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Ten Tips for Buying a Secondhand Spinning Wheel.

Like most spinners I bought my first wheel second hand, it was a Haldane wheel and I loved it. The problem was that it sounded like a steam train when I used because the wheel wobbled on it axil and one of the maidens (supports for the flyer and bobbin) had a bodged repair, it had a drill bit stuck in the middle of it!

To help you avoid some of the mistakes I made here is a little video looking at ten tips for buying a second hand wheel.




  1. How much space do you have? make sure you're not buying a wheel you can't actually fit in your house. Do you want to travel with your wheel, some wheels fit easily into a care and others wont.

  2. What type of yarn do you want to make? fine lace weight or chunky art yarn? or do you want to be able to spin a variety. some wheels allow for more variety than others.

  3. One treadle or two? simply put do you want to use one foot or both when you spin?

  4. Types of wheel: single or double drive? this is a more technical question but the video shows what the two types look like and how to tell them apart.

  5. Types of tension system: double drive, Scotch or Irish tension. How to tell them apart and what are difference do the types make.

  6. Bobbins. You need at least three to spin a 2 ply yarn with ease. How many does it come with? Can you get more or replacements easily? What's the capacity of the bobbins?

  7. Are you willing or able to give and old wheel some TLC? What condition is a wheel actually in, a drive band is easy to replace, a wobbling drive wheel not so easy. Think carefully about the skills you have to do up a wheel and whether you can afford to pay someone else to make parts for you.

  8. Brands. Look up the brand of the wheel, is it still in business? is it easy to get spare parts for that particular model? Is it a brand that no longer makes things but still gives support for people who have a wheel? or is there a good facebook group for that brand where you can ask questions?

  9. Spinning wheel shaped objects. The thing to avoid at all costs, some wheels are not salvageable and beyond use. They may have been turned into lamps, they may have never been intended for use. watch out they can look beautiful but not be functional. It an add says its functional see if they will send you a video of it working. some yarn r

  10. Look at as many adverts as you can. Get a feel for the language used, the prices and condition. What extras do they come with can you get a bargain just because you don't have buy lots of extra things.

I hope this helps in you quest to find a second hand wheel. There are lots out there but be carful you don't want to end up with a Spinning Wheel Shaped Object by accident! If you want to avoid the pit falls a new wheel might be a better option.

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