I've been thinking a lot about spinning lately. I think I'm going to write up some of the stuff I've been thinking about. This entry is illustrated with my Country Craftsman reproduction wheel. It's a double-drive wheel, with small bobbins and a small orifice, and it spins really nicely. I like it a lot! And it looks great when I sit behind it in costume. :)
Ok, I know everybody today has nice new, modern wheels with plastic drive bands. That's great, I have one too (a Lendrum.) But in case you ever get interested in reenacting, or just decide you like the looks of a traditional wheel, or, like Beth, you suddenly find yourself in possession of an antique, here's a little tutorial on how they break down and come apart.
First, a view of the wheel from the flyer end. All the pictures are clickable for bigger versions. Here you can see the flyer and bobbin, the mother of all, the maidens (I tell ya, spinning has the Best Names EVAR) and the tension screw:
To remove the flyer, you should be able to rotate the front maiden toward you a little. That will let you free the orifice end. Then you can gently lift the far end of the flyer out of its leather bearing, lift the two loops of the drive belt off, and lift out the flyer.
And here's an exploded view of the flyer. I've unscrewed the whorls (there are two whorls in one here).
To remove the mother of all, first unscrew the tension knob. It's got a long threaded wooden shaft (sounds dirty, doesn't it??) that should just unscrew all the way out.
Then you can just lift the mother of all out of the wheel.
Here's how they all look laid out and apart:
If you had a cutaway view of the tension screw in the mother of all, it would look like this:
If you look close, you can see the tension screw going all the way through here.
Once you've poked around and looked at things and understood how everything fits together, reassembly the bobbin/flyer assembly by sliding the bobbin on the shaft and screwing the whorl back onto the end of the flyer. Some whorls may have a left-hand thread (i.e., counterclockwise to tighter, clockwise to loosen); some may simply have a D-shaped shaft that you just slide the whorl on to. (I was one of those the other week.)
Lift up the two loops of the double-drive belt and put one loop over a bobbin whorl, and one loop over a flyer whorl. At some point in the process, the belt will probably either a) fall off the wheel or b) fall off a whorl. Don't despair. Take your patience in both hands and just put everything back. IMHO, this is the most aggravating part of the process. It's why changing bobbins on a double-drive wheel is a PITA sometimes. Worry first about getting the flyer inside the drive belt loops and re-mounted in the flyer bearings (those things the flyer sets in) and you can get the belt back in place in a couple of minutes.
Put the orifice end back in the flyer bearing. Rotate the front maiden away from you till the flyer is held tightly (but not TOO tight) again.
Pull your yarn back out through the orifice, adjust your belt tension, and start spinning!
If you have any questions, let me know.