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My Newest Wheel – A Little Bit Of A Project

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Isn’t she sweet?

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(her wheel is on backwards in these pictures)

We purchased her from a local lady and she’s missing her treadle, flyer and bobbin. Altogether though, she is in great shape!

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Check out her ‘redness’! I think she was originally a red wheel with a black stripe on the wheel itself, on the inner ‘ring’ of the wheel.

Her hub is solid with only a couple small cracks. Her wheel is slightly seperated but should come back together with a little coaxing, oiling and perhaps the dryness of winter will help if nothing else does. Certainly, my other wheels become quite loose during the winter season.

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The leathers are perfect and the rear leather is amazing….a solid chunk of leather!

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Hoping to spend some quality time with this lady in the upcoming week and build her a new treadle. I’ll need to find her a flyer or see if one of my other wheels has a flyer which would work as a loaner for now 🙂

Have a fantastic day!

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Aram! I’m So Glad You’re Here :)

She love to spin

Isn’t she lovely? I think so!

Please welcome my newest wheel – another little piece of Canadian fibre art history. She is marked “Aram Paradis” and was made in Quebec in the latter half of the 1800’s. To make her even more special, we purchased her from her original family. A lovely woman sold her to us, after refusing to sell her to someone the seller suspected was an antique dealer, because we would love her enough!

Bless her. She was right though, you know – I really will love her enough 🙂

The wheel belonged to the seller’s great grandmother, who used to spin on her often – I was even given a small amount of cotton sliver which was, according to the seller, her great grandmother’s and what she would commonly spin on the wheel. This same seller has another wheel (her grandmother’s) which is a Canadian Production Wheel, in perfect pristine condition. If she ever decides to sell it, she’s going to call us. I’ll let you know 🙂

It seems she has been modified to work with a spindle – somewhat like a great wheel. What remained of this modification when we got her was the whorl but no spindle piece. There was a second hole drilled (perfectly, might I add) in her mother of all for the front maiden, to facilitate the modification. She looked like this;

Just a little bit dry

the modification

First off, she needed a coat of blo/turpentine – the poor baby was parched.

What a differenc oil makes

I moved the maiden back to the original hole and made her some new leathers (made from an old full grain leather belt, bonded together for the front maiden to create a sturdy bearing)…

Making new leathers

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For the back leather, I used a single layer of the same belt leather but since it’s a bit on the stiff/thick side, soaked it in water for a couple hours and then clamped it to create a tight bearing…

Clamping the leather for the back maiden

My baby had no flyer/bobbin whatsoever so I had to look around the house for something suitable. Thankfully the other wheels LOVE to share. My first attempt was an old lithuanian flyer that I have. Quite sadly (since this is my only flyer without it’s own wheel), it was too short and had some issues with spinning properly – sort of a dud. Second attempt was to try one of the cpw flyers (a Vezina, in fact). This was too long…

At this point it was very ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ and, just like in the story, the third try fit just right 🙂 I ended up fitting ‘Grandpa’s’ flyer to her – a very close to perfect fit. In order for it to be a PERFECT fit would mean finding a flyer with about the same length of arms/bobbin BUT with a longer tail end for the back bearing. Since I didn’t have such a flyer, I added a rabbit skin ‘sleeve’ inside the back bearing, to hold the shorter tail end. Grandpa says he’s happy to have helped 🙂

Rabbit skin sleeve for back bearing

Did I mention her perfect hub?? Really awesome for her age…

No cracks in the hub

She’s stamped but this isn’t the clearest picture…

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And in her glory – all glowing and spinning!!

Pretty!

We had a few issues as we began spinning together. I don’t blame her really since she’s not used to working after all these years 🙂 Her treadle kept trying to fall out of the leg nearest the spinner on the wheel end – there was an old injury to that leg and a groove there so I used a bit of belt leather and made a split washer which I placed on the other end of the treadle bar, at the leg closest to the mother of all. This keeps the treadle from moving over as far as it wants and falling out on the wheel side. Also looks very appropriate, which I like 🙂

The cross piece that the treadle sits on is so old and brittle with an old staple repair underneath. It did snap shortly into our spinning together BUT I didn’t want to replace it with a new piece of wood.

Cover your eyes now if you are particular about correct repairs! My solution was to fit the shattered old wood back together underneath and then bond the whole thing back together with some 5 minute epoxy. Yes, a woodworking sin. BUT! She looks original and that was what I wanted. If this doesn’t work in the long run I can always replace the cross bar. I wasn’t approaching the project in terms of resale value but from a working/original wheel perspective.

Finally…my little helper has been by 🙂 I’ve convinced him that the winder is ‘his’ wheel…

The little spinner and 'his' wheel

He has, however, gotten older and now he has noticed that ‘his’ wheel doesn’t seem to do it right. LOL. He brought his bobbins over to my wheel to see what was going on last time…

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He really is the cutest little guy 🙂 Plays piano when he’s not spinning….babies are awesome 🙂

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Have a fantastic day!

The Acadian Wheel Spins!!

Hello 🙂

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I am so happy! I’ve been working on finishing the restoration of the Acadian Wheel – I made her new leather flyer bearings, new axle bearings (also from leather, soaked in water and shaped into a ‘u’ shape and allowed to dry in place with the wheel in place as well), tied on a (temporary) string footman and figured out how her alignment works!

So, how she looked when she had her first (undrilled) bearing made, and all fitted…
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I discussed making that bearing here, using shoe leather and an old belt…I ended up dying it with leather dye, after creating a hole for the orifice, using first a drill and then carving it a little bigger…

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I used a bit of belt leather, dyed it with leather dye, for the back bearing – you can kind of see it (undyed) in this picture…

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Since she was flyer and bobbin-less when she came to live with us, my Vezina Slider has graciously offered to share her flyer and bobbin. She very wisely realised that I can only spin on one wheel at a time. I’m going to keep my eyes open for a suitable replacement.

She has no tensioning system so I had to figure out a way around that. I’ve made the back maiden (which holds the flyer with a leather bearing) the mobile maiden so that the flyer can be removed by removing a peg and twisting the maiden. The leather bearing itself I made with longer ‘tails’ than usual to allow the bearing to slip forward, in order to allow me to tie on the drive band and then, by pulling it back towards the maiden, to adjust tension on that band. I then used a square nail (one of the many ‘bits’ from the wheel that are left over) to wedge between the two ‘tails’, from the back of the maiden, in order to hold the leather in place where I put it. I think, in theory, this will allow me to somewhat tension the wheel.

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It turns out, with this flat rim wheel, that the angles are all important. The wheel was made with large pegs that fit into the wheel uprights, beneath the table. These, it turns out!, adjust the angle of the wheel, allowing you to line it up with the flyer properly. I have managed to make her work as a double drive wheel – which I believe she always was, judging by the double groove worn in the wheel rim.

One of the pegs was missing so I used the existing one as a pattern…and a bit of old lath, lol – we’re doing some renovating. I had to wittle the lath down because it was a little too thick at first…

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You can see, in this picture, how the uprights are not in a straight line – they help the wheel align with the flyer…

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The angle looks like this…

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