Full Chisel Blog

March 3, 2014

Walking Wheel Spindle Head Repair III

The walking wheel spindle head repair is complete and now that I have a proper size mailing box I will put it into the post soon.  Here is the first part, and here is the second part.spindle head12This is the small pulley repair with its first coat of stain to match the original.

spindle head3a

This is the pulley with the final stain and ready for the installation of the whorl, end, or flange of the iron spindle.  I first roughened up the area where the whorl will be fixed, then I washed it down with alcohol and etch the metal and the inside of the maple whorl with a fresh clove of garlic.  It is attached with Fish Glue.

spindle head7a

The whorl glued in place with its first coat of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil and yellow ocher dry powdered pigment.  I allowed 24 hours to dry before moving on to the next step.

spindle head7b

A coat of thinned shellac and a coat of burnt umber dry powdered pigment with a bit of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil.

spindle head13

Another thin coat of shellac then some Oil with black iron oxide which was allowed to dry overnight.  The final coat was thin shellac.

spindle head14

I had prepared the braided corn husks for the bearings and attached them with hemp string.  I will include a couple extra braided corn shuck bearings for future replacement when and if necessary.  I also included a hemp drive band treated with Drive Belt Dressing.

Job done.




  1. Do you know your customer’s wheel’s origin and build date?
    I’ve recently acquired a wheel with a very similar mother-of-all and spindle pulley that I am looking for information on. I know mine came across the Oregon Trail in the 1850s originating in IL with one of my Great Grandmother’s grandmother. One generation earlier came from NC, KY, PA, GA and Germany. Photos included in the website link.

    Comment by melinda — March 9, 2014 @ 8:23 pm

  2. I purchased the wheel at an antique auction in North Alabama. I do not know anything about it though. I have a full picture of it but do not know how to post it on here. I would love to know more about it. Thanks, Maryann

    Comment by Maryann Schnur — March 12, 2014 @ 1:02 pm

  3. Also, thank you Stephen for an excellent restoration!

    Comment by Maryann Schnur — March 12, 2014 @ 1:17 pm

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