Monday, December 20, 2021

My own spindle sticks

I've been telling myself (and a few other people) that I really need to figure out how to use a lathe and make my own spindle sticks for a while now. I am venturing down that road (with a bit of trepidation). Why bother, you ask? Well I have found precisely one person who can make the sticks I need for a sensible price. Well, for any price, really. And what if Hershey Fibers gets tired of it? Then I will have a pile of stick-less whorls lying about and no one will know what to do with them! So~ away we go!

For starters, using a lathe is a little fun, a little hard on one's body and a little scary. There's a whole lot of shakin' going on! And I am no spring chicken. Secondly, these thin sticks take some finesse. As they thin out, you need a sharp tool to do the work for you, no pushing allowed. I am working at The Hub, and the tools seem a bit over used. So I switch to sand paper near the end. And then I get tired of standing there and just stop and bring it home to finish it. Which is kind of silly as it takes a lot longer to finish by hand!

Anyway, I am fairly pleased with the results. I've paired some whorls up with particular sticks in my etsy shop. How are these sticks different?

  • They are a bit thicker than the ones I can buy, which I like~ they feel firmer in my hand. 
  • The 'flick area' is thicker. I am working on narrowing that.
  • The centers are wider; the shape is not quite what I envisioned, but they're on the way!
  • Some of them are shorter, which is also my preference.
  • They can be notched for drop spinners more easily.
  • They are not all the same. This means that specific whorls work best on specific sticks. I'll be working on getting things a bit standardized in future, though I like that they are not all perzactly the same!
  • A little oil & beeswax finish is rubbed on.
  • Right now I am working with poplar, but Urban Timbers just may be able to provide me with some locally saved wood. I love that idea!

1 comment:

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