Electric Spinning Wheel Fits in the Palm of Your Hand
Tom Spendlove posted on December 12, 2018 |

When engineer Maurice Ribble’s girlfriend (now wife) asked him to make a travel-ready spinning wheel, he put his mind to work developing a system. Designing a machine that was portable, affordable, and easy to use eventually brought him to the Electric Eel, and he ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the little spinner in December 2017. Ribble is back with the Electric Eel Wheel Mini 2, an updated design that allows knitters to spin their own yarn anywhere.

Several design changes were made to this new generation of Kickstarter funded spinners. The design was changed to be more open and allow the user to see their work. Ball bearings were added to reduce vibration and friction, lowering the noise level. A switch now controls the motor and allows for clockwise and counterclockwise rotation. Slots with holes were added to mount the unit with screws or give the option of clamping to a table, and two magnets were added to act as a holder for the orifice hook.

The full Eel machine is 5.25 x 4 x 5 inches and weighs approximately seven ounces, with the orifice hole at 0.400 inches. A dial on the side controls the speed, and The machine has a 5.5 x 2.1 millimeter barrel jack and requires 9 Volts, 1 Ampere to operate. An optional power cord can be purchased as part of the campaign or supplied by the user. Another accessory option is a 3D printed case to sit underneath the Eel and hold Ribble’s favorite battery pack, cleverly using the screw holes built into this new revision of spinner.

Like every device made for a hardcore hobby, there are knitters leaving rampant comments on the campaign page. People asking about possible upgrades, whether or not their specific system will work with the wheel, and asking for ever more features. It’s interesting to read through these as Ribble navigates what can and cannot be done. The Electric Eel Wheel is a great example of a product engineered to meet a need, and then redesigned to reflect user experiences and take advantage of manufacturing improvements. This is a no frills, straightforward crowdfunding campaign, already highly successful and ending on December 20, 2018.


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