New "old" spinning machine help needed

Hi everyone,
I have just purchased this spinning wheel and its not quite working. When i try to use the treadle it does spin the wheel then just stops. I have no idea where to start or what I’m doing :joy:

Thanks so much for any and all help :blush:


A few more pics.

Thanks again :blush:

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Hi @Becka2259, Nice castle wheel.

Is the drive wheel (large) stopping or is the flyer/bobbin stopping?

Have you recently cleaned and oiled every moving part?

I see that the tension adjustment is in the highest position. This could be part of the reason the wheel is stopping … your tension is too tight. Loosen the tension by lowering the flyer/bobbin assembly until the drive band just causes the flyer/bobbin to spin.

Another reason the treadle may be stopping is because you do not have the ‘beat’ of the treadle yet.

Forget about spinning yarn for a while … concentrate on turning the drive wheel. When the footman gets to the highest position, you need to press on the treadle to cause the drive wheel to turn. Some wheels like a ‘toe only’ pressure, some wheels like a rocking ‘heel/toe’ motion. Every wheel is different. Getting to know the rhythm of your wheel is important. You will want to be able to turn the wheel (treadle) without thinking about it. Spend some time … maybe 15 minutes at a time … just trying to get to know the rhythm of the treadle. It might be frustrating at first, but the more you practice, the easier it will be.

Here is a picture of parts of a castle wheel to help you.

Once you get treadling mastered, tag me and I will help you with the next step of working with your wheel.


Hi @mullerslanefarm, thanks so much for your reply.

I have spent the last few hours taking the spinning wheel apart and checking over every piece and discovered the following-

The crank arm the connects the footman to the wheel has too much play, there should be a screw/pin to fix its position. This was probably why i couldn’t get a continuous spin.

Also i seem to have Intermittent flyer/bobbin spin, i have tried different tensions but even at the highest point the drive band seems very slack.

During the odd moment where things just worked the treadle seemed to respond to a heel/toe movement.

Is there a particular oil you would recommend?

There are a few leather pieces and I’m not sure if they sit under the fly wheel assembly or above it.

Thanks so much for all your help so far, i really do appreciate it :blush:

I use 3-in-1 oil for my wheels.

In the last picture, if the bottom piece that sits under the crank shaft of the drive wheel (fly wheel) is leather, oil that real well. If it is wood, put on a nice coat of wax. The way it is situated, it won’t go any where.

Sounds like the drive band is worn out. It is a simple fix. Your current band is a very thick cord but you really only need a sturdy band such as butchers twine, stretchy pony bead lacing or good old cotton yarn or string. Here is a video to help put on a new drive band:

Your footman connection looks normal. Unless it is loose where it connects in the drive wheel upright, it is as it should be. You do not want it to have a fixed position.

Your leathers are dry. Oil them well, then oil them some more. If you can remove them, do so and soak them in oil.

I’ve spun on a wheel like yours. It’s treadle pattern is very unique. If I recall correctly,when the footman is just past the 12:00 position, you need a hard toe action, followed by no weight on the toes and all weight on the heel to get the footman back to the “just past 12:00” position, where you again need a hard toe action. Pacing your foot in different positions on the treadle can also help. Remember, you only want the drive wheel (fly wheel) to just turn … you’re not ‘going to the races’. If you treadle too quickly, you won’t be able to draft fast enough to keep up!


Well she spins beautifully, i do have a video of her spinning but i dont know how to add it :no_mouth:.

I’ve been so busy at work that i haven’t had much time to spend using the wheel but the few minutes I’ve had here and there I’ve just sat and treaded the wheel. I’m practicing changing directions and controlling the speed of the wheel.

Just want to thank everyone again for all your help and support :blush:

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