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 Hand-crafted wheel question
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
545 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2014 :  10:40:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay, for anyone who read my previous question about a beginner wheel, I now have a new question for anyone who owns a hand-crafted wheel or has made a spinning wheel: what tips do you have for someone undertaking such a project?

What are the "sticking" points, so to speak? Any well-known problem areas to watch for and fix/adjust before the fact? Anything you would change if you could build another one? Improvements? What went wrong that you wish you had anticipated?

Thanks so much!


Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)

noallatin
Chatty Knitter

285 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2014 :  1:15:27 PM  Show Profile Send noallatin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The last few paragraphs of this article may give you some information.
http://abbysyarns.com/2008/12/choosing-your-first-spinning-wheel
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
545 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2014 :  6:31:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ah, yes! I already printed some of that out for my neighbor to read, as well as stacks of other reading. Thank you.

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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robinstephanie
Permanent Resident

USA
1257 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2014 :  10:03:20 AM  Show Profile Send robinstephanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Make plenty of bobbins, allowing for the inevitable parings of time on your bobbin supply. I've heard it said that bobbins are the hardest thing to replace on handmade or antique wheels, because they are usually made for that wheel alone, and have their own specific proportions that aren't duplicated in commercially made bobbins. Mostly, I've read that people have had to have replacement bobbins hand-worked, by a wood worker.

I'd ask for at least five, maybe more. I've had eight bobbins in play at one time, and I'm only a beginning spinner.

Robinsteph

Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
545 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2014 :  12:38:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great idea, Robinsteph ... I already told him the bobbins need to be easy to change and that I would need at least four, so perhaps I'll ask for twice that many. Also that the flyer should be easy to change in case he needs to add a jumbo-sized flyer and bobbin (for plying?). We're looking at LOTS of pictures (online, in books and in Spin-Off) of all the different parts to compare.

I'll also want a tensioned lazy kate for those bobbins!

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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robinstephanie
Permanent Resident

USA
1257 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2014 :  09:45:15 AM  Show Profile Send robinstephanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
GOOOD idea on that flyer flexibility! I didn't think of that; the Lendrum has it and you use it with the plying bobbin. Man, that thing holds A LOT of yarn. I usually run out of strength before I fill it as fat as it will go—the fuller it gets, the harder it is to treadle. It's huge!

Robinsteph

Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
545 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2014 :  6:10:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm beginning to have second thoughts about the hand-crafted wheel, at least for this beginning stage. My neighbor doesn't want to charge me (he's a really nice neighbor, he and my husband help each other a lot) except for the materials that must be purchased, which are quite minimal, since we already have the wood. But I'm looking at handcrafted spinning wheels of the quality (really fine piece of furniture) we are considering, and I cannot possibly pay that high a price right now; I don't think I would feel comfortable at all accepting a gift that is going to require the time and effort and skill he plans to put into it. He makes handcrafted knitting needles and shawl pins, but those are WAY different from a spinning wheel!

Anyway, I'm really looking hard at "store-bought" wheels, and keep coming back to the Lendrum and the Fricke. I'm reading everything I can find (lots of spinning groups on Ravelry, as well as searches in these forums here) and watching videos like crazy. Cramming, I suppose.

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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eldergirl
Permanent Resident

USA
1809 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2014 :  6:48:12 PM  Show Profile Send eldergirl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Donna, I'm glad to see this last post.....when you first spoke of this project, my reaction was "Ooooo Nooooo!" It is just not a good situation to have a novice make an item that you want to use as a fiber tool, and as you said, not pay for his work. He will be "reinventing the wheel" as far as his experience goes, and it will be fun for him, but for you........I'd just think second, third, and fourth thoughts about his offer, and now matter how nice he is, it could be a nightmare.
Being an elderly person, and having done my share of custom work, I'd say thanks but no thanks.
Just saying.....hope everything works out as you would like!
Best wishes,
Anna

Life is beautiful.
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
545 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2014 :  11:07:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, my neighbor and my husband and I all had a good, long talk this morning about the wheel, and the neighbor IS going to make it for me. He really WANTS to make a spinning wheel, and may make two while he is at it, one for me and one for his daughter, who also is becoming interested in fiber arts (I helped teach her to knit). It will take some time (he is not in good health) and there is no rush, and he understands that I may go ahead and buy a modern, beginner's wheel in the meantime. This is strictly a hobby for him, but he's asking some good questions about how I will sit at it and use it, etc. We are watching lots of videos showing closeups of the workings, too.

Who knows, it may be the perfect wheel for one special thing, such as plying. So, the spinning wheel "collection" may be starting, whether I intended for it to do so or not!

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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Shelia
Permanent Resident

USA
2366 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2014 :  08:24:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shelia's Homepage Send Shelia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Donna, I'm glad to hear that you realize that having a wheel made by a brand new wheelwright may be an adventure, and that the wheel may not be as versatile or easy to use as a more standard wheel. One of the challenges with wheels made by new wheel makers is that they make the wheels based on limited input and feedback, or feedback from new or relatively inexperienced spinners that may just be learning themselves. The more you learn on a purchased wheel, the more you can help when your neighbor is making his first wheels.

Your leanings toward buying a Lendrum or a Fricke are great, both of these wheels are sturdy workhorses that are mechanically very straightforward to understand and work with. I will be the Devil's advocate about bobbins, start with 4 bobbins and see if you really need to get more. Many of us use the cardboard sectional warping spools or center-pull wound balls to store singles rather than extra bobbins. Bobbins are expensive, the warping spools are under $2 and of course if you have a ball winder there's no cost for center pull balls. There are other storage bobbins out there for sale as well, all costing less than wheel bobbins.

Shelia
www.breezyridgestudio.com
ravelry name - sheliaknits
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
545 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2014 :  6:14:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Shelia ... actually, it entered my mind that if I go ahead with a simple "beginner" wheel, what I learn and what my neighbor sees will only serve to help him understand things and make a better wheel.

And thank you for the ideas about storing singles; that will help me no matter what wheel(s) I end up using.

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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