And for folks knowing what you want.
My project for the winter was to build a spinning wheel. Something utilitarian, like the Lendrum I learned on, but without the sticker shock. My mechanical requirements were pretty straightforward: a flyer-lead single drive wheel, preferably in an upright, or castle, orientation. Two treadles. This isn’t a difficult project, and if I were as interested in woodworking as I am in spinning, it would be finished by now.
In the meantime, fellow ‘Labbers Gus & Karl spotted a (very cheap) wheel at Value Village. They described it as having a single treadle, but missing the bit that connects the treadle to the wheel. Apart from that, it could be anything. The problem with spinning wheels is that there are many different types, not all of which are even meant to, well, spin. And unless you know what you are looking at, they all sort of look the same. But it was very cheap, and if nothing else, full of parts to be scavenged.
What they brought back was a home-made, flyer-lead, single drive castle wheel: almost exactly what I wanted to make.
The whole thing is made from 3/4″ plywood, so while it doesn’t collapse, it is still lightweight and portable. Being an upright, castle wheel, it doesn’t take up much space.
It has a fixed drive ratio of 9:1. This is a good, general purpose ratio, suitable for medium weight yarns. (The higher the ratio, the more twist is put into the fibre. The finer the yarn, the more twist you want.) The whorl is removable, however, so I could make different sized whorls without having to replace the entire flyer assembly.
The flyer itself is secured with a leather strap, and is far more stable than any of the Lendrum wheels I’ve used (which can unlock through friction & gravity).
The flyer hooks (which control where the yarn spools onto the bobbin) are made from bent nails. Seriously low-tech and functional, but Lendrum uses a nifty, single movable hook, which I’d like to try to replicate instead.
The scotch tensioning system uses a coil! All of the wheels we used in class involved a length of string tied to an elastic. Elastic sucks.
The bobbin is fairly small, and there is only one, so I’ll definitely need to make more.
The fly wheel has bearings made out of leather straps! So simple! And it actually works!
The footman (bar that connects the treadle to the fly wheel) is completely missing, but could be replaced with a length of 1×1 and some cord. Alternatively, I could remove the existing treadle, and build a double in its place. Which would make this baby near about perfect.