Flax Wheel

This is a family heirloom, a spinning wheel made for spinning flax.
Our client inherited the wheel and wanted the small piece broken repaired.
It is unlikely that it will be used again, but it has to be strong enough
for someone to move it and not snap it.

Disassembled the part to be repaired.

Simple, straight forward repair, FAILED.

People don’t talk about their failures often, but they should.
We learn from our failures.  In this case, while we knew that there might be a need for a thin insert, the utter inability of the normal repair to hold at all surprised us.
Options like drilling and pinning were not available due to the
fragility of the piece and the size of the small part needing repair.

We decided to create a prosthetic.  We wanted it to be as thin as possible
while still able to guarantee the repair would not fail.

Our prosthetic was designed, and a template taken of the inside curve of the piece.
The wood was bent to fit the inside of the piece.
The inside was lightly sanded to allow for adhesion.
Old Brown Glue, with no additives, is reversible, and this was applied to both sides of the repaired area.  Four hands held it while it was clamped to cure.

Sadly, our finish images were lost (glitch),
but the piece was finished to match the historic finish.

Broken piece before, and after treatment.

Flax wheels are not often seen; we offer our images of the flax wheel, before and after.
iPhone destroyed several days of images in their update.

Written by Kate Powell  ©MPF Conservation.
May be printed for your own use ONLY, not for use on blogs without permission.

About MPFConservation

We are a conservation and restoration firm located in the Pacific Northwest, specializing in objects: furniture, but also other objects; wood, stone or metal furniture or objects; lacquered and painted furniture or objects; traditional finishes on furniture or objects; quilts, beaded objects, and some textile reparation and interior architectural elements, such as leather or upholstered walls. When you think about conservation, equate it to restoring the furniture or object the best way possible for the history, life and value of the object. We are fully qualified to perform museum-tectbook treatments, but also flexible enough to work with private clients to allow for daily use of objects. We work West of the Rockies from Canada to Mexico, and once in a while venture beyond the West for specific treatments. Kate and Mitchell Powell are partners in work and in life; we each have our specialties in work and in our marriage. Mitchell is the cat charmer in both! To see our work visit our official website: http://www.mpfconservation.com
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2 Responses to Flax Wheel

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Nice work. Especially considering the circumstances.

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