For several days now I've been trying to get this funny combination of high-tech and low-tech going for me:It's a home-made drop spindle based on a CD. I found various helpful articles and how-to's online, but they were all American, so even the ones which so helpfully gave part numbers and store names weren't that much help to me. Here's how I got on:
- an old CD--easy!
- a piece of dowel--easy enough. The only challenge was working out the right diameter. This one is 12.5 mm.
- a small cup hook to hold the fibre while it's being spun--a bag full of them cost a few dollars at the hardware store.
- a rubber grommet to hold the dowel in the middle of the CD--that turned out to be the challenge. I now know that it's a wiring grommet, that it's used to protect wiring when it passes through metal plates, like the fire-wall in a car and therefore it's available from car-type places and perhaps radio-electronics type places. The size I want is called 1/2 inch--that's the inside diameter. The outside diameter turns out to be 21/32 inch--whatever! I got two from an auto store, but I'm hoping to find a better supplier since I need a dozen or so for our group at the Guild to make one each.
I used a stanley knife to shape the end of the dowel and fiddled a bit with where to place the CD on the dowel and now it really works. That's satisfying.
I searched high and low through the hardware store for alternatives to the CD which might be easier to attach to a shaft, but had no luck there. Along the way I had several interesting conversations with bemused and helpful salespeople in a variety of stores and got to show off my drop-spindling skills, since demonstration turned out to be the best way to communicate what I was looking for.