Full Chisel Blog

January 28, 2014

I’ve got Chicken Nuts

Filed under: For Sale or Trade,Hardware,Of Interest,Restoration,Spinning Wheel,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 9:19 am

chicken nuts1

If you own a Canadian Pattern Spinning Wheel you know what I mean, as for the rest of you, it is not what you think.  Size 5/16″ by 18.

chicken nuts2

See Full Chisel Store.


January 26, 2014

Black Beauty Spinning Wheel Restoration, complete


Well I have finally finished this wheel after much work, as documented here and earlier.  The owner of the wheel had called her the ‘Black Beauty’, and she was until I got into the restoration which was much more involved than I had originally imagined.  The wheel was called ‘Black Beast’ during most of its stay in my shop.  The owner said that if she knew what kind of condition it was in she would never have purchased the wheel.  But that is in the past and now the wheel is in working condition with two extra [new] bobbins and it is good for another 100 years or so.  The wrought iron crank may need some attention in the future.

Everything was done and I put it all together but could not find the tension garter wedge I had previously fabricated.  I then spent more time looking for it on my bench that it would have taken me to make a new one.  So I decided to take the spinning wheel out for this final photograph, then put my vise back on my bench and make a new wedge.  I took the picture, came back in the shop and there in the middle of my bench was the wedge.


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.







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.


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.


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.




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.


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.

lace spindle2

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


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.


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.


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


January 9, 2014

Distaff design

While I should be working on the Black Beauty leg [which I intend to do later today], but I want to work on the design of the distaff for the wheel I am restoring for myself [and will be for sale].


The original part is all that is left, so I will have to turn the other two pieces that hold this as well as turn the finial and make the 4 ribs of the birdcage.  Made of birch the part remaining also has a peg [cut off now] that holds a donut cup for water to help lubricate the flax during spinning.  I am having the water cup made by a local tinsmith.

What do you think of the design I came up with for the finial?  I copied the profile of the lower part, but not sure if it should have a lower pendant or not?


January 7, 2014

Happy St. Distaff Day

Filed under: Historical Material,Of Interest,Spinning Wheel,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 6:11 am

curly maple wheel6

Also called ‘Rock Day’, rock is a traditional term for the distaff.  The distaff is the part of a spinning wheel that holds the fibers being spun into thread/yarn.

It is the day after Twelfth Night or the Feast of Epiphany and on this day (January 7th), the day when women resume spinning after the holidays,

Time to get back to woodworking too, and I will be working on a spinning wheel.


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