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’.
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.
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.
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.
No finish on this piece, still have the pitman to finish. This wheel will be for sale when it is completed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I also drilled a hole with a gimlet bit for the wedge and made a new one of birch to match the original
The next day I applied pigmented shellac to match the original finish on the parts exposed. The customer was happy.
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.
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.
I can and do own a root burl war club, I own a Pueblo rabbit stick, I own a tomahawk, I own a bow and arrows, I own a 1842 Springfield musket, I own a 1848 Colt pocket pistol, I own a 1860 English double barrel 12 gauge shotgun, but I Can Not own a slingshot [county law]. Not sure about my David/Goliath sling?
I made this from maple to match the tapered octagonal handles of the rest of my shop tools, oak dowels are glued [fish glue] in to the ends of the forks. Natural gum rubber tubing, a piece of leather and linen thread to secure all the parts. It is finished with Moses T’s Gunstocker’s Finish.
However because it is illegal, I have not weaponized the flipper.
Yes it does match my other maple octagonal tapered handles on my chisels and dovetail saws. This has been on my list since childhood.
It is not a caliper, it is not a tuning fork, it is not a truncated trident, it is not a gimble, it is not a frog gig, it is not a boot jack, it is not an oar lock, it is not a pattern for a flyer [although I did use a flyer for the layout], it is not a crutch, it is not a stirrup, it is not a gun rest, it is not an equitorial mount and it is not brought to you by the letter ‘Y’. What is it?
The first picture is of an accurate copy of the Hudson Bay Fur Company trade awls sold by the hundreds to Native Americans in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in North America. It was made several years ago by my friend Richard James, I handled it up and made the leather sheath.
The one pictured below is made by master blacksmith Mark Schramm for me, like I need another awl.
I also handled up 4 awls for him to sell, the handles are curly maple. I rough shaped them with a rasp then scraped them smooth. The hole is drilled with a small gimblet bit, drills great in end grain and makes the proper shaped hole. I then heated up one of the awls to cherry red and burned the tapered hole for a perfect fit.
They are finished with Moses T’s Gunstocker’s Finish. Mark will be selling them at an upcoming event over the Fourth of July Weekend.
A customer sent me a flyer, whorl, and ‘bobbin’ for repairs to the whorl and requested three  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.
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.
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.
I then cut a piece of end grain birch to fit into the dovetail and glued it in with Fish Glue.
After the glue dried I shaped it to match the original whorl.
I will stain it to match the original color.
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.
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.]
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Then a coat of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil with burnt umber, then a thin seal coat of straight shellac.
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.
Ready to pack up and ship.