Sunday, April 24, 2011

My Dad Can Do Anything!

Today I teamed up with my wonderful, gifted, extremely handy father to make my very own Swift! And it worked! We produced a real, live, working, awesome Swift for winding yarn! IT IS THE COOLEST!

Fine Points, the yarn store I worked at in Cleveland, had a cool portable one that disassembled. A few months ago I drew up a similar design for my dad to make (since he can make/fix/do anything). Slowly he worked his way down his enormous list of various things to do around the house and today arrived at making my Swift! It was the first actual nice day of spring. This winter has been brutal, but today was a shorts and tshirt kind of day, so it was the perfect day to be outside, woodworking.

This was my design:

Pretty simple. I showed it to my dad, and he thought it reasonable. Today we embarked. And with naught more than a piece of wood and a sophisticated array of power tools, we did it!

Here's my dad hard at work with his table saw.

So first, we discussed our vision for the Swift, and then we started measuring and sketching on the wood. I unwound a skein of yarn and held it out in a square so we'd have an idea of how big it had to be. We took an old piece of wool and re-appropriated it. My vision was thus: two interlocking base pieces which fit together with notches. Two long arms which criss-crossed to form an "x", with several holes drilled in each end to accommodate removeable pegs around which the yarn would be wrapped. To hold the whole thing together, a peg would be fitted into a hole drilled through the midpoint of the two arms and the base pieces. We discussed lengths, widths, aesthetics, and portability, and we (ok, my dad) decided on base pieces which measured 18", with a height of 2.5" at the widest point and 1.5" at the narrowest. Daddy cut up the wood using an ingenious sled thingie that he had made a few years earlier which enabled him to stabilize the wood when he was making diagonal cuts, which is apparently difficult to do on a table saw. But he fixed every problem that arose!

Here was the rough result of the first few cuts:

You can see it starting to take shape.... the notches to ensure a sturdy fit, the sloped edges so the arms would be able to rotate easily. This was originally supposed to be the "practice" version because my dad wanted to make a more perfect one using nicer wood, but that wood ended up being splitty, so it turned out that our practice version was the final version.

Then we did the arms. We decided on a length of 22", with similar notches to lock them into place:

Daddy drilled the hole for the central pivot, and we used a nail to hold it together:

Then we (ok, Daddy) drilled holes for the arms-- three in each arm, spaced by 1.5"-- and I cut a dowel into four 5" pegs. Daddy found a little piece of hardware to put between the base and the arms to enable easy rotation. And we put it all into practice...........

TA DA!!!! A SWIFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Daddy used some kind of sanding machine to smooth out all the edges, making it look way more finished and professional:

I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOO THRILLED WITH IT!!!!!!!!! How many girls are lucky enough to have daddies that can build them their very own personal Swifts!?????!? I've been playing with it all day long. I can't wait to get a ball winder and put it to use! No longer will I have to wind yarn around my knees/bedpost/an upturned chair!

Witness just how perfectly it works!!!!!!!!!

I am simply ecstatic with how it turned out. It disassembles easily into a few light pieces of wood and some hardware, and I plan on sewing up a canvas case to carry it in. Portable Swift!!

I'm just SOOOO happy with it!! Thank you Daddy! You're simply the best!

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog! So glad you appreciate how handy daddy is!! It might take him a while but he gets there!