All of Ian's Drop Spindles are hand turned from selected hard woods. From the finely turned shafts to the shaped whorl he takes pride in their creation. As standard several coats of a Tung based oil are applied and then burnish. He finds this method brings out the depth and beauty of the wood while providing a protective coat that allows the wood to breathe.
The heart of any Drop Spindle is the shaft - In order to provide stable yet attractive shafts, Ian currently use three types of wood. English Sycamore, American Black Walnut and English Ash. All the timber is hand selected but Ian takes particular care over the ‘shaft wood’, looking for straight close grained timber. The timber is bought kiln dried and then further seasoned in his timber store. It is then cut into billets and furthered seasoned. This additional seasoning ensures a stable and straight shaft
Each shaft is finely hand turned from the acorn top final to the gentle taper of the main shaft. Particular attention is given to the joint to ensure each shaft fits securely to the whorl so ensuring the spindle spins true. The length of the shafts varies depending on the size of the whorl. Please note: the width given is at the underside of the whorl and the length is the total length of the shaft excluding the hook. The lengths may vary by a small amount as they are individually hand turned.
60mm whorl length 240mm width 7mm
70mm whorl length 260mm width 7.5mm
80mm length 200mm width 6.mm
110mm length 260mm width 7mm
The Whorl - All of Ian's whorls are made from selected timber on a base of Ripple Sycamore. This provides a number of benefits. Aesthetically the base of the light Ripple Sycamore displays the main timber to great effect. The laminating of the two timbers help to provide a more stable whorl. And last but by no means least this process helps reduce the amount of exotic timber used.
The hook is a traditional "Sheppard's crook" made from 1mm stainless steel wire so allowing a fine yet robust hook that can be tuned with gentle finger pressure. Each spindle is tuned on a test rig to ensure a smooth and long spin.
The weight of the spindle depends on what type of spinning you are doing. Lighter weights for finer threads, heaver for the thicker threads and of course your personal preference.
Weights and whorl sizes:
Whorl size 60mm weight 18gm to 28gm
Whorl size 70mm weight 28gm to 38gm
Whorl size 80mm weight 10gm to 14gm
Whorl size 110mm weight 24gm to 32gm
The whorls are supplied notched.
Rim banded/weighted spindles - Made to the same shape as the standard spindles with the addition of a band of Brass shavings inlaid in the rim with epoxy resin. In keeping with Ian's environmental policy he utilizes the waste from his brass tapestry bobbin tips, mixed with epoxy resin as the inlay. This provides weight and an attractive almost "beaten" brass effect. The timbers have been chosen to make the banded spindles that little bit special.