Monday, 27 February 2012

Sometimes, things align.

Sometimes, it just takes a while for all kinds of things to turn towards favourable constellations... and it seems that I might get a shot at a portable Great Wheel, with a little luck and a bit of woodworking.

For those of you not familiar with a Great Wheel: this contraption (also called Walking Wheel or wool wheel sometimes) is the very early form of a spinning wheel - basically, it's a hand-spindle mounted sideways and connected to huge lightweight wheel by a drive band.

Image from British Library Manuscript Royal 10 E IV, f. 147. Dated to last quarter of 13th or first quarter of the 14th century. Link to the catalogue entry with more information.

There are a few common problems with building a wheel like that, especially when it's part of the intended use to lug the thing along to different events: It has to be properly functional, it should be correct regarding materials and construction, and it has to be possible to take it apart enough so that it can fit into the car. Add to this the fact that the images are not always very clear, or have a proper perspective, and that one can build a functional wheel much easier if one has worked with this type of tool already, and there's quite a bunch of difficulties. Plus it's of course necessary to have the wood, the tools, and the crafts abilities to make such a thing.

Well, some of the basic construction and concept problems sort of came up with a few solutions almost by themselves yesterday evening. A woodworking workshop is at the moment magically appearing in our basement, including a gadget necessary to steam-bend wood. There also is a little leftover wood. And I should be able to procure the metal parts for the wheel with little or no trouble, the way it is planned at the moment... so I will do some thinking, and some scheming, during the next weeks. And who knows, with a little luck and some dusty woody work... there might be another wheel in my future.

(Oh. You might have heard that saying about how spinning wheels are herd animals? It's totally true. If you do not want a herd of spinning wheels, you should keep your one and only wheel isolated. Don't get a second one. Don't even lend one from someone else for a while. They will start multiplying then. It's probably best if you don't even leave it alone in another room with a second wheel. They're almost as bad as rabbits. Really. I swear.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Same with hiking boots. I only actually remember buying one pair...