Swiss Lateral Treadle – A Very Sweet Wheel!

Good morning my friends!

Yes, we’ve added another wheel to the flock.  My husband has definitely earned his enabler’s certification, lol, as he very smartly and wisely guessed I might really REALLY love this little wheel as a birthday present/project.

Purchased off of our local Kijiji from an elderly gentleman who thought it was polish (though I’m not sure why and the gentleman did not have time to talk and did not share details on any known history of the wheel).

When we first got her

Very loose, very rickety but complete with all of her parts except the tension peg. A very experienced, well used (as evidenced by the oil stains and appropriate wear) lateral treadle swiss wheel! Not really very common where I live and I feel very blessed to have her 🙂

I took her apart as much as possible and cleaned her. Then a coat of blo and turpentine mixed about 50/50. She could drink that for days but I didn’t want to overdo so I’m waiting a few days now for another coat.

Be ever so careful if you are using this mixture – it will self combust and you MUST lay out rags or anything used outside to dry afterwards before safely disposing. Do not crumple up rags! Also, use in a well ventilated area.

after blo/turpentine

She was definitely in poor shape. Her flyer had been bent off center, possibly by too much tension over too many years or possibly by a fall or some other accident. Her orifice leather needed replacing, her frame needed shimming from underneath to take out the rattle and the lean. The mother of all arm which holds the orifice needed shimming from underneath to take out the other rattle, lol.

before the oil

with old leather

Check out this treadle pin!

Check out this treadle pin!

I actually love getting to know these old ladies. It’s like we have this long talk about their every ailment, and then I do my best to fix them one by one by one until the little old lady is ready tCo spin again. You know, the kind of work where you can spend nine hours or so before you even realize that the day has passed? A labour of love 🙂

She has captive rings, which I thought was pretty sweet. To me, it means that someone loved the lady who owned this wheel once-upon-a-time. In it’s day, a wheel was a necessary tool. Only people who love people specially decorate their tools, I was thinking…

more captive rings

hand carved spoked/captive ring

So, after the shimming, she can now be carried with one hand, nothing moves and she is, perhaps, the most sturdy wheel in the house!

swiss lateral treadle

She stood for having her flyer shaft bent back into straight. Her bobbin degunked nicely for me.

swiss flyer

It took a little work carving shoe leather thin enough for her orifice leather but she is now releathered. I did leave the top of the wooden orifice without having the leather come around and it works perfectly with the soft cord as a tensioner. I am planning to replace the cord with leather lacing for a brake.

The only thing left to do is to carve her a proper tension peg (I’m thinking captive rings are in order…) and to become much more skilled in the art of bobbin led spinning!! LOL. These are wheels that pull like crazy and want to put in light light twist. I left the original thread there from the lady-who-spun-so-long-ago. It’s good for the wheel karma. It appears she was a pro – it is very thin, very perfect flax.

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5 thoughts on “Swiss Lateral Treadle – A Very Sweet Wheel!

  1. Fantastic to see your lovely wheel being restored, these ‘old ladies’ have so much character and you feel they are so pleased to be back in work. I have been given an old double drive flax spinning wheel as a birthday present, she is tiny and beautifully painted with flowers and a heart and even with a bit of string for a drive band and my left knee holding the maiden bar steady and only one hook left she is spinning lovely fine yarn!! Need to get some bobbins made and would love to get some more ?old iron wire hooks. Is it ok to put the hooks on the other side of the flyer? On one side all the old hooks have been snapped off and they are so close together would not be able to put new ones in between.

    Would welcome any helpful hints as this is all new to me.

    Kindest wishes

    Alison

  2. I just purchased a spinning wheel just like the one you have for $35 at a garage sale. It is in much better shape than yours and i would like to restore it to working order. I have a couple of questions. On the left arm that holds the flier there are two holes on close to the dip that hold the orifice and one just behind it wich hold a beautifully carved peg with a small hole on the bottom. I don’t know what those are for. Also it looks like your wheel’s orifice is surrounded by wood mine is not it is just metal. I am not sure if that matters. You were talking about making a new leather for her orifice I am wondering if I need to do that as well, and if so why and how did you attach it. Also the holes in teh flier are quite large on one side and smaller on the other, on my wheel what kind of hooks would you recommend to use that will work.
    Thank you for your input!
    By the way my wheel came with a separate about 7foot tall beautifully carved and painted distaff.
    Angelika Shafer

  3. I just received one that was my great grandmother’s and came from Switzerland. She needs a good cleaning. I am then going to use tung oil. It is wonderful for antiques. She needs a treadle and treadle pin. Then complete.

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