Guest Author - Laun Dunn
The nearest spinning shop is over 40 miles one way and they don‘t stock many parts. How do you fix your wheel when it breaks? Rummage through the junk drawer for a few easy fixes!
Having the antique wheels, one of the first parts I needed was a drive band. This was solved with cotton shipping cord easily enough. There was a bit of a learning curve to sewing the ends together, but otherwise it was pretty simple.
If you have a scotch tension wheel and the spring goes caput, replace it with an elastic hair tie or a broccoli band. While you’re at it, the tether that holds the band can be replaced with monofilament fishing line.
The leather pieces that hold the flyer to the maidens on older wheels can be replaced with pieces cut from old ball gloves or tool pouches. Give them a good soak in leather conditioner and rub them against a sharp corner, such as a shelf or doorway, to make them more pliable. Also to cut the leather, use a scalpel for precise duplicates of the original parts.
Golf tees can be used to replace the pin that the tension screw draws against. Just be sure it is one of the thicker ones. Cut the point off of it, insert the into the hole on the table of the spinning wheel. Mark the tee for length with a pencil. Remove the tee again and cut at pencil mark to remove the top portion. Be sure to not use glue on this as it will interfere with the tensioner!
A threading hook can be made by removing the clasp mechanism from a latch hook. We all seem to have a few of these hanging around in a drawer somewhere. With a set of pliers, grasp and pull the small flap or clasp until it comes loose. You may have to twist it a bit to dislodge it. Depending upon the orifice of your wheel, the main body of the hook might need to be bent a bit to fit.
Another way to make a threading hook is to use a heavy paperclip that is formed into the correct shape for your wheel and the non-hook end glued into a drawer pull or wrapped with polymer clay and baked.
Is your spinning wheel on a hardwood floor? Mine too! To prevent it from walking away there are a few options. Make footpads from the grippy-type shelf liners. You can also brush the bottoms of the feet with either rubber cement or bathtub caulking. Anything to help your spinning wheel stay put!
The last tip is for more of an in-depth repair, but I think it is worth it. The pin that holds the treadle to the leg of the spinning wheel broke at the metal portion. I was able to remove the rest of the broken pin by grasping it firmly with pliers and twisting gently until it broke free. Then I filed the point off of a large framing nail and fit it into the opening of the treadle. To hold it in place, I used a high quality two part epoxy. The other end of the nail was cut to length with a hacksaw and rounded with a file.
Hopefully the next time your have a spinning wheel emergency, some of this advice along with your own creativity will help you to take on the repair yourself!