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) 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

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