Here I am, in Las Vegas.
But still daydreaming about the spinning wheel project. 🙂
I’ve been looking at a lot of photos, especially of New Zealand wheels, and I’m really amazed at the creative approaches that various wheelsmiths have taken towards tensioning the driveband.
This is really one of the design elements that could make building a wheel fairly woodworking-intensive. Tensioning assemblies that slide up and down with one or more wooden screws are pretty typical for the traditional Swiss/Austrian lateral treadle wheels.
But I’ve decided that I don’t necessarily want to go traditional.
What I want to do is design a wheel that is fairly easy to build, sturdy, attractive, and very functional.
And I think that the garden-variety bicycle has a lot to offer.
Here are the first pieces of the puzzle:
26 inch bicycle wheel and an old set of handlebars.
Can you see it?
It’s like on of those “magic eye” things.
You have to sit and look at it for a while, then it all comes clear.
Hint: Rotating, not elevating.
I’m thinking that handlebars, acting as the mother-of-all (reshaped a little, perhaps made adjustable in width, to accommodate different fliers), mounted atop the frame of the wheel, could rotate on it’s “neck” (or whatever that piece is called) to tension the driveband.
It is a little big. Maybe I need smaller handlebars. But the shape is right.
We’ll see 🙂