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Topic: Building a spinning wheel  (Read 3470 times)
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Blacksmith
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« on: February 16, 2012 09:09:56 PM »

Hi there, as you probably guessed I'm not spinning anything, but I'm building a spinning wheel from plans on http://www.craftsmanspace.com/free-projects/spinning-wheel-plan.html

It should look something like this when I'm done.
http://www.craftsmanspace.com/sites/default/files/free-plans-category/spinning_wheel.jpg

That's the general idea, but I don't do any spinning and I'm not planning on taking it up, so here's the question, what should I be looking out for in terms of things you don't like about spinning wheels? Any suggestions, points to watch for, things you always wished to have on a spinning wheel, etc, etc, etc. All comments input and feedback are welcome, as a bonus I'll try to remember to post pictures of my progress on this project, currently all I've done is get the lumber cut and in shape (all white oak and maple that I've salvaged from various places).
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012 12:01:32 AM »

I love upright, i.e. castle, i.e. parlor wheels.  Two of them make up my production end of my wheel fleet.  I also have a couple saxony wheels and a walking wheel, but it the upright wheels that get the job done for me.

That said:

Number one thing I would ask for is to make the 'table' with four legs instead of three.  This adds to the stability of the wheel so it won't skip across the floor so easily.  Get rid of the distaff holder and distaff.  Hardly anyone uses these any more.

It looks as if this design is a flyer driven wheel but doesn't have any type of brake band.  Not good.  If you're going to have a flyer driven (Scotch tension), you need a way to slow down the bobbin (via a brake band) so the yarn can wind onto the bobbin.

It also appears to have only one flyer whorl speed.  A spinning wheel should have multiple flyer whorl speeds for multiple applications. Having only one is not good. Yes, you can make various thickness of yarns with only a one speed flyer, but you have to either speed up your treadling or slow it down depending on what type of yarn you are creating.  That is so two centuries ago.  Even late 1700's Irish Saxony wheel has a double drive so I can treadle the same speed and adjust the take up by adjusting the mother of all.

I'm just not impressed with the plans of this wheel.  Nothing special.  Very basic.  Very, very, very basic.  

eta:

Are you really a blacksmith?  So is my husband!!  Now that is an art!  I tried my hand at it, making a tool from my honeybee hives.  I had the end hammered the way I wanted, then put it into the vise to put a decorative twist on it.  As the tool started  leaning to the right, I grabbed the (black) metal below the vice with my bare hand ... Yes, flesh does go "SSSSHHHHHHH" when touching hot metal.

I finished my piece and never put a piece of metal in the coal forge again.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012 12:04:47 AM by mullerslanefarm » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012 05:32:04 AM »

Alright, parts of note:
1. make sure the wheel is damned stable, 4 legs over three.
2. Get rid of distaff holder and distaff.
3. Design and implement a brake band (need a reference for this if possible please), or design a way to have the bobbin move at a different speed.
4. Need to vary the speed of the flyer whorls, I'm thinking of doing step pulleys for this application, how many different configurations would you suggest or like to see?

If you have any literary or photographic references you can point me to with your suggestions I would be very appreciative.

Ok, so there is that, now as for the question "Am I really a blacksmith?"
Yup, a dozen years working with hammer and anvil as a hobby, bit of a machinist, carpenter, jeweler, welder, tailor, bookbinder, gardener, arborist, student, and scientist.
I've got more tools than furniture.
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012 11:37:38 AM »

Try the Ashford site for assembly guides for their wheels:
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2012 06:48:47 PM »

If there is a way you can make a HUGE oriface, someone might thank you.  Though, at the same time, someone might not be your biggest fan.  If you are making this for someone who spins lace weight yarn, then small oriface.  If you are making it for someone who spins thick chunky yarn, big oriface.
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012 05:43:15 AM »

Huge orifice = huge bobbin.  Also no hooks on the bobbin, large rings are better for chunky art yarns not to get caught up on.  A delta orifice is terrific for art yarns.
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2012 01:14:52 PM »

Would making the bobbins, flyers, and orifices modular work? Would likely make the whole system much easier.

Thoughts?

Also I have all the lumber cut for it now, just waiting on on the snow to melt so I can finish doing all the lathe work before assembly. If there is enough interest I'll be happy to post pictures of my progress.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012 01:16:45 PM by Blacksmith » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012 01:30:44 PM »

By modular, you mean interchangable?  Because that would be helpful, and make the wheel more versatile.

And, of course we want to see pictures!
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012 07:51:04 PM »

If you are making this for a specific person, you might want to factor their height into how high you make the orifice. When I was shopping for a spinning wheel, I had to pass up a bunch of wheels because they were too low for me.

I would love to see progress pictures!
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2012 06:16:04 AM »

All right, I'll do pictures. I'm going to do wheel via the current design I found on the net first, then I'm going to start tweaking it and making it modular.

As I stated in my first post, I'm not doing this for anyone really, I just like to have a challenge and I think I may know of a person or three that might want one. Not really spending anything on it outside of my time. I'll snap pictures of what I've got done so far later today.
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