Spinning Wheel Plans

This project began too long ago and I did promise to take photo’s and add plans at some point.

These are not step by step plans, but should give you a basic idea.

Materials I used:

One sheet 12mm ply at least as wide as your great wheel. ( 21″ diameter )

One strip of Aluminium no less than 1mm gauge for stiffness  (30mm wide)

One piece of dowel (18mm diameter)

Two lengths of steel tube, one must fit inside the other.

Length of Steel rod

Wood for the frame.  at least a length of 40mm x 70mm

One old bicycle pedal, (bearing intact and working well)

Nylon cord, a long threaded bolt and some nuts to fit it.

screws, nails and some sort of resin glue.

One spinning wheel drive band, cut and melt type

The first job is to make the flyer.


For this you will need to cut a circle of ply.  This one is 80mm, the diameter of my largest hole cutter.  In the centre you will need to enlarge the hole to 18mm.  Cut a groove in the edge to take the drive band.

Next take a length of dowel 30mm and drill a hole through to make a wooden tube.  Sand this internally  very well, your yarn will run through here and must not snag.

Now take a two pieces of ply 30mm by 110mm and laminate them together.  Once dry find the centre of one now 60mm edge and drill a quarter of the way through.  Drill through from one wider side to meet this hole, take care not to drill through.  Sand these holes well and enlarge the opening in the wider side.  Directly opposite this first hole in the 60mm edge drill another hole wide enough to take your steel rod. and two similar holes one at each side of the same edge to take the arms of the flyer.

Cut three pieces of steel rod two about 150mm and one about 200mm.  Insert the longer into the centre and the other at the side.  You will now need to glue all the bits together as the picture above.


Now make the bobbins.  You will need three for ease of use.  The bobbin’s are two circles of ply 60mm in diameter and a length of dowel between them with a hole drilled through the centre to make a wooden tube.  cut a groove in one edge of one of the circles of ply, this will take the scotch brake cord.  Glue the three parts together taking care to glue them centrally.

Treadle side of Wheel
Treadle side of Wheel

The great wheel is a sheet of ply cut to a circle.  Measure out your circle with a pencil and string and cut it carefully. (21″ diameter) Cut a groove in the edge to take the drive band.  The centre hole will need to be enlarged to take the old bike pedal. Remove most of the pedal down to the bearing housing. Insert the threaded end into the hole and glue, ensuring it turns exactly perpendicular to the wheel.  Cut another hole 70mm from the centre, wide enough to take a length of your thin steel tube.  Cut a 55mm length of tube and drill a small hole through one end to take a nail.  Glue the other end into the great wheel, the opposite side from the pedal.  make sure it doesn’t go through too much and that it also is perpendicular to the wheel.

Footplate and crank
Footplate and crank

Crank arm and foot plate. The foot plate is cut to the shape of a foot for nothing more than amusement.  This one is 300mm long by 100mm at it’s widest.  Drill a hole to take a screw into one short edge and cut a groove at the other end , about  50mm in.  Glue a length of the wider steel tube along the groove.  Cut a length of the thinner steel tube to clear the edges of the treadle plate by about 30mm.  The arm is 260mm by 25mm, again, ply.  Cut a hole to easily take the thinner steel tube in one end and screw an eye into the other end.  Put a wide headed screw through the eye and screw into the hole prepared in the treadle plate.

These are the main parts of the spinning wheel.   You now have to assemble them and build a frame to take them.  I used bits of scrap wood for the frame, it really doesn’t matter, as long as it is sturdy.  Unless of course you want it to look good as well, I just wanted it to work!

The flyer and bobin are attached using the aluminium strip.  I used metal as it needed to give a little as the wheel moved.

The scotch brake is simply a nylon cord around the bobbin wheel with the groove.  cut a groove in the aluminium strip to attach one end, then drill a hole directly below the bobbin end and thread the nylon through.  Attach some weights to this to brake the bobbin, this allows the flyer to wind or spin as necessary.


It works well!

from fleece to socks


5 responses to “Spinning Wheel Plans”

  1. […] Plans for the spinning wheel are now here. […]

  2. bert wright Avatar
    bert wright

    looks interesting – I shall have a try at the wheel for my daughter

    1. admin Avatar

      You need to really work on the brake to get the tension correct as if it changes during spinning the wool will not spin consistently. A better method is to use a spring. Good Luck!

  3. Helen Pearson Avatar
    Helen Pearson

    Hi, I came across your blog whilst looking for spinning wheel plans as I have challenged my Dad to make me a spinning wheel. It looks like there should be a link to your plans but I cannot get anything to work. Are the plans still available please and if so, how do I go about getting a copy? Thank you, Helen.

    1. admin Avatar

      This page holds the only plans there, as the post suggests they are not step by step plans, but with a reasonable amount of DIY skill, it should be possible to follow my basic instructions. I’ll be happy to give any help.

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