Full Chisel Blog

April 2, 2013

Polychrome American Spinning Wheel

Filed under: For Sale or Trade,Historical Material,Of Interest,Restoration,Spinning Wheel — Stephen Shepherd @ 9:51 am

polychrome wheel1This one sets a record.  The last spinning wheel [See Montana Spinning Wheel] I had in my shop was there for about 15 months, a couple of months for the repairs and over a year in storage.  This one I purchased [from a friend at the Fort Buenaventura Rendezvous, of all places] on Saturday, made a phone call, did the repairs and it was sold on Monday.  I would have posted this yesterday but no one would believe the story.

I was contacted last week by a local who asked if I had any spinning wheels for sale, I told him I had one damaged one but the replacement parts and restoration would make it expensive.  Then at a Mountain Man Rendezvous I found this one and bought it on speculation.  Upon returning I made a call, they came by on Monday and made the purchase.

polychrome wheel2

I did have to replace the flyer bearings as the eye bolts/screws didn’t seem appropriate, I used quebracho bark tanned leather, very durable stuff.  I also had to replace a couple of wedges, repair a small crack in the whorl and make a replacement pitman, yet another wire pitman is replaced [I am getting a good collection of old wire].

This wheel is probably from the New England area, the base, treadle and wheel are made of quarter sawn white oak, the turnings are of birch, the washer on the maiden is sycamore and one replacement piece on the distaff is cherry.  The distaff itself is made from a hickory sapling with an unusual walnut finial.  The wheel is in remarkable condition considering its age [ca 1820-30] and when I was taking photographs I noticed the multi colors used in decorating.  There are red bands in the middle of most of the turnings with black bands on the ends.

polychrome wheel3

I think the flyer, whorl and bobbin are from another wheel, the hooks are all on one side and they are looped toward the spinner not toward the bobbin which I found unusual.  The detail on the flyer is excellent.

polychrome wheel4

I measured the growth rings of the quarter sawn white oak base to about 28 rings per inch, definitely old growth, a modern piece of oak on my table has 4 rings per inch.

Fun and quick project.


mother of all2

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