January 23, 2010

No pictures yet?

Yes, I've been spinning away on the little Pocket Wheel, (her name is Blondie, she told me so.) but I don't have any proof (pictures) to share yet. I finished off the Ashford bobbin of Shetland, and now Navajo plying the same onto one of the PW bobbins. I'm hoping that since the PW bobbins are bigger, all of the plied yarn will actually fit onto one bobbin. For some reason I can never get that to happen with my Ashford bobbins. I expect 2 bobbins of singles to equal 2 bobbins of 2 ply, but that never seems to work.

I'm waiting until the clock project is finished, in the woodworking sense, before I begin finishing Blondie. But I realized I could start finishing bobbins, they don't take up much space and I can, uh, experiment with techniques. Right off the bat I noticed that finishing maple isn't nearly as dramatic as finishing cherry. In fact, I admit to feeling somewhat disappointed at the lack of "WOW" compared to finishing the cherry.  But now I see that the transformation in the maple is just as nice, but far more subtle.

By the way (I actually had to think about how to spell that out, after using texting shorthand so often), I am ridiculously pleased with the process of finishing my cherry clock. Today I started the final oiling and sanding step, and I am oh so fond of the results. The wood feels silky smooth, and I am captivated by the play of light over the finish. Elbow grease is a large component of the process, but at least the results are apparent pretty much immediately.  I enjoy the effort and results, but I also like knowing that there is an end to these projects, 'cause I don't think I could work on it every day for a long time. Knitting and spinning yes, wood finishing no. On the other hand, I'm sure wood finishing burns far more calories.

Oh, back to finishing the maple bobbins; now that the oil finish is on they have a lovely sheen that catches the light just so. Since these are items that will see some use, I'm thinking of using some sort of hard finish, otherwise I'd just wax. I've got to do some research and check my notes to decide on what to use. I've just started a semester long wood finishing class, but I know I can't wait that long to finish Blondie. And I started another woodworking class, the project for this class is a small side or end table, to include a drawer and a door, of my own design. I'd like to make something the drum carder will fit into, but I'm not a very fast woodworker, so I may need to scale back.


  1. I'm looking forward to seeing your results. I'm not that happy with the finish on my Traveler, but since it's waxed, I think refinishing would be too much of a PITA to even consider. I wish I had used a hard finish on mine.

  2. I'm taking a finishing class on Wednesday nights, I'll share what I learn. I ended up using a sanded oil finish and then paste wax. At least for now.