Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Many times, I have said that flyer bearings were not very important.

Well, I put high-quality ball bearings on the Alden Amos #1 flier and raised its top speed with the 5 tpi whorl/bobbin from ~2,200 to 2,500 rpm. With the fines whorl/bobbin, it peaks at ~3,800 rpm  However, the new bearings with their heavy duty maidens, some changes in angles, and architecture allow the wheel to run much more quietly, despite going ~14% faster.  I did not change the ratio, I just captured energy that was going to friction.

It is not a lot more speed.  A recreational spinner might not notice it, but it is easily perceptible to somebody that pays attention to their production rate.  

Mostly I like the quiet.  I do  not know how much of that is the new bearings and how much of that is changes in the maidens.  At this point, the it is ugly, but I like to make things work before I try to make them pretty.

Why do I keep going back to bobbin speed?  

Because speed is critical to fun spinning.  If the wheel is too slow then spinning becomes tedious.

A while back, a local guild passed out 20 g samples of cotton and asked us to spin a couple of hundred yards (long draw) of cotton yarn. The other day a spinner from that guild said she was not enjoying spinning that cotton.  I can see why.  Her wheel is too slow.  It is taking her forever spin that bit of cotton. And spinning long draw has a rhythm, if your wheel is too slow (or too fast) you lose rhythm and it is much harder.  Two hundred yard of long draw @ 5 tpi  is (or should be) half an hour's spinning.   I had it done by the time I got up from my wheel at the end of the meeting. When I got home, I wound it on a reel and boiled it while I had a cup of  tea with my wife.  

I am not bragging about how fast I spin, I am pointing out that modern wheels are made to spin slowly.  Wheels can be made to spin faster.

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