Full Chisel Blog

November 22, 2014

New Distaff for an old wheel

My friend and Master woodcarver and turner Richard McDonald picked this wheel up at a local flea market.  It is in excellent condition and appears to have never been finished, it is ‘in the white’.

wheel1

All that was missing was the distaff and the pitman (footman) needed to be replaced.  I designed the new distaff and pitman from turning details on the original, Richard turned the pieces and I assembled the parts.

wheel2

wheel3

I got very little spring back or recovery from the bent dowels.

The ribs are 1/8″ diameter birch dowels, the rest of the wheel is also made of birch.  I made a bending jig, boiled the 5 dowels, hoping to get 4 good ones in boiling water for 20 minutes, clamped them to the jig and carefully and quickly bent them to shape.  I allowed them to dry overnight and as expected I had one failure, but the four turned out fine.

wheel4

I drilled 1/8″ holes in the distaff at the proper angles and spring the ribs into position.  I will glue them in place with hide glue.

wheel5

No finish on this piece, still have the pitman to finish.  This wheel will be for sale when it is completed.

Stephen

October 22, 2014

Dry Powdered Pigments for Restoration Work

I have received several requests for the dry powdered pigments I use and having mentioned them in my forth coming book, I decided to offer them for sale as a set.

dry powdered pigments

Black Iron Oxide, Red Iron Oxide, Yellow Ocher, Burnt Umber, & Zinc White.

These are the traditional pigments from the nineteenth century and earlier, zinc oxide is substituted for white lead, as some people won’t allow the sale of lead for some reason.

All natural earth pigments ground 900 fine, they are non-fugative and will not fade.  They are compatable with any medium: linseed oil and turpentine, shellac or spirit based varnish, oil based varnish [to make enamel], and water based finishes such as gum arabic or for distemper [hide glue size], etc.

Five one ounce (by weight) glass jars with metal lids, they are available here.

Stephen

October 17, 2014

Pre-publication Sale of The Spinning Wheel Repair Book

I am offering a pre-publication sale on the Spinning Wheel Repair Book which is going to the press soon.  I will be delivering these by the first week of December 2014.

Here is a mock up of the cover, color being added as we speak, original artwork by Tim Burnham.

freya1

For the first 25 orders I will include an 8.5″ by 11″ hand impressed copy of the hand set title page by Lauri Taylor of Loose Cannon Press, along with your order.

lauri title page3

The book is 8.5″ by 11″, 77 pages with 160 illustrations and 25 photographs.

The book can be ordered here at the Full Chisel Store, the price is $20.00 plus $6.00 domestic shipping.  International shipping charges apply.  The book will be shipped by early December, 2014.

Thanks to all of those who helped with this publication.

Stephen

August 21, 2014

Spinning Wheel Maiden repair

This is a maiden from a Canadian Production Wheel and had been previously repaired.  It was repaired with hide glue but the small bamboo skewer just wasn’t big enough to reinforce the joint.

maiden1

I had to remove a nail holding the stub of the tenon on the end of the off-side maiden.  Instead of making a new maiden, I decided to use a shouldered tenon and make it match the original.  With the nail removed I could remove the stub tenon.

maiden2

I cut the maiden off flush at the shoulder for the end of the maiden, then drilled a 1/4″ twist auger and then enlarged it with a 3/8″ duck bill spoon bit.  I fit the new birch tenon into the hole, applied hide glue and clamped it together.

maiden3

I also drilled a hole with a gimlet bit for the wedge and made a new one of birch to match the original

maiden4

The next day I applied pigmented shellac to match the original finish on the parts exposed.  The customer was happy.

Stephen

 

August 8, 2014

Loom repair

Filed under: Hardware,Historical Material,Of Interest,Restoration,Techniques,Uncategorized,Wood — Stephen Shepherd @ 9:16 am

loom

A friend for whom I have done repairs on spinning wheels brought me a loom she had got from India made of teak.  The problem was that it would not lock adequately into the upright position.  I examined the loom and determined that the slotted machine screws just spun as the wingnuts were tightened.

The loom was actually quite well made, except for the white plastic parts, but they just couldn’t or didn’t figure out all of the details.  So I decided that two of the four machine screws in question could be replaced with simple carriage bolts.  I used a square file to make the bolt go into the hole without splitting the wood, and that worked out fine.

loombolts

However the other two machine screws could not be replaced with ordinary carriage bolts, so I had master blacksmith Mark Schramm weld on tabs on both sides of the square top of the carriage bolts.  I had to remove one of the shed spacers in order to remove the old screws and insert the new tabbed carriage bolts.

Once they were in place I repositioned the spacers in the proper location, put it back together and low and behold it works.  And the happy customer brought me this hand spun dishtowel that she had made on the loom.  Thank you.

loom1

Stephen

July 15, 2014

Emergency Tool Repair

Filed under: Historical Material,Of Interest,Proper Tools,Restoration,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 1:40 pm

Alas after nearly 10 years my ‘hand of death’ flyswatter is getting a bit limp in the wrist.  I personally take a hand in the demise of the flies.

flyswatter1

It has a hickory handle, waxed linen thread ‘netting’ the handle with a one piece leather strap.  The leather hand is held to the hickory handle with an iron staple that is clinched.  I straightened out the staple, removed the old hand and replaced it with a new one.

flyswatter2

Now it is ready for the nasty flying bugs.

Stephen

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 23, 2014

CPW Spinning Wheel, whorl repair and 3 new bobbins

I initially posted this as ‘Bobbin Shaped Object‘, but I was wrong apparently there was a family that made bobbins this way, just not for CPW’s. so I borrowed an original CPW bobbin from a friend to copy. I did repair the broken bobbin.

whorl repair4

I also finished the whorl repair, I used shellac and burnt umber pigment and was able to match the original finish.

I also applied a couple coats of Moses T’s Gunstocker’s Finish to the cherry bobbins and put them in the sun to give them a bit of a tan.

finished job

Also included in the order was a Chicken Nut, to finish out the restoration.  I put it in the post this morning.

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 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

 

 

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