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Spinning wheel excitement?

 
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I didn't think I was in the market(yet) for a spinning wheel, but knew that somewhere along the line, I'd need one. Last weekend (9/4), I went take shopping, on a whim. I didn't buy much, but found not one, but TWO spinning wheels, in one of my favourite shops! One is huge, old, beautiful, and utterly unusable. The other is much smaller, has what seems like a gazillion (ok, maybe a stack of 10 or so) bobbins(?), and some other goodies, pulled at its base. I wish I'd taken pics! Anywho, I talked to John about it this morning, and he said we should definitely look into it, especially at that price $125. I've seen similar ones, new, off course, priced between $650 $ $1,300 (US)!!!

The problem is... I don't know what to look for/be concerned about, and we're going back there, probably tomorrow or Wednesday(they're closed, today). I just hope it's still there! Stuff sometimes sits there, other times, is gone, just hours after it's brought in. Help, please?
 
Carla Burke
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Oops, might be helpful to add, it looks similar to this one, at least in shape, lol:

Edited to add, I think it actually looks much more like this one: https://www.paradisefibers.com/collections/spinning-wheels/products/ashford-traveller-spinning-wheel?variant=15971315526
5c53a65b77c304fb1b82d9e529a8bca4.jpg
[Thumbnail for 5c53a65b77c304fb1b82d9e529a8bca4.jpg]
 
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OH, that's exciting!

Sometimes you may not know you are looking for a wheel but it finds you and you cannot resist.

Things to look for:

The big wheel - is it together?  Missing bits?  Does it turn (no seriously, this is a thing)?  Does it wobble?  Does it wobble a little or more than an inch?

The motherofall - place where the maidens and flyer sit (where yarn happens).  Does it have a flyer?  Does it have a bobbin?  Does the bobbin turn?  Does the flyer turn?  Does the flyer have both arms?  Are there cracks in the flyer?

The flyer is the hardest thing to repair/replace.  Second hardest is the bobbins.  Most spinners want more than one bobbin, so most spinners don't enjoy using vintage wheels.  

Do all the parts that are supposed to move, move?  Try moving each independently.  Is it smooth?  Does it take effort?  Then try connecting them up - does the treadle move the big wheel?  

Do all the parts that aren't supposed to move, not move?  The legs?  Do they wobble?  If so, can they be made to not wobble?

And if it needs repair... is it a make that is still in business like Ashford or Louet?  Or someone you can get spare parts from?
Or is it something you'll need to build parts for?  
Do you want to repair or restore it?  Repair means to make it work well using the techniques that make it work best.  Restore is about keeping all the materials and techniques period to when the wheel was made.  (side note, restoring isn't period accurate - as wheels were tools and if a new technology came along to make the wheel work better, people wouldn't hesitate to use that - so you can see 200-year-old wheels with repairs from every decade along it's life)  

You probably know most of this, but I'm writing a lot extra for future readers too.  


 
Carla Burke
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Awesome! Thank you! As far as this one goes, there is a pile or basket of bobbins (kinda hard to know, from memory, because of everything else in the consignment booth). Nothing *LOOKED* to be missing, but I'm a total newb, as far as spinning wheels goes. Repairs, I'm willing to do, if the cost will be reasonable. Restoration, I'm not interested in - I'm in it for the reasonably priced functionality. If all the pieces fall into place, tomorrow or Wednesday, I'll pull it away from the other stuff it was surrounded with, and test all the stuff you've mentioned. Thank you, THANK you, THANK YOU!!
 
r ranson
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bobbins are great.
Even better if the bobbins are all the same - and fit on the wheel.
Older wheels, each bobbin was made unique to that specific individual wheel.
After about 1938 (aka, when Ashford started making wheels), it became more common to have a universal bobbin that fit several different wheels.  
 
Carla Burke
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This one (in the darker color, I think) seems very much like it, but I REALLY wish I'd have taken pics!
https://www.paradisefibers.com/collections/spinning-wheels/products/kromski-sonata-spinning-wheel
 
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Wow Carla! Good luck! I hope it is functional and that any problems are correctable ones. Keep us posted - and pictures are always nice!
 
Carla Burke
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Sad to report... All the functionally needed parts were there. However, it was a hand-spun wheel, rather than a foot-pedalled one, which automatically broke the deal, for me. But, not all bad news. By getting excited enough to post my questions, I was utterly BLESSED with a wealth of information that, if it HAD been a foot-operated wheel, I'd still not have made the purchase! Without knowing to check for the wobble on the big wheel, I might have gone ahead, bought it, invested a ton of time in deep-cleaning the fly, the hooks, the orifice, and the rest, then filling all the cracks with putty, sanding it all down, including all the parts in the pile (that I'd previously mistaken for bobbins, of which there was actually only a small one, also in dire need of cleaning and repair), only to find it would still be unusable, without replacing the big wheel. But, the wobble was well over an inch! The motherofall had a crack that went most of its length, and all the way through. Many of the structural joints were loose, too. They could probably have been tightened, but with all the other issues? Totally not worth it.

But, the silver linings here so brightly outshine my initial hope, that I am still a very happy camper! In this whole exercise, I've learned so, so very much! I now know the parts, what they need to do & how, what to look for, as well as what to beware of, what I personally consider deal makers & breakers.... I've also learned again, this week, that 'my permies peeps' are an amazing, helpful, generous bunch of people, with such a wealth of knowledge, that it is, imho, FAR more valuable than Davy Jones's locker!

Thank you! XOXO
 
r ranson
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Thanks for the update.
One day a wheel will come your way.
 
Carla Burke
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And, when it does, I'll know it's the right one - and, why. In the meantime, I think (after we've got the livestock all settled in, for the winter), I'll see if I can locate a local fiber group, or two. I'll start with the awesome lady, 3 miles down the road, with the alpaca farm.
 
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r ranson wrote:Thanks for the update.
One day a wheel will come your way.



Count on it!  These things keep coming a round.
 
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