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A spindle (sometimes called a drop spindle) is a wooden spike (known as the shaft) used for spinning wool, flax, hemp, cotton, and other fibers into thread. It is commonly weighted at either the bottom middle or top, most commonly by a circular or spherical object called a whorl, and may also have a hook, groove or notch, though spindles without these are also common. Spindle whorls have been found in archaeological digs around the world.
Modern spindles are commonly available in high-whorl, low-whorl, centre whorl, or supported varieties. In a high-whorl spindle, the whorl sits very close to the top of the shaft. A hook is placed on the top of the shaft to secure the developing yarn, and the newly-spun yarn is wound around the shaft underneath the whorl. In a low-whorl spindle, the whorl sits near the bottom of the shaft. The newly spun yarn is wound around the shaft just above the whorl. If there is a hook at the upper end of the shaft, the yarn is spiral-wound up the shaft and caught in the hook; if there is no hook at the top, then the yarn is spiral-wound up the shaft and secured with a half hitch (or more, for slippery fibers) at the top. Some low whorl spindles are notched at the top of the shaft to keep the half hitch secured, although this is not necessary. An alternate method of securing the yarn involves passing it down over the edge of the whorl, around the bottom end of the shaft, and back up over the whorl to be secured with a half hitch at the top of the shaft.
Other forms of spindles include supported spindles, such as the large Navajo spindle and the tiny cotton-spinning tahkli. The spinning wheel is also used for the same purpose.*
About this Kick Spindle:
This type is known as a "Kick Spindle" in that it is a variation of the traditional spindle. It sits on the floor while the user spins the shaft with their foot, leaving both hands free to manipulate the fiber. This version is small and portable and is simple to operate. Materials for this picker were under $15.
- 6 3/4" wide x 10" Long by 7" High without the spindle inserted. 14" High with the spindle inserted.
- All parts purchased at the local home improvement and craft stores (e.g. Home Depot, Lowe's, Menard's, Michael's)
- Exception: Skate Bearing purchased from a Bike/Skate ship (can also be purchased inexpensively online)
- Once built, very little assembly/disassembly required
About these Plans:
I created this Box Picker from examining my Swing Arm Picker and trying to simplify. Depending on your skills and equipment, use of these plans should yield a fully functioning Box Wool Picker.
- Parts and Material list included
- Tools needed included
- Measurements of all parts
- Pictures and diagrams of all parts
- Step by step instructions for creating the parts as well as construction
If you notice any mistakes or areas of ambiguity please contact me and I will adjust or explain as needed.
*Quoted from Wikepedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spindle_%28textiles%29