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 Ok can we talk about DRUM carders, hand cards, and
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afranquemont
Warming Up

USA
89 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2007 :  12:07:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit afranquemont's Homepage Send afranquemont a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I could have written practically EVERYTHING that Elaine just did. When I wanted more capacity than my Finest was really handling after a while, what did I upgrade to? A doublewide Strauch that someone had motorized meticulously.

Abby Franquemont
http://abbysyarns.com/
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Shelia
Permanent Resident

USA
2367 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2007 :  5:58:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit Shelia's Homepage Send Shelia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I do think the Strauch carders are great - I have the Finest and it does all fibers that I have thrown at it, and does them well. It blends well too, I have blended ingeo (notorious for clumping) and Wensleydale with beautiful results.

However, I also have a PG Fancicard. This is the model roughly between the Deb's Deluxe and the Supercard, two fine cloth drums and electric. I love this carder equally as much as the Strauch. While I could have electrified the Strauch, I just wasn't happy with the idea of a retro-fit, and DH, while handy, was not at all comfortable with doing it either. The Fancicard is the perfect size for me, and it is the carder that my friends all use for blending when we are having spinning get-togethers. I can card a whole small fleece (2-3 pounds) in a few hours without feeling as if my arm will fall off. With the continuous feed, I just keep adding picked fiber until the batt is ready to come off. I do have a picker as well, and use it on most things that are not fine or delicate before I use either carder.

Just another thought - if you like carding for fiber prep or blending, consider whether you will want an electric, and if so, whether you are comfortable motorizing yourself. Otto Strauch does not make motorized carders due to products liability issues. The choices for electric are Pat Green and Duncan, for most people. Both are great carders.

Shelia
www.letstalkstash.blogspot.com
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Davy
Warming Up

United Kingdom
62 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2007 :  9:20:07 PM  Show Profile Send Davy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nice post Elaine, highly informative, thanks. I have the Strauch finest also and have found it to be everything I had hoped for and more, this machine does what it says it will and does it well.
If ever I decide that the Finest needs to be upgraded I would buy the large model and electrify it myself not because the PG and Duncans are not as good but because I have the Finest and it really works for my style of carding, my reasoning is ď if itís not broke donít fix itĒ . You folks in the US who have these large fibre shows and can go and see these machines in operation are very fortunate, in the UK I have had to buy the Strauch Finest as unseen and am delighted with my choice.



Davy.

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diane leirer
Chatty Knitter

USA
299 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2007 :  05:57:36 AM  Show Profile Send diane leirer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
People's personal testimonials are the best kind of advertising. I have been seriously looking at the Strauch Petite. I emailed Otto about the weights of the different carders. He was prompt with a reply and impressed me as someone who really cares about his business and product. After reading Elaine's post and the quantity of fiber she processes, I am thinking that maybe I better save up for a Strauch Finest, rather than Petite. Thanks, Elaine, for the thorough post.
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2007 :  04:58:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Please, could somebody tell me the weight of a normal wool batt off the Strauch Finest? And of a "squeeze on till it's really full" (if you do that) batt?

Thanks, Klara

Check out my homepage on spinning (and more) http://www.lahottee.info
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jimbobspins
Gabber Extraordinaire

463 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2007 :  05:36:03 AM  Show Profile Send jimbobspins a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't have a Finest, I have a Petite. But it really depends on how many times the fiber has passed through the carder. The more times it passes through, the more air in the prep and the less the batt will weigh. So if the fiber is passed through once it will weigh more than after it is passed through the second and third time. Each successive pass the drum holds less fiber in weight. So I might start out with 1 ounce and end up with as little as .5 ounce per batt by the time I get to to the final pass. It is also going to depend on the fiber type that you are carding. For instance, alpaca will be denser than wool because it has less crimp, etc.

I figured this out when I tried to fit an entire batts worth of fiber from a first pass onto the drum in the second pass. I'm looking at it like the batt has two heads and the person showing we how to use the carder says one word. "Air". And I am like "Oh!". At least that's my take on things. So, like many things in life, I don't think there is a "normal":-)

Jim
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2007 :  08:46:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I never really thought about it - I just put as much as fit on the drum on it for the first pass, and for the second pass I split the batt in half (or thirds, or fourths) and put it through again - after all, when it fit there once, it should fit there again - and it does (guess the air just gets compressed). And for the LouŽt Roving I'd say a normal WOOL batt weighs about half an ounce, and you can squeeze on till one ounce, if you insist. The batt does get fluffier and more voluminous with each carding, but the weight stays the same.

By the way, I had the opportunity to briefly try the Ashford carder last weekend - and I was not impressed! I had the feeling that it didn't do much carding. Now, I only got hold of the batt after it had been through the machine once, and I don't know whether the wool had been teased beforehand. But I had the feeling that all the dense spots that were in the batt after the first pass were still there after the second pass. I decided I preferred my Louet!

And as for the "meshing" of teeth of the Louet: There's much less meshing than I would have imagined - it's only the very tips of the teeth that touch each other. And when I card clean, well-teased, nice, down-type wool (Vendeen, Suffolk) I have hardly any build-up of fibre on the licker-in drum. By the way, I added a home-made infeed tray - I think fibre handling is just more comfortable with a tray.

Klara

Check out my homepage on spinning (and more) http://www.lahottee.info
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azblueskies
Permanent Resident

2395 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2007 :  1:04:45 PM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How did you make your home-made infeed tray and attach it, Klara? I have a Louet, too. Thanks!

azblue
------------------------------------------------------------------
So much to learn, so little time.
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2007 :  08:19:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I didn't attach it - it stands on the table in front of the drumcarder. I took a bit of plywood, 15.75" long, 4" wide - that's the bottom of the tray on which the fibre goes. I fastened to the sides two pieces 11.75" x 4.25" in such a way that the "tray bottom" is 3 inches from the table surface (that's important so it will fit under the infeed drum) and that the 4" that the tray bottom is longer than the sides are sticking out at one end - that's the part that goes into the drum carder. Then I realized that the plywood is not smooth enough, fibres were sticking to it. So I stapled some plastic (from a plastic bag) to it (glueing didn't work). One of these days I'll put a picture on my web site.

The most difficult part is getting the tray to rest flat on the table - another (three-legged) construction would probably be better. The critical dimensions are width of the end of the tray, height of the tray bottom and length of the overhang - the part that goes under the infeed drum must fit. Everything else is flexible - I suppose one could do something fabulously long and funnel-shaped which would really allow one to spread the fibre out. But I'm a big fan of quick and dirty solutions - I want it to work right NOW!

Good luck! Klara

Check out my homepage on spinning (and more) http://www.lahottee.info
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azblueskies
Permanent Resident

2395 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2007 :  12:22:09 PM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks - I'll have to see if I can rig up something.

azblue
------------------------------------------------------------------
So much to learn, so little time.
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 04/01/2007 :  05:57:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Azblue, I have now pictures of the infeed tray on my homepage (http://www.lahottee.info/D_FiberPreparation.php - you need to scroll down. Clicking on the picture will magnify it). The text is in German but I'm not describing how I built it, just general info on carding (and yes, I will translate it into English and French, but I've already spent some 20 hours at the computer this weekend - the translation will have to wait a bit). Have fun! Klara

Check out my homepage on spinning (and more) http://www.lahottee.info
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Valk_scot
Permanent Resident

United Kingdom
1281 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2007 :  01:24:51 AM  Show Profile Send Valk_scot a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kade1301
The text is in German but I'm not describing how I built it, just general info on carding (and yes, I will translate it into English and French, but I've already spent some 20 hours at the computer this weekend - the translation will have to wait a bit). Have fun! Klara

Check out my homepage on spinning (and more) http://www.lahottee.info



I ran the page through the Babelfish translation page and it gave me a very inteligible (if quirky) translation. I was interested to see that I often use the same hand carding method as you.

I very much like your spinning pages btw, Klara. Good reading.

Val.


http://spinningfishwife.blogspot.com/
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2007 :  05:29:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks a lot Val, love to hear it! Interesting that Babelfish produces something inteligible for wool preparation German - English - when I tried Swedish - German for some pages on sheep Ingrid sent me, the result was almost worse than the original Swedish ;-)

I wonder why our hand carding method isn't more widely described/used?

Klara

Check out my homepage on spinning (and more) http://www.lahottee.info
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azblueskies
Permanent Resident

2395 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2007 :  07:24:16 AM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Klara. I'm going to make one for my drumcarder!

azblue
------------------------------------------------------------------
So much to learn, so little time.
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Fivefoottwo
New Pal

France
14 Posts

Posted - 04/04/2007 :  02:55:37 AM  Show Profile Send Fivefoottwo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi, I've a Stauch finest which I use for alpaca and I love it. I get beautiful batts with only one or two passes depending on how well I pick it. I had an Ashford with 'fine' teeth (only 72 per inch) but it couldn't cope with the alpaca and however I adjusted it or my feeding, the licker in drum would become clogged with fibre. The licker-in on the Finest stays completely free. IMHO you need the 128 teeth per inch to deal with alpaca.
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cindy.brown3
Warming Up

USA
67 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2007 :  06:31:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit cindy.brown3's Homepage Send cindy.brown3 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I purchased a Louet junior last month and finally got it last week. I love it. It makes great batts. I can diz them right off the large drum for really nice top to spin from. It definitely depends on the prep of the fiber before carding. I can feed the fiber directly onto the large drum for the first pass to get the fibers aligned out, then input thru the normal way. There is no feed tray, just an opening that works fine. So far I have carded llama, merino, bamboo, bfl, silk, and some fake cashmere (nylon). All the batts came out great. Except for the brown polwarth. That was a fleece issue and not the carder.
I did a lot of research before buying mine too. The price on this one was excellent for me. The benefits or pros are all that everyone else has mentioned about batt size and quality of the carder. Cleaning isnt a chore even on the lickerin drum. I only clean in between color or fiber changes. I end up with .5 oz basically per batt. I can spin about 30 minutes lace weight with that amount.
I am satisfied with the Louet junior carder on all fronts.
just my 2 cents

My photos
My yarn for sale
My blog
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pugsweater
Gabber Extraordinaire

452 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2007 :  2:32:49 PM  Show Profile Send pugsweater a Private Message  Reply with Quote
i'm glad to hear someone say something nice about a louet carder, finally, coz i did enjoy mine for what it can do. and i agree that that it has much todo with the fiber prep prior. the crunching of the teeeth is ever so lightly and it does not bent the teeth, altho the crunching of the teeth on other brand might. i think they are made differently and every make probably has their own virtues.

Pugknits
Etsy - The Fiber Denn
Ebay - The Fiber Denn


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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2007 :  05:44:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cindy, have I understood right: You use a diz to pull the fibre off the drumcarder? Gotta try that...

Klara

Check out my homepage on spinning (and more) http://www.lahottee.info
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Magnicmax
Chatty Knitter

100 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2007 :  10:44:29 AM  Show Profile Send Magnicmax a Private Message  Reply with Quote
OK - I borrowed a Louet Drum Carder from a friend so I can card the Cormo fleece I just finished washing. I don't know if I am doing something wrong, but it's REALLY hard to turn the drum once I get the fiber in there. Am I doing something wrong? Maybe too much fiber at one time? I've never used one before. I thought it would be real simple. It's harder than using my hand carders![crazy]

I must be doing something wrong??????





Donna in RI
my blog: http://knit1spin2.blogspot.com
My store: http://knit1spin2.etsy.com
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Fivefibers
Permanent Resident

USA
1131 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2007 :  1:25:54 PM  Show Profile Send Fivefibers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Donna,

It sounds like you could be laying on tooooo much fiber at a time. Try lightening the load a bit, make sure the layering is even; gradually increase the amount of fiber to see how much you/it can handle. Isn't there anyone available to help you? How far is your nearest spinning supply shop?

Many years ago when I began spinning, I got an Ashford drum carder. Since then, I have probably only used it about a half-dozen times! I much prefer my Kokovoko picker.

When I get swamped, I just send it to a mill.

Fivefibers
2sheep; 3goats; 5bunnies
(so far)
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