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Dry Creek, Louisiana 70637

 

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Certified Product of Louisiana

Spinning Wheel Flyer Tension Systems

There are 3 types of Pulleys for Flyer type wheels.
The Double Drive (belt) bobbin lead
The Single Drive (belt) Scotch Tension
The Single Drive (belt) bobbin lead Indian-Head Tension

if you are getting too much twist in your yarn its because the yarn is not taking up fast enough so you can do several things. Spin thinner, and slow the wheel down. Check and make sure that your yarn is not catching on the flyer hooks. Correct adjustment of a spinning wheel--any wheel is only enough tension so that you can pull the yarn out from the flyer with ease, and have it rewind onto the bobbin during treadling. Check that the drive band will drive the drive wheel with ease, but not be so tight that it is hard to treadle. Some bounce is desirable in the drive band. Correct oiling and greasing of all friction parts as needed. On some wheels take up will cease when the bobbin is so full, and the only option is to either change the bobbin or empty the bobbin and start over. Over filling of a bobbin will also stop winding on, and I am just as guilty of that as anyone. Another problem that happens is that the flyer shaft becomes sticky and it causes friction on the bobbin. Solution for this is Vaseline or a light bearing grease. I prefer the light bearing grease, but you must always be mindful of the deposits and clean the shaft each time the bobbin is changed then re-grease. Bearings can effect flyer performance just as well. On a lot of wheels the bearing that the flyer rests in are nylon and oil is not an option for them. You need to use a silicone made for nylon. Oil on nylon bearings will wear them out--they just slowly disappear with wear. On leather bearings oil is perfectly fine, but use light oil, and not neat's-foot oil, or use mink oil (preferred) as leather will harden if not tended regularly. Do not over oil, leather will become soft and floppy if over oiled. Of course most leather bearings are really thick, so it doesn't hurt them, but I have seen some, especially on old walking wheels that were thin.

Double Drive:
Adjusting the tension on double drive wheels is fairly uncomplicated since the tension on the drive wheel also adjusts the tension on the bobbin automatically as the drive band is one continuous band. Adjust the tension of the drive band only as much as needed for driving the drive wheel and still be easy to treadle. There should be some bounce in the drive band and it should be easy to treadle. Be sure to oil and grease the flyer shaft and bearings as needed and recommended by the manufacturer of the wheel.

Scotch Tension:
if you are getting too much twist in your yarn its because the yarn is not taking up fast enough so you can do several things. Spin thinner, and slow the wheel down. Check and make sure that your yarn is not catching on the flyer hooks. Correct adjustment of a spinning wheel--any wheel is only enough tension so that you can pull the yarn out from the flyer with ease, and have it rewind onto the bobbin during treadling. So remove all tension from the tension spring. Check that the drive band will drive the drive wheel with ease, but not be so tight that it is hard to treadle. Some bounce is desirable in the drive band. Adjust the tension spring so that it is just engaging. Then begin to spin and make sure that the yarn will let you pull it back out from the flyer, and adjust the tension spring with very minor amounts until the yarn begins to wind onto the bobbin. If you watch the bobbin while spinning you can see the bobbin stop spinning when you release the pressure on the yarn. If this is not happening you can first change the type of material the tension band is made of--nylon, string, etc. I like to use a strong waxed cotton thread with nylon at both ends where it is tied on. I take the nylon that they traditionally send with a wheel and make a loop in it. tie it on the tension knob and to the spring (separate pieces). Then I will take about 10 or 12 inches of waxed cotton string (the type they use to tie cable bundles with, very strong) and tie it to the loops. This makes retying the string easier because it will wear and break after a while. The cotton string does not wear a grove in the bobbin end grove like the nylon will do and its not as hard to tie as the nylon. This grove that wears in the bobbin end is the culprit of lots of trouble as it will not let the bobbin stop properly for the yarn to wind on. Usually the string solves lots of problems right off. The string needs to be slick enough to allow the bobbin to spin during spinning, but rough enough to stop the bobbin when you release the yarn for take up. Experiment until you find the right cotton thread. I have found that the waxed cotton thread is perfect--but it is a spill over from my days as a telephone switching technician. You can find the same type of waxed cotton thread at a craft center in the section where they do the leather work. You can pull the yarn back from the bobbin periodically to check that you have no small fibers catching on the flyer hooks. They should easily break when you tug backwards and release the yarn for winding on.

Indian-Head Tension
With this tension there is a leather band that loops across the orifice opening of the flyer. I have found that when starting to adjust the tension with this type of flyer I back the retaining screw that tightens or loosens the leather band completely so that there is no tension on the leather band and begin at this point. I will tighten this screw as needed until I have the type of draw in that I need for the particular yarn I am working with. This type of flyer tension has a really strong pull in that makes plying on this type of tension system very desirable. Spinning bulky yarns on this type of system is also nice since you have a quick draw in that keeps over twist and over plying from becoming a problem in most cases. In this system it is very important to keep the leather properly oiled so that it will remain smooth and not have exceeding friction on the flyer shaft. Follow normal procedures in oiling and greasing the flyer shaft and bearings.

 

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