Michael Williams - New for 2018

I am always introducing new or improved items to my catalogue.

This year I am delighted to tell you about the fabulous Great Wheel (spinning wheel) that I can now offer for sale (made to order)

This spinning wheel is inspired by one made in the USA around 1860. It features a "Minor's" accelerating head - named after Amos Minor who came up with the idea in the early 1800s. The spinning wheel is made of ash. It comes apart for transportation, although you will need to check that you can get the 42 inch diameter drive wheel through your car door!

This wheel is truly stunning; a future heirloom.

The wheel is 42 inches in diameter and has 12 spokes. The rim, or hoop, is made of 4 layers of ash ply glued back to back around a former. Each ply is 1.5mm thick and is handmade. The hoop is made in 4 quadrants, then joined together by interleaving the plies (my idea).

The wheel axle is bolted into the wheel post. The receiving nuts are sunk flush to the surface of the post and will never come loose. This also means that the axle will never drop downwards and so will remain horizontal (my improvement)

The spindle post carries the spindle and the maidens for the accelerating head. There are 2 drive bands: the main band from the Great Wheel to the accelerating head plus another from the accelerating head to the spindle pulley.

This enable 3 ratios to be achieved:
(1) Direct drive - first pulley groove - ratio 1:38
(2) - second pulley groove - ratio 1:54
(3) - third pulley groove - ratio 1:144



Both drive bands can be tensioned. Two brass knobs on the maidens cause the accelerating pulley to rise or fall, thus tensioning the spindle drive band.


Now the clever part: the spindle post is joined to the leg below it in a block and the two behave as one unit. The block pivots making the the leg come forward as the spindle post moves backwards thus tensioning the main drive band. The device which adjusts this leg is hidden under the bench.

Some more pictures: