How to Make a Simple Turkish Style Drop Spindle

by Ragtimelil

I discovered that a Turkish style drop spindle doesn't need to be fancy to benefit from the unique design. Here's a simple way to make one at home.

For years I resisted investigating the Turkish or X style drop spindle. My spindles worked fine. I saw no need to have any more. Then one day I read up on why they are so popular and was amazed. It wasn't what I thought at all.
I discovered that the spindle comes apart, leaving you with a center pull ball.You don't have to unwind the yarn off the spindle. Not only is that great by itself, but you can take each end of the ball and ply right from the ball.

Turkish Spindle
Turkish Spindle
Pschemp

The X Style Spindle

Once I learned how the X style spindle worked, I had to have one. I can do simple wood working projects, but the curved wood on the fancy Turkish spindles were too much for me. Then I ran across a picture of one that had straight arms.That I could do!

My first experiment turned out great. My spindle is pretty plain. I guess I could fancy it up a bit, but it works so well it is my spindle of choice.

It really is simple to make.You will need:

a dowel  

Mine is a half-inch dowel about 11 inches long.

wooden slats

mine are 5 x 1 1/4 x 3/8

small cup hook

parts for an X drop spindle

Assemble Your Spindle

Sand all the parts smooth. I sand one end of my shaft (dowel) to a blunt point in case I want to let it spin on the floor. It can also work as a support spindle.

Drill a tiny hole into the other end of the shaft to accommodate your cup hook. Carefully screw the cup hook in. It's easy to split the shaft here although you can glue it back together.

Now drill larger holes in the slats to accommodate the shaft. You want them to slide on but not be so loose that they flop around. The yarn will help hold them on.

X drop spindle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your X Drop Spindle is done!

Start Spinning

leader on drop spindle

I told you it was easy. Now, to spin on it, start with a leader tied just below the slats. It's a good idea to use a different color than the yarn you are spinning. That makes it easy to find the end once you pull your ball off the shaft.

Use a long enough leader to tie on, wrap around the slats once and bring up to the cup hook.

 

Winding On

Hook your leader yarn in the cup hook and attach your wool and start spinning. If you haven't spun with a drop spindle before, here are some basics.

Notes for beginners: wrap your leader yarn once or twice around the cup hook to keep it from sliding off. Spread the tail of the leader yarn and lay a bit of the unspun wool on top. Fold them over and hold the join. Put some spin on the leader, either by suspending the spindle, or by rolling it on your thigh. When you have enough spin, you can gently slide the fingers holding the join up toward the unspun wool. The wool will start to spin. Repeat until you are ready to wind on.

The video shows another way of starting your yarn. You might even like that better.

 

Winding On

Winding on a X drop spindle

I spent a lot of time searching for the correct way to wind on when I first started. I never did find instructions so I just winged it. It seemed like it didn't really matter. I mostly wind on by going over two slats on the top diagonally and then under one slat.

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The Center-Pull Ball

When you are ready to take your yarn off the spindle, simply pull the shaft out, then slide out the slats. You are left with a center pull ball. If you used a leader of a different color, it will be easy to see the end that is coming from the center. You can use it as is, or ply it with the end that is on the outside. Be sure to put your thumb through the center hole so that it won't tangle.

Dismantling a turkish spindle

 

Next turkish spindle

 

ball of yarn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Spinning!

Updated: on 11/26/2012, Ragtimelil
 
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Ragtimelil on 04/27/2014

Mine is heavier than my other spindles, but I think that accounts for its spinning so long. Glad you like it and let me know how the lighter one works.

Lacey on 04/27/2014

Awesome! Made this last night. It's a bit heavier than I anticipated, but it really does spin quite well. I think I'll try another one out of bass wood to see if I can make it a little lighter

Ragtimelil on 11/25/2013

Grazie!

galy56 on 11/25/2013

bellissimo! proverò a costruirlo!

Ragtimelil on 11/26/2012

I love my spindle. It spins longer than the one I bought!

2uesday on 11/26/2012

I really like the way that this looks simple to make, but does the job efficiently.



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