Spinning Wheel Repair – Footman to Treadle

When I gave you my update on the March Resolutions, I told you all my spinning wheel had broken and that I would attempt to repair it. The piece of leather holding the footman to the treadle had snapped, and I couldn’t actually drive the wheel anymore.

I’m pleased to say I have successfully managed to do the spinning wheel repair, and my spinning wheel is operational again! My replacement leather is probably weaker than it ought to be – luckily, I have spares in case I have to do this again.

Spinning Wheel Repair – how?

I bought the leather from a shoe repair shop – they gave me the leather in return for a donation to the charity box, so it was ‘free’, but I put £1 in the box. I probably would have saved money if I’d bought some from a fabric shop, but I was hoping I’d get better strength leather.

First, I had to remove the snapped leather from the connectors to the footman and treadle – this was really simple. I had to unscrew the connecting screws and pull the old leather out. It was pretty stuck, obviously a mark of how old it was…but it came out OK with a bit of manipulation.

Collapsed treadle, with leather removed.
Collapsed treadle, with leather removed.
The snapped leather, worn out and old.
The snapped leather, worn out and old.

My repair leather was very thin, hopefully shown in the photo despite the poor quality. I decided to double it up to hopefully make it thick enough, and hence stronger. I was going to glue the two halves together, but I decided that might affect the flexibility, and didn’t do it. I can always do this at a later stage.

Comparison of thickness.
Comparison of thickness.

To make screwing the replacement leather in, I punched holes in the leather where the screws would go. I got the placement directly from the broken piece. I don’t know what piece of equipment I used to punch the holes! I had it in my papercraft box, and I’ve had it for years to punch odd holes when a hole-punch won’t do. Anyone know?

Holes punched into leather (don't forget it will be folded in half)
Holes punched into leather (don’t forget it will be folded in half)

I stuck the leather in, screwed it securely in place, and voila! It was a bit hard lining the holes up with the screws, but that was the worst part to be honest.

Spinning Wheel Repair complete.
Spinning Wheel Repair complete.

The leather is known as a con-rod connector in Ashford terms – replacements from one website I’ve found would cost £1.70 for a plastic one, and £2.15 for the leather, and I’d have to pay for post and packaging. I didn’t do this search before I got the repair scraps, and I’m glad I didn’t think of it, because my solution was cheaper by a good few pounds.

Has anybody had to do anything like this before?

Much love,

Corrie xx

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3 Responses to Spinning Wheel Repair – Footman to Treadle

  1. Anni Cameron says:

    my footman is connected by a bit of shock cord….. it works fine although it was a temp repair “until I could get the proper stuff” 2 years ago. Leather would have been better but I didn’t have any and we don’t have a shoe repair shop locally!

  2. Cheryl says:

    Mine’s attached with shock cord too. The leather looks better and I’m sure works better too. I’ve got some leather lurking in my stash. I might give it a go.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I’ve enjoyed looking around your lovely blog. Always fab to find people interested in the same crafts!

  3. You are clever, I think you did a good job!

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