Hardware for the 1805 Turning Bench has been difficult for those people building this treadle lathe to find, so after repeated requests I am pleased to offer the complete hardware package for sale at a very reasonable price.
The hardware made to the specifications of the plans and include the headstock mandrel with a slight variation from the old plans, newer sets of plans will include the change. The center part of the mandrel is 1 1/8″ in diameter; 1″ on the original, this change gives a shoulder for the bearings.
The flywheel crank is as specified on the plans and can be keyed to secure on the wheel and is 3/4″ in diameter.
The tailstock crank and locking nut are also the same as on the plans and the square nut is inlet into the wood of the tailstock to prevent it from turning.
Now people will be able to easily complete their own foot powered treadle lathe with this quality hardware. You can order it from the Full Chisel Store.
I have had experience with casting pewter into or onto wood; back in 1972 I built a halfstock flintlock rifle and pistol and both had pewter endcaps cast on the end of the maple gunstocks. So I had every confidence that this would be fairly easy.
The square mortise is undercut on all four edges, so the nut is captured in a dovetail in the maple endgrain of the whorl.
I had to borrow a casting ladle from a friend then melt down some pewter on the stove. After the pewter was melted I put a rice grain size piece of beeswax into the hot metal to flux out any impurities, then used a wooden stick to remove the dross floating on the surface.
A dam of thick cardboard protects the maple of the whorl and adds thickness to the nut. I cast the nut onto the shaft [with left hand threads], so the threads are cast into the pewter nut. I heated up the shaft so as not to shock the hot pewter as it is being poured.
With a hacksaw I removed the excess and smoothed it down with a file, then gave it a bit of burnish. Spinning Wheel parts available here.
Just posting a picture to show the progress of the first order. The customer opted for 2 additional bobbins [saved shipping costs] to bring the total to three. Still waiting for the machinist to finish up the mandrel, then fitting it up and installing the hooks.
The three shafts for the bobbins can not be turned until the mandrel arrives for proper sizing of their length.
I am going to cut the square mortise in the whorl a bit deeper and will be casting the pewter nut on the mandrel for a perfect match, will post pictures of this when it happens. First post on grain orientation. Parts may be ordered here.
My friend and master woodcarver Richard MacDonald picked this up at the swap met yesterday and he didn’t even beat the guy down on the price.
At first we couldn’t figure out why it had keyways and keys to orient the inner glue pot in the outer water jacket? One direction and the glue pot bale handle is at an angle with the water jacket bale handle; the other direction the handles are on the same plane.
It is marked on the tag ‘made in England’ and is marked 6/0 and BH in a diamond on the water jacket and 6/0 on the glue pot, with long sprues on each pot. Someone has also painted it with aluminum colored paint and all of this for $2.00.
Then it occurred to me why it was designed this way and it is brilliant. Anyone who has ever heated up hot hide glue on a stove, knows that it can boil over, requiring you to remove the entire glue pot from the heat as it will continue to boil over. However with this design you simply lift the inner glue pot up, give it a bit of a turn and put it down on the key lugs on the underside of the inner pot. It continues to keep the heat and does not boil over.
Very clever idea. When I redo Hide Glue – Historical and Practical Applications, I will include a picture of this unique gluepot.
This is my first order for a custom made spinning wheel flyer, mandrel, whorl, and bobbin[s] for an existing wheel. The owner sent photographs with a measuring tape and confirmation of the distance between the leather bearings. They can be ordered here.
While it may look like this is just using up some useless scraps of maple with nasty knots, this wood was chosen because of the knot and the way the grain runs in the board. The grain runs around the knot in such a way as to follow the pattern of the U shape of the flyer. It is also a great use for useless scraps.
The wood, in this case hard maple, for any flyer should be flat sawn and not quartersawn for proper grain orientation for maximum strength; no short grain as would be presented if the board was quartersawn.
A hole for the mandrel is drilled in the end of the board, a corresponding hole is made in the opposite end, and are used to center the wood on the centers of the lathe. Excess wood is first removed with a saw then it is turned on the lathe. This can be a harrowing experience as the flat board flies past ones knuckles at an alarming and distracting manner.
Because of the unusual grain around a knot the finished flyer off the lathe has some nasty splits along a couple of edges, but because the ends of the flyer are tapered thinner, this can be ‘easily’ planed off, then scraped with a card scraper.
After raising the grain with water, I scraped it again and it is ready for the mandrel being made by a machinist friend of mine. Now it is on to making the hooks and the soft metal nut in the whorl.
It is an interesting story as to how I came about owning and original flame grain oak roller, only one of two I have ever seen. I was at a flea market in Indianapolis, Indiana back in 1978 and as I was walking around I had picked up a few old medicine bottles from a dump dig in Cincinnati, nice thin hand blown bottles, which I ended up selling, I happened on a fellow selling all kinds of things.
On top of one of his cases sat this flame grain roller, I picked it up to admire and inquire as to the price. The fellow immediately said ‘do you know what that is?’, and I said ‘yes, it is a flame grain oak roller’ although at the time I had never seen one before but knew what it was. He said ‘you are the first person to know what it was, and you can have it’. I was astounded, thanked him and have kept and used it since then.
I describe how it is used in ‘Shellac, Linseed Oil, & Paint – Traditional 19th Century Woodwork Finishes’ and it is a great tool. I had in mind making and selling them however Mr. Diamond Jim Davis, Master Leatherworker, who made the new one had difficulties in making one, he said it took him 3 tries and a day to complete. Plans for selling them will have to wait.
I will have the wood cylinder turned and Master Blacksmith Mark Schramm will make the iron handle and I will have a new functioning flame grain oak roller and will retire the original. The original is made from some sort of composite material that is tacked to the wooden roller.
This is the first Spinning Wheel restoration on a well documented wheel; I know who made it, where it was made, and when it was made. It is an unusual wheel in that it is a 20th century interpretation of a much earlier wheel, without the benefit of knowing how old wheels were actually constructed.
When the client brought in the wheel to have a new crank made [the previous one was soldered onto the shaft] and it was missing a garter on the tensioner; they also brought in the documentation including a set of blueprints from Popular Mechanics from which this wheel was made. It was made by a family member in southern Utah from local black walnut. Black walnut is not native to Utah but many trees were planted in the early pioneer period.
This paper pattern was also with the documentation materials.
The plans for this spinning wheel were ordered in 1962 for $1.55.
Here are the blueprints.
After Mr. Croft finished the spinning wheel it was featured in a local newspaper.
Master blacksmith Mark Schramm made an iron crank, from the original blueprints, it is threaded into the brass shaft and will not break off like the previous crank.
I made a small walnut garter to hold the tensioner, but I also had to file down the hickory shaft where the threads on each end as the walnut had shrunk a bit and was too tight to function, reducing the size where it was in the walnut made if work smoothly.
I then put a coat of Moses T’s St. John’s Oil on all of the parts, made a few adjustments and the wheel was finished.
Interesting project, great documentation and a working wheel. Also available spinning wheel parts here.
I first received an email with a photograph of a walnut table leg, early nineteenth century [client said 1860's, I think it is 1840's] dining table from Virginia and was asked if I could make one as the 5th [center] leg was missing. I said ‘yes’ and got a couple more photographs with a tape measure in the photograph. Another email or two and I had other dimensions I needed.
I then made a scale drawing of the leg and worked on that until it looked correct and then proceeded to make a full size paper pattern of the leg. With the help of Richard MacDonald [Master Wood Carver, who loves to turn] turn the leg from the pattern.
I then ripped the waste wood on the taper of the octagonal part, to a square taper.
Next I layed out the octagonals with a white pencil, easier to see on walnut than a graphite pencil. I planed the first one by hand then decided to use a chisel to quickly remove the excess then my two small coffin smoothers [one set coarse, the other set fine] to smooth out the rough chisel marks.
A card scraper finished up the flats and it is ready to go. Yesterday when the client called I had just finished up the work, it will be picked up today and be on its way to Texas. They have a furniture restoration guy there that will cut it to length and do the finish work.
A fun project, the rendering took a bit of time but was well worth the effort and the customer was happy, just picked it up.
I use an alcohol lamp all the time and while I was adding some ethanol to my lamp with a pipette I accidentally sucked some straight grain alcohol into my mouth, twice. Can’t do that with denatured nor would I dare.
I learned this trick from ‘Conversations on Chemistry’, 1822, an interesting book written by a woman who first apologized for knowing so much and saying her knowledge was just recently acquired.
This is your alcohol lamp on alcohol, and is combusting.
This is your alcohol lamp on alcohol with platinum wire, and is incandescent.
This makes it difficult to blow out and the glowing wire reignites the wick. The wire is also hotter than the open flame, although I had no instrument for measuring that amount of heat.
When I first made the platinum wire ‘spring’ I dropped it on the floor, being platinum and being a spring, it took me 20 minutes on my hands and knees to find it; I now keep it in a small corked glass test tube.
Here is the second prototype of the Spinning Wheel mandrel, flyer, whorl, and bobbin made to fit a wheel I need to restore. The first flyer was for a friend’s wheel which I will be restoring as well. They are different size as are all flyers.
My flyer is an inch shorter than the other flyer, below is a picture to compare the sizes and both U-shape and V-shape flyers.
Because all flyers are unique and will be custom built to each particular spinning wheel, there is an important measurement that must be provided so the flyers will work properly on the wheel. See illustration below.
Measurement is taken between the two [leather] bearings on the maidens on the mother-of-all.
You can order your new flyer at the Full Chisel Store.