I have a large wolf-dog hybrid who sheds, a lot! I have to brush him every day. A friend came by, saw the massive amount of fur he's shedding and remarked that it would be great for spinning into yarn. I looked into it and the cheapest spinning wheels I could find were $225 and made of pvc pipe. Because I have more time than money, I thought "I can make one of those!" but I still haven't found any plans for one. How do I build a spinning wheel for spinning yarn?

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    Perhaps these link will help you: Rosemary Knits made a spinning wheel from a bicycle wheel and some pieces of wood, Glacialwanderer.com describes 4 different attempts to creating an electric spinning wheel.
    – THelper
    Aug 25, 2013 at 11:05
  • Are you sure dog hair is long enough and curly enough to spin into yarn? The individual hairs need to interlock and thus be long and preferably a little wavy at least. Straight hairs that are no longer than 10cm are spinnable, but the resulting yarn will just pull apart.
    – Earthliŋ
    Aug 25, 2013 at 12:39
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    I'm positive it can be spun, He's an arctic wolf phenotype so he has a thick fuzzy undercoat that gets to be about 6-7 inches long.
    – BGundlach
    Aug 25, 2013 at 13:49
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    A Navajo spinner is awesome! It won't un-spin like a drop drop spindle.
    – user808
    Sep 26, 2013 at 16:44

4 Answers 4


That's great to have a constant source of yarn - from your pet. I saw a lady who knitted items for sale using her dog's fur.

I've been studying about spinning wheels and how to spin only in the past few months. I've come to the conclusion that a spinning wheel is actually a sped up version of a drop spindle and it's also a lot of fun to spin with.

Since I'm not really great with wood I searched for an easy wheel that could work just as well as the expensive brand name types.

After several experiments, I came across Joy of Weaving's Doorknob Spinning wheel and made a variation of it, using a chopping board, door knobs, bits of wood and mostly strong glue and a few bolts. Perhaps a couple of nails along the way. It works really well and spins superfast and smoothly. You can print out the photo pdf plans as well as watch how I spin with it on Vimeo Do a search for the Doorknob spinning wheel free plans - it works great for me. Spindle Doorknob Spinning Wheel


FYI - you don't have to have a spinning wheel to spin small to moderate amounts of yarn. A hand-spinning spindle will work great, is much less expensive to buy and far less complicated to make, and is also very portable. I spun great yarn using a top whorl drop spindle for a couple of years or so before I finally (mostly) moved on to using a spinning wheel. However, I still spin my dog's hair this way as well as other specialty fibers, because I find it easier to manage fine fibers with a hand spindle than with a spinning wheel.

If you haven't looked into drop spindle hand-spinning, you might want to do that before investing a lot of time and effort into trying to make a spinning wheel.

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    Just to save other people the search: wikihow.com/Spin-with-a-Drop-Spindle It's basically a weight with a hook - attach your thread, spin the weight, feed in more fibre at the top and let the weight fall.
    – Móż
    Oct 18, 2013 at 0:54

It seems the bottom line of the question is low cost spinning wheel.

The Dodeca wheeldesign is available free on line. This has been noted in another post. Porter also sells this wheel and a similar wheel at a very low cost for a spinning wheel. http://porterthreads.weebly.com/store/p4/Dodec_Spinning_Wheel.html. Dodeca Spinning Wheel

The Budget Wheel, seemingly derived from the Dodeca, with a circular wheel, is available on etsy.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/208198231/budget-spindle-wheel-beginner-spinning?ref=shop_home_active_3. Budget Spindle Wheel

There was a similar design published by popular mechanics, called a Penguin Quill spinning wheel. Plans are available online and posted in Pintrest.

Plans are available on Etsy to make the Thrifty Fox Spinning wheel.
Thrifty Fox Spinning Wheel

These are all spindle wheels--no bobbins, flyers etc. They employ the same method as the Great Wheel/walking wheel, charkha, Mother Marion kick spindle, Navaho spindle spinning--spinning off the tip of the spindle, reversing, then reversing again to wind the yarn further back on the shaft, and out to the tip to continue spinning.

The idea behind all of these, is to run a drive belt from the shaft ofta stationary horizontal spindle, to a wheel that multipies the man power supplied from a peddle/treadle.

The Dodeca, Budget Spindle Wheel, and the Penguin Quill Wheel, all are castle style designs that stack the spindle above the wheel, above the peddle. The Thrifty Fox uses a horizontal design:

Here are sites that offer free plans:

This PDF provides plans for the wheel as either a spindle wheel, or with bobbin and flyer: http://seadreamhobbies.yolasite.com/resources/version1%20spinning%20wheel.pdf

More complicated designs that include bobbins and flyers are more involved, more costly to make...and thus, more expensive.
This plan includes bobbin and flyer: http://www.craftsmanspace.com/free-projects/spinning-wheel-plan.html

Free Spinning Wheel plan

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    Welcome to Sustainable Living and thank you for your answer! Are you affiliated to either of the mentioned web shops? If so, the rules of this website require you to mention this in your answer.
    – THelper
    Feb 23, 2017 at 8:17
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    That is a good rule. No, I am not affiliated with any...i am a spinner researching this myself. These are the most basic and economic wheels I have found.
    – Sarah
    Feb 23, 2017 at 14:19
  • ..aside from the Dodec, that was already mentioned.
    – Sarah
    Feb 23, 2017 at 14:26
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    Thank you for responding to my comment and for the added links. Please be aware that answers that explain how do things in the answer itself usually get more upvotes. Links in answers tend to break which makes the answer obsolete and useless eventually.
    – THelper
    Feb 23, 2017 at 14:57

After looking at the rosemary knits spinning wheel (from the comments) I found a wheel called the dodec spinning wheel. It makes a fully functional wheel with pedal out of a ten foot board. http://www.spinningdaily.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Blogs.Components.WeblogFiles/spinoff/5661.Dodec-Spinning-Wheel-Brochure.pdf

enter image description here

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    Thanks for this. We're trying to build a great body of content here, rather than just a collection of links to other places. So for this to be an answer it will need to summarise what's on the link, so that someone can get the key information without clicking on the link.
    – 410 gone
    Aug 26, 2013 at 9:56
  • I think directions on building an entire spinning wheel are a bit extensive. I appreciate that You're trying to build a body of content, however given the question, directions without pictures is a ridiculous idea. Answers that link to references and point someone in the right direction are good content and does teach. I apologise for the "collection of links," but it is the appropriate response to the question.
    – BGundlach
    Aug 26, 2013 at 23:06
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    You can include pictures if needed.
    – Peter Ivan
    Aug 30, 2013 at 10:21
  • The provided link is now broken, but I suspect this link leads to the same document
    – THelper
    Feb 23, 2017 at 14:59

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