Lee Valley Tools Woodworking Newsletter
Vol. 3, Issue 5
June 2009
 
Customer Letters
 


Dear Lee Valley,

Portable spinning wheel
Portable spinning wheel.

"Baby" (most spinners bestow names on their spinning wheels) is a portable spinning wheel made from one of Lee Valley's tea-cart wheels*. The rubber tire on the wheel as purchased rolls off quite easily, leaving a nice groove for the drive band. There is not enough mass in the wheel for this application, so I added brass weights around the circumference to give it a bit more inertia. The tension adjustment on the drive band, the horizontal adjustment of the "mother-of-all" and the threaded shaft, which holds the spinning wheel open for use or closed for transportation, are all fixed with knobs from Lee Valley. There is even a buried rare-earth magnet to hold the ball-bearing race from the shaft of the flyer while the bobbin is being changed. (The orifice end of the flyer is also fitted with a ball bearing. This is firmly attached and is not at risk of getting lost as the shaft bearing did, which was the stimulus to add the magnet.) The driving wheel was also retrofitted with a shaft running on ball bearings mounted in the frame of the spinning wheel, as the shaft supplied is excessively sloppy in the hub of the wheel.

Spinning wheel folded for transportation
Spinning wheel folded for transportation.
 

The design of this spinning wheel presented a bit of a challenge. The rocker bar provides a dual-treadle arrangement. This is connected to the driving wheel by the "footman" (there
is a whole vocabulary associated with spinning equipment). This had to be precisely the right length to permit the wheel to fold just above the rocker bar so that the T-shaped base and treadles fold flat against the wheel for transport or compact storage. I must confess that I was surprised (and gratified!) at how well my elaborate three-dimensional geometric calculations turned out.

D.M.
Middle Lahave, Nova Scotia

*The wheels are no longer available.

 
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Complete Illustrated Guide to Tablesaws

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