One of the first interesting things was not only the tensioning device for the wheel but the orifice.
This wheel is a irish tensioned wheels where the flyer is where the brake is attached. This one the brake is tensioned by what looks to be a hand carved key.
What also is interesting is the orifice seems to have an insert of what I can only believe to be is bone. This was inserted so that when the yarn is spun that it wouldnt wear the orifice away to nothing.
Here is a good place to talk about the craftsmanship of this wheel. On every point of the finials or anything that would be a simple rounded top, the craftsman added a button of sorts. So if you look at the tension knob, you can see the button that I am referring to. I love that the craftsman took that extra time to create a signature of sorts with this wheel and it shows the amount of detail that went into it.
Here is the bobbin and flyer of this wheel. What is interesting is how the yarn is wound onto the bobbin. It is the movable metal wire that is twisted and fits into the holes so you can evenly wind the yarn onto the bobbin. Also what is cool is the wire fix that somewhere down the line was added. This is was created in a time that things were mended so they could be continued to be used and not thrown away.
The next interesting part of this wheel are the spokes of the wheel. Something that was told to me by a woodworker was the use of grain split (not sure if that was the exact words or not) spindles for the spokes. This is where they would take a hatchet and split the wood down the grain. This made the spokes extremely strong and almost resistant to warping. You can see evidence of this on some of the spokes by the flat edges from where the pieces weren't exactly the right diameter after the pieces were cut down.
In this picture you can see the many years of wear that this wheel saw. the worn piece next to the treadle and the rounded edge to the treadle.
What I also love about this wheel is the warmth of it all. To be able to touch something that is many years older than I am and to still be able to use it for what the craftsman had intended it to be used.
The next two pictures show the massive hub that is the heart of this wheel. When I went to look at this wheel and I saw the worm holes my heart skipped a beat. Because, when I looked at it I had no clue about any of this, I was only going to be looking for another wheel and the price was right. So, if anyone looks at those holes and thinks they are drill holes they would be mistaken. Those are worm wood holes. Mainly found in European wooden furniture, especially things pre-1900's.
Also, you can see again the little button in the last picture.
Something I didnt notice till after I took these pictures and have yet to take a picture of it is a knob on one of the legs on the base. It is a leveling foot.
Shortly after I bought it I took apart all of the parts with metal and cleaned them with a clear oil and a soft cloth. The grime that came off this wheel was disgusting.
Also just as an update she spins gorgeous. I have made a pact with her that I will only spin hand processed and natural colored fibers on her. Also this wheel is amazing for spinning lace weight yarn on. have yet to make a complete skein on her as I don't have as much time to play as I would like. So she sits in the studio as a display piece among a few other antique fiber processing tools.
Do you have an antique wheel? What kind of condition was it in? Does it spin or is it just a display piece? Comment below with your experiences.