Full Chisel Blog

August 31, 2010

Curly Maple Spinning Wheel 5

I thought that this would be my last post, however when I put the wheel together today I noticed it was missing a pitman.  Well it will not work with out one so I turned one up.  I measured from the treadle up to the crank at bottom dead center and subtracted an inch to keep the treadle off the floor. 

After it is turned, I got it wet with water to raise the grain and allowed it to dry before scraping off the raised grain and burnishing the surface on the lathe with shavings.

Using a wide chisel I made the upper part flat on both sides, so it would fit on the iron crank.  I drilled the holes from both sides, a large 1/2″ hole for the button on the end of the crank and a smaller one for the shaft of the crank 3/8″.  I need to drill one more hole on the other end for the leather strap that connects the bottom of the pitman to the foot treadle.

Still need to finish the hooks on the flyer, but did get the whorl working, had to re-line the inside of the pulley with some very thin leather glued on with fish glue.  The shaft of the mandrel was not threaded but friction fit, interesting, so the leather was necessary to make the pulley hold tight.

I have an old pioneer wool walking wheel in the queue and have already made one part but trying to decide the tension mechanism.



  1. Hi Stephen. No luck yet finding a minor’s head for that wheel. Very interested in seeing how the tension mechanism turns out.

    Comment by M. Craven — September 4, 2010 @ 10:27 am

  2. What type of tensioning system are you thinking of? My girls have two very different kinds of tensioning. Katy my simpler wheel has a board with a U shaped cut out and a knob and nut that are tightened to hold it in position. Grace my shaker style wheel has a very different type of system which you can see here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/spindledreams/4736931577/in/set-72157624365429444/

    Comment by dorothy in wyoming — September 11, 2010 @ 9:15 pm

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