Full Chisel Blog

October 13, 2008

Spinning Wheel Whorl

Filed under: Historical Material,Of Interest,Sawing,Techniques,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 9:09 am

Back to the restoration of the aforementioned Spinning Wheel, the last part to replace is the ‘original’ whorl which was a replacement and did not allow the bobbin to operate properly.  After determining that the replacement needed to be replaced, I drew an outline from the whorl, tweaked the design to get a better line.

 Cutting out the whorl

So I put the wood in the vise picked up my bow saw, put tension on the blade and gave it a whirl.

Whorl tools

The waste piece that came out of the middle has two notches, I did this in order to split off the excess and start the saw cut in the proper place.  I used a cabinet file (half round) to straighten up any irregularities.  I did lay out both sides of the whorl, as the thin pieces on the ends needed to be sawn from both sides.  I progressed slowly with the cuts to make sure it was on the line.  I didn’t want to stress the pieces by excessive shaping after it was cut.  I used a card scraper to smooth all surfaces.


The whorl is not quite finished as the tang on the bottom needs to be shaped round after the spindle is put in place.  I left it big and square for ease of holding when I drill the hole for the metal spindle.  This hole needs to be perfectly centered and absolutely square and straight.  Then it must or should be balanced so that it will not wobble or gyrate as it spins.



  1. Glad to see your working on the spinning wheel again

    Comment by Dave — October 14, 2008 @ 9:08 am

  2. Dave,

    Thanks and thanks for all your help over the years. Dave was a volunteer in my shop and actually did the turnings on this spinning wheel among many other things, including packing up.

    Dave, you might be interested to know that I have been contacted by a lady in St. Louis who has a spinning wheel that needs repair, she saw the original post and contacted me. I am getting a bid together for the restoration. It has a few missing spokes and the distaff is missing.


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — October 14, 2008 @ 9:26 am

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