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Spindle steady design (Read 288 times)
 
Louie Powell
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Spindle steady design
Jun 26th, 2017 at 8:44am
 
I posted a question last night about knitting needles that triggered me to look into the various commercially-available spindle steadies.  The challenge with knitting needles is that they are very thin, and every steady has a specified minimum spindle diameter.

The figure illustrates the principle - when the three wheels are at their closest point, the space between the wheels defines the minimum spindle diameter that the spindle can hold (the red circle).  With three wheels, equally spaced (120 degrees apart), the relationship between that minimum spindle diameter (d) and the diameter of the wheel (D) is
     d = 0.1547 D
(and who said that high-school trigonometry had no practical use?  This is a direct consequence of the 'law of sines'.)

By the way, this assumes that the three wheels are in a plane.  It is theoretically possible to construct a steady where the three wheels are not lined up with each other, but that would require that the steady be wider when seen from the point of view of the turner, and the non-planar arrangement of wheels might be less effective in steadying the spindle.

The larger commercial steadies use skateboard wheels and typically are specified to hold spindles 1/2" and larger.  There are a few steadies (Grizzley, Wood River and CSUSA Apprentice) that use naked bearings as wheels and that are specified to hold spindles  as small as 1/4"; these are marginal possibilities for larger size knitting needles, but they clearly won't hold the really thin sizes.

So it seems that the only solution for a knitting needle turner is a DIY steady using very small wheels, or a string steady. 
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« Last Edit: Jun 26th, 2017 at 9:07am by Louie Powell »  

Louie
 
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David Moeller
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Re: Spindle steady design
Reply #1 - Jun 26th, 2017 at 9:39am
 
I hope this doesn't offend too many 'chisel purists' but medium grit sandpaper and the right speed can do wonders in situations like this. Light counter-pressure on the opposite side.
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Jeff Vanden Boogart
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Re: Spindle steady design
Reply #2 - Jun 26th, 2017 at 11:58am
 
Louie, how about something like this!  Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register
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Louie Powell
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Re: Spindle steady design
Reply #3 - Jun 26th, 2017 at 12:25pm
 
Jeff - that's a bit long for a knitting needle.  Seriously, the steady might work except that the size needles my wife wants are so thin that there's little wood left to remove the burn marks left by the steady.

David - you are right - alternate tools are also part of the answer.  In the first post, I mentioned that I found a couple of YouTube videos on knitting needle turning in which the turner resorted to what looked like a machinist's file to finish turn the needle.  I tried that - it produced a good surface, fairly smooth and with uniform thickness along the length of the needle (due to the width of the file), but it was slow - faster than sandpaper (which I also tried) - but still quite slow.
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Louie
 
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Spindle steady design
Reply #4 - Jun 26th, 2017 at 12:58pm
 
This might make it go faster!!: Shocked

...tho you might have a bit more smoothing to do. Grin Grin


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Glenn Jacobs
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Re: Spindle steady design
Reply #5 - Jun 26th, 2017 at 3:05pm
 
How about using only 2 of the wheels?

Glenn J.
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Arlin Eastman
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Re: Spindle steady design
Reply #6 - Jun 26th, 2017 at 7:38pm
 
Louie

The French use a string steady rest

Gord makes it way different then the French but it does work

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