Full Chisel Blog

July 11, 2009

Spinning Wheel repair – good news and bad news

Filed under: Hide Glue,Historical Material,Of Interest,Spinning Wheel,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 11:57 am

Lets start with the bad news first.  This spinning wheel has been in my clients family for generations and as the family story went, her great-great grandmother brought this spinning wheel over from Germany.  Well in fact her great-great grandmother did own this wheel, but it didn’t come from Germany.

Not German Wheel1

And now for the good news!  It is an American made wheel, making it much more valuable than if it were a comparable wheel from Europe.  And the reason I know this is it is made from birch for the turnings, split white oak for the base and whorl, and chestnut for the wheel.  The whorl is original but heavily repaired and the bobbin is in excellent condition.  It is sticky, needs cleaning but can be put into usable service.

The one replaced leg was done by her grand father or great grand father and I will leave it as part of its lineage.  The mother of all is in the wheel backwards, but that can just be turned around.  There are two missing spokes which I will turn up, some repairs to the chestnut wheel and repair to the much worn treadle.

I will be able to match the species of wood for the replacement and repair pieces and all new work will be glued with Hide Glue no doubt.  I may do some lashing repairs with thin rawhide, sinew or linen thread on the repairs to the flyer on the whorl, to replace the wire repairs as they exist today.

Speaking of wear, here is something that is encountered with a much used wheel.  This is the crank on the wheel that connects to the pitman which connects to the treadle.

Not German Wheel2

The wear in the wrought iron crank is done entirely with wood from the pitman.  The pitman on this wheel is a replacement and is made from a split out piece of white oak.  Note the tool marks left on the spoke from the turning process, not smoothed off at all.



1 Comment »

  1. Stephen,
    I have the same spinning wheel (but in rougher shape) and an almost identical story. Do you have pictures of the completed repair? We are trying to see the finished product to figure out if we are missing pieces. Thanks!
    Jenny Kenyon

    Comment by Jenny Kenyon — September 4, 2011 @ 8:19 am

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