How to make up an Ashford spinning wheel - Part 1 Waxing October 08 2019


by FibreHut Dave

Some Ashford products are supplied flat packed and require assembly and waxing. In this blog I will be working on an Ashford traveller spinning wheel but the techniques are applicable to any other self assembly item. If you do not fancy the idea of self assembly ask about the FibreHut assemby service for collected orders.

The application of a good quality wax polish to raw untreated wood is highly recommended as it will help protect the wood from finger marks and will enhance the look of your spinning wheel, weaving loom, stand, niddy noddy, lazy kate etc. Many Ashford wheels and looms come flat packed (Fig:1) and the waxing is best done before assembly as there are lots of turned wood parts with lots of nooks and crannies! Factory lacquered items do not need waxing.

Allow your pot of wax a little time to adjust to room temperature. You'll find it much easier to apply than wax just brought in from a cold garage etc. (Fig:2)

Apply the wax polish with a soft dry brush using a scrubbing and flicking motion or use a cloth if you prefer (Fig:3). Don't worry about brush marks or applying too much just aim to get an even layer of wax all over the wood. You'll find that the wood seems to suck up the wax into the wood grain.

Use a systematic process waxing one component at a time so that you don't miss anything (Fig:4). Apply the wax to the grooves and details first then fill in the remaining areas.

Finally wipe off excess wax polish. Buff to a sheen with a clean microfiber cloth (Fig5). Continue waxing and buffing one component item at a time. Apply the wax generously to all wood surfaces including end grains.

The nature of natural timber means that there will often be small marks or imperfections in the wood. These can easily be removed by rubbing down the affected area with fine sandpaper (Fig:6). Always follow the grain direction of the wood.

When you get to the main wheel you'll find that the systematic approach works well again. Start with the spindles first (Fig:7), then the hub and then the rim and finally the wheel face.

Foot treadles will get the roughest treatment so be sure to apply wax generously here (Fig8).

Once you have waxed and buffed all of the wooden components you will notice how the different cuts of timber have taken on different shades and how areas of the wood grain have been accentuated by the wax - this is entirely natural and to be expected. As time passes you can clean and re-wax your wheel as often as you like.

You are now ready to proceed to the next stage - How to make up an Ashford spinning wheel - Part 2 Assembly

Part 2 of this blog will be published soon.