Full Chisel Blog

March 16, 2014

Double Table Spinning Wheel Restoration

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I replaced the pitman with one influenced by the one on the original in the local museum.

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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.

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Stephen

 

 

March 10, 2014

Liquid Hide Glue – freshness test

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.

hide glue freshness test

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Stephen

 

February 9, 2014

Getting down to Brass Tacks

This term comes from the upholstery trade; brass tacks are the finishing touch and final job of an upholstered chair, settee, sofa, lounge, etc. as well as leather covered trunks.  So ‘getting down to brass tacks’ is the last part of the job.

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Here is a link to the website selling decent traditional brass tacks.  This link shows about the brass tacks.

brass tacks

My artwork [above] from 1994 was used by the site, I contacted the owner, proved I did the art and he sent me these tacks.  While they are not completely accurate, the originals were cast one piece, these brass tacks are the best available on the market.  They do pass the magnet test, which is a way to determine if the shanks are iron or steel.

If you are making 19th century accurate reproductions such as leather covered trunks, an upholstered piece of furniture or a brass tack knife sheath [the clinch looks correct] these tacks fit the bill.  I highly recommend them.

Stephen

January 23, 2014

My work goes largely unnoticed

Here is the final finish on the Dutchman repair I showed in my last post.  I used pigmented wax to fill in the joint, then worked it over to match the surrounding optical surfaces.

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Stephen

January 22, 2014

A Nail does not a good repair make.

As I have said before and will say again there is nothing wrong with nails used in the original construction of furniture or other wooden objects, but in no instance is a nail a good choice for repairs.  Nails do not help and in most cases make the future restoration much more difficult.

Here is the previous work I have already done on the foot treadle for this spinning wheel.

It took about a half an hour to take apart a simple pegged joint on the foot treadle for a spinning wheel.  Instead of carefully removing the peg and sliding the dovetail joint apart, I had to carefully work the nail loose in order to get the joint apart so it could be cleaned and glued back together.

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The nail was particularly stubborn but with a few drops of alcohol on the shaft of the nail, it came loose, there was also some cursing.

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Once I had removed the 6 nails from previous attempts at repair, I cleaned off most of the old hide glue then re-glued the pieces back together with Fish Glue, clamped them and allowed to dry.

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I then noticed that the end of the treadle where it connects to the pitman was worn and not much wood was left.  I made a dovetailed Dutchman and glued it in place.  After the glue dried, I used a sharp chisel to trim down the birch Dutchman.  A little staining and it will be good to go.

Stephen

January 17, 2014

Lace Drop Spindle

Just need to put the finish [walnut oil] on this lignum vitae lace drop spindle and it will be ready to go to its new owner, if it is not too heavy.  The first picture I weighed the rough turning and it weighed 2.75 ounces.  The flash on the camera was used on the first photograph.

lace spindle1

After I drilled the hole for the iron wire hook, I cut off the ends and the overall weight is 1.45 ounces.  I like the bamboo motif on the shank and the bell shape at the bottom.  Hook prepared with garlic and glued in with Fish Glue.  Natural light was used in the photograph below, still getting use to my new camera.

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I also have a couple of lignum vitae whorls for larger drop spindles in the works.

Stephen

January 12, 2014

Storage of Pliers, pincers, shears, snips and scissors

I have a good collection of box joint pliers and use them regularly, however they were stored with their working ends down in holes in a block of wood that also holds my files and rasps, so they needed a place of their own.

Then I remembered a quote from my first father in law and mentor when it comes to old things, he said ‘don’t forget the great unused storage space in the sky’.

Using some 1/2″ thick pine I cut a length of the 11″ wide board to 18″, drilled holes in the end grain for the pivot hinges, drilled a hole in through the top of my tool cabinet and manufactured a bracket to hold the lower pivot hinge.  I used white oak for the dowels/pivots and there is a single slotted screw holding the bracket to the side of the tool cabinet.

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I then laid out the pliers/ pincers on one side, they are held with 1″ fine cut headless brads with room for expansion, I already found another pair of box joint pliers to add to the collection.  Then on the other side I put my snips, shears and scissors that I use regularly.

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This arrangement works nicely, everything easy to see and a place for storage out of the way.

Stephen

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