As you know my knowledge is limited to my one wheel,a Majacraft Rose .
It seems capable of doing most things.It comes well equiped and with Majacrafts own version of the Woolee Winder.I also like the fact that it is double treadle, as I find working symetrically less of a strain.It is easy to assemble and adjust for use and needs very little in the way of maintenance.It's only drawback is that it's a bit pricey .
There is nothing wrong with your Majacraft. I tried a friend's out for a while. The only disappointment was giving it back. If I didn't, I'd still be spinning on it.
You bring up some very important things to consider: price, flier assembly (Woolee Winder or not), and single or double treadle (ease of effort).
Each wheel type is appropriate for different people with different needs. Aren't we lucky to have choice?
I have four wheels. My Magnus Drudik that I got second hand is my favorite. It will spin anything. It is very soothing and beautiful to watch. It's a Saxony wheel, heavy and not really portable. Then I have a Sonata to take to spinning. I like it very much. I also have an old Canadian wheel that is equally beautiful and spins very fine and fast. Last of all and definitely least I have a copy of the Ashford Country spinner that I made out of cherry. It is heavy, clunky, and the bobbins hold one pound of yarn. I use it to spin adult mohair for weaving rugs. There is no perfect wheel but one that allows you to relax and spin for hours is what you want. A comfortable chair is also important, good lighting and perhaps some good music and even a view.
Hi Gwen, I am a new spinner and I bought a used Ernest Mason spinning wheel. I, also love this wheel. I know they don't make this wheel anymore, but I didn't think of being able to buy more bobbins. I would really like to purchase more bobbins. Help! Nancy Whalen (crankykitty), Garibaldi, Oregon.
Before Ernest passed away in the 1980's his daughter Phyllis took over making the wheels. I just got back in touch with Phyllis a couple of months ago. She is now over 80 and living in a retirement home. She sent all her wheel making equipment to a nephew who plans to play with it when he retires. He also received all the "blueprints" to the wheels. He is not making anything yet.
Now, there is a caveat, the made each set of bobbins to each specific wheel. They claimed they were not interchangable. The bobbins and wheels grooves were also designed for specific drive bands. So the wheel and the bobbin and the drive band had to match to maximize the potential of the wheel. They also made two styles of wheel. A large Swiss Production style and and small Shaker Chair style. For instance, by the time they made my wheels (very close to the end of Phyllis' wheel making days) they were using synthetic stretchy bands like the Louet's but for me they made them to use soft cotton cord. We discussed this at length before I ordered. So your wheel might not perform well or work at all with the bobbins from my wheels. The bobbins from the Swiss Production wheel were not suppose to work on my chair wheel. But, I my case they do.
I also had someone email me a few years ago with some spare Mason bobbins. She had sold the wheel and found these bobbins years later and could not contact the person who bought her wheel. They also work on my wheels.
My question to you is which style wheel do you have? What wood is it made from? And what type of drive band does it have? I can turn wood and might try to make some.
I started on a dark-walnut Baynes which I assembled myself. I love that little wheel. It's really a nice wheel without a lot of hinkiness or crazy/scary things. It just spins nicely. I wanted a traditional wheel so I bought a big Saxony 30" Schacht-Reeves. We are getting to know each other. It has a bad squeak which I'm working on getting rid of.....including an email to the company asking what to do. Then yesterday I decided to take the plunge on a Schacht matchless double treadle. I wish I had gotten a double treadle on the 30" but was advised not to. That was not smart. It's a big wheel and I like the double treadle feel. I'm not sure it can be adapted to double, but I'd be willing to do that just to make it nicer for myself. I should get the Matchless -- a new one -- at last year's prices on Thursday. I CAN'T WAIT!!! <yes I'm yelling because I'm so excited>
I've had and tried out many wheels in the 36 years I've been spinning. My favorite wheel is a tie between the two wheels I presently own: a 1991 Reeves 30" saxony and a1780s great wheel. The great wheel was a wonderful find in an antique store near Lancaster, PA. I've never had to doctor it in any way, it's wonderfully balanced and rather rustic, with handmade nails and some very nice turnings. I can spin just about anything on the Reeves, but I prefer the great wheel for cotton.
Follow-up: The SR30 can be adapted for double treadle but has to be sent to the factory -- which I'm not going to do both because of the price to have it switched and for the scariness of packing it up and sending it. Yikes.... But I got an answer from Schacht on the squeak and the suggestion was to grease the rear bearing which I did, and which stopped the squeak, and thus, I am totally TOTALLY in love with that big thing. It spins just beautifully and with such ease. Since getting the Matchless and treadling with 2 feet I have finally figured out how to rest my left foot on the single treadle and treadle with both feet, too. So that problem is solved anyway.
The matchless came 2 weeks ago tomorrow. It is a WONDERFUL wheel in every way. It does everything.....and is portable. I found a like-new used padded carrying bag for it, so it will be my travel wheel, and I'm going to put the Baynes up for sale. It needs someone spinning on it, and I won't use it anymore now that the Matchless is here. Boy that Matchless is NICE! Thanks for reading.
Lendrum folding double-treadle. So versatile, it has handled everything I can think up for the last decade ! Love it. One of these days I'd love to get the big Lendrum Saxony, too. Lendrum is a wonderful brand, in my experience. I also have a little Norwegian "castle" type wheel that is fun, but not as versatile, and the spindles are much smaller on it.
Gwen, my name is gevon and i have a question.. I have a mason wheel that I would like to sell. I dont know what price to ask for it. do you have some inkling > thank you gevon
Please message me privately about the Mason Wheel. There were two types made.
I was wondering if you would be willing to sell one of your wheels? I live in WV & I am having a hard time finding a quality wheel for a reasonable price. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Are you asking me? I can't tell who you are responding to, but maybe it's me just not being very savvy on this board. I don't come here often, but your post showed up in my email. I decided not to sell any of my wheels, as I still use the Baynes, and I traded the SR 30 for a new Elizabeth 30. Check out The Woolery on line, and contact Beth Smith at The Spinning Loft. She is very very helpful. Also if you go onto the Ravelry website and look at the used equipment you may find something you like.
KayS~ I LOVE that wheel. It's so beautiful and different.
Favorite and most versatile is a compromise. My favorite it not necessarily my most versatile, as I have over thirty wheels to choose from.
My absolute favorite wheel at the moment is my 1810 accelerated below:
However my most versatile wheel is my CPW ( Canadian Production Wheel), circa 1880 below:
However, as a compromise, this is a combination of both beauty and versatility, Shaker circa 1825 flax wheel: