It's a Jensen Tina II spinning wheel!!! I've been afraid to talk about this because I didn't really believe it was gonna happen until it actually arrived here on Friday. Only a few of my friends were aware I had located this wheel and was considering buying it.
The wheel came from the west coast from someone who did not take care of it. (I won't embarrass the previous owner if she reads this by mentioning names.) She used it as a travelling wheel and, in the process, damaged a number of pieces-- chipped a chunk off the edge of the wheel, as well as breaking the distaff, 2 whorls, the Scotch tension knob, and one bobbin. That's what made me hesitant to buy it. I'm glad I took the chance. The wheel itself is a sound piece of equipment.
It needed a lot of TLC to get it in the condition you see. It arrived dusty and dried out from being stored and neglected for who knows how many years. The date stamp on the wheel is February 27, 1999. The wood finish felt like sandpaper. I asked my friend Janet for advice on how to restore it. She said wash it, feed the wood, and oil it. Saturday, I collected the supplies I needed and began the clean up.
First, I washed it down with Murphy's Oil Soap. It looked so much better after being washed. I let it dry overnight. Yesterday, I rubbed it down with an organic furniture polish made with olive and lemon oils. It soaked in the oils like a thirsty child. Then my friend, Jessica, came over with a can of Wood Beams and proceeded to rub on two coats of it. The wood was so dry it kept sucking it in. The wood is beginning to glow and feels smooth. (Thanks, Jess!)
Now we were finally ready to put the wheel together and get it spinning. The bobbin, flyer and whorls were shipped separately so I was clueless how they all went on the wheel. I had sent out an appeal to the Yahoo Spinlist, Spinfree, and Spinning lists for pics and help. June from Kentucky came through with great pics and instructions on how to put it together. (Thanks, June!) With her instructions and Jess's assistance we assembled it. I hunted up some spinning fiber and sat down to try her out. Wow! It spins like a dream! I had to slow my treadling way down. It doesn't take much effort to make this wheel go. (Now I love my Little Gem, but I have to treadle pretty fast to spin the finer weights of yarn I like to spin.) Jess got her turn at the wheel too. She agreed it's a beauty!
Though the wheel is now functional, I still have some work ahead of me. I'd like to get the broken distaff fixed even though I probably won't use it. The replacement Scotch tension knob, bobbins, and whorls that were part of the deal will have to be stained to match the wheel. For the moment, I'm learning to use the wheel as a double drive. I'm used to Scotch tension on my Little Gem.