faq

Please select your question category

search faqs
search by tags

The ratios when using the Double Drive High Speed Kit on the Elizabeth 30" are 18.0 & 24.5:1 & 29.0 if set up as bobbin lead.

I would clean it with steel wool & rub on a little lubricating oil. This should prevent the rust from re-occurring. Usually when spinning with greasy fleece wool, the natural lanoline in the wool will protect the steel from rusting.

Thank you for being a great Ashford supporter. The ratio of your flyer to wheel was around 6.5 : 1 however it's easy to check. Just note the position of the flyer & count the number of times it turns for one complete revolution of the wheel.

All that is required to stop the squeak is to lie the wheel on its back and apply a drop of oil to each of the joints of the 4 hinges. I recommend you also apply a drop of oil to the con rod, flyer & bobbin bearings.
The international standard for carry-on is 22" x 14" x 9" or a combined total of 45". The Joy is 25" x 15¾" x 9½" which is a combined total of 50". However some airlines allow larger carry-on depending on which aircraft they use. Please ask your airline before flying to see if it is OK or if you will need to check it in.

To identify how old your Ashford Traditional is click here to view the timeline.

The most important aspect of spinning wheel maintenance is to ensure the main 3 elements of the wheel are free to rotate. To check this, remove the drive & brake band. Use Ashford spinning wheel oil or 30 grade motor oil.

Wheel
Spin the wheel. It should rotate freely for around 20+ revolutions. - Wheel bearings. Prize the wheel supports apart and let the oil drop onto the crank between the hub and the bearings. Con rod bearing. Treadle pins. Use either candle wax or oil to reduce noise and friction. Treadle hinge pins on double treadle wheels. If the wheel appears to being pinched between the wheel supports loosen the bolts or screws holding the frame, spin the wheel until it is free & then gradually retighten the bolts & screws. Check the crank / con rod bearing to ensure it isn’t pinching. Check that the gap between the bottom of the con rod (pitman) and the treadle rail is at least 1/2" (10mm). If greater than this it can cause your ankle strain & if closer the two can bind thus stretching the joint. Check there is approx. 1/16” (1.5mm) side play between the hub & bearings. On the Traveller this can be achieved by loosening the 2 bolts holding the wheel supports & moving them until correct.

Flyer
Spin the flyer. It should rotate freely. If not check & lubricate the flyer bearings. Ensure the flyer bearings are at right angles to the flyer shaft. If not loosen the screws holding the maid upright & realign. Then retighten the screws. Check there is approx. 1/8” (2-3mm) end float between the flyer, bobbin & flyer bearings. If your wheel has been factory finished, scrape any lacquer of the spindle. Check the alignment with the wheel. If necessary, loosen the screws holding the maiden bar, realign & tighten. If the drive band is worn replace with a medium soft cotton cord.

Bobbin
Check & lubricate the bobbin bearings. If the bobbin doesn’t run freely the bearings may be too tight on the flyer shaft. If so ream them with a ¼” (6.25mm) round fine chain saw file or fine sandpaper wrapped around a pencil. On double drive wheels the flyer whorls have "V" grooves. The bobbin whorl is "U” shaped. This difference enables the wheel to drive the flyer at a constant speed and allows the bobbin to accelerate or slow down when drafting. Check the bobbin whorl is smooth and "U" shaped.

To balance your flyer, remove one hook from one side of the flyer & then treadle your wheel. If the vibration is reduced but still there, try removing another hook & so on. If it is worse replace the hook & remove a hook on the opposite side. Continue until the flyer is vibration free. The side that still has all it's hook is lighter & needs additional weight to balance it. Either push 1 or 2 thumb tacks into the underside of the light side of the flyer arm for every hook removed, or for a more aesthetic result add small wood screws.

Ensure the bobbin rotates freely on the flyer shaft. Clear the hole with a file & lubricate. Check the flyer hooks are smooth & are not snagging the yarn. Replace the hooks if necessary. Check the orifice is clean & free from snags. Clear with a file.

Single drive
Check the brake band is over the bobbin & the spring is just starting to extend.

Double drive
Check the drive band is around the small whorl on the bobbin & the largest flyer whorl & there is sufficient tension on the drive band.

Single drive
Reduce the brake band tension. Check the bobbin whorl is smooth. If necessary smooth with sandpaper or Scotchbrite. Apply a drop of lubricant to the bobbin whorl.

Only have sufficient tension to drive the flyer & bobbin with out slippage. Too much tension makes treadling harder. Generally the drive belt should be able to be easily depressed about 25mm (1ins). Twist the belt tension knob until you have the correct tension.
Apply belt rosin or fit a stretchy drive belt “Turbo Kit” to increase grip.
Two springs fitted either side of the bobbin whorl will make plying easier as it allows the brake band to flex rather than pull against the tension knob.
For easy treadling & to ensure the drive band remains in the whorls, check the alignment of the wheel with the flyer & bobbin whorls. If not aligned loosen the bolts securing the main wheel supports under the base with a 4mm allen key. Twist the supports slightly so the wheel moves to the left or right until correctly aligned. As you tighten the bolts, ensure that the wheel continues to turn freely.
  • Slow the flyer down by putting the drive band onto a larger whorl.
  • Treadle slower. Around 60 RPM is a nice easy speed to treadle at.
  • Draft your yarn faster. This may require you to better prepare your fibre prior to spinning.
It's a relatively simple repair job. Remove the crank, prise open the hub so it's in 2 pieces but make a mark so you can put the spokes back in the same holes. Use regular wood glue on the spokes and hub and glue it back together clamping it with 2 x G clamps. Leave the crank through the hub so the hole remains aligned but remove it and clean out the hole for the hub pin before the glue dries. Check if possible that the rim and crank are at right angles so the wheel will run true. If this is unsuccessful a replacement wheel can be ordered from your local Ashford dealer.
We recommend the drive bands always be loosened when not spinning. However if stretched, cut a short section out including the original joint and rejoined by melting the ends with a gas flame (a match is OK but tends to carbon up the joint slightly), then just push the ends together & hold while the material cools.

To give a lighter draw in replace the brake band with a 4 ply commercial knitting cotton with a no. 61 rubber band on either side of the bobbin. Check the bobbin whorl is smooth & apply a drop of oil.

A recommendation when spinning superfine merino on the Joy
Ashley Barrington of South Australia makes the following recommendation when spinning superfine Merino on the Joy." A 4 ply commercial knitting cotton with a no. 61 rubber band on either side of the bobbin has proved a real winner for me. I can spin for hours without any muscle fatigue and don't have any jerkiness. Sandpapering the groove and adding a drop of oil also seemed to help".

"Thank you Ashley for sharing your experience with others". Richard Ashford

Check the wheel is free running. Attaching rubber feet to the ends of the legs. Treadle with a down-wards action rather than away from you.
To identify if it will fit, the front treadle rail should be 19 3/4" long. Earlier models (pre 1972) were about 2" longer.
Most of our spinning wheels are made from Southland Silver Beech a beautiful native timber of New Zealand sourced from sustainably managed forest, plywood or MDF (medium density fibre board). If you wheel is natural timber it should be protected as soon as possible to avoid staining from lubricants & protection from any climatic changes. We recommend our Ashford Teak Wax Finishing kit, however any reputable wood oil or wax finish would be suitable. Factory lacquered wheels may be further enhanced with our Teak Wax finish.

As there is considerable interest in the orifice height of our wheels, the following table details all our wheels:

Wheel name orifice height
Country 710mm (28")
Electronic 195mm (7.75")
Elizabeth 660mm (26")
Joy 595mm (23.5")
Kiwi 700mm (27.75")
Traditional 675mm (26.5")
Traveller 800mm (31.5")
On older wheels we used a 1/8" diameter silver steel hub pin which wears the hole in the crank. A simple but temporary solution is to remove the hub pin and hit it with a hammer so that it has a slight banana shape. Then tap it back into the hole. A better and permanent solution is to order a "Clunky Wheel Kit" from your local Ashford dealer. This kit includes a new crank, hub pin and con rod. It's easy to fit and will make for silent spinning. The best option (apart from buying a new Ashford wheel) is to fit a "Double Treadle Kit" which include the parts mentioned above plus double treadles to make for effortless and quiet spinning.

The hard treadling when plying is I believe due to the brake band gripping on the bobbin whorl. To overcome this there are a number of solutions:

Smooth the bottom of the bobbin whorl groove with sandpaper or scotchbrite. Apply a drop of oil to the bobbin whorl to allow the brake band to slip more easily. On the Joy we drill pilot holes beside the holes for brake tension knob and threading hook knob. These pilot holes allow you to swap the screw eye attached to the tension spring from one side to the other as well as the tension knob and threading hook. Have the spring on the left when spinning (clockwise) and on the right when plying (anticlockwise). The tension spring lets the brake band slip which makes treadling easier. Cut the brake band between the tension knob and bobbin whorl and add a second tension spring. This means there is no need to swap the tension knob from side to side. Springs are available from Ashford dealers all over the USA.

Yes, you are correct. The result is the bobbin rotates faster than the flyer due to the smaller whorl on the bobbin. When drafting the yarn, the drive cord slips in the bobbin whorl, but when you release the tension on the yarn, the bobbin accelerates to the speed it is being driven and pulls the yarn onto itself. To vary the pull on the yarn, loosen or tighten the belt tension.
The Wheel part of the Kiwi is made from composite materials (custom wood) so it is actually more stable than solid timber products. The rest of the wheel is made from Southland Silver Beech. As with all wooden products a protection from dry moist climates is achieved by coating the product with a finish. Either the Ashford wax finishing kit or a Danish oil finish would be suitable. The custom wood can also be stained with NGR stain and lacquered over the top.

A clear short length of solid plastic tube?
This is the con-rod joint now supplied in all spinning wheel kits. The new plastic con-rod joint replaced the leatherjoint on older model spinning wheels. On current models you will notice a hole drilled in the con-rod (the woodenpiece that goes from the crank to the base of the wheel) to take the plastic con-rod joint.

A small piece of white ribbon?
This is the threading hook tape. Tie it to your threading hook to conveniently hang your hook on your wheel.

A tiny flat back circular piece of metal?
This is the E-clip now supplied in all spinning wheel kits. This replaced the rubber O-ring which is placed on theend of the metal crank (which goes through the middle of the wheel). There is a groove cut in the crank to take anO-ring or and E-clip.

Maintenance Kit for the long life of your wheel.

Check that the gap between the bottom of the con rod (pitman) and the treadle rail is at least 1/2" (10mm). If closer the two can bind thus stretching and eventually breaking the joint.
The hole in the hub has been drilled precisely on a CNC router with a 3/8" drill bit and should be a firm fit. However if tight try rubbing a little candle wax on the crank and push it through the hub before positioning the wheel in the frame. Avoid using oil as this can swell the wood. If still tight wrap sandpaper around a pencil & rub through the hole or use a 3/8" drill bit, to remove any roughness.

There are 2 likely solutions. Please:

  1. Check that the cogs have been attached to the rollers with the teeth in the correct direction so the teeth engage the pawl.
  2. Check that the warp is feeding onto the roller from the top not the bottom, then the teeth will engage the pawl so you can tension the warp.

To achieve a good shed adjust the heddle frame height so the heddles are all in a straight line with the back frame about 15mm (5/8") higher than the front. This is simply achieved by moving them up or down on the Texsolv cord as step 18 on the assembly instructions.

To add more heddles, just un-loop the Texsolv cord from the screw heads in the heddle frames. Tip the loom onto its back & slide the heddle frame out the bottom of the castle. Pull one wooden end off the heddle frame, add more heddles & reverse the process. Note the heddle frames should hang around 1cm under the castle top. See step 6 in the instructions.

It's simply a question of how much tension is on the warp. Just increase the warp tension until the reed stays in the down position without falling out.
Due to demand from weavers, from December 2009 we are now including 320 heddles with the 40cm 16", 480 heddles with the 60cm 24" & 640 heddles with the 80cm 32.
Check that the head of the bolt bolding the castle to the loom side (step 9) is below the surface of the wood. If not the harness can catch on it. Use a hammer to carefully tap the head of the bolt fully into the pre drilled hole in the castle.
The texsolv heddles are strong and light weight and have larger eyes for threading. This makes the harnesss lighter to lift. Sometimes the heddles tend to rust.

Yes, certainly.
Download solo warping instructions or watch SampleIt Loom video as below (solo warping part starts from 1:20).

Video 'Weaving on the SampleIt Loom'

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tutorial videos.

Yes, certainly.
Use a beater after each row of weaving rather than the heddle. It makes a firmer rug.

The best way to clean the drum carder is with warm soapy water. Wash the carder teeth carefully with an old toothbrush and some mineral turpentine. You should also check to see if there are any fibers wrapped around the shafts. If possible remove them with a fine hook or needle, however it may be necessary to disassemble the carder as follows:

  1. Remove the dome nut or knob, then unscrew the handle.
  2. Remove the 5 screws holding the handle side of the drum carder on.
  3. Slide both drums about 1cm (½ins) along the shafts or sufficient to use a hook to remove any tangled fibres.
  4. Slide the drums back into position checking the drive pins engage in the slots in the drums.
  5. Reattach the side and handle.
  6. Check the clearance between the teeth.
There are oil holes in the two nylon eccentric bushes holding the small drum. Apply a drop of Ashford Spinning Oil or similar light oil into these and also the two bearings supporting the large drum and the two bearings into the idler.

Yes, it is reasonably easy to dismantle your drum carder for cleaning.

  1. Remove the dome nut or knob, then unscrew the handle.
  2. Remove the 5 screws holding the handle side of the drum carder on.
  3. Slide both drums about 1cm (½ins) along the shafts or sufficient to use a hook to remove any tangled fibres.
  4. Slide the drums back into position checking the drive pins engage in the slots in the drums.
  5. Reattach the side and handle.
  6. Check the clearance between the teeth.

We made them for about four years up until the early 90's. It was reasonably successful at blending but wasn't so good at carding. This was because it didn't have adjustable drum clearance, it had a relatively small large drum of 4¾ inches in diameter & the drum ratio was only 2.5:1. Although it was about 70% the price of the regular drum carder, demand wasn't high so we discontinued it. In 2009 we introduced the Wild Drum Carder which is perfect for making roving for spinning.

Consumer Safety and Environmental Protection

It is very important to us that our products are environmentally friendly and safe to use.

Dyes
Ashford dyes, if used correctly, are non-hazardous to humans. They are weak acid dyes that are fixed with only common white vinegar and heat. Fibre, yarn and textiles dyed with the Ashford dyes can be worn against the skin without risk. We are in close co-operation with all our suppliers of dyes to ensure they are safe to use and wear. The dyes comply with the strict EU regulations and the manufacturers confirm that cloth dyed with the Ashford dyes can be certified under the Oeko-Tex Standard 100. This standard is the most widely known standard for certification of ecologically-safe clothing. Detailed information can be found under www.oekotex.com. The dyes pose no risk the environment if the dye liquid is neutralized with baking soda before disposal in the waste water system. Full instructions for the safe use and disposal of the dyes are included with the dyes. We wish you much fun using our products to realize your creative ideas!

Yarns
Ashford yarns are dyed using Oeko-Tex compliant dyes. The mills confirm that all dyes used to produce the Ashford ranges of yarn comply with the strict EU regulations and garments made from Ashford yarns can be certified under the Oeko-Tex Standard 100. This standard is the most widely known standard for certification of ecologically-safe clothing. Detailed information can be found under www.oekotex.com. We wish you much fun using our products to realize your creative ideas!

The dyes are very strong so it's easy to get mud (or rusty shades). When you use the rainbow dye method with the correct quantities, and instructions... a wonderful spectrum of colour is produced. The slower you cook the pot, the clearer the colours.