The Connecticut Chair Wheel restoration was taken on after following up a Craig’s List sale for a chair wheel. Seeing the double treadles in the Craig’s List photos, I was certain it was a large contemporary wheel. However, upon arrival I discovered a deminuative wheel, obviously old, wobbly and in great need of repair.
The dried wood responded to “spa bath” of orange oil and bee’s wax:
To stablize the wobble, bushings were fashioned from PVC to replace the damaged wood.
Tweaked & adjusted until all the wheels were in alignment. Most troubling in the repair process was getting the excellerator wheel belt to work. I tried leather belting but it was much too stiff. Tried webbed belting, again unsuitable. Finally bought a length of belting from a local shoe and leather repair store. I worried about not having enough length; I needn’t have. The leather stretched and stretched and I had to keep cutting the belt shorter until it gained tracktion.
The oiled oak footmen are a replacement. The dark wood is all original.
The “bird cage” was not restored … the distaff was missing arms and the bird cage would have had sticks similar to the bamboo stick I inserted.
The bobbin was missing it’s end cap. To keep it as original as possible, an endcap was fashioned from plastic nut can lid.
Nuts provide stability to the wheel. Ancient nut repair was left untouched; it adds character:
Completed wheels photos (click on photo to go to larger image):
Distinctive reverse view of “the 18″ showing the mounted whorls which identifies it as a “Jensen”
During a conversation with Jerry Jensen at “The Spinning Wheel Shop” he told stories about this model. He calls it “the 18” wheel. It was the first wheel model that he built starting back in the 1960’s. It is based on his wife’s spinning wheel that he got for her in 1960. He said that he made refinements based on Elsie Davenport’s book.
Jerry said that he sold the wheels to JC Penny and several furniture stores in the Milwaukee area for $29.99 during the ‘60’s and 70’s. They sold them for $79.99. Some of us can recall that Early American furniture was quite popular then. One of the Milwaukee newspapers ran a feature about Jerry’s spinning wheels. The owner of the Sheboygan Chair company saw this article and offered Jerry the contents of his closed factory. So Jerry said that he borrowed an onion truck, and drove it to Sheboygan to collect chair spindles that would become wheel legs. He said that he made this wheel until the early ‘90’s. So this is probably one of the last of that type.
Underneath, signed, dated and labeled by Jerry Jensen
(double click on photos for larger image) I took Spin-In magazine’s challenge to recycle outdated knitted items from your closet or thrift store finds. The sweater I choose was a closet find … “What was I thinking” … shoulder pads and all. The sweater was a wool, mohair, nylon blend. I’m thinking sock yarn. First, look for a sweater that has chain stitch holding the seams; the type seams that seal potato sacks and dog food bags. Once the seams were separated, I unraveled the knit and balled up the yarn. You’ll notice in the photo a mix of beads. I threaded one stand of fiber with mixed beads which would later be spun into the yarn. I’m thinking a little bit a beads on the sock tops. Then I spun a two ply yarn on my Timbertops chair wheel. The first yarn was skeined onto a sample niddy noddy. The first spun will be mailed off to Spin-In in answer to the challenge, the rest, socks ….
Found a detailed tutorial on-line HERE at craftsylish blog.
Recently traveled from Florida to Dallas for a holiday visit and some “picking”. I brought with me my recent Craig’s List find, a Norwegian Princess Spinning Wheel, and along the way, in south-east Texas, I picked up an eBay pick-up only auction win, a Rick Reeves frame wheel.
I traveled light, a small bag with clothes and a large tote with spinning accessories, niddy noddy etc. and a large box of fiber … plus of course the two wheels. I picked up my daughter from school. The large college parking lot was resplendent with older white four door cars and as she scurried ahead of me, I said “look for the white car with two spinning wheels in the back seat.” She didn’t bat an eye, just gave me a knowing smile … who doesn’t travel cross country with two full size spinning wheels.
Found a sighting in Paula Simmons book, Spinning and Weaving with Wool, on page 68 a picture of the Norwegian Princess (much better shape), which apparently were imported and sold by Robin and Russ Handweavers, McMinnville, Oregon. The wheels were reported made of Beech with a lacquer finish. Originally the wheel came with 4 bobbins and had flyer ratios of 1.33 and 1.66. A very fast wheel. My wheel came with a new flyer and several new bobbins.
The Rick Reeves was in need of a major cleaning. The Norwegian was in less need of cleaning but it’s leg came off and it appeared there had been an old super glue repair. Super glue doesn’t work on everything, but Elmer’s? … Used white glue to repair the leg, and all was well. She spins beautifully. More regarding the Rick Reeves Frame Wheel in previous post.
I had forgotten my lazy kate and don’t tend to like on board kates so I improvised; who doesn’t carry knitting needles on trips, just in case?
When planning my trip to Dallas over the holidays, a Rick Reeves hand turned chair wheel appeared on eBay, “pick up only”. I won the auction, adjusted my itinerary and made a swing through southeast Texas to pick up the wheel. I was already traveling with a “Norwegian Princess Wheel” snagged from Craig’s List and delivered by FedEx days before I left.
The Rick Reeves wheel was made in 2000 but had never even had a drive band on her. The purchaser had planned to learn to spin but health issues arose that kept her from learning. The wheel sat untouched. And I mean “untouched”; it had better than a decade of dust, kitchen oil residue and roach droppings layered in a thick coat of grime.
I used a Mr. Clean Magic sponges, 3M green scrubbers, denatured alcohol and degreaser to scrub her ’til all of the grime and most of the Danish Oil Finish were gone. Rather than run the risk of reassembling the wheel and having parts freeze, she rode home “naked”. Once home, I disassembled everything that easily removed and coated the various pieces with several light coats of Datco Danish Oil. After leaving the disassembled pieces several days to cure (the wheel was dry the first day but the additional curing time made sure the finish was hard and the parts wouldn’t stick after being reassembled), I coated the pieces with Goodies Wood Beams, a vegetable, lemon, cedar wax concoction which smells wonderful and makes the wood gleam.
The Rick Reeves Norwegian Spinning Wheel had sold and has arrived at it’s new home in Washington State … quite the trip from Florida. The wheel had to be partially disassembled for the trip but was loveingly waxed and reassembled.
Beautiful, rare handmade Rick Reeves Norwegian Spinning Wheel for sale. The wheel has been well cared (as you can see from the photos) and is in perfect working order. This is a dream wheel. The purchaser will also get handmade Rick Reeves Lazy Kate and a total of 4 bobbins.
Lots of photos below … click on thumbnails to see larger images.
My newest and so thereby, my favorite wheel. Completely collapsible LOUET S90. This “old wheel” was purchased from the original owner who had received it as a gift from her hubby but never learned to spin and never used the wheel. It is pristine and while a bit stiff, fun upon which to spin.
These two photos display oak, SIGNED, unfinished spinning wheel threaders I am planning to list for sale on my Etsy site. I am no longer accepting direct sales but will make all future sales through Etsy.
I have a very few people who previously contacted me directly through Ravelry that I am working with before listing the spinning wheel threaders on Etsy. I expect to complete those sales before weeks end when I again will be listing these unfinished threaders for sale. (The threaders can be purchased unfinished or finished.)
Currently, Rick Reeves is engaged in another project and is not turning threaders. He will be away from the lathe over the summer but promises more threaders in the fall. He may even be able to send a few before his summer hiatus. Will keep you posted on this site.
Unfinished oak threaders, newly hand turned by Spinning Wheel Craftsman Rick Reeves, in photos have been sealed/finished with “Golden Oak” Watco Danish Oil. You’ll notice the unfinished threader lurking behind the can and the finished threader in the foreground. For more about threaders, please read previous posts.