Friday, February 03, 2006

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

This is Lavender's concept brought to life by Teal.

Lavender expressed a wish for a treadle on her carder - she wanted something slower than an electric carder that would leave her hands free for teasing and feeding the fibre. Teal likes to play with ideas and thought Lavender had come up with something really great to play with(with which to play?).

So the experiments began. Both Lavender and Teal have Patrick Green's "Beverly " carder. Great carders!

THIS IS THE DISCLAIMER!! PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS EXPERIMENT AT HOME! It may lead to permanent damage of your equipment and your psyche!!!!

Having said that, I'll tell you what we did so you can improve on the concept, because it does seem easier than hand cranking. The handle was removed from the crank shaft. The "Beverly" comes with a second BLENDING wheel and this blending wheel was placed on the crank shaft(a very tiny amount of long wool fibre was added for traction). This is one of the areas that may be problematic. The fibres were wrapped around the out side of the shaft from one side to the other and then fed through the holes on the side of the shaft and out the hole on the end of the shaft(I would draw you a diagram - but I'm new to blogging and don't know how). The blending wheel was pushed snuggly over the fibre to fit without slipping. Note of caution: We have not yet determined if we will be able to get this wheel off the crank shaft or if the stress of the drive band will damage the wheel.

The carder was then supported on the top of a treadle sewing machine( with a board to prevent it falling into the machine well) and a drive band of candle wicking was used to go around the carder wheel and treadle wheel.

That's the basics.

Suggestion for improvements:

-it might work better if the carder was set on a board attached directly to the treadle frame as the cabinet is interfering with the smooth flow of the belt which makes it harder to treadle and also wears out the belt

- we are also looking for better belting material. Our first choice would be a material similar to the drive bands that come with the carder - but we haven't found a local source yet.

-we put a large wide elastic band around the blending wheel(before attaching the drive band) to increase traction and protect the blending wheel from some of the wear caused by the drive band

It is handy to sit and treadle your way through a fleece or pound of colour. However, the current set up requires that only small amounts of well teased fibre are put through the carder - which is great for our colour blending since most of it has already been through the carder 5-7 times. This experiment is working well for our purposes now. I would want to be able to make the improvements listed above before using it for all my carding needs.

Oh yes, I was serious about the disclaimer - my blending wheel appears stuck on the crank shaft - I'm assuming it will come off with some lubrication - but I need it where it is for just now.

Let us know if you have any suggestions for improvments. We are also interested in knowing how those of you with electric carders find them. We have tried the supercarder but are wondering about the "Fancy Carder" and some of the electric conversions for the "Beverly" etc.

Happy Experiments,



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool! Maybe you could use the same drive band material that you use for spinning wheels? We bought ours bulk from a machinists catalogue. For the top maybe you could unscrew the top of the sewing machine cabinet and then replace it with the board with the drive shaft whole cut larger? You guys are incredible! Way to go! Can't wait to see the next model!

4:08 a.m.  
Anonymous Cyndi said...

Woah!! How cool is this!!

9:31 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Use a smaller wheel for quicker revolution. Go down to home depot and buy some metal pulleys with set screw collar for the shaft. Or you can go here and get the same:

Something in the 3 to 4 inch diamater range with the correct bore size (use Vernier Calipers and get an accurate shaft measure for bore size).

Anyway I'd not waste my time with that concept treadling by nature is stop and go hence tugging rather than smooth inflow. I have the motor pack for my Beverly and Deluxe and it runs smoothly and quickly. I've thought of moving up to a supercard but my Beverly and Deluxe do such a good job it's hard to fix what's not broken.

10:32 a.m.  
Blogger LadyV said...

Great idea! My PG sits on an old treadle sewing machine cabinet (sans treadle). Nice to see great ideas put into motion (literally) :-)

9:23 a.m.  
Blogger Felicia from sweetgeorgia said...


What about contacting Pat Green to get more drive band material?! I'm sure he'd be interested in seeing how you guys have "motorized" your Beverly!

9:11 a.m.  
Anonymous Iris said...

Hi, I was able to find a new belt for my old carder at at company that sell only belts on Annacis Island. The staff where really helpfull. Take them a picture of what you are doing and they should be able to help. Thanks for posting the pictures, now I just need to find a old treadle.

7:07 p.m.  
Blogger Lavender said...

Hi Iris,

Thanks for the suggestion...would you be able to email me the name of the company?


8:47 a.m.  

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