Monday, August 28, 2023

Comparing the two brake band springs for the Electric Eel Wheel 6

I thought it might be useful to owners of the Electric Eel Wheel 6 to write a little bit about the two different brake band springs that are provided with the e-spinner.

The EEW6 comes fitted with a medium gauge spring (pictured right), but you will also find a finer, lighter gauge spring in the accessories and spares pack.

Vampy mentions it at this point of her EEW6 FAQ video, and in her video on spinning core-spun yarn on the Electric Eel Wheel 6.  However, the differing springs are not mentioned in the manual or listed on the website so it’s possible that some Electric Eel Wheel 6 owners might not be aware that the two springs that are provided with the EEW6 are actually different?

The heavier spring is ideal for spinning all of the bulkier yarns pictured above, as well as the moderately sized singles that most spinners begin with.  If you turn up the brake tension, the heavier gauge spring will pull the yarn firmly onto the bobbin.  (It's been a long time since I've spun on a treadle wheel but I also imagine that the pull of the heavier spring more closely replicates the feel of a traditional spinning wheel.  Please correct me if I'm wrong...)  It is possible to get a light pull to spin fine yarns with the heavier gauge spring but it’s more difficult to find that sweet spot.

After spinning 3 bobbins of very fine singles, and intermittently struggling to find the perfect level of super-light tension that I like to spin with, I decided to change out the spring for the finer one in the EEW6’s spares pack.  

Gosh, it made such a difference!  It didn’t feel like the yarn was being pulled out of my hand on start-up, and when I did need to increase the tension, it was so much easier to find the super-light tension that I like to spin with.  With the heavier gauge spring I was having to turn the tension knob just a fraction of a millimetre to find the light tension I prefer, but the lighter spring gave me a much wider range at the lower end for fine yarns.

Removing the spring from the Electric Eel Wheel 6 is pretty simple.  You just push it down so that the bottom of the spring is as far down as it will go, and then you slide it horizontally away from the body of the EEW6. To allow the spring to exit the slot easily, it definitely helps to push the spring loop from behind with your finger while keeping the spring straight to stop it from twisting.

Here’s a solution I came up with to make swapping springs easier… it’s easy enough to remove the spring from the Electric Eel Wheel 6 but not so simple to keep detaching and re-attaching the brake band to the spring.  In the week that I was testing the yarn guides for Maurice, I was switching frequently between spinning fine and bulky yarns, so I added a necklace fastener to the end of my brake band.

Now I’m far more likely to change the spring out when I need to, rather than persevering because it’s too much effort to cut and reattach the brake band.

I should say that while it is possible to spin fine yarns with the heavier gauge spring, I wouldn’t recommend trying to spin thicker, fancier yarns that require a firmer brake tension with the lighter spring. The top loop made of fine wire can stretch out if you ask it to pull the yarn onto the bobbin more firmly.  Ask me how I know!


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At this point, I normally suggest similar related blog posts, however, my list of spinning-related content is becoming a little unmanageable...  If you'd like to read more blog posts about spinning and fibre preparation, please take a look at this page here where you will find links to all of my spinning and fibre articles.  

Thank you for reading, and happy spinning!


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Anonymous said...

Great idea! Thank you.

Kath Garvey said...

Thank you for the info on the EEW6 springs. Very helpful
Plus the necklace fastener is a brilliant idea.