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Topic: Home made spinning wheel??  (Read 24086 times)
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« on: October 02, 2006 03:18:20 PM »

Has anyone made their own spinning wheel?   There are many drop spindle instructions around and was just wondering if it's possible, and if it is -how to go about it.  Thanks
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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2006 05:32:51 PM »

I'm sure there is...but I've never done it. 

If its a cost thing, I think you'd spend MORE time and money to make your own.  There are cheaper versions out there, I've even seen some made from mostly PVC pipe!!  Or you can save money if you put it together yourself.

Are you looking for the challenge or is it a cost thing?

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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2006 06:02:23 PM »

if you search around the internet, you can find spinning wheel plans, but as misshawklet said, i think you'll spend more time and money that way. i mean, you need to have tools and be fairly proficient at measuring and woodworking and so forth, and at that point you might as well just buy one. babes are made of pvc and are under $200, and the wheel i have is just under $300 (now anyway, it used to be under $250).

making a drop spindle, however, is pretty cheap. you can make one of those for about $2.

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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2006 10:10:05 PM »

The best spinning wheel I've ever had the pleasure of testing was a homemade one *sigh*  The guy made it from metal and all the bearings were perfectly balanced and it was a double treadle and just beautiful!  Unfortunately he made one for him and one for his wife and won't make any more because of the time and effort involved.  I so wish he was my dad/grandpa so that I could inherit one of them!!!

However, as everyone else has said, unless you know about woodworking and/or have a burning passion to make your own wheel, I'd look at buying one.  Mum got mine (as my 21st present) secondhand for AU$80, but then she knows a lot about spinning wheels and knew it was a good one.  Do you know anyone who could help you purchase a wheel?  Otherwise I hear Ashford make good beginner's wheels that aren't too expensive too.  Not wishing to brand bash or anything . . .


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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2006 06:38:23 AM »

This isn't a traditional treadle spinning wheel but is a traditional spinning wheel from India, it's made in a cigar box.  Very protable and compact.


I hope this help with the urge to make you own spinning wheel.

Happy spinning.
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2006 08:12:32 AM »

I was just curious because my son saw one in the back of a truck that someone's husband made and was telling me about it.  He is a carpenter and said it would be easy if he had plans for it.  I don't know that much about spinning wheels, I just started spinning on a home made spindle.  I figured if you could make a spindle so easily maybe a spinning wheel would also be as easy.  And if it was something he made it would even be better.  Thanks for all the info.  I will let you know if he actually makes one or not.
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2006 08:36:47 AM »

First, a little clarification about the article from Interweave Press.  This type of wheel, called a charkha, is really only useful for spinning short, fine fibers, like cotton or cashmere or maybe merino wool.  You can spin silk from the fold on it, but you need to be a fairly skilled spinner to compensate for the high rate of twist.  I'm just sayin...

As for building your own treadle wheel, there are plans available in several books.  Some are out of print and may be hard to find (or brutally expensive... Spinning Wheel Building and Restoration by Bud Kronenburg comes to mind) but others are more readily available.

1)  The Complete Spinning Book by Candace Crockett.  I'm pretty sure this one is out of print, but it contains plans for building a bulky spinner.

2)  A No-Lathe Saxony-Style Spinning Wheel Construction Manual by Richard and Myrna Schneider.  I believe this one is still in print... I vaguely recall seeing it listed for sale at Unicorn Books.

3) Spinning and Weaving at Home by Thomas Kilbride.  This is a delightful little Australian book, part of a self-sufficient living series.  Contains plans for building a treadle wheel out of bicycle parts.  I was able to score a copy on eBay.

If you don't insist on a treadle wheel, a great wheel would be much simpler to build.  These are the large standing wheels with the sharp spindles you sometimes see in antique shops.  The Candace Crockett book has a picture of a great wheel made from a bicycle wheel and other spare parts that would be fairly simple to build, and spinning with a spindle wheel (or "point" spinning) is actually easier to learn than the treadle wheel.  It's the same concept as the charkha, only on a much larger scale (and at a much lower rate of twist, which makes it suitable for spinning longer, coarser fibers).

Hope this helps.
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2006 09:33:01 AM »

I was trying to figure out how to build my own wheel for awhile and I thought I figured it out, but I was wrong. There is a lot of work (wood and metal work) to do for the bobbin/flyer/orifice. Plus if you never used or seen a wheel in work it is much more difficult (as with me, I can't even begin to try and make a flyer as I never seen one in person!).

I did find some books at the library about wheels, but let me just say it is much harder to get exact measurements and precision as it first seems.

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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2006 10:59:35 AM »

I just found a website that may be useful.


I haven't looked around the site much. Good luck. 

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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2006 06:25:37 PM »

Another book that tells you how to make a spinning wheel (although I believe it's a Great Wheel spinning wheel, no treadles) is the Firefox series.  It's an accumulation of articles published in a school magazine about how to do "old time" things and I don't recall who published them, but they are AWESOME books if you can get your hands on them.  I think there are five in the series and I'm not sure which volume you'd want for the spinning wheel construction . . .

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