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Every once in awhile I watch a YouTube video and wish that I had made it myself. JillianEve's video about the Good and Basic charkha was one of those. Her filming was great, her color choices were superb, and her research was thorough.
In fact, her video was so great that I linked to it in the Etsy product description, and also here on our instructions page.
The charkha was the very first product we made here at the Good and Basic Etsy shop. Joseph became interested in appropriate technology and India's movement toward independence via khadi. He made a video covering that history which he posted on the YouTube channel.
After several years of tinkering, Joseph finally made a model based on the original charkha that would also work well for printing. The trick is using a large wheel to make a smaller wheel spin at high enough speeds to draft thread using only the twist.
The 3D-printed pieces include a large wheel, a cone wheel, two pulleys, and two lobster claws. Of course, these are my very technical names for these pieces. Joseph calls them the large wheel, the small wheel, the bearing blocks, the spindle holder, and the base. I'm still voting for the lobster.
All of these pieces together form a simple, desktop spinning wheel. Watch a short video of Joseph's charkha spinning technique here. In this video, he built a wooden charkha base, which he sanded clean to avoid slivers. Then, he glued the pieces to the board. Ta da! Instant mini spinning wheel.
If you're extra spiffy, you can put the pieces in a box to form a book charkha. Joseph says that chess boxes have worked well for him. For our first prototype, he cruised down to our local thrift store and found an old craft box with hinges. Reduce, reuse, recycle. You can see that prototype in another YouTube video he made about his book charkha experience.
The current Good and Basic charkhas come in bronze, gold, red, and blue. Each kit includes everything you need to start spinning: the printed pieces, rubber bands, and three spindles. Okay, they include almost everything you need: you'll also need a small piece of string or yarn to use as the drive band.
In the future, Joseph would love to print an Ambar charkha. An Ambar charkha is automated and can produce factory-level quality at home. Some of the moving parts are tricky. Once Joseph starts tinkering, though, it's only a matter of time before he works it out. We'll let you know if/when one releases in the shop. Until then, we hope you enjoy not only JillianEve's video, but also your very own charkha kit.
Joseph & Aubrey Bjork