Jillian’s Spinning: Spinning Wheel Spa – Schacht Matchless

By far my favorite spinning tools are my wheels. Every so often, probably not often enough, I give them a mini spa treatment. I oil, condition their wood and change their drive bands. Just a little spiff up.

What usually happen while I’m doing this is that I think about how the wheel came to me and all of the classes and adventures we’ve been on together.

It has been past time for me to show my Matchless a little love. Here she is, I’ve had her for at least 20 years.

Schacht Matchless

I bought her at Lambspun in Fort Collins, Colorado when I worked at Interweave Press. I barely knew how to spin, but as soon as I saw her I was in love. I haven’t used her much for the past year or so, even though she’s the wheel I can adjust with my eyes closed, I’m so familiar with her.

She has aged beautifully. When she was new she was closer in color to my Lendrum.

Side by side with my Lendrum
Side by side with my Lendrum

She was a little dusty

schacht dust-1
Dusty treadles

This is the wheel I really learned to spin on thanks to Maggie Casey. It’s also the wheel I stuck in the basement for many years becasue  I was obsessed with knitting. She was patiently waiting when I decided I needed to spin.

Here’s my mini spa kit:

mini spa-1
Mini spa kit

I like Wood Beams to condition the wood, it soaks in fast and has almost no smell. I use chalk line for my drive band replacement. It was recommended by Beth Smith as a good basic drive band for my Schacht. She does say that I ‘ll have to tighten it every few bobbins since it’s polyester and will stretch. I actually consult the wheel’s manual before I oil. Almost all of my wheels have their manuals on-line. During my mini spa I take my WooLee Winder apart and clean it according to the manual. There’s usually a lot of fluff stuck inside. I like a WooLee Winder, not everyone does. I use it most of the time on my Matchless, but not all of the time. I check my wheel for loose bits. Carrying my wheel around in my car, vibrates screws loose. I treadle the wheel by hand and attend to any weird sighs and squeaks. Then I am done.

after schacht
My girl after her spa

She looks happy, doesn’t she? Now it’s time to spin!

How do you take care of your wheels?





(542 Posts)

Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com

2 thoughts on “Jillian’s Spinning: Spinning Wheel Spa – Schacht Matchless

  1. Renee Anne

    I need to take better care of my wheel…but I use him so infrequently. I know he’s dusty and I should take care of that but I’m not sure he’s ready to be oiled yet. No squeaks or rattles…mostly, he’s just dusty.

  2. Mandyz

    Wheels look so much happier after their wood is oiled. I recently bought my first (second/third/?-hand) wheel (Ashford Traditional) and it needed a good wood oiling as well as joint oilings. It doesn’t help that our winters are very dry (and previous owner evidently gave her no spa lovin’). I didn’t like the colour at first and was planning on some decorative painting, but after a good wood oiling she gleams beautifully.

Comments are closed.