbins. It is just lovely.

    PS…. lovin the Polar Shawl above ;-)

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