I made a supported spindle…

…all by myself! Well, hubby split a piece of firewood for me, to be honest ūüôā

First you need to search your house: is there a suitable stone hidden somewhere? When you’ve found one, try to figure out how¬†to start working. I chose to make the hole first, because without a hole it wouldn’t be much of a spindle. The hole also needs to be exactly in the center, and I thought it would be easier to work around the hole than to try to find the center of a circle, if you see what I mean. So my nice Swiss multipurpose tool, a crafter’s best friend by the way, came in handy once again.

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It’s soapstone I’m working with. Easy to carve with a knife and finish with a rasp or¬†sandpaper. I used both. I also used the miniature saw blade to cut off the ends of the stone:

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Then I took my coarsest sandpaper and a rasp and worked on the corners to make a somewhat circular¬†shape, and also thinned out the thicker parts of the stone. It doesn’t matter if the whorl isn’t¬†perfectly circular, as it’s a supported spindle.

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Then it was time for the shaft. I wanted a Russian style shaft. So off to see what I could find in the firewood supply. I found birch, which is what to expect here where I live. Not hard enough, but will do. I can always make a new shaft when the old one is worn out. I used the biggest knife blade and the same coarse¬†sandpaper, as I have found that very¬†smooth shafts don’t give you the best grip because they’re slippery. I test spun cotton, and the spindle was good!

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I’m satisfied with the result. The spindle rotates quite fast. The whorl + shaft weighs 23 grams and it’s 25 cm long. I may try other types of shafts later, but for now I feel like I shouldn’t do any more woodwork. Wood is one of the materials that may swallow me, and I really don’t have time for that!

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5 comments

  1. Rebecca

    Oh this is one of those strange moments of internet synchronicity! In two recent posts, Spin like an Ancient and Spin the Wilderland, I was experimenting with pottery whorls styled on ancient whorls. I used bracken for a straight shaft on a mid whorl spindle but I do like the look of your curved shaft. I will try it. Your whorl and shaft look marvellous. Spinning is such an unexpected adventure!

    • Barbro Heikinmatti

      The undercurrents of internet – I’ve been gathering antique whorls to my Pinterest for a while, and I can see from the flow that many others do that also. I’ve visited sites that sell replicas of whorls and shafts, and other blogs. I hope you don’t mind me posting a link to your awesome whorls!

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