Drop Spindles

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All our Drop Spindles are hand turned from selected hard woods. From the finely turned shafts to the shaped whorl we take pride in their creation. As standard several coats of a Tung based oil are applied and then burnish. We find this method brings out the depth and beauty of the wood while providing a protective coat that allows the wood to breathe.

The heart of any Drop Spindle is the shaft.

In order to provide stable yet attractive shafts, I currently use three types of wood. English Sycamore, American Black Walnut and English Ash. All my timber is hand selected but I take particular care over my ‘shaft wood’, looking for straight close grained timber. The timber is bought killed dried and then further seasoned in my timber store. It is then cut into billets and furthered seasoned. This additional seasoning ensures a stable and straight shaft

Each shaft is finely hand turned from the acorn top finial to the gentle taper of the main shaft. Particular attention is given to the joint to ensure each shaft fits securely to the whorl so ensuring the spindle spins true. The length of the shafts varies depending on the size of the whorl. Please note: the width given is at the underside of the whorl and the length is the total length of the shaft excluding the hook. The lengths may vary by a small amount as they are individually hand turned.

50mm whorl    length 200mm width 6.5mm
60mm whorl    length 240mm width 7mm
70/75mm whorl    length 260mm width 7.5mm

The Whorl.
The design of my whorls is what is commonly termed rim weighted. This means that the majority of the weight of the whorl is in the rim. I have in addition added a band of Brass and Epoxy Resin to selected whorls so providing additional rim weighting. All my whorls are made from selected timber on a base of Ripple Sycamore or Elm. This I believe provides a number of benefits. Aesthetically I feel the base of the light Ripple Sycamore or Elm displays the main timber to great effect. The laminating of the two timbers help to provide a more stable whorl. And last but by no means least this process helps reduce the amount of exotic timber used.

The hook is a traditional "Sheppard's crook" made from 1mm stainless steel wire so allowing a fine yet robust hook that can be tuned with gentle finger pressure. Each spindle is tuned on my test rig to ensure a smooth and long spin.


The weight of the spindle depends on what type of spinning you are doing. Lighter weights for finer threads, heaver for the thicker threads and of course your personal preference.
Weights and whorl sizes:
Whorl size 50mm weight 12gm to 18gm
Whorl size 60mm weight 18gm to 28gm
Whorl size 70mm weight 28gm to 38gm
Whorl size 75mm weight 38gm to 42gm


Want a specific weight? Not a problem. Just add a note to the order or e-mail me. I will make your spindle to + or - a gram.

The whorls are supplied notched as standard however if you wish it un-notched please just select the box on ordering.

All my spindles are shipped in their own individual post tube lined with CFC free foam to provide a safe shipping container (see P&P on welcome page). To offer an additional benefit to my customer I offer a range of attractive colours. When shipped these are wrapped in brown parcel paper so the tubes may be kept. These then provide an attractive and safe means of travelling with your spindle to Guild and Ravelry meetings. Colours available are Gold, Silver, Red and Blue, please select your preference when ordering.


American Black Walnut on Sycamore with Walnut shaft
Juglans nigra
Prices from £28
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American Black Walnut on Sycamore with Walnut shaft


Spalted Beech on Sycamore with Ash shaft
Fagus Sylvatica
The selection of Beach I have is heavily spalted giving some vey pretty variations and patterns. Being laminated to a base of ripple Sycamore stability is not a problem.

Prices from £32
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Spalted Beech on Sycamore with Ash shaft


Tulipwood on Sycamore with Walnut shaft
Dalbergia frutescens
Prices from £32
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Tulipwood on Sycamore with Walnut shaft


Santos Rosewood on Sycamore with Sycamore shaft
Machaerium scleroxylon
Prices from £32
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Santos Rosewood on Sycamore with Sycamore shaft


Wild Olivewood on Sycamore with Walnut shaft
Machaerium scleroxylon
Prices from £32
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Wild Olivewood on Sycamore with Walnut shaft


Cocobolo on Sycamore with Ash shaft
Dalbergia retusa
Prices from £32
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Cocobolo on Sycamore with Ash shaft


Purple heart on Sycamore with Walnut shaft
Peltogyne pubescens
Prices from £42
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Purple heart on Sycamore with Walnut shaft


Pippy Yew on Sycamore with Ash shaft
Taxus baccata
I was at one of my local timber merchants and found a couple of billets of the most courageous ?Pippy? Yew and just had to have them. The colour ranges from a pale cream to dark brown with the small knots giving added interest.
Prices from £32
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Pippy Yew on Sycamore with Ash shaft


English Bog Oak on Elm with Ash shaft
Quercus petraea
Sourced from the East Anglian fenland basin this stock of Bog Oak has been carbon dated to 3,300 BC so is in excess of 5000 years old. Logs are excavated from a sunken forest caused by a rise in sea level that started about 7000 years ago.
I have chosen to match these with some attractive English Elm.
Prices from £34
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English Bog Oak on Elm with Ash shaft


Sycamore and American Black Walnut 'Yin Yang' with Sycamore shaft
Acer pseudoplatanus and Juglans nigra
Prices from £34
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Sycamore and American Black Walnut 'Yin Yang' with Sycamore shaft


IST Crafts is pleased to offer a selection of rim banded/weighted spindles. Made to the same shape as our standard spindles with the addition of a band of Brass shavings inlaid in the rim with epoxy resin. In keeping with our environmental policy we utilise the waste from the brass tapestry bobbin tips, mixed with epoxy resin as the inlay. This provides weight and an attractive almost "beaten" brass effect. The timbers have been chosen to make the banded spindles that little bit special.

Oak Bur on Sycamore with Ash shaft. Rim banded / weighted
Quercus petraea
Please note that due to the nature of the Oak burr there will normally be a small amount of infill in the cap of the whorl. This time brass filings inlaid with epoxy have been used.

Prices from £38
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Oak Bur on Sycamore with Ash shaft.   Rim banded / weighted


Ebony on Sycamore with Sycamore shaft. Rim banded / weighted
Diospyros Ebenum
Prices from £38
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Ebony on Sycamore with Sycamore shaft.   Rim banded / weighted


Sycamore and Purpleheart with Sycamore shaft, rim banded/weighted
Peltogyne pubescens
Prices from £36
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Sycamore and Purpleheart with Sycamore shaft, rim banded/weighted


Northwood Business Park, Newport Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO31 8PE   |  07919 488328   |