You may remember a few years ago I had a similar one but for some reason I just could not get it to spin well for me. If you look at the comments from that post, June was quite envious that I had scored that wheel, so when I was ready to part with her I offered it to her first. June spent some time tinkering with her and had her spinning like a dream. Obviously they were meant for each other.
When this wheel became available a few weeks ago, I emailed June to find out what she did to get her wheel in good spinning form. She sent me her notes and I tucked them away in anticipation of my new arrival.
This wheel is truly a one of a kind wheel made with 11 different kinds of wood. I'm guessing that Mr. Van Eaton was anticipating his retirement and was using his stash. I could be wrong....but that's my guess.
If you click on the picture to make it big you can see that the wheel itself is made from Figured Maple and the spokes are made of Cherry. The treadle is made with Apple wood, there is also Myrtle, Mesquite, Oak, Apricot and Plum.....and......
Even the Kate is special. The body is made of Cherry, which is housing a Black Walnut, an Apple and a Locust bobbin. The 4th bobbin is made of Mesquite. My favorite of all though are the purpleheart whorls........just beautiful.
Some of you may know that years ago I used to restore antiques. I have a huge appreciation for beautiful wood and am always a sucker when I see something that was carved with care. It's the number one reason why I have so many drop spindles that I rarely use.......they are just so beautiful and they make me smile when I dust them.
Mr Van Eaton is a true artist when it comes to cutting and molding these exotic and not so exotic woods. The care he takes in the finish work is amongst the best out there. The fiddleback maple one that June has is stunning and the birdseye maple one I had years ago was breath~taking.
As much as I love the beauty of wood in spinning wheels, the wheel has to spin well in order for it to stay here as there is only so much space. So when I took this beauty out of the box, she got a nice soothing rubdown with my lavender/lemon wood wax from Bristol Springs Herbery and was oiled in all of the necessary places. In the past I had set my Van Eaton's up to be spun double drive, but June told me she had set hers up for scotch tension, so I did the same.
It was with great interpretation that I sat behind this grrl of many colors. Would she spin well enough to stay....or would I keep her just for her beauty even if she didn't? Lots of questions.....that were all answered with the very first pushes on that beautiful applewood treadle.
Sigh............she is a KEEPER! She spins like a dream. All of the issues that I had with the other 2 are not present. Perhaps it was just the difference of the double drive verses the scotch tension or maybe it is just karma. I always say that a wheel makes it's way eventually to the right home and this grrl is home. :)
******Speaking of wheels, I am very excited to have been approved to be a distributer of Schacht Reeves Wheels. After hearing about the Anniversary Cherry Matchless that is coming out in June, it pushed me one step closer to making my shop a reality :)*****