Monday, 25 March 2013

Pumps and Tensioned Lazy Kates

Re-installing pump in creek
Our creek is flowing, but has not reached flood level this Wet Season. Since there is less chance at this point of our pump being swept away in a flood, Jerry placed it back in the creek and has begun the slow process of refilling water tanks while the creek continues to flow.

I'm ready to make another 3 ply cotton yarn and want to describe my lazy kate set up for the process.

Ashford lazy kate modified to have three bobbins under tension
My Ashford lazy kate holds three bobbins in vertical alignment. When I got this lazy kate, it did not have a way to tension the bobbins. In those early days of learning to spin and ply with a wheel, sometimes in the plying process, I would pause, but the untensioned bobbins would continue to unwind into tangles – and that's not good.

Anchor points for bobbin tension lines
To create bobbin tension, I modified my lazy kate by adding two small nails at the front and back of the bottom of the stand. I fastened a rubber band to smooth cotton thread, hooked the rubber band on one of the little nails at the bottom of the lazy kate, ran it over the groove of the bobbin and fastened it to another little nail at the front of the lazy kate. Sometimes I add a knot to the rubber band to shorten it. Very little tension is required. These “tension accessories” are very easy to lose, but simple to replace.

Another modification had already been made to the lazy kate when I purchased it secondhand in the early '80s. Someone had weighted the lazy kate to prevent it from falling over when in use. They screwed a plate of scrap iron onto the base of the kate. Believe me, it does not fall over. However, if you look closely, you can see the screws aren't seated flush. So, the kate rocks. Someday I may replace those screws. In the meantime I add a folded paper wedge under one corner (seen in earlier photo) to subdue the rocking. My philosophy: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Or as we say in Australia: She'll be right, mate....

Post and photos by M in JaM

1 comment:

katiegirl said...

Great idea for adding tension to the lazy kate! I just started spinning and was having trouble plying because of the bobbins spinning too easily!