I've got a couple of projects here that will not only help you make a dent in that ever growing pile of scrap wood in your shop but will generate a couple of holiday gifts for friends or family who like to knit and crochet: a drop spindle and a covered yarn bowl. Both are easy to do and don't require much wood.
First the drop spindle-a friend of mine contacted me last week and asked me if I could make her a drop spindle as she wanted to make her own yarn and if you google "drop spindle" you'll see a variety of different devices that consists of two parts: a broad flat wheel called a whorl and a spindle and for references sake here are photos of the one that I made:
If you look closely there is a small metal hook on the whorl end of the spindle and a shallow cove on the opposite end.
I had no idea what this device does so I got on YouTube and found the following video to illustrate the device in action so I would know just what this thing is supposed to do and here is the video I watched:
There is also a very good discussion on exactly how spindles work at Ask the Bellwether: Which Spindle Spins the Best? On this site, several different designs are discussed and this is the take away from that:
- The spindle needs to be heavy and long enough for so the spindle doesn't wobble and it's usable like the one on the video,
- The whorl needs to have most of it's mass along the rim of the whorl for it to spin and spin true.
My friend also requested a spindle that was 12 1/2" long with a whorl that was 3 1/2" wide. The selection of the wood was left to me.
Make a drop spindle out of scrap lumber out of hickory and white oak.
The process is fairly simple and took about an hour to make. I made the spindle first out of a stick of white oak and I turned it down to 3/8" in diameter. I also turned a shallow cove on each end of the spindle, sanded it and then cut if off the lathe and set it aside:
The whorl was out of a small piece of 1" thick hickory:
And here it is mounted on the lathe. I trued up the face and side and then I turned it down to about 3/4" thick:
And I shaped the whorl by leaving the rim fairly thick, the center a little thinner, and the center thick enough to hold the spindle securely (and I apologize for not supplying measurements here as I've lost the pad I wrote them on). Here in this photo you can see me drilling a hole exactly in the center of the whorl with a forstener bit:
This is the whorl after it's been turned:
Before I took the parts off the lathe, I sanded them very smoothly so yarn won't snag and I finished it with spray lacquer. Lastly I screwed in a small eye hook and opened it slightly with a pair of needle nose pliers and it was finished.
And this is what it looked like:
This is a very simple one-if you have other types of wood, especially colorful exotics, this would make a really lovely present.
Ok, since the next project is in progress I'll talk about that in a separate post.
*Which Spindle Spins the Best? Copyright March 2007 Amelia of AsktheBellwether.com