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