I’m not sure where the notion of “change your oil with each season” originally came from but over the years I’ve found it’s an easy way for my otherwise easily distracted brain to remember to schedule oil changes and maintenance for my car.
The same idea translates well to spinning wheels — regular care and maintenance every few months ensures you and your wheel will have many happy and trouble-free hours of spinning.
After the wheel is clean it’s time to make it shine. Check with your manufacturer to find what type of finish your wheel has if you’re unsure. If your wheel is finished with polyurethane or a lacquer buffing with a soft cloth will likely be best. Wax finished wheels can be re-waxed if needed with products like Goodies Unlimited’s Wood Beams or a beeswax or paste wax of your choice. If your wheel is oil finished and the finish is dull even after buffing or worn through in spots you can add a fresh coat of the oil finish. If you aren’t sure what kind finish your wheel has try buffing with a soft cloth. And if the wheel is older and the wood feels dried out consider asking a woodworker or a clerk at a woodworking supply shop (like Woodcraft near West Town Mall) for treatment suggestions.
If you have an old drive band this is an ideal time to give it a checkup. If it’s a polyurethane band wipe it down with a little cleaner on a soft cloth and check it over. If the band material is turning brittle, shows signs of wear or is is stretched out it’s time to get a new band. If you have a cotton or fiber based band go ahead and replace it — they wear and stretch out quickly. I discovered a recommendation for chalk line refills on Ravelry and found it works perfectly for drive bands. You can use anything from cotton twine or yarn or even pony bead lacing. Try a thicker band material for spinning thicker yarns and a finer band material for finer spinning.
- The Woolery: Spinning Wheel Maintenance
- Knitty: The Spinner’s Glossary (General Spinning Wheel Maintenance)
- Interweave: Know Your Wheel with Alden Amos and Cindy Lair (also in TVH library)
- Interweave: Popular Wheel Mechanics with Judith MacKenzie (also in TVH library)
- Ashford: Maintaining Your Wheel (YouTube video)
- Ashford: Wheel Maintenance E-Book (PDF)
- Kromski Spinning Wheel Maintenance (YouTube video series)
- Majacraft Product Manuals
- Schacht Product Manuals
- Schacht Blog: Keep Your Wheel Tuned Up for Spinzilla (quick tuneup how-tos for Schacht wheels)
- Knittyblog: Jillian’s Spinning: Spinning Wheel Spa – Schacht Matchless