Did you think I would give up that easily? I joined SpindleCrafters group in Ravelry and got some great ideas for improvements. The better whorls for top hand spindles are rim-weight and can’t be too small. For the cup hooks to work, one must straighted the hook and re-bend, but I could never manipulate the hooks to the desired shape. So toy wheels are out and so are cup hooks.
I spent last night bending a bunch of 18-gauge half-hard silver wires into the shapes of the Kundert and Bosworth hooks. I don’t think the shape is as important as getting the yarn to line up straight from the top of the hook to the end of the shaft.
Below are my hand-manipulated hooks, Kundert-style on the left and Bosworth-style on the right.
Then I turned the house up-side-down looking for some suitable whorls and found some furniture coasters. These are used to protect the floors from scratches caused by furniture legs. I got these from Home Depot and they were at the bottom of the old piano and are pretty banged up. But they are just the right shape and size for the whorls. They weight 16 gm, and just under 2.5 inches in diameter.
Not the prettiest spindle, but this one is a huge improvement over the the first. It still wobbles but spins for a long time. The hook can be easily adjusted to the balance point by bending the angle of the wire, and the rim-weight of the furniture coaster gives an extra momentum for longer spinning. I also find it is best to score the whorl (for the yarn to travel up to the hook) perpendicular to the hook as seen in this photo with the Kundert-style hook.
The Kundert spindles spin as well as the Bosworth spindles but their owners do not fuss over them as much. I like them equally but prefer to take the Kundert out more often because they are less expensive. This is yellow heart, bloodwood heart, maple whorl and walnut shaft.