Make Your Own Spinning Wheel!

Getting started on any new hobby can be expensive, and spinning is no different. Do I want a wheel or a drop spindle to start with? What fiber should I use. How much processing do I want to do myself?
Well, one of the most expensive purchases would be a new wheel, but if you don’t know whether you’ll like this new hobby or not, why not make a cheap inexpensive wheel?
Here, at Rabbit Geek, Franco gives very good instructions complete with pictures (pictures are good!) for making your own wheel out of cardboard, which he calls a Charkha.

He even has a video using the wheel as well as lots of resources for making other different kinds of wheels.

Check out his info on raising bunnies too, a great site!

So, now you’ve got your wheel all set up and have spun up your first hank. Now what?
You have to knit something out of that first yarn. Here’s a cute little dishcloth pattern you can knit up in no time!

Go to DigKnitty Designs for the pattern. She’ll even custom design patterns.


  1. says

    I’ve been looking for a place to comment on building spinning wheels. I am a retired teacher who, looking for things to fill my time, happened upon “A Wool Gathering” at Youngs’ Dairy in Yellow Springs, Ohio. I was so sucked into the moment that as my wife and I left the parking lot I told her, I’m going to make a spinning wheel. Since then, I have been able to refurbish a few “Great Wheels” with both Minor’s Heads and Bat Heads but mostly Single Spindle-headed spindles. The most difficult part of making a spinning wheel is producing the actual wheel. My first endeavor from scratch was a decorative wagon wheel purchased from Harbor Freight Tools for around $15.00. The table, spindle post and legs were made from old lumber I had and chair legs from “dumpster diving”. I would find a chair thrown away because a leg was broken. I would disassemble the remainder of the chair and save the good legs, turned back spindles and seats. From this I got snagged into a lathe, which I absolutely love. Now I have redone three treadle wheels and have made “cigar box” charkhas for my four daughter’s christmas presents this year. (2008)
    One great idea I was told about was to make the drive belts for the charkhas from O-ring material. I could not find it anywhere. An old friend in the Hydraulics business told me to try Window Screen Spline. He said the composition of the spline was quite similar to the O-ring’s. I cut the spline to length with a long angle, to get more gluing area, and super glued the ends together. Voila! it worked like a charm.
    If anyone wants help with construction or ideas while building a wheel, let me know. I’ll be glad to help, if I can.

  2. Izzy says

    I was very excited to see this because I’ve been dying to find a faster way to spin. I have a top whorl drop spindle that I adore, but a wheel is out of my budget. I was just about to throw away this really sturdy box too so I plan on attempting this in the next few weeks. Thanks!

  3. Becky Jarvi says

    Hi Roy, I met your sister Dorothy last weekend at the Air Force reunion she attended. I’m a drop-spinner and knitter. We were at
    a table with a fellow who knits socks on an antique sock machine he inherited from his aunt. Funny, the conversations you can get into at a banquet.

    I have purchased two spinning wheels for grand daughters. I bought them from Arlene Grahm. You may know her and her shop, Fiberworks from the Wool Gatherings. I wonder if she knows you repair wheels? I’m hoping to get to the gathering on Saturday.

  4. Terri Silva says

    Hi Roy, I would like to take you up on your offer of help. I want to build a spinning wheel and need a set of plans and how to instructions. Can you tell me where to find this. I have been using a drop spindle and I can’t afford to buy a spinning wheel. Any help would be appreciated. Could you email me the informaton? Thank you, Terri

  5. linda osienski says

    I would love to create my own spinning wheel. I’ve bike wheels and even the peddle, wheel, and table part to an old sewing machine that spins pretty smooth…I would love some ideas… because I’m not sure how a real spinning wheel works…
    thank you from,

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