Full Chisel Blog

June 25, 2012

Double Flax Wheel Flyer repair 2

I have been working on this flyer as mentioned previously.  Today after making a proper quill bit from a bit of correct sized piano wire [I filed it by hand, much easier than trying it on my hand crank grindstone].

I used a reciprocating push drill from Lee Valley [they don’t seem to carry it anymore but I do have one ‘similar‘ from them I use on smaller holes] and it works great but it is a lot of work.  I had to drill 20 holes, it took 100 strokes to drill each hole for a total of over 2000 strokes.

Now it is a matter of bending 20 small 16 gauge wire hooks and installing them.



  1. I’m glad that I stumbled on your blog – I’ve unintentionally become a bit of a spinning wheel mechanic over the last few months – people who have older wheels keep asking me questions and dropping their “babies” off on me for tuneups ever since I started working on an 1865 (or so) wheel that I got at a local junk store – and seeing what you’re doing has been a big help – particularly in the flyer department. I’m also in the process of deciding whether or not to purchase what appears to be a late 19th century wheel that some slap-happy decorator desecrated with ENAMEL PAINT (yellow!). It’s mostly intact despite the paint, but the tension knob appears to not be able to grab onto the internal wooden screw in the table. As I prefer wheels that can produce over interior design, I was wondering if you had any idea if tension screws are fixable.
    Thanks in advance for any insight that you can give me!

    Comment by Chris Durrill — June 26, 2012 @ 7:58 am

  2. Chris,
    Once people find out you repair wheels, it doesn’t ever end. There are ways to strip off the paint and leave the original finish. And tension screws can be repaired both the internal and external threads.

    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — June 26, 2012 @ 9:09 am

  3. Thanks! – and about removing paint without removing the finish, how on earth does one do that? I didn’t even realize that it was possible!
    Somebody tried to remove the pain on part of the wheel I’m talking about – and they went down to bare wood.

    Comment by Chris Durrill — June 26, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

  4. I’m curious about the cutting geometry on the tip of the quill bit, and I can’t find a reference for it. How is it shaped?

    Comment by Chuck Nickerson — June 28, 2012 @ 11:48 am

  5. Chuck,
    The wire is sharpened to a conical point, then half of the diameter of the wire is filed off flat producing a triangular point on the cutting sides, it cuts in both directions.

    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — June 28, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

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