Past Projects‎ > ‎

Trollen Wheel

I've been asked to have a go at making a device called a Trollen Wheel. From the picture provided and a wee spot of background research, it seems to be a smallish disc of some hard material, such as wood, with notches cut around the edge and a central hole. It is used to create complex braids by moving threads in a set pattern around the notches, which forms the braid that goes down through the central hole. Seems like something I could make in a morning without too much fuss.

So, the first thing to do was to get some appropriate wood. As it is essentially a tool, and therefore likely to get a bit abused, I found a thin piece of hardwood lying in the depths of my workshop. I cannot even identify what wood it was, but it seemed robust enough for the task. I marked a centre point and sketched out the disc with a pair of compasses, then cut it out using a coping saw:

After tidying the edges up to the line with a rasp and a file, I mounted the disc on a driving prong on my lathe, supported it with a homemade flattened live centre and proceed to turn the edges down and to smooth the faces. I then selected an appropriate auger bit for my brace, about 3/4", and bored a hole through the middle for the finished braid to pass through.

The next step probably required the most thought, and that was to lay out and cut the notches around the edge of the disc. There are plenty of ways to accurately do this involving dividing heads and the like, but I do not yet possess such a thing. Instead, I resorted to the old fashioned method of wrapping a bit of paper around the disc to get the circumference, and dividing the strip of paper into the required number of parts ( I arbitrarily settled on 36 as being a good number). To get the divisions equal, I used the method found on this page. 

After transferring the marks back onto the disc edge, I set up a rough jig to help me get straight cuts around the edge:

It was then a straightforward matter to use a triangular file to open up the notches a bit to allow thicker yarn in, stamp some numbers into the wood to identify the notches, and apply some sandpaper and finishing wax:

I'm currently testing it out before I pass it to its new owner...I shall post pictures of the results when I have some!