Wooooooohooooooooooooooo I did it - and it works!
DIY Kick Spindle –
1 – block 4”x6”x12” ($2.00) I had to purchase an 8’ length but they were happy to cut it down into 12” chunks for me at Home Depot. A block this chunky isn’t really necessary, but the weight of it helps to keep the spindle from walking across the floor as you kick it. You could probably use a block 2”x6”x12” but I wouldn’t try anything thinner.
1 – 5” Pine Bun Foot ($8.25) Home Depot
1 – Dowel rod 3/8” x 36” ($1.09) I bought oak at Home Depot but you could use a cheaper wood
1 – Dowel Rod 1 ¼ “ x 36” ($6.88) Again, I bought oak at Home Depot but you could use a cheaper wood
1 – “L” hook – ($0.30) Home Depot (You don’t HAVE to have this. You could just use a big pencil sharpener and sharpen the tip of your shaft and use it that way)
1 – Ball Bearing 1 ¼” OD ($3.75) Got this at a good old fashioned Ace Hardware store – Home Depot didn’t have them
1 – Eye Bolt 2” ID ($0.39) Home Depot
1 – Wood Pole Socket 1 5/8 “ (the support sockets for closet poles) ($3.29) Home Depot
1 – Small rubber band
We used a hole saw and a ½” power drill but I think that a spade bit for the power drill would work better.
1 pair of pliers
Clamp that will open to a minimum of 18”
Cut your 3/8” dowel rod to a 27” length. Cut your 1 ¼” dowel rod to an 8” length. Take your 4”x6” block and set it with the 6” side up. Make a mark down the center of it lengthwise. Drill a hole 1” centered on the line 1” from the end of the block. This is where your bearing will sit. Four inches from the other end, centered between the center mark and the edge, drill another hole 1” deep. This is where your support rod will sit. Drill a pilot hole for your eye bolt 1” from the end of your larger dowel rod. Screw in the eye bolt. Make sure that the eye of your eye bolt sticks out of the dowel far enough for it to center over the center mark. Center your eye bolt and glue the other end of the dowel rod into the appropriate hole. Clamp it with your wood clamp and set it to the side for at least 24 hours. (The waiting is the hardest part of the whole thing!) Use the pliers and remove the screw thingie that comes in the bun foot. Using the hole that’s left as your pilot hole, drill a 3/8” hole all the way through your bun foot. MAKE SURE THE HOLE IS STRAIGHT! While you’ve got that bit on your drill, increase the hole size in the closet support bracket to 3/8”. These two pieces should fit snugly on your 3/8” dowel. In one end of your 3/8” dowel, drill a tiny pilot hole and then screw in your L hook (If it came with a collar – take the collar off the hook, it just gets in the way.) If you choose to use your kick spindle without the hook, use a large pencil sharpener and sharpen one end of the shaft to a semi point. You can sharpen the other end too, to sit in the bearing, but it’s not necessary. Drop your bearing into the hole on your base. Don’t put the bearing flat into the hole, sort of lean it against the back so that it’s more or less at a 45 degree angle. I put mine with the collar up but you can do it either way. Slide the closet support onto your shaft (open side down). This will be your whorl. Thread the shaft through the eyebolt. Slide on the bun foot below the eye bolt and rest the tip of the shaft in the bearing. Slide the bun foot to a position where it doesn’t touch the base or the support rod. Lift the shaft and put the rubber band around the shaft just below the bun foot to hold it in place. You may want to adjust the position of the bun foot to make it more comfortable for use which is why I used a rubber band rather than wood glue.
It’s ugly as sin, but it works. I’ve managed to spin merino into sport weight with reasonable consistency after using it for only a few hours.
Total cost - $25.95
Total time – about 2 hours (not counting drying time for the wood glue)