Full Chisel Blog

June 13, 2014

Spinning Wheel Repair – Bobbin Shaped Object

A customer sent me a flyer, whorl, and ‘bobbin’ for repairs to the whorl and requested three [3] new bobbins for her Canadian Production Wheel.  When I received it in the mail, I took off the whorl [it has left hand threads] and the ‘bobbin’ came apart like no other bobbin I had ever seen before and you can believe I have seen a lot of bobbins.

bobbin shaped object

As you can see from the picture the center shaft of the bobbin is butt joined to the pulley end rather than the traditional round socket holes and tenons on both ends?  I found this very curious and thought that whoever sold the wheel put this ‘bobbin shaped object’ in place in order to sell the wheel.  I notified the owner, who contacted the seller, who got in touch with me.

Apparently the seller had purchased it from a known collector on the East coast and had made sure the wheel was functional and did not notice the suspect bobbin prior to selling it to my customer.

I am convinced it was not done to deceive and I think everything is smoothed out with the seller [who wants me to do some work for them] and the project progresses.  I contacted a local friend and she lent me an original CPW bobbin to copy, so the new ones will look right and are constructed using original techniques.

whorl repair

You can see the chip in the whorl in the above photograph.  I marked out a dovetail Dutchman repair on the whorl, then using a small sharp knife cut the end grain birch to the right shape.

whorl repair1

I then cut a piece of end grain birch to fit into the dovetail and glued it in with Fish Glue.

whorl repair2

After the glue dried I shaped it to match the original whorl.

whorl repair3I will stain it to match the original color.

first bobbin

Here is the first of three bobbins, I still have to glue them together and finish them with Moses T’s Gunstocker’s Finish.  The bobbins are made out of cherry and I will put them in the sun for a tan, no stain.



  1. Hey, Steve! I have been able to confirm that this style of join on bobbins is known to others in wheel restoration and is common among the flyer assemblies made by the Paradis family. It was my guess that this was a Paradis flyer assembly that had been put onto a CPW. The Paradis family did not make CPWs, per se, although they did make Canadian wool wheels with tilt tension. So, it is correct to say this bobbin did not come from a CPW, but it is consistent with others seen from the Paradis workshop. It seems this was just their way of joining the bobbin ends to the shaft. I had only seen a similar join on a Farnham wheel bobbin, but after hearing from some other restorers that this is not uncommon with Paradis wheels, looked at some I have here and they do seem to have the same join. It will be interesting to keep track in the future. Just another of the many, many quirks and variations that turn up on these old wheels!

    Comment by Kat Crippen — June 13, 2014 @ 5:28 pm

  2. Kat,
    Thanks, I stand corrected. I will glue the bobbin back together and send it back with the three new CPW bobbins.

    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — June 16, 2014 @ 8:59 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress