1796 Flax Wheel

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Project by hoss12992 posted 03-29-2013 06:42 PM 1801 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a really cool project and I felt honored to have the opportunity to work on this one. This flax wheel does not have a nail or anything in it. It was built using various types of wood, green and seasoned. As the green wood dried out, it compressed and thats how the spokes where held in place, well that and a twig used as a tenon. The wheel was much the same. The story behind it was that this flax wheel belonged to a 86 year old lady and had belonged to at least her great grandmother, that we know of. It had been passed down through the family until it reached her. Somehow something fell on it and busted it all to pieces, and the lady was beside herself to say the least. Her son said not to worry and that he would get it fixed if possible. He talked to a mutual friend and was describing the situation and had no idea of where to find somebody to see if it could be repaired. Our mutual friend told him that he knew a fellar that could fix it if it could be fixed. So I then got a call, and felt like I won the lottery to have the chance to work on such a fine piece. I had to make several spokes and also in my research learned that it was missing several pieces from its original hay day. So I then made those pieces too. Some where made of iron so I got to fire up the old coal fired forge and make those too. Most were various types of wood. Needless to say, the elderly lady was totally blown away by it and the son was happy, happy, happy! I had checked with several museums, and nobody around here had one nearly this old. I think it turned out pretty good.

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

10 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30578 posts in 3305 days

#1 posted 03-29-2013 08:07 PM

I always like a little history lesson behind the technique. Beautiful project.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View hoss12992's profile


4178 posts in 2860 days

#2 posted 03-29-2013 09:09 PM

Thanks Monte

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Chase's profile


448 posts in 3994 days

#3 posted 03-29-2013 09:22 PM

Dont let my wife see this, I will be repairing antique store finds for the rest of my life. Good job!

-- Every neighborhood has an eccentric neighbor. I wondered for years "who was ours?" Then I realized it was me.

View hoss12992's profile


4178 posts in 2860 days

#4 posted 03-29-2013 10:09 PM

LOL Thanks Chase

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Handtooler's profile


1628 posts in 3099 days

#5 posted 03-29-2013 10:25 PM

Super save! I have one of the miniture size, about 20” tall that is a lamp, the wheel operates when the tredle/pedal is depressed and released. I t was made in about 1910 by a woodworker/ piddler type from Mt Olive, MS. It was giver to my grandmother as a gift and she passed it on to my mother and then to me. I believe the spokes are also held in to their mortises without any othe fasteners as is the wheel segments.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 [email protected]

View hoss12992's profile


4178 posts in 2860 days

#6 posted 03-30-2013 01:33 AM

Russell- Thanks. Before this piece I knew nothing about spinning wheels, but learned a wee bit in the research process. The really big ones that we tend to see are reg spinning wheels, the miniture ones, roughly 20” tall are Flax spinning wheels. The tredle pedal seems to pretty much be standard equipment on all flax wheels. Im sure you treasure yours, as I did workin on this one. Congrats on having a family treasure my friend

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Ken90712's profile


17919 posts in 4156 days

#7 posted 03-30-2013 02:50 PM

Cool project and nice save… had to look up what it was but now I know! Nice to safe part of a family’s history!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View hoss12992's profile


4178 posts in 2860 days

#8 posted 03-30-2013 04:03 PM

Thanks Ken, it def was a special project to me, and the family that owns it.

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View swampi's profile


56 posts in 2786 days

#9 posted 06-07-2013 08:31 PM

Purty durn neat !!!
Would love to get a project like that to work on, and / or hang around a shop while some one else worked on it.
I don’t have all the equipment you have, but would sure come up with a way to get er done, and done rite !!!

Good Job, Hoss !!!

-- Harry - Bonifay, FL

View hoss12992's profile


4178 posts in 2860 days

#10 posted 06-12-2013 04:40 AM

Thanks Harry

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

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