I will confess a fascination with spinning wheels and looms and all related things. partially because they look so complicated, partially because they have so much variation. it seems like (with the pre-massed produced ones), every single one is somewhat different than every other one. Every single Maker has left their own unique invention and artwork in a form that just sits there, waiting to help someone else do their work.
Frequently each one was made by someone who never made another one. Made for some young ladies trousseau, or by some young man for the lady he was courting. many are straight forward/plain and MANY are over the top decorations with added spindles and fretwork or carving. Works of art, works of passion.
some examples from around the web:
The mechanism for the modern spinning wheel was first drawn by Mr DaVinci. He is generally not credited for inventing it, but he may have, as the earliest examples of his type of mechanisms occur over 100 years AfTER his death. but, they show up seemingly fully developed and with improvements/simplifications. since most people actually involved with making things during those years didn’t ever write anything down we have no other evidence to work from.
Then when the spinning wheel got to Scotland and Ireland, someone in both of those places came up with different additional simplifications/improvements. the Scottish Brake and the Irish Brake. In the Scottish Brake the power is to the whorl (the spinny armed part with all the little bent nails) and there is a drag brake on the spool. In the Irish Brake the power is to the spool and the brake is on the Whorl. Both work more simply, both have advantages. Otherwise, a mobius loop of string powers Both the whorl and the spool (or bobbin), with different diameter wheels so that the spool rotated a little slower than the whorl, the whorl driver would sometimes have 2 grooves at differing diameters so that the spinner could choose between 2 different speed differentials.
So here’s my project:
no flier or bobbin (spool), distaff is missing half of itself, the sisters ( 2 upright parts for supporting the flier) have no mortise or hole for bearing material to hold the flier. there is a hole in the part of the distaff for attachment of the rest of it, the sisters stick out too far under the Mother of All (the part that supports the Sisters and is adjustable for drive belt tensioning).... wait….there is extensive wear on all of the parts of this but no sign of wear or of ever being used on the sisters or distaff…. and the sister and distaff are of a different wood and a different style of turning than the rest of the piece….(sister and distaff are beech with a brown stain and no trace of paint, the rest is all of Oak and Maple, ammonia fumed and painted and stripped)
Well if it’s a cobbled together thing or not, I’m making: a flier, 3 spools, and parts for the distaff. And maybe I’ll throw in a “lazy Kate” (rack for the bobbins). And the treadle seems a bit short for fitting between the legs, but I’ll probably not mess with that unless I decide those terribly rusty pivot pins HAVE GOT to go.
I will make this into a functioning wheel again.
-- Kai SaerPren