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Changing my tune

November 2, 2009

Not long ago I alluded to my sudden yen for a saxony-style wheel to take places with me, instead of a castle-style like the Mazurka I’ve had for a few years. I decided to put my toe in the water and listed the Mazurka for sale on Ravelry, and see what the omens were. Within 48 hours, it was spoken for, and within 48 more hours I exchanged the wheel for money in a Costco parking lot in Frederick. Amazing how many spinning wheel deals seem to be done in parking lots.

With cash in hand, I ordered a Kromski Prelude from Copper Moose. For these wheels new, the price is pretty much the same everywhere, and they are all shipped out of the distributor’s location in Atlanta, so you can base your choice more on the freebies each vendor offers, or on your personal previous experience with a vendor. Besides having bought very good fiber from Copper Moose before, my attention was caught by the little note on their website that they were open to swapping around your choice of freebies. When it was all settled, instead of their offered freebies I was getting the fast flyer.

The box arrived on a Friday, and my plan for the Columbus Day holiday was to put on the finish and get the thing put together. Someone on Ravelry had done her Kromski in Briwax with lovely results, and it sounded like something I ought to be able to handle.

So here’s the Prelude.

This color was called ‘Antique mahogany’ but it does not look like any of the other mahogany I own! it is so light, it almost looks like cherry to me. I’m thinking someday when it turns warmer outside again I will go over it either with another coat of this, or with a darker color.

The wheel is built to be exclusively a single drive wheel – the whorls are constructed as part of the flyer, and are at the front of the flyer, and the scotch brake is at the back. It’s quite a different setup from what I am used to but it does not appear to make a difference in how the wheel works. Also the wheel came with a poly drive band, which I had never used before, but for this wheel I like because it reduces the amount of adjusting I have to do. The tension is a tilt mechanism very similar to the Ashford Traditional – there is a hinge holding the top of the mother of all to the base, and you open or close the hinge with a turned peg.

I am not 100% thrilled with the job I did with the Briwax. I did it outdoors to avoid too much solvent inhalation, and it was so chilly that day that the wax was lumpy and gummy rather than smooth. That’s my excuse as to why it looks like an antique wheel that is in need of a good cleaning! I just didn’t get the wax out of all the turnings as well as I should have, and especially the flyer with all its intricate parts was very difficult.

I have been breaking it in as much as I have time for – the new leather bearings are extremely thirsty and I have gone through an incredible amount of oil in just three weeks to keep it from getting stiff and balky. I’ve been using only the fastest speed, which is about 16:1, and I’m finding it is smoothing out nicely.

I hope the Mazurka is playing nicely in its new home. It served me very well for a few years but I am happier with the style of the Prelude.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Shelly permalink
    November 2, 2009 4:22 pm

    Your Mazurka is playing very nicely in her new home. I’ve spun some of the fiber you provided and then I started on some Romeny/mohiar blend I purchased to make socks for the hubby. I love my “new” wheel, that was traded in the lot of Costco.

  2. November 2, 2009 4:44 pm

    Wow, that’s nice to hear! Glad you stopped by to tell me!

  3. mel permalink
    November 3, 2009 3:49 pm

    Adorable! I have always been taken with the perky look of this little wheel. I hope you really enjoy it.

  4. November 5, 2009 8:45 am

    Thats a beautiful wheel and your handspun.

  5. Roberta permalink
    November 6, 2009 7:12 pm

    Congratulations on your saxony. Must be something in the air as I have a hankering for one, too.
    The finish looks fine to me.

  6. November 14, 2009 1:34 pm

    Wow! Too cool –

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