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The Wool Picker

I’m making a wool picker, which is a device used to break up clumps of wool from a sheep’s fleece into individual fibers, which can then be carded or combed before spinning. You can Google it if you want to know more.

I’m documenting this for my spinning audience, where this might be of some interest.

I don’t have any pictures to post at this point, so a progress report and a simple description is about all I have to provide.

I started the picker by cutting the sides, top, and bottom to length. The sides are made out of 1×10″ pine, which is really about 3/4″ x 9 1/4″. The top and bottom, which will be inside the sides, are 1×8 stock, or about 3/4″ x 7 1/4″.

I fashioned and attached (glue and countersunk screws) a couple of cleats (1×3″) at the top inside of the sides, about 3/4″ from the top edge. The top piece is intended to rest on the cleats with the top flush with the top edge of the sides.

I don’t yet know where to place the bottom of the box. That all depends on how the teeth of the picker end up, so making those is the next step. I failed in my first attempt, so I purchased more lumber for my next try.

I started the toothed inserts with 3″ 20d finish nails. The nails are angled about 45 degrees from the vertical, with five rows angled left, the next five rows angled left, and the last five rows angled left again. I drilled slightly undersized holes for each nail (13 nails per row x 15 rows = 195 nails. Then I started hammering in the nails, row by row. Due to my miscalculation, about two rows in, the board split right down the middle.

The next run at it I’ll use a 1/8″ drill bit, which just allows the nails to slide through.

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