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 🙂

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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?!

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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.

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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.

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It’s a ‘Philias’ – Cadorette CPW

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She’s covered in years of grime and old shellac but she is in MINT condition and was obviously waiting for me to find her 🙂 Or so I like to think.

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Philias Cadorette made spinning wheels in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec from 1922 until the mid 1930’s. He took over his father’s (Michel Cadorette) business.

She spins perfectly and silently and I love her so much! Not that I could easily choose one to get rid of (should that come up) but this lady is definitely a keeper – the nicest spinner of them all.

I’m going to remove the old shellac and do my very best not to remove the makers mark! It’s a little scary, actually.

This is the flyer, so you can see how much lighter the wood will be…
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Where To Begin…?

Yes, it has been a while! I’ve been stuck in this place called ‘the rabbit hole’ since I bought that first antique wheel. The rabbit hole looks something like this…


The wheels are abundant…and beautiful…

I’ve been busy cleaning them and oiling them and doing my best to get them spinning well. Grandma is doing very well with her new spokes! She’s also glowing from her blo treatments…her old self is shining…


I carved her spokes from a dowel, since I didn’t have a lathe. It began because I was thinking of putting dowels in place, temporarily, until I could get replacements made. Necessity is the mother of invention, for sure! I just gave it a try and figured it out along the way…

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And then she had her clean-up…


And now she is much more beautiful… 🙂


She spins really well! I’ve spun a two ply superwash merino (approx. sock weight), so far…



Winding those bobbins of singles was enough to convince me I NEEDED to built a bobbin winder. More on that coming up tomorrow. I used a formerly-useless spinning wheel type object to do it!

Canadian Production Wheel!

Look what I found!!!!!

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Isn’t she pretty?

I was lucky on the weekend – we found this beauty at a small Ontario flea market, completely unexpected (we stopped for the fries, lol) and an extremely good deal!

She even spins! After a few repairs and adjustments and after creating her a cheap homemade whorl. I used a small toy wooden wheel, from the craft store, and a file (to create the groove for the drive band). The predrilled hole turned out to be the perfect size to thread onto the flyer shaft by hand, creating the threads by the threading itself. 🙂 An excellent (if not long term) fix for less than $1.50!

the wheel;

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there are two grooves in the wheel;

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the hub;

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the flyer/bobbin/mother of all;

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that ‘fancy’ homemade whorl;

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which started like this;

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and ended up like this; (I used the knitting needle and a small rubber piece which fit on the needle to help me keep the groove even. It made things a lot easier!)

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the maidens look like this;

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she has a pretty narrow front;

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leg detail/cast iron treadle;

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Lovely, lovely wheel. I’m so happy to have saved her!!!