Full Chisel Blog

June 26, 2014

Distaff Cup – for sale

This is a wheel that a friend found at the dump and gave it to me to restore.

dumpwheel

The wheel will eventually be for sale, it is on the back burner, as other jobs are in the queue first.  Here is a photograph from Southern Antiques and Folkart by Robert Morton showing a tin distaff cup.

distaff cup

I asked master blacksmith and tinsmith Brian Westover to make one for my wheel and also some for sale.

distaff cup1Here is what it looks like on the lower part of the yet unfinished distaff, a small peg slides out under the distaff to hold it in place.

distaff cup2

I will work on it when I get some free time between other projects.

You can order a distaff cup here.

Stephen

June 13, 2014

Spinning Wheel Repair – Bobbin Shaped Object

A customer sent me a flyer, whorl, and ‘bobbin’ for repairs to the whorl and requested three [3] new bobbins for her Canadian Production Wheel.  When I received it in the mail, I took off the whorl [it has left hand threads] and the ‘bobbin’ came apart like no other bobbin I had ever seen before and you can believe I have seen a lot of bobbins.

bobbin shaped object

As you can see from the picture the center shaft of the bobbin is butt joined to the pulley end rather than the traditional round socket holes and tenons on both ends?  I found this very curious and thought that whoever sold the wheel put this ‘bobbin shaped object’ in place in order to sell the wheel.  I notified the owner, who contacted the seller, who got in touch with me.

Apparently the seller had purchased it from a known collector on the East coast and had made sure the wheel was functional and did not notice the suspect bobbin prior to selling it to my customer.

I am convinced it was not done to deceive and I think everything is smoothed out with the seller [who wants me to do some work for them] and the project progresses.  I contacted a local friend and she lent me an original CPW bobbin to copy, so the new ones will look right and are constructed using original techniques.

whorl repair

You can see the chip in the whorl in the above photograph.  I marked out a dovetail Dutchman repair on the whorl, then using a small sharp knife cut the end grain birch to the right shape.

whorl repair1

I then cut a piece of end grain birch to fit into the dovetail and glued it in with Fish Glue.

whorl repair2

After the glue dried I shaped it to match the original whorl.

whorl repair3I will stain it to match the original color.

first bobbin

Here is the first of three bobbins, I still have to glue them together and finish them with Moses T’s Gunstocker’s Finish.  The bobbins are made out of cherry and I will put them in the sun for a tan, no stain.

Stephen

June 8, 2014

Tapered Reamer with a spokeshave blade

Yes this one has been on my list ever since I saw it illustrated in Salaman”s book and I did a more detailed sketch on page 48 of Shepherds’ Compleat Early Nineteenth Century Woodworker originally published in 1981.

Richard McDonald did the turning in hard maple for me, and Mark Schramm made the special long spokeshave blade, similar to these but 4″ long with short 1″ tangs.  [If you are interested in one of these blades send me an email.]

spokeshave tapered reamer

The layout was interesting and a bit challenging to get the cutting edge near the center line of the turning.  I drilled the through holes with gimlet bits starting with my smallest and working up a couple of sizes.  I then worried the square holes with a small 1/8″ chisel and used the ends of the tangs to scrape the holes to their final shape.

spokeshave tapered reamer2

I then had to cut off some of the lower tang so it did not protrude from the wood on the back side.  I waited until it was fit up before I sharpened the blade with a file and honed it on a whetstone.

spokeshave tapered reamer1

I had to make a recess for the chips to escape and not clog up the works as it cuts the taper.  I used a small gouge to carve the shape then one of my Tombstone Scrapers to smooth it out and deepen the channel.

All in all, I am happy with how it turned out and how well it works, even though it was not the easiest tool I have ever made it is finally off the list.

Now where is that list to see what is next up?

Stephen

June 1, 2014

Spindle Wheel – New Mother-of-All, and Spindle, finished

I have completed the new mother of all and spindle for the spinning wheel from Florida, time to pack it up and ship it home.

The flange and power pulley are turned of maple, then fit and the pulley turned to its final dimension.  The metal spindle from master blacksmith Mark Schramm was roughened up where the flange and pulley are attached, then washed with alcohol and etched with a fresh clove of garlic.  I used Fish Glue to attach them together.

spindle head4

spindle head5

With the parts all turned up and fit, I drilled the holes for the braided corn husk bearings and started the finish schedule.  The first coat is yellow ocher in Moses T’s St. John’s Oil followed by a sealing coat of burnt umber and shellac.

spindle head6

Then a coat of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil with burnt umber, then a thin seal coat of straight shellac.

spindle head7

The last color is of course black iron oxide in Moses T’s St. John’s Oil and allowed to dry.  Both the Birch and reclaimed Chestnut match the original color now.

spindle head8

Ready to pack up and ship.

Stephen

 

 

May 27, 2014

Spindle Wheel – New Mother-of-All, and Spindle

spindle head0This is a photograph sent in by a customer and in need of a new spindle head, maidens, and mother of all, and spindle.  They sent me the tension device on the left, an unusual two standard model with a tilting head and tightening nut to provide drive band tension.

spindle head1The uprights [standards] are made of chestnut, the block is birch and the nut is white oak, an American Wheel.  There is a name stamped on the end of the table, hard to see or tell exactly what it is but perhaps ‘NORTON’.  The new upright post that fits it the block is reclaimed chestnut and the Mother of All cross piece is birch.

I had to make a tapered reamer to match the tapered socket hole in the block, the first one was from soft maple and shattered during the third hole.  A new one of hard maple works much better.

tapered reamer1A slot is cut in the center and the blade is from an old saw and is draw filed square on the edge profile, it has four cutting edges and is used in both directions.

tapered reamer2The two maidens are also made of reclaimed chestnut and these are turned to fit the holes that have been reamed out with the above reamers.

spindle head1a

Here is how the detail on the maiden looks, after details on the existing standards.

spindle head2And here is the entire mother of all with the exception of the metal spindle, flange and drive pulley.  I will finish this piece first, the flange and pulley are made of maple which requires a different finish schedule.

spindle head3I will also permanently attach the single upright post into the birch cross piece with hide glue and a wedge, a little too small for a peg, either method is appropriate.  The maidens are just friction fit as is the mother of all into the tension block.

I also have to drill holes in the maidens to hold the corn husk bearings.

Stephen

April 22, 2014

I have 4 spinning wheels in my shop right now!

kk2

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.

kk1

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.

Stephen

April 10, 2014

Canadian Production Wheel – Bobbins

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.

cpw1

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.

cpw2

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.

cpw3

Then a thin coat of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil and black iron oxide.  Turned out fine and the customer was happy.

cpw4

Stephen

March 3, 2014

Walking Wheel Spindle Head Repair III

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.spindle head12This is the small pulley repair with its first coat of stain to match the original.

spindle head3a

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.

spindle head7a

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.

spindle head7b

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.

spindle head13

Another thin coat of shellac then some Oil with black iron oxide which was allowed to dry overnight.  The final coat was thin shellac.

spindle head14

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.

Job done.

Stephen

 

February 26, 2014

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.

drive belt dressing

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.

drive belt dressing1

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.

Stephen

 

February 19, 2014

Walking Wheel Spindle Head Repair II

I started talking about this restoration here.   I made a drawing for making a new maple whorl [head or flange] on the spindle.spindle head4

This is the whorl temporarly fit to the metal spindle, I will later roughen the spindle slightly, etch with garlic and glue in place with Fish Glue.  spindle head7

Here is what the mother-of-all looked like when it arrived, I discussed replacing the obviously newer maiden with a proper one.  My client said that would be fine but insisted as much of the original should be maintained, music to my ears.

spindle head1

Here is the new replacement in birch to match the original.

spindle head6

In order to get the finish to match the original it took several steps, the first is a mixture of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil and yellow ocher dry powdered pigment.

spindle head9

The next step is a coat of shellac with some burnt umber dry powdered pigment.

spindle head10

Then a bit of black iron oxide dry powdered pigment with shellac to get near the final color.

spindle head11

Then some abrasion of the shiny finish and a coat of wood ashes makes it a good match to the original, there is no way to do this in one step to match the old finishes.

Here is the damaged pulley on the shaft together with the replacement part and the pattern that matches what is remaining on the original.

spindle head8

Having fit up the two pieces, I etched them with garlic and glued them in place with Fish Glue.  It was impossible to clamp so I held it in my hands for 10 minutes then set it aside to cure.  A little work with a chisel and I gave it a coat of shellac with burnt umber pigment.  I will add a bit of black later.

spindle head12

I still need to braid up a couple of corn shuck bearings and tie them onto the maidens.  This is an unusual method of attaching the bearings, most are secured through a hole and fixed with a wedge.

spindle head5

I was able to fit the pieces back together to determine just how they were tied on.  This job is nearly complete.

Stephen

 

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