A New Rehab Project


The successful rehabilitation of Bedelia back into a viable working wheel encouraged me to take a look at the wheels sitting on my basement workbench. Occasionally, I come across a wheel that is less than perfect and at a good price. I buy it with the intention of rehabilitiating it back into society, but, as we all know, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. So, my workbench has a gaggle of sadly ignored wheels in various states of disrepair.

I selected the one with the least amount of damage for my next project and started on the parts that remove the easiest, the flyer assembly:

The flyer is in mint condition, with no old mended splits and little to no surface rust. All its hooks are in good shape. It is just really, really dirty. Not sure where I acquired this wheel, but the several years it has spent in my basement has not improved the dirt status any. However, mercifully, the whorl unscrewed with no issues.

The core of the bobbin and whorl and flyer shaft all need to be degunked, but everything is in working order. I’m unsure what the actual old finish was. Everything got a hot bath in Murphy’s Oil Soap and, once dry, a going over with denatured alcohol. They cleaned up fairly easily.

The legs, for once, came out easily, too. Generally, these are so tightly wedged in you can’t get them to budge. These needed a little twisting but came out without much of a fight. Either end of the treadle inserts have heads on them, so the treadle does not detach out of the front legs. I started instead on the lone back leg. Below, the left side is untouched, the right side is cleaned:

The wood has a nice, warm, mellow color and is very dense. I’m thinking it is maple: it is clearly a hardwood species but does not have grain of oak. The old finish has a quality termed “alligatoring” for its scaly appearance:

I’ve had to use a little 0000 steel wool to get all of this off, that and a lot of elbow grease. But she is cleaning up nicely. Hopefully within the next week or so, I will manage to get her cleaned up and spinning again.

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