Automatic skein winder - help!

Hey all :slight_smile:

So, I’m finally building a stockpile of hand dyed yarns to sell, and am loving it, but the skeining/reskeining etc is hell on my poor fibro-ridden arms and shoulders. I have a great skein winder from Corkwood, a really simple design ( and have it mounted on a metal table leg. It spins really easily and all, but the repetitive motion hurts after not very long, and if I want to do this dyeing thing to any kind of professional degree, I need to automate it so that it won’t damage my joints.

My guy is quite handy with physics and computer stuff, and so is teaching himself electronics to see if he can help me make it automatic. So far we’ve got the idea of running a power supply to a small motor, and using a gearing system to turn the winder, and possibly a potentiometer to make the speed variable (that would be really useful). We’re going to experiment a bit to find out what works, but I was wondering if anyone out there had any thoughts or experience on building this kind of thing, or anything involving small motors, and could lend some advice?

If we get something that works, he’s happy to make them for other people too - I think he’s enjoying the project :wink:

Any help at all would be much appreciated,
Fi xx

I don’t remember the particulars of where I read it, but I recall something about using an electric drill to create the turning motion?