Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tour de Fleece

I think I'm about to get my spinning wheel back in action!  It's been out of commission for over a year.  Most of that year was me not wanting to deal with the fact that it was broken.  Going to the Black Sheep Gathering inspired me to tackle the frustrating problem.  

My wheel, an Ashford Trditional, before I broke it
Long story short:
While disassembling my wheel for transport the pin that holds the axel in place broke inside the hub.
Hub cracked while we were trying to pull the axel out (not knowing that part of the pin was sill inside).
Hub cracked further from moving the wheel 3000 miles without completely disassembling it.
Luckily the glue holding two pieces of the hub together is what cracked, not the wood.
Figured out that part of the pin was still stuck in the axel.  
Tapped out the broken piece of pin with some brass rod (good thing I didn't get rid of a single piece of scrap from my college silversmithing, this only reinforces my pack-rat tendencies).
Glued the hub back together.
Tried to drill out the hole for the old pin (the new one is larger).
It didn't work...

Hub, clamped while glue dries.
The instructions say to take pliers and turn the drill bit by hand.  That's right, take pliers to a smooth sided drill bit and turn it with enough speed and pressure to drill through about two inches of wood.  What?

There isn't enough clearance between the wheel rim and hub for any kind of normal drill so I'm supposed to turn a dill bit by hand, with pliers.  

Through much annoying of people who don't know about wheels, but maybe know about wood or working in small spaces, I learned of the magic that is a right angle drill (or right angle adapter).  I'm going to buy or borrow one today.

And then I will have my wheel!!!

Actually, then I will be able to reassemble my wheel, but close enough.  

Inspiring Black Sheep Gathering photos:

Contemplative Alpaca 

Friendly Ram

Pink Goat, not photshopped

My haul
I came home with almost four pounds of alpaca fleece (the reddish brown bag), an angora merino blend (the blue ball), and a braid of merino roving (the tan/cream/plum stuff).  This pile is super intimidating without my wheel, so fix my wheel I must.