As I said in the last post, we’re inching toward a working machine. The photo below shows the machine assembled completely. From left to right across the photo: the yarn feeder arm and wire feed assembly, then the spindle on the 12P gear, then the central wheel, then the crank wheel. Above the machine are two c-clamps used for fixing the machine in place while you wind a ball of yarn. And at the top of the photo are the feet of the yarn swift that will hold the skein of yarn that is being wound into a ball or cake.
The challenge I’m facing at the moment is that the stem of wooden disks that supports the spindle has to be able to turn freely without being loose. Looseness introduces sloppiness into the yarn ball. Tightness results in the internal arbor catching on a bit of unshaped or misshapen glue inside the tube… and snapping the disks with shearing force. Every single disk has failed now and the column is increasingly made of glue rather than wood.
I have a variety of options at this point. 1) I can drill and sand out the shaft by hand. 2) I can recut all the disks and sand them individually before reglueing the stack. 3) I can buy a speciality drill bit which is something like 21/64″. 4) I can find a friend who can grind the 5/16″ steel arbor down to 4.85/16 radially/lathe-like. Option 3 is probably best, but I may have to do 2 anyway.
Sanding the gears is also needful. But my friend and family member Lynn has pointed out that wooden gears over time are often self sanding. Work them long enough and they grind themselves to the optimal shape. Who knew?