Designing our Wool Picker

Designing our Wool Picker

One of the products that we have wanted to offer is a personal wool picker.  Something strong and functional for the fiber artist that is also easy to store and use.  We envision the spinner or weaver that processes a few fleeces a year.  And best of all, we want it to be extremely reasonable in price!  We feel that many fiber tools are just too expensive for what they are.  It makes the craft difficult for people to get into because of the investment of the tools that make it easy and enjoyable.

That being said, the picker is a rather complicated beast!  It involves a good deal of cabinetry skills, clamps, lots of holes drilled and nails placed at angles.  Maggie and Mom spent an afternoon with a set of basic plans and began to try and build one to specs…  not much alteration.  We wanted to see how one goes together and how it works when finished so that we could put our Windhaven spin on the thing!

One thing that we did notice right off the top is that this design is a little too short.  We would like to see the ends extend out more, to give you a longer stroke of the top piece and pull the wool over the points.  That’s easy enough to do when we get to production.

We found there is a bit too many pieces to cut and clamp…  we can make it a lot easier and more sound by using a router for the track and such.  The instructions we were following were clearly for a very minimal workshop without a lot of nifty tools!   That’s fine, but we want to make something that will be in your family for years and years if you wish!  And we want to be able to make it in a way that doesn’t take hours and hours!

 

We love making things!  And making them better!  Maggie really has an eye for how to craft things in wood!   Not sure where she got it, but she sure understands it all.  It’s remarkable to watch her make and figure things out.  Mom Sherri is the weaver and a class A tinker designer as well, so these two get together and some neat things happen!   It’s how most of our looms and tools have been developed!

Looking good!  Everything works, the tines line up pretty good and we are happy with the router edge and how it is functioning.  Still need to finish sand and wax it up and apply a handle.  But so far, so good!

Now, it’s into the studio to start working and get tested.  We already have a few things we’d like to change and we will!   But we thought we would share with you how we do things around here.  We decide to make something and research it.  Then we make a few prototypes and test them.  Sometimes we test for weeks and months!   We want to make sure it’s ready for production and our customers!   It’s very important to us.  We will release no tool before it’s time.

We’ll be sure to let everyone know when it is finally ready!

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