Getting Cleaner…

Good morning 🙂

I worked like crazy to clean the new ‘Philias’ and I believe I shall call her Grace. Because she has the grace to spin quietly, and she’s made it through the last 80 years or so with a lot of dignity 🙂

philias 015

Nice red wood wheel – beautiful tone to her underneath the shellac! They were certainly wild men with the shellac back in the day, weren’t they?!

philias cadorette cpw 016

philias cadorette cpw 017

The black gunk and shellac comes off very nicely – with a lot of scrubbing and methyl hydrate (shellac thinner). Always important – Remember that rags should be laid out flat to dry and NEVER balled up, and ALWAYS dispose of them safely.

philias 006

I did my best to keep the makers mark but I definitely didn’t do a great job with that. You can still read it, thank goodness. I tend to think this is an early Philias. I think so because of the three bead spoke pattern – more like his father’s, I believe, and he worked with his father for the first year (1922-23). Following this thought – I wonder how good the inks were…maybe it was bound to lose some in taking off the shellac. Next time (if I have another with a mark), I’ll take more care.

philias cadorette cpw 013

philias 018

philias 017

9 thoughts on “Getting Cleaner…

  1. I used the Shopper’s drugmart alcohol compound with Q-tips and it did a perfect job of cleaning the maker’s mark on my Philias.
    One of my Philias wheels has the 2 bead spokes but 3 beads on the upright support thingys.
    I don’t spin on my Cadorette’s much because of the overtwisting and not winding on fast enough. I hope someday I can get it figured out!

  2. I don’t know what I did wrong exactly. I used the methyl hydrate on a rag and dabbed but …. ?

    I think I’ve done enough to the mark already so I’m going to leave it as it is now! Live and learn. Hopefully I do better the next time.

    Grace forgives me 🙂

    I’ve only spun a test bit on her so far, so not sure if she’s going to have issues spinning. From what I can tell, she should do well.

    • Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoy it 🙂 When the time is right, this wheel thing just seems to have a life of it’s own. I had no intention of owning an antique wheel anytime soon but then the wheels began finding me, lol. Keep an eye on local buy and sells and local shops that sell used items… 🙂

  3. Hi there,
    Lynn,from Aldershot in U.K.
    Got a fleece for free,and that started my latest hobbie.
    Just bought a spinning wheel.I need to clean it up,oil it etc.
    Dont have a clue how to,but been trawling the net.
    Can you please please advise me??
    Kind regards,

    • Hi Lynn 🙂 The first thing I like to use to clean up a spinning wheel is to give it a good wipe down with a damp cloth, using dawn or murphy’s oil soap (just for the first step cleaning and don’t use too much moisture because wood soaks it up – a gentle wash and then a gentle dry) Is the wheel in good shape or are there parts that need replacing? The next step is to oil it with a good oil like tung oil or use boiled linseed oil mixed (50/50) with turpentine. Both of these oils are very dangerous in terms of combustion – please be so careful when using and disposing of rags etc!!! They can spontaneously combust and will, if given the chance. They will provide a nice finish however and feed and protect the wood. Oil finishes will need to be reapplied periodically to keep the wheel healthy – probably at least once a year.

      Pictures are great in helping to see what needs done, in terms of repairs.

      You should join a group I’m in called Ravelry.

      Ravelry has an antique wheels group where you can get lots of advice on how to get your wheel spinning and you can post pictures as well so we can see what needs done 🙂 Also lots of spinning groups and info on fleece preparation etc. I think you’ll really enjoy it! Joining is free and my name on there is ‘knitsnthings’ 🙂 Hope to see you there!

    • Hi, forgot to mention that if you are removing old shellac from your wheel then what I’ve used (after cleaning but before oiling) is methyl hydrate (this is a paint/shellac thinner) to remove the old shellac. You can also use it to thin and sort of even up old shellac, if you wish to retain some of the old finish. This is also a combustion hazard and should be disposed of carefully and used in very well ventilated spaces.

      If you have any questions please ask and please DO be careful with combustibles!!

  4. Wow,how wonderful!
    Have joined the Ravelry website.My username is lynnannrob.
    I will post some pics,my daughter has a decent camera,so will ask her to help.
    In the cleaning-we dont get dawn or murphy’s oil soap(already looked for the dawn for the cleaning of the wool).Can you suggest something else?
    As for the shape of it and whether anything needs replaceing-havent a clue.It has got a bit of string that turns the wheel that looks pretty ancient tho,and lotsa rust.Will post pics asap,for your and others much needed help.

    I am thrilled to have found you.Thank you,

    • Hi Lynn! So happy to see that you’ve joined Ravelry – I’m positive you’ll love it!

      I’m thinking to begin with that any good grease cutting dish soap WITHOUT enzymes (the new enzymes they put in soaps will eat protien fibres if left on at all which is why we dislike them for cleaning fleece – they tend to keep doing their thing if not totally rinsed off) would work, with a bit of water, for a first wash. Don’t get the wheel too wet and allow it to dry off completely before doing anything further. Muphy’s oil soap is a soap made specifically for wood and wood products. If you have something like that available it is a good choice.

      I can’t wait to see your pictures! There are parts of our computer that I have to get my son to do for me to this day lol 🙂 The wheel sounds very interesting and I can’t wait to see it 🙂

      Have a great day,

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