Walking Wheel drive band slpping

I’m a spinner who just got a job at a museum. I have the use of an antique walking wheel to demonstrate on, but I can’t get the drive band to turn the wheel. It just slides around it. I’ve tightened, loosened, oiled, …now what? It spins fine if I hold the band onto the wheel, but that’s not very authentic…

Anyone out there with some thoughts? Please…help!

I am afraid I can’t offer advice for the band slipping, but WOW! What a cool job!!! Getting paid to spin!

I don’t suppose you can use an elastic band (Pony Bead Lacing?)

HOw cool! YOu get to spin at work?!!! Do you take your own fiber? hehe We’re too distracted by your coolness to help you with your problem!

Just an idea. I wonder if it is too oiled and the band is slipping on the wheel. Perhaps the band itself has got oil on it and just slips around. What would happen if the wheel and band was well wiped or even replace the band. Just a thought.

I"m not sure what pony bead lacing is…would it come that long? Those are gosh-darn big wheels!

I do take my own fiber, but I just dyed some with tansy from the herb gardens.

I don’t think the band got any oil on it. I just oiled the spindle and the axel part of the whatchamacallit disks that drive it. It is still a little sticky, but I think it would loosen up fine if I could get the big wheel spinning. (Isn’t that a song? Big wheel keeps on spinning…oops)
I’m serious now, I’m desperate! I really want to get this baby working. I just don’t see how a string is going to drive that flat wheel anyway. Has anyone used a great wheel?

It is a small elastic tubing made for stringing larger beads. My package says it is 5 yards - so I would think yes, long enough. I bought mine at Hobby Lobby for a grand total of $1.27! It works great on my little wheel.

Interesting…I’ll file that for future use. Thanks.

I managed to get it spinning. Now I realize that the wheel is turned around to the wrong side. It’s tight so I don’t want to crack anything. I’ll let someone else do it.
But I discovered I’m having trouble now with the one-handed draw. Anyone know about that?

Well, you found out on your own about making sure the drive wheel is on correctly.

Next step is to find out if the drive wheel is true. If not, the band will always ‘walk’ and eventually fall off.

Long draw with your left hand while controlling the drive wheel with your right hand.

It’s ALL in the fiber prep. You want very lofty fiber and a very loose hold on it. The fiber should be a the tip of the spindle. As you move the drive wheel clockwise, pull back on your fiber, then tension between the spindle and fiber should put twist in. as you release and turn the drive wheel slightly counter clock wise, than again clock wise, you will take the fiber off the tip, then wind onto the bobbin.

Good long draw spinning is [B]all[/B] in the fiber prep. you want the fibers to slip by each other easily

You might be able to take a piece of sandpaper to the groove that the drive band sits in on the great wheel and roughen it up just a little bit to give it some bite.
Someone might have thought they were doing a good thing and when they waxed the other parts of the wheel they waxed the groove also. It just needs a little roughening up.
Also for authenticities sake you could use a piece of cotton twine or yarn for the drive band. Sometimes they do wear out n they do need replaced.

The drive band is staying on, even with the wheel on the wrong side. Don’t think that will be the problem. The main problem right now is ME. I know the wool I was trying to spin wasn’t very well prepared. But I was just so excited to see the thing actually work! They should have it turned around next week so I can practice for real. Thanks for the tips!

There isn’t any groove on any great wheel I’ve ever seen. That’s what was making it more difficult. But it seems to be working now! I did put a new drive band on since the original was long gone. This wheel is probably 100 years old and probably hasn’t been used in almost that long!

Very cool! Do you have pictures of this wheel that you could post?

I don’t yet, but I should do that. I’ll try to remember to take my camera.
L :slight_smile:

If you want to be authentic, you need to use beeswax on your drive band/wheel. I’ve also heard of some people using rosin. It might need to be cleaned first if it has years of oils on it. Over-tightening it to avoid slipping can be stressful to the wood joints and axle.

Thanks. I haven’t put anything on it. I’m getting better at the draw but it’s still a struggle. SOOOO glad they invented treadle wheels. Still haven’t got a pic. Soon, I promise!

A few things to check. Make sure the band is now too smooth…a fine sandpaper will do the trick. Check to see if the wheel is in alignment with the head…an incorrect angle can cause the band to wonder too much. Also, the band itself may be too long and you may need to shorten. Check to see if the mother-of-all head is moving smoothly. These are issues I have incurred in the past with my wheels.