How to make a wool drum carder

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Carding wool is the process of opening and aligning wool fibres in preparation for spinning. Drum carders can help card larger quantities of wool and can greatly speed up the process compared to using hand carders. They work well for blending and mixing different types of wool.

Carding wool is the process of opening and aligning wool fibres in preparation for spinning.

Drum carders can help card larger quantities of wool and can greatly speed up the process compared to using hand carders.

They work well for blending and mixing different types of wool. Making your own drum carder can save money over purchased carders. Materials are available at most hardware or home improvement centres.

Measure and cut two 22.5 cm (9 inch) diameter wooden disks from 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) plywood with a saw. Sand the edges of the disks smooth with sandpaper. Use a spade bit in the drill to make a 2.1 cm (7/8 inch) hole in the centre of each disk. Sand the inside of the hole smooth.

  • Carding wool is the process of opening and aligning wool fibres in preparation for spinning.
  • Use a spade bit in the drill to make a 2.1 cm (7/8 inch) hole in the centre of each disk.

Cut the wooden slats to 22.5 cm (9 inch) lengths. Smooth the ends if necessary. Nail the slats to the wooden circles with the brads, spacing them evenly around the circles.

Trim one short end of the carding cloth close to the wires with scissors, a knife or razor blade. Remove the selvedge edge. Align this cut edge along the centre of one of the slats. Staple the selvedge edges of the carding cloth to the slats at either end of the drum using a staple gun. Place one staple at the top and bottom of each slat and avoid hitting the brads attaching the slats.

  • Cut the wooden slats to 22.5 cm (9 inch) lengths.
  • Nail the slats to the wooden circles with the brads, spacing them evenly around the circles.

Line up the remaining edge of the carding cloth with the previously cut edge. Use a knife, scissors or razor blade to cut the edge of the carding cloth evenly. It should go up against the edge of the cloth already stapled down. Staple the seam where the edges meet by stapling across the two pieces of carding cloth. Place a staple about every 1.8 cm (3/4 inch) and keep the edges aligned and smooth.

Mount one curtain hardware bracket to one end of the 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide pine board, approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the short edge. Pay attention at this point to which way the wires on the carding cloth are facing. They only work properly when facing in one direction. Determine which way you wish the drum to turn and with which hand you will turn the drum.

  • Line up the remaining edge of the carding cloth with the previously cut edge.
  • Pay attention at this point to which way the wires on the carding cloth are facing.

Drill a hole for the handle through one end of the 1.8 cm (3/4 inch) axle dowel with a 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) spade bit approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the end of the axle dowel. Clamp the dowel in a vice.

Slide the 1.8 cm (3/4 inch) axle dowel through the centre of the drum with the hole drilled for the handle on the opposite end of the drum from where the curtain hardware is attached to the pine board. Slide a 2.5 cm (1 inch) wooden ring on the end of the axle and slide the axle dowel through the curtain hardware bracket. Add a wooden curtain rod finishing cap or wooden drawer pull on the end of the axle dowel to hold it in place.

Slide the other 2.5 cm (1 inch) wooden ring on the opposite end of the axle dowel. Slide the curtain mounting hardware on the axle and adjust where the hardware will attach to the pine board. The drum needs to turn freely between the mounting hardware without sliding back and forth. Attach the second curtain bracket hardware to the pine board.

  • Drill a hole for the handle through one end of the 1.8 cm (3/4 inch) axle dowel with a 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) spade bit approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch) from the end of the axle dowel.
  • Slide a 2.5 cm (1 inch) wooden ring on the end of the axle and slide the axle dowel through the curtain hardware bracket.

Insert the smaller dowel through the hole in the larger axle dowel to create a handle. If the handle dowel does not fit securely, use a bit of wood glue in the hole to secure the dowel. If desired, attach decorative brass tacks to the ends of the handle and axle.

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