I enjoy making tools. Since I’m a spinner and weaver, I’ve been focusing on tools for fiber artists. Drop spindles represent centuries of useful design–they were the first tool created for the production of cloth.
I prefer a spinning wheel for my production work, but I love making drop spindles. Lots of us collect spindles and set up displays for them. And I’ve met only one long-term spinner who doesn’t know how to use one.
Since I spin fine, I make light-weight spindles; 9–11 grams, depending on material. I don’t want to limit my range just because of my habit. Not everyone wants to spin that fine especially if they are going to make a large item with their yarn. This week I started testing a stacked head, where I add more wood to the outer half of the whorl (the disk of the drop spindle; though they are not always round). Adding weight at the outer edges helps keep the spindle spinning longer.
Right now I’m adding the weight under the disk, for a quick-n-dirty test. Once I create a weight/diameter range I like, then I’ll start adding the weight on top as decorative elements. The extra weight though, means that the glue join where the shaft pierces the whorl can break when spun at high RPMs. Even with an O-ring top and bottom, I still got “slippy heads”.
As a joke (because I was sure it wasn’t going to work) I cut a hole crosswise into the .19" shaft. The size of the hole is .08", which gives me a comfortable amount of material on either side. The tiny hold fits a wooden toothpick, cut to about 5mm. Well, it worked. I still use an O-ring at the top; it has a nice decorative element besides keeping the whorl in place.
I’m cutting these tiny holes so accurately placed by zooming in between x500 and x1000 with the lid camera. I’m so impressed with what the GF can do!