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Builder's Guide

Required Tools

  • Pliers or wrenches
  • Wire connector crimper (standard pliers will work ok if you take extra care)
  • Tape measure
  • Screwdrivers (small and large Philips)
  • Hex Allen wrenches (1/8" and 5/32")
  • File
  • Drill
  • Drill bits (3/32", 1/4", 7/16", 1/2", 5/8", 7/8" and 1")
  • Drill hole punch
  • Clamps or another means to hold pieces in place while gluing
  • Wood glue
  • Thick Multipurpose Adhesive (I use “Goop” and it works great)
  • Saw (handsaw is fine; need to make about six 1-inch straight cuts)
  • Tape
  • Staple gun with 3/8" staples (optional)

Parts List

IMG_7936.jpg 12V DC motor
IMG_7941.jpg DC motor controller
IMG_7978.jpg Custom cut and printed case from PolyCase

(Note: Please don't contact Polycase about ordering a single case. It will just waste their time and yours. They charge about $150 in setup fees for the first case.)

Here is the schematic for the case

IMG_8287.jpg Drill guide sticker
IMG_8286.jpg 2.1mm power cord plug
IMG_8289.jpg 2x Insulated male/female connectors
IMG_8285.jpg 2x 8 inch wires
IMG_7942.jpg 4x M3 screws
IMG_7948.jpg 1/2" plywood - front/back (7.5"x9") and left/right (7.5"x10.5")

1/4" plywood - bottom (9"x11.5") Purchased from local hardware store

IMG_7949-Edit.jpg 1x2 oak (actual dimension are 0.75"x1.5") - 9" for brake and 7.5" for flyer

Purchased from local hardware store

IMG_7951.jpg 1/2" oak dowel
IMG_7953.jpg 2x - nylon flanges
IMG_7954.jpg 2" pulley
IMG_7956.jpg 4" pulley
IMG_7952.jpg 5/8" Aluminum pipe
IMG_7958.jpg 5/8" shaft collar
IMG_7957.jpg 16" neoprene belt
IMG_7961.jpg 6' nylon strap
IMG_7964.jpg 13x - 1/4" brass eye hooks

Purchased from local hardware store

IMG_7967.jpg 4" piece of flat bungee

Purchased from local hardware store

IMG_7968.jpg 1/4" lock nut and 1.5" 1/4" bolt
IMG_7969.jpg Wood knob

Purchased from local hardware store

IMG_7971-Edit.jpg Rubber sticky feet
IMG_7973.jpg Paperclip
IMG_8051.jpg 7/16" x 1/16" magnet
IMG_7972.jpg 12V 5A power supply
IMG_7974.jpg 7/8" nylon tubing and 5/8" nylon spacer
IMG_8126.jpg 2x - 4" wooden circles

Assembly Instructions

Diagram #1 - Some later steps refer back to this. ElectricEelWheel2_main_785.png
Diagram #2 - Some later steps refer back to this. ElectricEelWheel2_flyer_785.png

Cut a 1 x 1 1/2” notch out with a saw. Refer back to Diagram #1 to see how this cut needs to be made.

  • Drill a 1” hole through this piece.
  • Drill a 1/4" next to the 1" hole.

Refer back to Diagram #1 to see details on where to make these holes and cuts. Note that there are still two 1/4" holes that will be drilled later.

  • Drill a 1" hole through this piece.
  • Drill a 1/4” hole through this piece.

Refer back to Diagram #1 to see details on where to make these holes.

IMG_7985.jpg * Glue the 1" nylon flanges into the 1" holes on the front and back pieces.
  • Once the glue is dried cut a 5/8" to 3/4" slot out of the front and back as show in this picture and on diagram #1. Test that the slot is wide enough to let the 5/8" aluminum pipe easily slide through.
IMG_8281.jpg Stick the drill guide to the plastic case and use a hole punch to ensure the holes get started in the correct place.
IMG_8283.jpg Drill the holes. Note that holes have been drilled in both sides.

After this point some of the pictures don't show these holes. They should be there and are needed to prevent overheating of the motor controller.
IMG_7986.jpg Screw the case onto the front as show in the picture. It should be positioned so that it flush with the bottom and centered horizontally.
IMG_7987.jpg Drill two 1/4" holes in the front piece and through the case. Their locations are indicated on Diagram #1.
IMG_7989.jpg Glue the front/back/left/right/bottom pieces together. If you prefer nailing or screwing the pieces together that is fine too. Before you glue anything double check that all the sides are in the same orientation as they are in the picture to the left.
IMG_7991.jpg * Drill a hole in the brake as shown on Diagram #2.
  • I used a 3” hole saw to create the curve in the image to the left, but cutting a 'v' into the wood with a hand saw would work fine.
IMG_7992.jpg Use a staple gun with 3/8" staples to attach the flat bungee to the brake. Make sure the bungee is stretched fairly taunt when it's stapled. If you don't have a staple gun glue the bungee into place and use clamps to hold it taunt while the glue dries.
IMG_7993.jpg Drill two 1/2” holes and one 5/8” hole into the 5 1/2” piece of oak that is used for the flyer.

Refer back to Diagram #2 to see details on where to make these holes.

IMG_7994.jpg Drill 13 3/32" holes into the oak dowels.

Refer back to Diagram #2 to see details on where to make these holes.

IMG_7995.jpg Screw the 13 brass hooks into the the oak dowels. If you screw the hooks in too tight they will snap. I recommend just using your fingers. There is no need to make these really tight.
IMG_7996.jpg Glue the dowels into the oak flyer base.
IMG_7997.jpg Take the aluminum tube and use a drill hole punch to make a dent to help start a drill 3” from one end of the tube. Then drill a 3/8" hole in through one side of the tubing.

Refer back to Diagram #2 to see details on where to make the hole.

IMG_8032.jpg File the 4" pulley flat as shown in the picture. There is usually a seam on this pulley and by filing it flat the spinning wheel is made quieter.
IMG_8002.jpg Use a hex wrench to tighten the 4" pulley on to the aluminum pipe. The pulley should be 1/2" from the end. Then slide the wooden piece into place as in the picture. If it's a tight fit tap it into place with a hammer.
IMG_8006.jpg Next tighten the shaft collar into place. It should be about 7.5" from the end of the flyer, but the best way to figure out it's exact position is to put the plastic tube on the pipe. With the shaft collar in place the flyer should only move back and for around 1/16". At this point the flyer is fully assembled. If the wooden piece spins then you should use a little glue to attach it to the 4" pulley since it's not supposed to spin, but usually it's pretty snug for me and I don't need the glue.

In this and other pictures the hooks openings are facing down when the flyer hole is facing up. We found that if you rotate the wooden piece 180 degrees so the hook openings are on the same side as the hole in the flyer it makes stringing the yarn a little easier.

IMG_8010.jpg Use the 1/4" bolt and lock nut to attach the break as in the picture. Tighten it so the brake held in place pretty firmly. If this bolt is too loose you won't be able to adjust the uptake of the yarn.
IMG_8033.jpg *Cut the nylon strap into two 2.5 feet pieces.
  • Use either a staple gun with 3/8" staples or glue and clamp the straps into place.
IMG_8290.jpg Cut and strip the motor wires. Then use a connection crimper to put the blue connectors onto these wires.
IMG_8292.jpg Strip the two wires on the 2.1 mm power plug.
IMG_8293.jpg Glue the power connector into 7/16" hole in the side of your case.
IMG_8291.jpg Strip the wires. Then use a connection crimper to put the red connectors onto these wires.
IMG_8009.jpg Align the motor's pulley with the large pulley. I find things are a little quieter if I put the motor's 2" pulley slightly offset towards the center as you see in the picture. Then use a liberal amount of glue to hold the motor into place. Don't do anything with this until the glue has fully dried.
IMG_7998.jpg Assemble the electronics like in the picture. To remove the dial you need to twist continuously in one direction and pull.
IMG_8013.jpg IMG_8012.jpg Screw the circuit board to the electric eel wheel case cover. Pay special attention to the orientation of the board in the picture and make sure yours matches.
IMG_8295.jpg Now put the power supply wire through the hole in the right side of the box and then through the right bottom on in the front. Wire the power supply and the motor as shown in the picture. Don't worry about which wire from the motor goes to which motor screw terminal. I just guess and if I'm wrong the motor spins the opposite direction I expect and I can switch that later. It's critical that you wire the motor and power supply to the correct places like in the picture or you will damage the motor controller. The power cord has one wire with "+" on it and make sure that wire goes to "+" on the circuit board.
IMG_8022.jpg Now screw the cover on. It's a good time to plug in the power supply and test to make sure forward and backward are the directions you expect. If you want to reverse these direction you can swap the position of the red and black wires for the motor. Do not change the power supply wires or you will damage the motor controller.
IMG_8025.jpg Put the 4 rubber feet on the 4 bottom corners.
IMG_8027.jpg Screw the wooden handle into place.
IMG_8050.jpg Attach the magnet as shown in the picture with a small amount of glue. This is holds the the orifice hook.
IMG_8001.jpg Use a very small amount (just a small dab or a drop is enough) of glue and tap the nylon spacers into the nylon tubing. Notice that the spacers are tapered on one end. It makes assembly easier if you put the tapered edge into the tube first.
IMG_7980-Edit.jpg Drill a 7/8" hole in the center of the 4" wooden circles. One side of the circles will have a little indentation that indicates the center.
IMG_8029.jpg Assemble the bobbin by sliding the wooden circles onto the plastic tube. You need 1/16” overhang on one side and 1 1/4” overhand on the other. You should then test to make sure this works with your spinning wheel. Then you can glue the circles into place.
IMG_8041.jpg Bend the paperclip into this shape for use as an orifice hook.
Congratulations you're done with construction. Go to the user guide to see how to install the belt and use your new spinning wheel!
Below are some pictures of a completed Electric Eel Wheel for your reference.