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Scandinavian Spinning Wheels!

Good morning!

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Over the past month or so, we’ve been very very fortunate to find two wheels from Scandinavia. Both Kijiji finds, both very reasonably priced, both with all their parts and both in spinning order! One was in a ready-to-spin-right-now-and-i-cant-wait-to-get-started state, the other more of a help-me-im-smothering-underneath-all-this-nasty-oil-paint state lol but you’ll get to see how I saved her…she was sort of masquerading as one of those captains beds from the 70’s – you know the ones! – and had not been used much in her life but is definitely made to work. I took her for a test spin before beginning the stripping, just to reassure myself.

Ok, so, the first spinning wheel we found….

Swedish spinning wheel with norwegian double table syle and finnish double uprights

She was found in Trenton, Ontario and has a little bit of history (as told by the guy we bought her from). She was apparently brought from Sweden, by her Swedish family, and has been in the same family for her lifetime, save the time she spent with the gentleman we bought her from. The interesting thing is that she is actually a Norwegian style double table wheel with distinctive Finnish double upright wheel posts. The beautiful curving end caps on these double posts are also distinctly Finnish.

swedish double table spinning wheel with finish uprights

Check out her bearings! This wheel is absolutely THE MOST SOLID wheel in my collection – old or new. She is put together completely with wooden pegs and everything is in perfect shape. She’s like a miracle wheel, considering her probable age…

pegs under uprights

moa/table of swedish/scandinavian wheel

An amazing thing…she has all her bobbins! And the wood is beautiful….
swedish wheel bobbins

After cleaning…
bobbins after feed and wax

the third bobbin, on the flyer…
swedish/scandinavian double table wheel

Her treadle has the comfy foot indent and she loves to spin…a cleaning, an oiling and away we went 🙂 Her wheel is large, partially hand carved and beautiful. It measures 26.5 inches, approximately.

God bless her original family, they took exceptional care of her.

Now, the second wheel…

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We found this wheel on the local Kijiji, just about 30 minutes away. I couldn’t help but notice the double wheel posts with the curving cap which are secondary supports on this tiny spinning wheel and I was intrigued since I had just gotten the first a week or two before.

She was covered in thick brown oil type paint – very shiny. I could tell that it was not original paint because they had painted over her decorative end caps. She was doing a very good job of impersonating a reproduction wheel of some sort from the 70’s and I had more than one doubt when buying her.

My grandson, bless him, loves her. Grandma, for ME?!!! was his reaction 🙂

For me grandma?!!

First things first, when I got her home I took her for a spin and she did spin!

Some pictures of her parts…

Painted over the end caps

The painted over decorative caps
Definitely not the original paint

The flyer and mother of all
Lots of paiint!

Yes, she has bearings
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This was a job for solvent…and lots of gloves and paint scrubbie pads…

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Stripping the itsy bitsy

nice!

The wheel itself was a lot of work…

before - itsy bitsy wheel

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And then all the smaller pieces…

The pressure fit whorl
pressure fit whorl - finnish itty bitty wheel

The flyer
finnish flyer

The bobbin
finnish bobbin

The whole job took approximately 20 hours, lots of patience and plenty of elbow grease but now she is perfect!

Her flyer, with tool marks from the file it was ‘sanded’ with
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The arched post cap
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Tension
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Side view/alignment
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From the back
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One thing missing – one decorative metal ‘cap’
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It’s a super cute antique spinning wheel that has seen very little use. There is no foot indentation in the treadle, the hooks may be replacements but they are in good shape and well bent so I didn’t replace them. She has an odd arrangement with the front maiden on an angle to accomodate the flyer and a 14″ wheel diameter.

After stripping the whole thing, I treated the wood with orange oil, no wax so far.

Have a fantastic day! 🙂

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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.

It’s A Turkish Wheel!

Good morning! I should call this ‘tales from the rabbit hole’, me thinks 🙂

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We acquired this beautiful Turkish ‘Nomad’ Spinning Wheel this past weekend. She’s beautiful and very very old. The couple who sold her to us bought her on the Turkey/Russia border, years ago, on a trip. I haven’t mastered spinning with her – she’s a little bit moody and operates on a bobbin led, no brake system. Apparently spinning on these is similar to charka spinning. Of course, I’ve never charka spun, either!

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I scrubbed her down with methyl hydrate (standard warning – these rags will spontaneously combust if left in a pile and not dried flat and disposed of properly) and a bit of steel wool. I tried the toothbrush (my favorite method) but her dirt went a little deeper. The steel wool is fine and doesn’t mar the wood…

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She cleaned up really nicely…and with a few shims to tighten up some joints (I used stretchy plumbers tape – not sticky – to wrap the maidens so they weren’t loose) and plan to use some wire to stabilize some of the more serious cracks. I feel like the cracks are stable as is but who knows how heat/humidity and use will affect things. I feel like the wire wraps will be a good way to repair her without taking away from her history. I would HATE to have to replace a part completely.

Another view of the dirt – precleaning –
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My baby after her bath…and a little tung oil massage…
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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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What’s Going On On The Porch…

You won’t believe what a bad antique mommy I’ve been!

This is what I’ve been working on, on the porch…

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The backstory – A while ago (like last year), a good friend of my husbands gave us his great grandmother’s old treadle sewing machine, in the table. It had sat out for a while at his house and the veneer was peeling on the top. I gave it a quick look and said ‘Store it on the porch’. Yeah. Really. So then, a couple of days ago, I was looking at it (took the tarp off – thank goodness I used a tarp to protect it through the year) and realized the machine is in great shape and the table in very near to great shape once I took off the old veneer which was too badly lifted to redo.

I looked her up. She has a one letter prefix in her serial number and was manufactured in 1906 in Elizabethport, Elizabeth, New Jersey, as part of 10,000 machines (model number 27) destined for montreal. Makes perfect sense since the grandmother in question and our friend’s family come from Cornwall, Ontario.

Here are some progress photos…

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I used the old favorites to clean the machine – baking soda, vinegar, toothbrush, elbow grease 🙂 Oh, and lots of rags to protect things that weren’t getting cleaned!

I used murphy’s oil soap and steel wool on the wood…I’m still in the process of getting it all cleaned down. My ultimate plan will be to oil it with a mixture of boiled linseed oil/turpentine/red wine vinegar. I think she will be gorgeous!

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Wow. Ok, picture heavy post.

I shall soon be back with a more finished look, I hope! 🙂