With a couple in the queue, so I need to get busy. Here is one I just recently completed, a kit wheel, very well made in the style of the 1850′s. It was in need of lubrication, a tune up and a new drive band. The customer also ordered 5 additional bobbins for hours of uninterrupted spinning.
The bobbins are made of cherry, glued together with hide glue and finished with Moses T’s Gunstocker’s Finish. The weather has turned nice so I put them out for a bit of a suntan. I will not stain them as they will darken with time.
A quick job came in the shop, a request for two additional bobbins for a Canadian Production Spinning Wheel. Also made a peg to hold the crank and provided a ‘chicken nut’ and bolt for the clam shell tension mechanism.
The first coat was a mixture of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil and red iron oxide and yellow ocher. I allowed this to dry overnight, then a light sanding.
I then sealed it with shellac followed by a coat of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil and burnt umber. The weather was so nice I put them outside to dry.
Then a thin coat of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil and black iron oxide. Turned out fine and the customer was happy.
Based on an old recipe (c 1804) this is real soap [not a detergent bar] and contains NO modern ingredients, phosphates, or petroleum distillates. After trying a couple of recipes, the lard and castor oil example was excellent and did not dry out my hands using it over the winter. After getting my hands on some rosin, I had a batch of soap made to the old recipe and the stuff is great.
Not only does it not dry out your hands, it lathers well and is long lasting. The rosin gives the soap a delightful fragrance, adds hardness to the soap and it is derived from trees, what could be better? It lubricates sticky drawer parts and other wooden moving parts [such as the tension block of spinning wheels].
It can also be used to practice carving and you can clean up with the shavings.
Made of lard, castor oil, rosin, distilled water and lye, all from renewable natural resources.
Available in the Full Chisel Store and ready for immediate shipment you can buy it here.
Thanks to Mark Schramm, master blacksmith and soap maker for making this soap for me to use and sell.
Traditional Craftsman’s Lye Soap with Rosin.
Because of my interest and work in restoring spinning wheels a reader of this blog gave me a spinning wheel. It had been sitting around his shop and he figured when he reached room temperature that his children would throw this in the trash, so he sent it to me, thank you.
The table is made of American White Oak, the legs, uprights, hub, spokes and maidens are made of birch as is part of the treadle with other yet to be determined woods. The support for the mother of all is made of cherry and what is most unusual is the wheel is made of mahogany. First time I have seen that wood used for a wheel.
There is damage to the part that holds the mother-of-all that will require attention, I do have the collar.
Need to make a new leg, one spoke is missing and there is damage to the tenons on the spokes that will require attention. The spindle, flyer, whorl, and bobbin are in the works.
One more thing regarding the Black Beauty spinning wheel restoration, the owner decided she wanted a lazy kate for her wheel as it had the existing upright which from its design was not for a distaff but to hold extra bobbins on the wheel.
I got a rough sketch with the dimensions for the spacing of the iron bars [courtesy Mark Schramm] and did a drawing for the turning.
I then drilled holes, upset some burrs on the ends of the iron rods, washed them down with alcohol, then etched with a fresh clove of garlic and used Fish Glue to hold them in place.
The birch turning was then stained using Moses T’s St. John’s Oil and burnt umber pigment and allowed to dry overnight. Next was shellac with black iron oxide for the final finish.
I will have the owner shoot a picture of the complete wheel and post it later.
While I have restored probably well over 100 spinning wheels, this is my first double table spinning wheel restoration. Of Scandinavian origins this wheel is a close match to this one featured on a Catalogue from a local Daughter’s of the Utah Pioneer Museum.
Sometime during its history the original pitman was replaced with a homemade folk art replacement. I do think because the pitman was rigid that it caused damage to the two uprights holding the wheel; the sockets in the lower table were both broken. These were easy to repair as all of the parts and pieces were there, so using Fish Glue I filled the joints, clamped them and washed off the excess glue with a wet cloth.
There was an interesting piece of wood in one of the maidens, apparently to keep the flyer in place. I had to remove this when the proper sized spindle, flyer, whorl, and bobbin were added.
The treadle also needed some repair as the end where the pitman is attached had a piece missing. I shaped a new piece and glued it into place.
I also had to make new leather bearings for the maidens; first a paper pattern to fit the mortise and the leather bearing. This is for a new spindle, flyer, whorl and bobbin that replaced the missing set.
I replaced the pitman with one influenced by the one on the original in the local museum.
The drive band is hemp cord that I washed, stretched, and allowed to dry. I then treated it with Drive Belt Dressing.
Here are two views of the finished restoration. This one belongs to a friend of mine who purchased it for $35.00 at a local swap meet and now that it is restored he intends to put it up for sale.
A foolproof [if that concept is possible] method of testing the freshness of liquid hide glue, that works every time.
Simply put a bead of liquid hide glue on a piece of porous paper and place the paper in a warm oven [150 to 200 degrees [F]] for 15 to 20 minutes, then remove and allow to cool.
When you bend the paper the bead of glue will break if the glue is fresh. If the liquid hide glue is not fresh it will bend without breaking.
The samples are from left to right liquid Fish Glue, fresh Franklin/Titebond liquid hide glue and finally Franklin/Titebond Liquid Hide Glue that is over 5 years old [two years spent outdoors year round] and the results show the cracking in the two fresh samples and wrinkles and flexibility in the old sample.
An excellent test, the two fresh glues also passed the legging, cottoning, or stringing test, the old glue did not.
The walking wheel spindle head repair is complete and now that I have a proper size mailing box I will put it into the post soon. Here is the first part, and here is the second part.This is the small pulley repair with its first coat of stain to match the original.
This is the pulley with the final stain and ready for the installation of the whorl, end, or flange of the iron spindle. I first roughened up the area where the whorl will be fixed, then I washed it down with alcohol and etch the metal and the inside of the maple whorl with a fresh clove of garlic. It is attached with Fish Glue.
The whorl glued in place with its first coat of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil and yellow ocher dry powdered pigment. I allowed 24 hours to dry before moving on to the next step.
A coat of thinned shellac and a coat of burnt umber dry powdered pigment with a bit of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil.
Another thin coat of shellac then some Oil with black iron oxide which was allowed to dry overnight. The final coat was thin shellac.
I had prepared the braided corn husks for the bearings and attached them with hemp string. I will include a couple extra braided corn shuck bearings for future replacement when and if necessary. I also included a hemp drive band treated with Drive Belt Dressing.
This stuff use to be available when tools and mills were powered by flat leather belts, jack shafts, and flywheels. It keeps the belt tracking properly [providing the wheels are coplanar] and prevents the belt from slipping.
Works great on Foot Powered Treadle Lathes, sewing machine belts and drive bands on Spinning Wheels. Based on an old formula this stuff is very sticky, it sticks to silicone, teflon and high molecular plastic, etc. etc.
The perforated paper tube keeps it from sticking to your fingers and can be peeled back as the belt dressing is used up.
And it is for sale at The Full Chisel Store.
*that should read ‘Do you have rosin?’
According to the 1930 edition of Merck’s Index:
Colophony; Abietic Anhydride; Yellow Rosin; Resina, B.P.-Res. left on distil. volat. oil fr. oleoresin obt. fr. Pinus palustris & o. spec. of Pinus, Pinaceæ. – Occur.:Rosin is chiefly supplied by the U.S. – Sol.: Freely in A., B., E., glac.acet. acid, oils, & soluts. of fixed alkali hydroxides. U.S.P. also in CS2. – Sp. Gr.: 1.07 – 1.09 at 25°C., U.S.P. – Constit.: Chiefly (80%-90%) abietic acid, or its anhydride resene (5%-6%, B.P.C.).; also pinic & sylvic acids – Uses: Pharm., as ingred. in oints, plasters, cerates, &c. – Techn., manuf. varnishes, varnish & paint driers, printing inks, cements, soap, sealing wax, wood polish, floor coverings, paper, plastics, fireworks, tree wax, sizes; f. waterproofing cardboard, walls, etc., & as source of rosin spirit & rosin oil, & pitch.
It is available by the pound at the Full Chisel Store, here.