Connecticut Chair Wheel Restoration

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , My Spinning Wheels 
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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.


I had no idea what I had found until after I did some research.  The Spinning Wheel Sleuth was an excellent resource as a starting place.   Notice the offset alignment of the wheels which appears rather unique.  I found even more information in the “text” Spinning Wheels & Accessories by Michael B. Taylor.

Wheel as found and under restoration:

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):

 

 

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