Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Spinning News

With my fixed DRS, I have to spin a little (couple hundred yards) and then wind off or my twist changes too much.  Thus, speed of winding off affects my rate of production.  I tend to wind off onto a storage bobbin set into my wood lathe. I use a little wooden jam chuck so the storage bobbin can be easily stopped, while the lathe continues to spin.  Yesterday, I seem to have had the bobbin set a bit tight and it grabbed 2 spinning bobbins off of the holding rack and smashed them to pieces (in different wind off operations).  This is why I do not buy $30 spinning bobbins. Until I turn new bobbins, I am stuck spinning frog hair, and I hope the frog hair is not strong enough to pull that last bobbin off of the wind off rack.  On the other hand, I did not expect the 9,000 ypp to be strong enough to pull a bobbin off the rack either.

Mostly I spin coarse long wool such as Cotswold, Romney, Jacob, and Shetland.  By modern hobby standards (NOT ) I spin fairly fine.  Recently, a LYS owner applied the correct reverse psychology to get me to buy a couple of bags of Cormo. That kind of changes the rules.  Makes me think about an ultra fine bobbin and spinning finer.

Last fall, I made some of Amos's drive band dressing.  It helped at lot. It gave me more speed and my DD drive band has spun at least 30,000 yards of singles and is still going strong.  Anyway, I gave the last of that batch of belt dressing away not too long ago.  Thus, I had to make some more.  I buy blocks of bees wax from bee keepers at the local farmer's market.  I buy the little pouches of powdered rosin that are sold in sporting goods stores for baseball players.  Then, I melt  2 oz of bees wax in a double boiler ( I use an old can  set in a skillet of simmering water.  Paste a 1/4 cup of the rosin with a tablespoon of turpentine, and mix into the melted wax.  I pour the mix into little plastic portion containers, and let cool.  It really works.  I had been spinning at ~2,200 rpm, and with fresh belt dressing, I was back over 3,000 rpm - with less noise and vibration.  And, it had only been a couple of weeks since I had put dressing on that drive belt.  With a cotton belt and no dressing, I am lucky to get up to 1500 rpm.  This is the process from Amos' Big Book of Hand spinning.  He has more detail and some extra cautions.  Basically, the process will make a mess.  Wax that gets above ~212F will start to degrade and become very flammable.  And, making drive band dressing is a good time to recycle (and discard) old cans.

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