Antique Great Wheel

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Top 200 Contributor
Posts 7
bethimus wrote
on Feb 2, 2010 10:02 PM

I just purchased a great wheel from a local antique shop and I've never spun before.  I bought some bamboo and wool online because I can't seem to find a local supplier.  I guess I'm in a "No-spin-Zone."

I am wondering if anyone would be willing to give me some ideas on how to get it up and running.  I don't even know if all the parts are there.  I know it will need a replacement band.  I looked online at some diagrams of spinning wheels before I bought it to be sure it wasn't too unusable. 

So, I guess what I'm asking is, if I post some pics would anyone be willing to take me under their wing and get me "rolling" or have I used too many bad puns.  :o)

Thanks,

bethimus (Ft Lauderdale, FL)

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 560
on Feb 3, 2010 2:32 PM

A great wheel or walking wheel is fun. It's always a show stopper. You'll need to know how to do a long draw or a point of draft (modified worsted), but I suppose you already know that, otherwise you wouldn't have bought it.

For it to be up and "rolling", you need to be sure everything moving is oiled and greased. All the joints need to be solid. The drive wheel needs to be aligned to the accelerator head.

You won't have a flier mechanism. You'll have an accelerator head.  Here are some photos of accelerator heads http://www.spwhsl.com/iss_54/detail54.htm from Spinning Wheel Sleuth. You can find these or have them made or adapt your own. I found my plans from Woodworkers magazine years ago.

You'll need to have a cord (I use masonry or a similar cotton cord from your Home Depo like shop). Tie a blood knot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_knot), double blood knot or a (please don't gasp) simple square knot will work if you can't do the fancy knots. You just don't want the ends flopping around.

I hope this helps.

Denise

 

Denise

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Posts 7
bethimus wrote
on Feb 3, 2010 5:15 PM

Denise,

The pictures on the Spinning wheel sleuth site were a great help.  I'll try to post pictures soon of the wheel soon.  I am picking it up this Saturday.  You should have seen me trying to explain my rationale to my "Techy" husband. 

Him "ummm, what part of the budget did this money come out of?"  Me, "I saved up the money over time and you told me I should use what I saved up to buy something I've been wanting." 

I am a seamstress, so I have plenty of stuff to play around with as far as replacing the cord.  I was considering making a cloth belt, but the more pictures and videos I see online the more I'm thinking it's supposed to have a cord, not a belt. 

More to come soon

-bethimus

 

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Posts 7
Effymaria wrote
on Feb 6, 2010 6:25 AM

http://www.villagespinweave.com/IBS/SimpleCat/Product/asp/hierarchy/0206/product-id/307602.html

wonderful site for parts you may need for the wheel.

I also went to Crafts Direct to get my cording, I got the hemp cording and it's been great. I did get a repair kit (locally) because of the extra pieces you may need and the oil. The oil is a MUST HAVE if you don't want to loose your hair. PS have your hubby clean anything that is metal with some steel wool ( the Flyer) it helps to let the bobbins run smoother.

Happy Spinning.

Maria

Top 200 Contributor
Posts 7
bethimus wrote
on Feb 6, 2010 11:36 AM

I brought my wheel home today.  It's going to need a lot of work to get it running.  Here are some picture.  I have larger ones if anyone can help and needs to see more detail.  

Disclaimer #1: I know very little right now about spinning, so pardon my lack of vocabulary

Disclaimer #2:  My floors are filthy, and my house is a mess.... deal with it.  

    

The whole thing from both sides.

The spindle portion.  This doesn't look right to me.  I can turn the main post, but I can turn the top two posts.  This is how it was when I got it.  

  

A close up of the tension bolt and the post slider.  

Close up of some of the woodworking on the base of the post.  

  

Some close-ups of the spindle and a spool that was attached.  The spool is directional.  It only slides on the spindle one way.  The spindle has some notches and a build-up that will need to be cleaned off.  

This back leg is cracked.  

Close up of the cracked part and the leg that fits into it.  

I don't even know if I put the wheel on the right way.  :o)

Back side of wheel post.  

That's all.  ANY info would be greatly appreciated.  I will get hemp cording, but I'm afraid with the notches missing in the wood the cord will just slide off.  

Thanks to those who already responded.  You've been a great help already.

Looking forward to the projects ahead. 

-bethimus

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 560
on Feb 6, 2010 2:18 PM

You'll have a project to get this up to speed, but it is an heirloom. All joints need to be strong. If that back leg is salvageable, glue it. Otherwise, you'll need to replace it. All moving parts will need to be cleaned and oiled. Metal gets oil or ointment. The wheel should turn about 5 revolutions unaided. If it is balanced and aligned, the cord will stay on.

The spindle mechanism doesn't look right. I've not seen a walking wheel with bobbins. Look at some of the videos below and you can see how things are set up. You may need to make a miner's head for your wheel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thezoNq8aXc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrrJLAXwUBU&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yw5Iylhj_9Y&feature=fvw

Denise

Top 25 Contributor
Posts 40
Matrinka wrote
on Feb 6, 2010 7:47 PM

As lovely a piece as you've got, I'd suggest that to refurbish it and get it up to working condition, you may need to find yourself someone who can do a proper restoration, including rebuilding the bits that are damaged/missing. 

As an antiques lover, one word of caution: if your selected repair person says anything remotely like "Well, I suppose I could give it a bash.", run away, taking your wheel with you!  :D  Any competent wood worker can build you replacement parts as needed or repair things like your cracked leg.  If there's missing parts, they should be able to create them from period pictures and schematics, many of which are available.

It is a lovely piece.  I sure hope you get it working again.  It is sad when things lose their purpose and such a joy to see that purpose restored.

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 560
on Feb 7, 2010 9:40 AM

I bought plans from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware for a Shaker Wool Wheel. It's a back issue of Woodworker's Journal. I searched and they don't have it listed any more, but here is the info to ask for it:

www.rockler.com "Shaker Wool Wheel ", Part I (Item I 13278)and II (Item 13287); The WoodWorker's Journal, September/October 1978, pg 8-12. $3.95.

You can also order plans from David Bryant. He has an out of print book that keeps slipping through my fingers. www.craftdesigns.co.uk. The Great Wheel is here. $17 and you can order any hardware from him as well. He accepts PayPal.

Denise

Top 200 Contributor
Posts 7
bethimus wrote
on Feb 9, 2010 9:17 AM

I got impatient and decided to try out what I had available

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJMEeNzGwK8

 

enjoy...

Not Ranked
Posts 2
on Jun 29, 2010 2:06 PM

There is actually a Spindle Wheel group on Ravelry that I am finding is a great help with my first Great Wheel purchase.

Top 500 Contributor
Posts 3
MaryJo9 wrote
on Nov 12, 2010 7:54 AM

These plans, really an article with some oversize sketches, are still available from Rockler, though not on their website.  You'll have to call them or drop by one of their stores.  It's worth the little bit of trouble it takes to get the articles/plans. 

Not Ranked
Posts 3
Health22 wrote
on Jul 17, 2011 8:06 PM

Hello -

How is it going ?!   I am selling an antique Shaker Great Wheel and am wondering if I might ask how much you paid for it when you purchased it last year.

I have enjoyed reading this 'conversation' about your process !  So glad to have this site.

Thanks !

Aaiyn. Foster

 

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 560
on Jul 18, 2011 8:47 AM

In my experience, antique wheels take a bit of work in order to make them functional again. I wouldn't pay more than $250 USD for them. I look them over; the more work the lower the price. I have the name of a good woodworker who works on wheels. He can reproduce most anything I need.

  • are all the parts there
  • are the right parts there
  • is the wood sound (worm holes)
  • are the joints sound
  • rust
  • cracks or checks in the wood
  • appropriate finish - I'd rather refinish and do it right or take it to a professional

Denise

Top 200 Contributor
Posts 7
bethimus wrote
on Jul 18, 2011 6:17 PM

I paid about $200 for it, but I wouldn't do it again.  I've done a lot more research since then, and I realize I should have gone lower since it needed so many repairs.  I would probably pay about $250 if it was in pristine, useable condition. 

 

Top 200 Contributor
Posts 7
bethimus wrote
on Jul 18, 2011 6:20 PM

@ Denise Jackson: Thanks... I recently found a wood turner in my area, but I've yet to find the time to contact him.  I'm sure he'll be up to the task... I've seen some amazing work he's done (candelsticks, etc).  When the time is right I will work on the wheel again.  Right now I'm homeschooling a middleschooler and two elementary kids... in a few years I will be more free and then I will take it up again. 

 

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