I just recently received an older (circa 1970) Ashford Traditional wheel, and after getting the replacement parts I needed (scoth tension knob, new drive and brake bands) and getting wheel cleaned up and ready to go, I find I am having trouble with it. I have oiled it at all the correct spots, and it treadles fine. I have even checked my tension on both drive and brake bands by running yarn through the wheel and checking that it winds up on the bobbin all right (it does). However, when I try to spin fiber on the wheel, things just aren't going well. I find that the most troublesome thing is that when I try to spin fiber (as opposed to just trying to get the wheel to draw up already spun yarn) the drive band has a tendency to skid rather than drive the flyer assembly. Even tightening the drive band tension doesn't seem to rectify this.
Any advice would be helpful. I have both the Ashford Book of Spinning and the Spin to Knit book, and haven't found advice specific to this problem. Any suggestions from you experienced hands out there would be MOST appreciated.
Thanks, and looking forward to hearing from you.
you may have too much tension on the brake band. That will make the wheel draw in great but not be able to spin. Try loosening the brake band until it just barely draws yarn on to the bobbin & see if that helps. Also, you can rub some beeswax onto the driveband so it gets a bit more traction on the flyer groove. Good luck! LT
Do you have any spinning shops in your area you could take it to them to see if they can help you out with the problem? I live in Indiana and lots of spinning shops here.
I just started spinning on an older Ashford Traditional as well, and agree with the comment by L Tyler about the brake band. I had exactly the same issue and her suggestion worked. And, I also agree about the beeswax on the drive band. From what I've learned so far, tension balance is everything on these older Ashford Traditionals. I use it in my gallery because it looks like what people think a spinning wheel should be, but I confess that keeping a balance that works is a challenge. But, it is worth the effort. I really love the wheel and thoroughly enjoy spinning on it. My other wheel is a Schacht Ladybug, which I love, but it doesn't look like what my grandmother would have used :0) Good luck!
another thought, you may have the old bobbins that do not have nylon bearings. If so, the wood may have swollen or warped so the bobbin is binding on the spindle (flyer axle). Check that the bobbin can turn freely on the spindle - you can do this by hand, just turn the bobbin & see if there is resistance. If this is your situation, try a different bobbin, & see if it helps, or try a new bobbin with the nylon bearing. Old, all wood bobbins could be reamed out by a woodworker to make them usable again.
Also, check that there is a little room at the ends of the bobbin, that it's not wedged in between the flyer & rear bearing too tightly to move. For that matter (& I did this a couple times!) make sure the bobbin's not in backwards. The wider end should be to the rear (away from you as you sit at the wheel). L Tyler
I just bought an older Ashford Spinning wheel its in perfect shape but missing the older brake tension knob. I am not having any luck locating one. The newwer ones are to large to fit in the hole. Anyone have a resource of where I could purchase one?
As you may have noticed in my post above, my Ashford Traditional is from the early 70s, and when I contacted Ashford to find out if it was in fact one of their wheels, they were super helpful. They said that I needed to get a Scotch Tension knob Old Style for this wheel, and I found that the excellent folks at Paradise Fibers in Spokane WA were able to help me out. Since the part I needed wasn't showing on their website, I called them, and spoke with Travis, who was awesome. They knew what I needed when I said "old style scotch tension knob" and the part arrived from them in a jiffy. I think the part itself was under $10.00, and I also ordered a tune-up kit from them that had new drive band, brake band, hooks, springs, etc. Even though I'm in Louisiana, the folks at Paradise were a huge help.
I would recommend giving them a call and letting them know what you're looking for. They seem to really know wheels, and since it's a family business, you do get to talk to a real live person who can help.