Our Modern Wheel is a versatile, durable wheel with modern styling and components. The heavy drive wheel allows for comfortable spinning for hours. The flyer is virtually unbreakable, making this a good wheel to toss in the back of the car for beginning spinning lessons, a farmer’s market demonstration, and guild meetings.
Modern Spinning Wheel
- Double drive
- Single treadle
- Optional Bulky, Quill, and Distaff
- Approximately 4 ounce bobbin
- 5.5 flyer whorl ratio
- Currently backordered until 2019
After six years of building the Traditional Wheel, Henry found himself frequently asked for an economy version. His response – the Modern Wheel – is in its fourth decade of production and serves as a workhorse for professional artists, schools, and hobbyists around the world.
Like its predecessor, the Modern is an upright castle with a 16” drive wheel, heel-toe single treadle, and is set up with double drive. Unlike its predecessor, the Modern utilizes ball bearings for the drive wheel and features three high capacity bobbins. The unique shape of the Modern’s frame allows for the majority of the wheel’s components to be cut from a single piece of European furniture grade hardwood plywood with no waste other than sawdust. This wheel was “green” before it was even a thing!
The ball bearings on the drive wheel make treadling this wheel very smooth. Once in motion, the solid hardwood plywood wheel continues to spin with little effort whether you are spinning laceweight, bulky, or any size in between. Set up for double drive, the 5.5 flyer whorl ratio will spin similarly to an 11 using Scotch or Irish tension. If you are unfamiliar with double drive, tension types, and ratios, please read our FAQ for further explanation.
The wooden components are hand shaped, sanded, and fitted before receiving two coats of durable lacquer finish. After final assembly, each wheel is put through its paces to ensure it meets our lofty standards of craftsmanship and quality.
Each wheel is supplied with three bobbins, a threading hook, and a bottle of spinning wheel oil. Additional bobbins, as well as our JMac lazy kates, are available finished to match. A bulky adaptor and quill are also available.
|Drive method||Double Drive|
|Treadle style||Single, Heel-Toe|
|Bobbin size (actual)||33.4 cubic inches|
|Bobbin size (nominal)||4 oz.|
|Dimensions||20 × 20 × 36 in|
Clear Finish, Fruitwood Stain, Walnut Stain
Fruitwood Stain, Walnut Stain, Maple
Origins of Our Spinning Wheels
Henry started wood turning at the age of eight when he bought a used wood lathe. In high school, he turned parts for local wheel maker Tony Cardarelle, including parts for Tony’s castle wheels. Following Tony’s passing in 1970, Henry and his father founded our company and began making their own wheels. Henry standardized the design of his wheel parts, so that all the parts were interchangeable from one wheel to the next - new parts made today are made to the same specifications as the day production began. Thousands of these Traditional Wheels – originally called simply our Castle Wheel – have made their way into homes and studios around the world, with many of them being passed on to second and third generations of owners.
In the mid 1970’s, spinning and weaving were added to the curriculum requirement in many colleges for a degree in interior decorating, creating the need for an inexpensive yet durable wheel that could be easily assembled by the customer. In 1976 Henry designed for a futuristic-looking wheel built almost entirely from a single sheet of European furniture grade hardwood plywood – with virtually no waste other than sawdust. Soon several hundred of these wheels were leaving our wood shop every year. Originally called our Kit Wheel as they were assembled by the customer, these wheels now come with the frame fully assembled and are referred to as our Modern Wheel.
Over the decades, we added a few items to help make spinning and plying easier: bulky (jumbo) adaptors, quills, and distaff options for both wheels. We recently added JMac lazy kates as well as hand turned threading hooks to pair with either your Modern or Traditional Wheel.