After many months of chatting with internet friends and doing homework about spinning wheels, I made my choice. Last week I ordered a Kromski Minstrel from Copper Moose in Vermont. Several days ago a package arrived that contained a bobbin and some nice fleece. The wheel would arrive from North Carolina. Yesterday the UPS man arrived with a big box. It's here..."some assembly required"!!! The Kromski's said that it should take only an hour.
So this morning I opened the box and laid out all the pieces so I could look at them and determine what they were. Being new at this, I don't have the correct vocabulary fully memorized. The package contained (so the directions stated) wheel pegs, tension screw, support rod, footman, brake band, treadles, bobbin kate and lots of other parts. Now they were kind enough to supply written directions, as well as a video. The problem arose later when they contradicted each other. They were also assuming that I had some knowledge of what I was doing. Never assume!!!
I started with step one and assembled the legs on the wheel frame unit. This has to be done while the unit is upside down. I thought it went well until I flipped it back over and...crap...I was supposed to attach the treadles. So I undid step 1 and started over. I flipped the wheel frame over, and used one hand to support it while also holding the leg in the hole and pounding it with a rubber mallet. At the same time I was inserting the (floppy) treadles and supporting rod into the leg posts. They didn't tell me I needed 5 hands for this step!!! I got the legs and treadles on correctly, and proceeded to attach the wheel, and the footmen that go vertically behind the treadles. Not a problem. I ran some parrifin wax on the leather parts so they wouldn't squeak.
The package came with three long strings, and I assumed that one of them was the drive band...but which one? And how do you put it on? I assumed you would have to knot the end to form the circle...but where? I set them aside to figure out later.
Then I began setting up the "Mother of All". There is a reason why they call it that. I caught myself saying "Mother #&*$#*!!!" several times, although usually I refrain from swearing. All parts in this area must be placed in the correct direction or you have to re-do the process. I was able to complete it without breaking anything. I went on the internet and found clear pictures of drive bands on wheels. I set them up and they seem good.
I finally completed all the steps and tried the treadles. They worked smoothly and soundlessly. I oiled it where the directions told me I should. I had learned that the seat should be about 19" tall, and found the perfect antique claw & ball seat that I had gotten at auction a few years ago. I am signed up for the "Intensive Spinning" class at Halcyon Yarns in Bath beginning Friday. I am looking forward to proudly taking my new wheel and learning all about the proper way to spin. Life is Good!!!! Now I have to wash dishes, do laundry and all the other little daily chores that we all must do before we can play with our new toys and wool.