Friday, January 13, 2012
My New Ashford Joy Spinning Wheel ~ The Good/Bad/Good News
My new Ashford Joy spinning wheel arrived in the mail yesterday. That's good news right? It's exciting to get that big box on the porch and when it relates to one of your favorite activities, even better. So, after dinner last night, even though I was feeling tired, I thought I would at least open the box and check it out. It comes almost entirely assembled so I found myself putting the few finishing touches together so I could take it for a spin.
That's when I hit the bad news. I picked this wheel in particular because whenever I'm spinning with a group of people, the Joys seem so quiet and smooth. Now I realize I probably should have looked more closely. I suspect those quiet Ashford Joys were single treadles. The reason I suspect this is because my double treadle is not quiet. There seems to be a flaw in the very design. The wood pieces attached to the treadles rub against each other creating a knocking sound that gets louder with speed. I had a few minutes of disbelief. Could this really be the design? Was it assembled incorrectly. After triple checking everything, I hit my low of last night.
I hate returning things and I just refused to accept that this wheel couldn't be made to run smoothly. That's when the tinker in me came out. It's also how this story has a good news ending. Here's what I did. I changed the connecting tube on the right treadle (exhibit A). Instead of running straight into the hole like you can see on the left treadle, I rearranged it by removing the screw (exhibit B) and then brought the tube up from the bottom of the treadle. There was enough length in the tube and by reversing the direction of placement in this way, the wooden leg is held back and no longer rubs against the leg of the other treadle.
That's not all I had to do. I also discovered that the leg of the left treadle was rubbing against the right treadle. I actually got out my wood whittling tools (I guess it's strange that I happen to have wood whittling tools) and I carefully reshaped the wood in the offending spot (exhibit C). At this point you are either thinking that I'm quick and clever or just plain crazy. It did feel a bit nuts to take a knife to my brand new wheel, but if I sent it back, it would just become a problem for someone else. The good news is that it now treadles very smoothly. The only sound is the whirring of the wheel which is as it should be. I'm a little less than impressed that I had to tinker to get these results, but I'm happy to have solved the problem.