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Topic: Drum Carder Advice  (Read 3261 times)
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knkurz
« on: August 21, 2009 10:20:54 AM »

Hello everyone!  I will be investing in a drum carder in the near future (think: next few months).  I've been looking around, and I haven't decided on one yet. 

I am looking for a drum carder that will be able to make textured batts as well as card massive amounts [more massive than hand cards / hand combs, at least!] of fiber at once (wool, alpaca, llama, mostly).  I know that might be a tall order, since it will be hard to find middle ground with the tpi on the cloth.


I've looked at a bunch of different models, and here's what I'm trying to decide between:

*The Ashford 2-speed (6:1/4:1) with 72 tpi.  I can't tell if this is adjustable or not?  I don't really want one with multiple speeds, but I can't seem to find a regular one on the internet anymore.  I'm sure I could contact a dealer or something...

*Fancy Kitty 72/90 tpi (I can't find one with less tpi than that!  The 90 is on the main drum).  This one is definitely adjustable, and I'd heard that those wear out faster.  Does anyone know if this is true or false?  I'd like to go with a Fancy Kitty, because of the pricetag and the fact that they're made here in the US, but the adjustable thing is kinda killing it for me.  My carder is going to get heavy use. 

*Louet.  They offer a lot of different styles!  I ruled out the Elite due to the adjustable-ness, and also its pricetag.  I'd be comfortable with the Junior (only 4" wide but twice as deep) except on their site they say on one page that the Junior has 46 tpi and on the other that it has 72 tpi.  So, the standard and the classic are left, and the major difference is the tpi.  Classic has 46 and standard has 72.  I know I'd get a lot more texture with 46, but if I'm looking for a smooth batt, will I have to card it multiple times to get it that way with a lower number of tpi?  I'd rather just card my textured batt once on 72 tpi I think (but I've never used one with 46 tpi; only 72). 

I ruled out Strauch because their least expensive one has 128 tpi (!!) and that's just too many.  It's super tempting, especially since it comes with 1 1/2 lbs of FREE fiber, but my batts would be just tooooo smooth.  Price is a major consideration in my purchase, although I will shell out the extra money for one that will perform and last (ehm, don't think too dirty on that last comment). 

Okay, thoughts?   Thanks in advance  Cheesy
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mullerslanefarm
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2009 12:58:01 PM »

I take it you want an electric version??  If so, than an adjustable speed IS what you want.

I'm not understanding why you want a lower tpi?  Especially if you want to blend alpaca & llama.  I do understand you want textured batts now, but what about in a few years?  You may want to go with smoother blended batts.

I have a Pat Green Deb's Deluxe (128 tpi, I believe).  It is able to do fine fibers such as alpaca, llama & angora as well as different fineness of wools.  I am able to make textured batts with it as well as very smooth batts (with a special thingee I can't remember the name of!)  It ISN'T electric though.

You can always process textured batts on a higher tpi carding cloth, but you cannot process finer fiber smoothly on a lower tpi. 

My best advice I can give you is to go with the highest tpi and an adjustable speed to enable to create the highest range of carded batts for a lot of years to come.

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Cyndi

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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2009 04:17:46 PM »

knkurz, Thank you for doing all that research!  I've been trying to figure what the difference between all the diffrent options are... and nothing I read would stick or really told me why I wanted 72 tpi vs 128tpi....  But now I know!  Thanks!
Also, thank you Cyndi, for your 2 cents.  Smiley Always very informative you are!  Going to google the Pat green Deb's Deluxe....  If you use it, it must be good Wink
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2009 07:31:16 PM »

There are many other carders that are just as good or  better than Patrick's Deb Deluxe.  DH bought it for me a few years ago.  Deb Menz (Color in Spinning or something like that) helped design it with Patrick Green.

He did the research with the help of Susan McFarland (Susan's Fiber Shop in WI) and that is what I got.  I can't complain one wit about it.  I am able to make nice smooth, large batts and lumpy, bumpy artistic batts with it.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2009 06:56:06 PM by mullerslanefarm » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2009 06:36:57 AM »

 Cheesy  I googled it.  it looks pretty nice, but they didn't have a price tag on it.  But nice thing is they are in Canada!  So maybe it'll be cheaper for shipping... One day.. probably not anytime soon though :/
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knkurz
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2009 06:45:09 AM »

Hm, guess I should have mentioned that I'm in the market for a hand crank and not an electric due to price. 

I also forgot to mention that I'd looked up the Pat Green carders!  I've heard that they're simply the best, but the US prices have definitely gone up from what they used to be.  I think it's $575 for the most basic hand crank (I called them a few weeks ago). 

Thanks for your advice, Cyndi!  It was very helpful Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2009 07:17:11 PM »

Oi!  $575 now!!!  That is a LOT more than what DH paid.  Don't be afraid of 'dickering' with a vendor about equipment.

Give Susan McFarland of Susan's Fiber Shop a  look http://www.susansfibershop.com/pat_green.htm  (920) 623-4237.

 Her Deb's Deluxe is $525 and I KNOW she is willinwill  dicker on price/shipping, et al  She'll even take payments.

I have no affliation with Susan except this is who my DH bought my first wheel from (on payments) and my Deb's Deluxe from (also on payments).  I've met her in person.  She's a total fiber freak and to look at her in action you would think she is a ditz ... but she has so much fiber information in her head that it just takes a while for it to spin around to front again.

You won't be disappointed!!
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