22 February 2011

The first graduate of the Apple Jack Creek Home for Aged and Wayward Wheels

The Apple Jack Creek Home for Aged and Wayward Spinning Wheels is proud to announce the first graduate from our unique program!
This wheel arrived here tired, dusty, and dry. After her creation sometime in the 1930’s in the northern Czech Republic, at some point she travelled to Canada, where she recently spent some years languishing in a cold garage attic. At long last, the decision was made that she was ready to take the plunge and re-enter polite spinning society! Finding her way here was, of course, the first step on that journey and we are so proud of her. (Everyone clap politely, now!)
Just to show you how far she’s come, here is what she looked like on arrival (she’s the one on the far left)…
During her stay, she was bathed liberally in tung oil finish and wow, did that ever make a difference! Here she is, partway through her treatment at the spa:
Look at that youthful glow!
This girl had a unique feature that called for some new techniques in our spa – she’s got a metal flyer, which is not something you see every day. Our local resources (thanks Dad) suggested brass and carbon steel brushes for the Dremel and they did indeed do a fabulous job of polishing: under all the grime, that lovely flyer has a brass neck and steel arms … and she longer sports any twisted flax fibres or caked on grease. Detoxification is just another part of the spa experience at Apple Jack Creek!
Some fine tuning work was needed on the bobbin and the whorl, where the real work of spinning happens. The bobbin clattered on the flyer rod, especially once all the gunk was removed, so new leather bearings were inserted into the ends to cushion the spinning wood against the metal. The flyer whorl is a pressure-fit (rather than a threaded twist-on), and was, in fact, fitted to a clump of flax thread and built up grease that had been purposely created around the end of the flyer rod. With that cleaned off, a new method of fixing the whorl in place was needed, so more leather was called into service. The whorl was never properly centered, so in the course of fixing the pressure fit, it was shifted somewhat more towards the middle, though it’s still not quite perfect. Well, none of us are perfect in this life, eh folks?
And now … after all that hard work, here she is. Isn’t she beautiful, folks?
Now let the ladies and gentlemen see what you were able to accomplish this afternoon....
Isn’t that great folks? Look at her, she’s ready to be productive once more! What a girl! Applause! Applause!
Here she is, showing you what she can do.

Any spinners out there looking for a productive member of the family? The Apple Jack Creek Home for Aged and Wayward Spinning Wheels asks potential adopters to contact us: we do request a donation of $250 to cover our program expenses, and we ask that you be committed to furthering this wheel’s re-entry into productive spinning society. To facilitate this process, we are pleased to offer a 3-bobbin Lazy Fred (stained to match) for just $25 to those spinners who do not already have a one-bobbin solution in place.
Local(ish) pickup or delivery to Olds (during Fibre Week) is free. Shipping can be arranged, but as this wheel doesn’t disassemble, it is likely to be a bit challenging.


  1. What a great job you did. She looks lovely and it must be satisfying to give such a beauty a new lease on life.

  2. Thanks, Tracy! It is a great feeling.

    You live in the land of awesome spinning wheels ... there are so many gorgeous NZ wheels out there!

  3. Once word gets out that you will rehome old wheels maybe this can be a sideline business.

    She looks lovely!

  4. I think the soft clacking sound is very comforting. I also know that it wouldn't be very rhythmic in my hands (or feet). It looks and sounds great. Hopefully she will move into productive life somewhere soon.

  5. E I am hoping it'll be a bit of a sideline - I love getting the wheels back up and running and into the hands of spinners once more.

    Thanks, Ev! I like that clacking
    sound too. Sounds sorta clock-like.

  6. armydentalchick7:42 pm

    I think she has a marvelous "spinning voice", she is happily singing now that she can spin again. Beautiful resotoration job!

    Cathy in Morinville


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