Another Raveler recently purchased a very similar wheel and has asked me to post photos in her thread here: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/antique-spinning-wheels/2646719/1-25 . If you're at all interested in these wheels, you should go on over and have a look at Tropical-Twister's wheel - it's a beauty!
I wasn't all that happy with the photos I already had, so I took a few minutes to take new ones. I think I got a little carried away... Rather than adding more photos than anyone cares about on Rav, I thought I'd blog them here and post just a couple of photos and a link there.
So this is how she looks - just as I got her. Except I gave her a good cleaning and coating of paste wax. Please ignore the dust that has gathered since then...
Her vital statistics:
Height: a scant 2' tall
Diameter of base: 7 1/2"
Diameter of wheel: 9"
Diameter of squirrel cage : 3"
Length of squirrel cage: 3"
Spindle on whorl side: 3 1/4" (not including width of the whorl)
Spindle on cage side: 3 1/8"
Length of long slat: 13 1/2"
Length of short slat: 9"
Adjustable span of slats: 14 1/2" to 21"
Weight: Shame on you! You should never ask a lady her weight.
I don't think that the squirrel cage belongs on the spindle at the top. There are two cages, and their holes are exactly the same size as the holes in the wood slats.
The way the cage is attached just doesn't seem right. One end of the cage rests against a bit of dome-shaped wood. There's nothing to protect either side from friction. The other end of the cage has a plug in it -- at first I thought it was a piece of rubber, but when I took it apart today I realized it's an unfinished piece of wood carved to fit between the spindle and the cage. The thing that seems most wrong is that the cage was secured to the spindle by an aluminum (I think) cotter pin.
The very end of the spindle on the whorl side of looks a little shinier than the rest of the metal. Is it possible this was a sharp, functional spindle that was ground down? What other reason would there even be a spindle sticking out beyond the whorl on this side?
The whorl is somehow secured to the metal on the spindle and there is a small but definite gap between the whorl and the dome-shaped wood on this side.
Looking at the short column that holds the crank, you can see that there is a slight indentation where the crank has been hitting the column. I think this has to do with the way the two columns are attached to the base -- the crank currently is well clear of the column.
But there's an even larger indentation below that -- as if there had previously been a different crank, or something else wearing away at the wood.
The wood on the handle doesn't seem to match the rest of the pieces.
The wood where the crank is attached to the pillar also looks like it's been damaged and possible bored out at some point. And if you look at the end of the metal holding the crank in place, you see that there's the end of a screw sticking out. The top of the crank itself is made of two pieces - I wonder why?
The two slats fit through this slit in the central column. They can be adjusted from 14.5" to 21" hole to hole.
There are some obvious dings and wear marks. Most visible is this crack in the central column. But despite some damage, I think she's still very pretty.
Except for this ding, the wheel itself is in remarkably good condition. Notice that the wheel has an inset metal rim.
Then we get to the problems. The two columns are held in place by these odd chunks of wood. For such an elegant looking wheel, it looks like someone picked up random bits of leftover wood - perhaps to replace more elegant original pieces that had broken? The wood anchoring the central column tends to get loose and then the column wobbles. Which I think may have been the cause of the damage mentioned above.
The hole visible between the two pieces of wood is also bored to match the threads on the column pieces. Wonder why? On the opposite side of the base, there's just a wood plug covering the hole. Was the person who made this having a bad day and drilled in the wrong spot? Or was there something else here? Or is this central hole an artifact of the milling process?
This leg looks like it was re-glued, but it's askew and has been rotated so the flat spot is not aligned correctly. Perhaps because there is some damage to the base. One of these days I'd like to get this fixed if it won't be too costly.