Thumbelina Now Spins

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to snaffle a Thumbelina Mark 2 (1978) spinning wheel. I particularly love little upright wheels as they don’t take up much room. I was a bit excited when this parcel arrived on my front step.

thumbelina-05The excitement grew as I started unwrapping it.

thumbelina-04Voila! my Thumbelina spinning wheel!

thumbelina-03Oh no! On closer inspection I could see the top of the front maiden had broken 😦

thumbelina-broken-maidenWell that’s not the end of the world as I could glue it back on. But what about this???

thumbelina-01It’s a double drive wheel that’s missing its whorl! Without a whorl the wheel is really quite useless when it comes to spinning but does make a nice ornament which is not what I was after. I contacted the seller and mentioned the broken maiden and missing whorl and she graciously and quickly refunded in full so I was happy but still without a working wheel.

Luckily one of my dear friends also has the same model Thumbelina so she lent me her whorl and I was on a mission to try and find another nylon/plastic bushing the same as the one in the middle of her whorl. I travelled far and wide but to no avail so I visited my woodturner and suggested to him if he could make a ‘square circle’ in the middle of the whorl I would be happy. He did better than that!! He made a couple of nylon bushings exactly the same!

Voila! Rona’s whorl on the left and my two whorls on the right (an heir and a spare) πŸ™‚

thumbelina-06How lucky am I?

I think a previous owner might have tried to set the wheel up as a scotch tension as there’s a couple of hooks on the MOA.

thumbelina-02The whole wheel was very rickety so I tightened up the front maiden very carefully (after spraying some WD40 on the screw so I could turn the wing nut) and also tightened up the lazy kate. The wheel came with three bobbins so that was a bonus!

A couple of coats of my 50/50 boiled linseed oil and pure gum turps polish and she came up a treat. I can never understand why people selling wheels don’t take a bit of time to clean them up as they’d probably get a better price (if the wheel is complete of course).

Doesn’t she gleam now?

thumbelina-10 thumbelina-11 thumbelina-12I also gave her trial spin with some lovely fibre my friend Rona gave me. She knows my colours so well πŸ™‚

thumbelina-07 thumbelina-09The new whorl is working a treat and I now have a fully functional wheel.

thumbelina-13 thumbelina-14Rona also gave me a copy of the original assembly instructions for the Thumbelina which I have saved here for anyone interested in them πŸ™‚

By the way, this is wheel # 19 for me. I did originally have 19 wheels and actually sold two (Fenton Wind Wheel and Ashford Traveller) to try and just keep those wheels that I really used a bit, but now I’m back up to # 19! Will have to look to see whether I can sell another couple πŸ™‚

Until next time…

Melanie

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6 thoughts on “Thumbelina Now Spins

    • Most of the whorls I’ve seen are screw in but this one isn’t so in that respect it was easier to replicate. So glad it’s finally functional. Now just waiting for a new whorl and bobbins for my newly acquired George H Young spinning wheel πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

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