One of my goals this year is to get Grace restored to running condition. Grace is the Canadian Production Wheel my father bought at an estate sale for $20 or $25. I LOVE MY DAD! 😀
This was what she looked like when he first gave her to me. It’s not a great shot, but you can see the missing spokes and the general coloring of her at the time. And if you look closely, you can see the broken pivot on the treadle. (Maybe pivot is not the right word. I’m still learning about wheels.)
The first thing I did was to clean her with Murphy’s Oil. And boy did that make a difference in her appearance. She lost that yellowy color and gained a deep, rich tone that I absolutely love (though none of the pictures below quite do her color justice). Crazy as it might sound, it was while cleaning her that she told me her name was Grace.
My father helped find at least a temporary solution to the broken pivot. It may take a while to find a more accurate fix or fashion one ourselves. I certainly don’t have any metalsmithing experience and I don’t think he does either. But at least it’s enough to get the treadle working again without constantly falling off.
In addition, Dad turned a new retaining pin as the original one had deteriorated badly. He also fixed some of the spokes that had become quite loose, and he turned new spokes to replace the missing ones. The new spokes are oak while the others are possibly birch. But the stain matches quite well and at least this way we know for sure which ones are not original. The overall weight of the woods is similar enough as to not cause balance issues. And he did a FANTASTIC job matching the turning of the original spokes!
And we may need to do something about the footman. I’ve been told that it’s likely not original to the wheel anyway, but somehow I think the wood looks nicer than a coat hanger wire, so for now we’re trying to get this one to work.
We still need to do some fine tuning on the wheel as she seems to have developed a slight wobble. And we need to find a drive band she likes. Everything I’ve tried so far either breaks or she shakes off. I’ve tried a few different brands of size 10 crochet cotton (different brands have different tensile strength) as they were readily available in my stash. I wondered about the size 3 but as yet, haven’t tried it. Any suggestions of what she might like?
Once we get her get her functional, the next challenge will be for me to figure out how to actually spin on her. That could prove to be more difficult than getting her up and running as I’ve only ever spun on spindles! Wish I could have had her running in time to take that beginning spinning class from Abby Franquemont at this year’s DFW FiberFest. How awesome would that have been?!!! *sigh* I’ll have to at least remember to take my Respect the Spindle book with me to see if I can get an autograph! 😀