Introduction: Merlin Tree Spinning Wheel Dis-assembly and Re-Assembly

Several people love to customize these wheels or stain them so that they remain as beautiful as the day they bought them.  However, taking a spinning wheel apart and putting it back together can seem quite the daunting task.  The main reason I dis-assembled mine was because the jumbo flyer was hitting the frame and I wanted to do a couple of modifications on the frame itself and then after that, I wanted to stain and seal the wheel.  

The wheel I have in this demo is a Double Treadle RoadBug made by The Merlin Tree 

These are the tools I used - A phillips screwdriver, a pipe wrench (simply to help unscrew the main shaft), a ratchet and a 1/2" socket. 

Step 1: Remove Treadles From Drive Wheel

Remove treadles from the main drive wheel.  

Step 2: Remove Treadles From Body

Remove the Treadles from their hinges by unscrewing the three screws underneath the treadles. 

Step 3: Remove Mother-Of-All

Remove the Mother-of-All by unscrewing the 6 screws holding it into the body of the wheel.  Remove the bottom hinge first!! 
The spring isn't tensioned on this hinge.  It mainly serves to support and balance the Mother-of-All.  

Remove the Top hinge very carefully.  This spring is under a lot of tension and will throw your screws all over the living room and make them impossible to find and could also possibly pinch your fingers.  

Step 4: Unscrew the Main Nut From the Shaft

Remove the oil bottle holder and then begin unscrewing the main shaft by using a ratchet with a 1/2 inch socket and a pipe wrench to keep the footman assembly from spinning as you unscrew the main nut that holds everything together.

** Be sure to hold both the crank piece and the wheel from turning.  If the wheel turns and the crank is held while removing the lock nut the bearings will get crushed.

**Edited with instructions directly from Dave

Step 5: Remove Footman Assembly (Double Treadle Models Only)

Unscrew the footman assembly and try to keep the spacer washer with this part.  Just makes it easier to find during re-assembly.

Step 6: Remove Wheel From Body

Release the Drive wheel from the body by pulling the wheel and bolt out of the bearing housing. Take note of the order of spacers and washers as you take those off the shaft. Just remember, the greasy spacer goes closest to the bearing, then the leather spacer, then the clean spacer washer that sits next to the wood of the drive wheel.  

**Note - in the second picture, I've turned the wheel around to the other side because I'm right-handed so this is what you would see if you were facing the back of the wheel body. **  Sorry for any confusion.

Step 7: Remove Bolts From Drive Wheel

Remove the bolt that serves as the main shaft and the bolt that serves to hold the footman by gently tapping them out of the holes in the drive wheel. 

**On my wheel, there is a spacer that appears to be glued to the drive wheel itself.  I just stained around this instead of prying it off with a screwdriver and scratching up the wood.  

Step 8: Get Messy!

Customize your wheel.  

If you want to do it like I did, make sure to use the stickiest stain possible and get it all over your hands and clothes and whatever you do don't be patient and prepare your surfaces by sanding them or waiting for the first coat of stain to dry before applying the second.**

**Don't do that at all.  But do proceed to Step 9.

Step 9: Re-Assemble and Use Loctite Blue 242 on the Main Bolt

Re-assemble using the steps in the reverse order. 

Proper Treadle-Crank Setting
**This step is critical for proper treadling as the two treadle attachments must be slightly off dead opposite.

Screw the crank arm extension back on to the wheel axle until snug but not restrictive of wheel rotation. With slight turning align the crank to 175 degrees or 185 degrees of the crank (footman post) on opposite side. In other words, if the right side footman post is down at 6 o’clock the left side crank end should be at 11:30 or 12:30, not directly opposite.

If the crank is not in the correct position, unscrew, tap axle back, rotate axle 90 or 180 degrees and tap back in. Remember that the axle is a carriage bolt and has a square base under the head - the bolt can be put in in four positions.

But I did one extra thing and applied Blue Loctite 242 onto the main bolt before I tightened the main nut to keep it from loosening from the vibration of using the wheel and transporting it all over town.  

Dave, you make a wonderful wheel and we appreciate everything you have done for our community:)  
**Edited to insert instructions directly from Dave himself.