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

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.


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: 11/26/2012, Ragtimelil
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

Spindle Speak

Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login
Ragtimelil on 09/20/2016

Katheryn, I found my dowel and wood strips at a place like Home Depot. It was super easy to make.

Kathryn Fay on 09/20/2016

Hi Julie I to would like to make one where did you go to buy everything you need. Was it hard to make it . Is it a good size to start with thank you

Ragtimelil on 09/01/2016

That's it! You got it!

Julie on 09/01/2016

Thank you, I made one and it works a treat. Where i wittled a point on the end and sanded slightly that was the end i could slide the pieces on and anchor it further with the lead yarn, i put a cup hook at the other end and this helps as i am a begginner spinner

Ragtimelil on 05/08/2016

I made the holes in the slats close enough to the size of the shaft so that it's a pretty tight fit Also when I wind on the yarn in the beginning, it secures it to the shaft.

Lori on 05/07/2016

How do you keep the slats from falling off the lower end of the shaft? The ones I've seen are thinner at the top and the width at the bottom keeps the slats from falling down.

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


galy56 on 11/25/2013

bellissimo! proverò a costruirlo!

You might also like

What is a Niddy Noddy and Why Would You Want to Make One?

If you spin your own yarn, you need some way to put it in a skein. You can wi...

Detailed Clover Pom Pom Maker Instructions

Step by step how to photo tutorial for making yarn and wool pom poms with a p...

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...