I know-- It looks like a medieval torture device, but -- if you do it right, no blood will be shed. It's used for one of the earlier stages of processing wool for spinning. This would be the stage BEFORE carding. After you wash raw wool, the fibers can sort of stick together. This tool can help OPEN the fibers, dislodge hay and vegetable matter, making it easier to do the carding in the next step.
This is something DH is willing to make for me. I can do the drilling and work with the nails. He'll do the rest--safety features included. These are usually simple projects where he can flex his woodworking and engineering muscles after working his computer programming day job. It's just so satisfying to be able to make these fiber tools for minimal cost. And it's something we can do together. ;-)
The Patrick Green version sells for over $600--and I know it will be good and solid, and last a lifetime. I also think we can DIY with scrap wood. I also saw this model which gave me that idea :
There are other models and designs that use a box method with a sliding top, but it seems to me that would be very inefficient. Too much friction. I'd much rather have gravity work in my favor -- hence my preference for the swing model above.
Here's how it works (Pat Green example)This one is also useful for some of the extra tools and equipment that would be useful :
Here's another video of how it works:
It's fun to see the open fiber fly off the back end. Also good to see and hear the safety precautions, too.