What I Did on My Day Off …


Friday, April 29. Got up at 3:00 AM, on the road at 4:00 AM, in Princeton, NJ by 5:00 AM to attend a Traditional English Breakfast and see the Royal Wedding on a big screen. As a historian, and one who specializes in British History, the wedding between the future king and queen of England is as close to a sporting event as a historian will get.

On the road again by 9:00 AM, and headed to Maryland and the dreaded Baltimore Loop. It was long past rush hour, so the loop was not as bad as we have seen it in the past. Down to Catonsville, where we retrieved this lovely:

A Canadian Production Wheel of unknown lineage, but in excellent shape. She had been purchased at a house auction in Frederick, Maryland, several years ago. The woman who had her said the man who owned the house being auctioned said this had been his grandmother’s wheel and dated to around 1900, which would be smack in the middle of the time frame for CPWs.

She has the typical CPW cast iron “clamshell” tensioning devise, and the iron trivet treadle:

Her wheel crank is an “S” shape; the first time I have found one of these, instead of the usual “C” shape:

The crank has the most lovely, sinuous flow to it.

There is only minor damage on this wheel, and that is on the rim of the wheel itself. There is one spot that looks like it was dropped at one point:

The break appears to have been restained to cover the wood. Her maidens and mother of all are also a bit darker than the rest of the wheel, so perhaps were rubbed up with the same coloring. The rest of her wood is slightly lighter, like the wood in the lower part of her wheel above.

The one slight oddity (or not!) is her bobbin, which is very small, but fits the flyer. The top of the bobbin is the same diameter as the whorl, where, typicall, the top of the bobbin is larger. Here is the new wheel’s flyer assembly against another CPW’s flyer I am working on:

The new wheel’s flyer is on top. I tried the bottom flyer on the new wheel, but it will not fit. But a woodworker who makes replacement bobbins could make on with a larger top so you could spin a bobbin that holds more yarn, so this is by no means a fatal flaw.

Overall, she is a lovely-looking creature. In the upcoming week, she will get the standard bath in Murphy’s Oil Soap, some minor repair to one of her leathers, a good oiling, and she will be as good as new.

7 Responses to What I Did on My Day Off …

  1. Casey says:

    She’s gorgeous! Wheels like that are just breathtaking. It’s so nice to know that there are people like you willing to rescue them and clean them up so that they don’t just sit in the corner somewhere collecting dust.

  2. i agree with casey! i am just drooling over this wheel. she – and i – are both very lucky that you found her.

  3. If Dru, Casey, and I ever got together, it would be “katie bar the door” for spinning and fiber and wheels! But Casey only has one wheel, so far. We will need to get her up to speed once graduate school is a thing of the past!

  4. Chuck B. says:

    I have this exact wheel and I’ve tried to identify it many times but without luck, until now! We bought it at an old farm auction years ago but now I’m ready to sell it. Does anyone have suggestions about value? It is complete and in wonderful shape.

  5. Chuck, if you can send me some photos and let me know your location, I can certainly assist in evaluating your wheel and possibly hooking you up with an interested buyer. Feel free to e-mail me at: woolmerchantsdaughter (at) yahoo.com. Thanks!

  6. Shaleen says:

    Hi I stumbled across the site looking for more answers on the cpw’s I was given this almost identical wheel I tend to collect antique wheels fiber farming items and know how hard it can be to replace flyers, moa’s but because this one struck me as a beautiful peice with the iron tredal and all I thought I would do what I could to save her. I also read that she is usally an 18;1 ratio which would be great for what I spin. I currently use a maja craft rose which I love but would love to have this one as a working wheel. I would love to fix her if at all possible. I am quite sure you hear this alot but I am looking for a replacment flyer,bobbin,worl etc. I can send pictures of it so you can see what I am working with. I have searched ebay looking for flyers/ bobbins that might match in good condition to fit this wheel and have found a few but would like someone who knows more on these wheels to help maybe the dimensions of the flyer etc? Any thoughts would be most helpful. I have pictures I can send. Most say its not worth it on antique wheel to fix them if missing these peices but I feel this statement quite sad and would like to do what I can to bring the peice of history back to life.

  7. Good for you to rescue this wheel! I’ve heard stories from people who clean out houses, host tag sales, etc., and too often the unsold spinning wheel goes into the dumpster because no one knows what to do with them. Replacing the flyer, bobbin, and whorl is not impossible but it will cost upwards of $200 to have a replacement made. These parts rarely turn up on Ebay or Etsy and when they do, they are highly sought after. You might fight an expensive battle to win one only to find it doesn’t really fit between the maidens of your wheel. If you can send me some photos of your wheel, I can try to help with identification. My email is: woolmerchantsdaughter (at) yahoo[dot]com If I can see what she is and what is needed, that will help target my suggestions a little better. If you read back on some older posts, you will see information on flyers, good, bad, and reproduction.

    CPWs are lovely wheels and fast spinners. It will be worth it to bring this one back into spinning shape, even if it takes a bit of time!

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