Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How not to clean an iron

So, you know that lovely piece of 100% wool that isn't wool?  Yeah, that one.
Honestly, I thought Dad was making popcorn at 11:00 a.m.

I even had it set on Polyester.

So, before I go any farther & you think the following is how you should do this, just go get yourself some Barkeeper's Friend, Faultless hot iron cleaner, or some other product specifically designed to clean irons.  I hear fine steel wool is also helpful.

Don't try what you're about to see at home...

BUT if you want to giggle, read on...

THIS is what happened to my nice iron.
NOT happy.
Calling in the troops I had on hand.
Windex, Goo Gone, Dawn (incognito), Gojo and Paper towels.

After 3 applications of Goo Gone,
I switched to Gojo & things started chipping off.

Following the Gojo was Dawn. 
She worked for a bit, then quit.

Slightly better after fingernail scraping for an hour.

Now, after fingernail scraping for an hour, a person gets pretty frustrated.
Yes, that's a small screw driver.

More Gojo.

After about 8 Gojo/Dawn/screwdriver/Windex
sessions, we now have a clean iron.
A bit scraped up, but usable until I get to buy a new one.
2 hours later.

See this black crap? 
That's melted nylon on my cotton pressing cloth.

Just as an FYI, it's perfectly legal to have up to a 15% blend in wool & call it "100% wool"... in some cases it will be upwards of 30% depending on country of origin.
>>CougH, I woN't sAy where that comes from, cough<<

Anyway, it's legally wool, and at $18.00/yd it was a darn good lie.
Blends can be acrylic, nylon, polyester, rayon or any number of other fibers.  They serve various purposes, mostly to help the wool be a more consistent fiber... until someone like me actually believes the fabric label & sets their iron on one-degree-less-than-required to press a seam and melts it all over the place.

Labels may lie, but irons do not.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Saxony Wheel

My husband gave me an early Christmas gift this weekend.

We went to Mt. Morris, NY to buy a spinning wheel that I'd been looking at for months, only to find that Tom Cook of the Nunda Historic Society had snapped it up a few days before.  I'm very fond of Tom, so I won't be upset, and I hope the wheel finds a good home there.

On went the hunt for a good treadle wheel for me though.  We went through all of the antique shops on Main St. visiting & chatting & talking to no avail.  I was told twice "you are the first person to ever ask for that."  Then we went to Letchworth Barn Antiques down the hill and the moment we walked in the door, she was there.  The Yarn Angles sang.  Much like the Great Wheel in the basement, I looked up & knew she was coming home with me.  She gave me a lovely splinter the first time I laid hands on her.  It was meant to be.

Dusty, dirty, missing parts, a bit chipped, desperate for a drink.
But she went around, the treadle went up & down, the tension screw worked, the wood is sound.

It's missing the top of the distaff - no surprise there; and the entire flyer mechanism, which is disappointing as I'll have to find one that will work with the machine.  The drive band is long gone & would have needed replacing anyway.

Unless the graffiti carved into the top of the table is actually a maker's mark, I can't find one... to me it looks like an adolescent's idol defacing, not the work of a careful craftsman.

Dusty Wheel in her new home

Gunked up mechanism
due to old oil & paint (yes, someone painted the bearings)
Wheel pegs missing, but it works without them.

The Mother, maidens, tension screw & distaff base

other view of maidens & distaff base

The footman kept slipping off.
That's the stick that connects the treadle to the wheel.

I washed the wheel with Murphy's Oil Soap and gave it a good cleaning, polishing, and waxing the next day ... oiled the bits that needed it.  After chipping off the years of paint & old oil (yes, someone once painted it white), it whirrs around like a champ.

Happy shiny wheel!

She really needed a drink

cleaned & oiled

Have to figure out how the flyer assembly
attaches.  There aren't any holes for it.

Some ugly paint is still there. 
I haven't decided what to do about it.

Edge of the wheel.  Double drive band.

John also bought the Box of Parts, which came with the purchase, but none of them go with this particular spinning wheel.  Happily, one of the maidens will work wonderfully as a direct drive for my Great Wheel, and the extra spindle just needs a bit of care to be fully functional again.

Box o Parts

It should be quite an adventure!  The first leg of this journey will be finding a flyer mechanism (spindle, flyer, bobbin, etc) that works with this.  Then a drive band (easy), then either making or finding a distaff.

I think this is my favorite diagram so far...