Evaluating the Flyer

The flyer shown below is the flyer from the American -made Saxony wheel shown in the previous post. This is the close-up view:

This flyer is in good to excellent condition. It is not pristine. It does have some issues. If a spinner were going to be spinning on this flyer for any length of time, it should be replaced and here is the main reason:

Note the large chunk missing from the neck of the flyer. Over time, the flyer shaft will loosen and probably break loose. If the flyer spins freely around the shaft, it is useless. Many flyers show sign of functional repairs but be advised: the flyer spins at extremely high rates of speed. A flyer that breaks while spinning can produce a projectile with enough force behind it to dent standard wallboard. If you know you will be doing a great deal of spinning (more than just casually now and then), do yourself a favor and replace the flyer.

The flyer arms on this piece are sturdy and do not show signs of repair. The hooks on one side are in good repair:

However, on the other arm, they need to be replaced:

Replacing the hooks could be tricky, as a split is starting at the top of the arm.

The whorl is the wooden disk screwed onto the flyer shaft above the bobbin. DO NOT ever force the whorl to unscrew! A few drops of WD40 left to sit for a half-hour will typically loosen up a stubborn whorl. Also, they usually unscrew in the opposite direction of modern screw turns. Forcing a whorl could collapse its rims.

Not sure if this whorl was dropped or someone tried to force it in the distant past, but the one track is almost completely crumbled. This could prevent the track from holding the driveband properly. The second track is stil sturdy.

The bobbin is in excellent shape:

The flyer shaft is also in excellent shape, straight and only some minimal surface rust on the orifice.

If I were going to spin for extended periods of time on this flyer, I would have it replaced. The shaft is in excellent condition, so a new flyer could be built using the old shaft. This repair costs around $70 to $100. A new whorl is approximately $30 to $50. Many spinners like additional bobbins, and these typically cost around $30-35. To replace this flyer, a spinner  looking at an additional $125 to $150, plus the cost of any new bobbins, over the initial price of the wheel.

As such, this wheel was fairly priced at $100 in an estate sale. To bring it up to spinning condition, with replicated parts and a good cleaning, the buyer would have to invest another $200, bringing the total investment in this particular wheel up to $300.

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One Response to Evaluating the Flyer

  1. Great info on what to look for on flyers. Thanks for posting!!!

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