by Marguerite Nelson- owner of Bella Tessere
Your spinning wheel is a valuable piece of equipment, treat it like a piece of fine furniture. Don’t place the wheel in the direct sunlight for long periods of time. Don’t leave it near a heating vent or stove or fireplace. We live in an extremely dry area and wood dries out fast enough without exposing it to additional heat.
If your wheel isn’t finished, finish it as you like and then periodically oil or polish it as you do your other furniture. Do not, however, oil the grooves where the drive bands or brake bands go.
Be very careful whenever you move your wheel for any reason. Never pick up a wheel by the drive wheel, always pick it up by the bench. When you put your wheel in a car, place it so it will not move around, I always treat my wheel like another passenger and it gets its own seatbelt.
Children are fascinated by spinning wheels, if your wheel is too fragile to handle the attentions of a child, then keep it out of their sight! Many wheels are sturdy enough that a child would have a difficult time doing any damage to them.
Keep your wheel clean, if you have been working with a dirty fleece, or if you live out in the country on a dirt road, keep it dusted, it will work better if you do.
Your wheel needs to be oiled, using a 30 weight motor oil about every two hours of use, or when you change the bobbins, whichever comes first. Make sure to wipe off any old oil and dirt before you add new oil. Every moving part on the wheel needs oil, unless it is a sealed bearing.
Adjust the tension on your wheel by starting with no tension and gradually tightening it until it is where you need it to be. The more tension on your wheel, the harder you have to work.