Yarn Swift Add On

My wife is into knitting in a serious way.  She was given a partial antique yarn swift by my mom some time back.  It is missing parts, but otherwise should work just fine.  It needs some kind of base, and a clamp to hold up the upper umbrella portion of the swift.  With her birthday coming up soon she suggested finishing the swift would be a good present.  Great!  I hadn’t had any good ideas on what to buy, so lets make something.  I don’t know what the original was made out of, but the wood and finish were very dark.  I made mine out of maple because it was what I had around, and it distinguishes the antique from my work.

Start with the finished product in action!


I started with the clamp.  A small block with a hole in it and a slit cut across it acts as a clamping mechanism.  I drilled a hole through the forked section, and even chopped a small square hole so the head of the bolt does not spin while tightening.



Next I moved on to the base.  The post needs a place to rest in, and I have a bit brace and some old screw bits that belonged to my wife’s grandfather.  Might as well use a family heirloom to make something that should hopefully stay in the family a long time.  After a few minutes of sharpening the bit sailed through the maple stock with ease!



To make the clamp portion I cutout a wide center section.  I sawed out the edges and carefully pared out the rest with a wide chisel.  Yet another time when having a router plane would have been useful.  I used another bit to bore from underneath and install a threaded insert in the bottom.  A modified 1/4″-20 bolt will act as a screw clamp so the base can be clamped to any ledge.  A piece of maple is captured on top of the bolt with a small bent metal clip.  This keeps the moving portion of the clamp from falling off.  I used tung oil on everything and glued leather to the clamp faces to promote grip and prevent scratching.

Happy Birthday Honey!

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