What does my "new" old spinning wheel need?

I just got a spinning wheel from someone on craigslist. It looks pretty old, but it looks like I could still get it to work. There are just a few things I don’t know about including the bobbin and flyer.
Here’s the bobbin:


The problem is that I can’t get the bobbin off, and it seems like the whorl is glued in… It makes me think it’s only for decoration but it looks like it’s been used too. The bobbin twists where it’s at and the whorl does kind of too… I’m thinking I may need to get a whole new flyer and bobbin?

My next problem is underneath the bobbin… here’s a pic:


It’s a metal thing, on top it has an F and a B on it. Other than that no markings. It has two bolts drilled all the way into the body of the spinning wheel. Could this be because it broke and they were trying to fix it? Is anything missing that’s crucial to spinning fiber?

Also, on the treadle one of the attachments to the leg is broken. Is this that big of a deal? Here’s a pic:


The wood seems to be stripped away, so even if I did get some sort of screw in there, it wouldn’t work. I have spun the wheel using the pedal and it seems to work OK without that being connected.

I have one or two more things, but I feel like this is getting long so I’ll stop. One more thing though, it’s missing the drive band. Can I just make one out of string or something?

Thanks for any help anyone can give me! I really appreciate it.

Try rotating the whorl in the opposite direction (clockwise) after spraying it with WD-40 to loosen the gunk in there.

The metal thing on top of the table is how you control the tension. You should be able to loosen the wing nut to tilt the Mother of All (MoA) towards and away from the drive wheel.

Yes, you can put on your own drive band. A thinner cotton string (like kite string) that has been waxed with beeswax should work, or even a cotton yarn.

Place your MoA about midway point in tensioning. Have someone hold one end of your drive band above the whorl (or tie it on to the maiden). Wrap the band over and around the drive wheel, back to the whorl, back over the drive wheel, back over the bobbin whorl. Tie off.

The disconnect may or may not cause problems with the action of the treadle.

Make sure clean all the gunk from the flyer and the drive wheel shaft (WD-40 is great for doing this) and re oiling EVERYTHING. The flyer shaft, the leathers that hold the flyer on, the drive wheel shaft.

Wow thank you so much! The DW-40 worked brilliantly! Thank you thank you thank you! I was afraid I’d have to buy a new $80 flyer! (which is more than I paid for the entire spinning wheel!)

Happy to be of service!!

You may have to use the WD-40 on the MoA tilt adjustment to get it moving.

OK I have another question… I tried spinning some yarn since my fiber hasn’t come in the mail yet, just to get the idea of how it will work. But the yarn wasn’t spinning onto the bobbin. I did some searching and I realized it’s because there is no drive band! Here’s a pic of the whole flyer:


Do I just need to make one myself connecting it to the MoA? (I found this cool site that tells you how to make your own http://abigailscraftshowto.com/2010/03/adding-or-repairing-scotch-tension-on-a-spinning-wheel/)

The link you sent shows a [U]brake [/U]band, not a [U]drive [/U]band.

You only need a brake band when you have a single drive wheel. Your wheel is a double drive.

The difference? Your drive band. The double drive’s drive band goes around the drive wheel (aka fly wheel) twice. The single drive’s drive band goes around the drive wheel once.

Check out these links:
Parts of a Spinning Wheel

How the spinning wheel works

Setting the tension of your wheel

On your wheel, there isn’t much difference in the size of your flyer whorl and the bobbin whorl so it might be a bit tricky for you.

Make sure the bobbin leader (where you attach the yarn to the bobbin) is tied on tightly so it doesn’t slip around the bobbin. Some spinners use a piece of tape to secure the leader.

I applaud you with thinking about using yarn to spin onto the bobbin! :thumbsup: It is one of the steps I use for my beginning spinners.

The first step is to get used to the treadling. You don’t want to go like a speed demon! You want the drive wheel to go pretty slow. When the footman (refer back to 1st link) gets to 12:00, push down on the treadle to create just enough energy to get the footman to get back up to 12:00 position.

Slower is better, remember you will also be drafting your fiber at the speed in which you are treadling!

You also want to be able to treadle, keep the wheel going all without thinking about it. The more time you treadle now will help you when you get your fiber.

Once you get your treadling down, add junk yarn “backwards”. Thread it through the orifice, over the hooks and tie on to the the bobbin. Make sure it is securely tied on the bobbin.

Adjust the MOA so there is slight tension on the drive band. Start treadling and see if the yarn takes up. If it doesn’t, tilt the MOA back a little, little bit and try again.

Sit up straight and keep your hand back from the orifice. There is usually a good 12-18" between my front hand and the orifice when I’m spinning. My hand does get closer to the orifice when I’m letting the yarn go on to the bobbin.

Relax! Don’t keep a death grip hold onto the yarn. Once you get the MOA tension set right, just let the yarn go through your hands. Be sure to check how the yarn is winding onto the bobbin and adjust the yarn on a different hook!

You may get frustrated, but don’t give up!!! You’re just getting to know your wheel. Each one (even new ones of the same make & model) each have their own personality and quirks that you need to get to know.

If you get too frustrated, walk away for a little bit and then come back to it.

The first month of spinning is hell. Then one day, it all clicks and you realize you are relaxed and creating yarn!!

OK wow thanks again! I got it to work now! The yarn wasn’t spinning onto the bobbin and now I know why! My only problem now is that the wheel is hard to spin - I have to push it with my hand every time. But that may be because I haven’t rubbed beeswax on my kite string drive band yet. Hopefully that will help it grab the bobbin and whorl.

And thanks for all the advice on actually spinning fiber! Still hasn’t come yet, but now I feel like I won’t totally destroy it when I try it out :slight_smile: Thanks! I will be referring back to this when it comes.

Beeswax on your drive band will help a lot. Also, remove the drive wheel and make sure the axle is free of gunk (WD-40!), then oil it well.

I’m looking forward to seeing your first yarns!

Sooo I tried some spinning the other day, and the make shift drive band kept falling off… so we finally put a big knot in it so it would stay… then it broke my bobbin :frowning: But I found a spinning store in my town and they’re gonna help me make one using some cheap material they have. You can see my first yarn at my new blog: http://jewall.weebly.com Enjoy! It’s pretty rustic. :slight_smile:

That is actually a real nice first yarn!

To make it easier to spin, don’t try to draft from the full roving. Split it lengthwise into thinner strips. This helps open up the fiber making it easier to draft.

Make sure you hold your hands far enough apart to allow the fibers to slip past each other when drafting.

You can also totally pre-draft your fiber before you sit at the wheel. This allows you to totally concentrate on the treadling.

Keep it up!!!


Thanks! My goal is to make yarn I can actually knit :slight_smile:

Yeah, there are plenty of things I can do better - thanks for the advice! I think I’ll pre-draft more next time.

You are doing quite well for new yarns … give yourself a couple weeks, you’re a natural spinner!