Monday, April 28, 2008

PVC Yarn Swift and Niddy Noddy

Look what I made this weekend!

What the heck is that?

Okay, actually Mister Man* did the work - but I take full credit as designer, engineer, and general de-bugger. This is a PVC yarn swift with a PVC niddy-noddy behind it. Each one was delightfully simple to make.

The niddy-noddy is an 18-inch length of ½ inch PVC topped with two T-bars set perpendicular to each other. The T’s are made with two 6-inch lengths of ½ inch PVC with end caps. This took fifteen minutes to make and cost less than $5.

Why do you take pictures in the dark?

The swift is four 12-inch pieces of ½ inch PVC connected in the center to a four-way cross connector. Each arm has an end cap and an adjustable upright “peg”. The pegs are ¾ inch PVC mounted on ¾ inch T-connectors that slide along the arms. Each T has a cup hook screwed into the bottom; to adjust the peg, I simply loosen the hook, slide the peg into position, and re-tighten the hook.

Check out Bubba's homework - he's a budding Einstein!

The whole assembly is mounted on scrap wood with a 4-inch carriage bolt. Wing nuts and 2-inch washers support the swift assembly and ensure it spins freely.

Washers make it spin!

With all the cutting, cursing, re-designing, and trips to the hardware store to pick up things I forgot, the swift took an hour to make. Total cost was less than $10.

I used both of these immediately after completion and love them. I can’t believe it took me so long to make them!

If you want to make this swift and niddy-noddy for yourself, here’s a handy-dandy parts list.

8 ft – ½-inch PVC pipe (I only used 7.5 ft, but I wanted a little extra just in case)
2 ft – ¾-inch PVC pipe
2 – ½-inch T-connectors
1 – ½-inch four-way cross connector
8 – ½-inch end caps
4 – ¾-inch T-connectors
4 – ¾-inch end caps
4 – cup hooks
1 – 4-inch carriage bolt (or similar)
2 – 2-inch washers sized to fit your carriage bolt
2 – wing nuts sized to fit your carriage bolt
scrap wood for the base

We used a hacksaw to cut the PVC – but really any saw will work. Since the end caps protect the yarn from snags, it doesn’t matter if the cuts are perfectly smooth. Mister Man drilled the center of the cross connector and the scrap wood base with a ¼-inch bit, and the small holes for the hooks with a 1/8-inch bit.

If you make either or both of these, have fun, and let me know. I'd love to see it!

*It has been brought to my attention that "The Hairy One" might be insulting to someone worried about male-pattern baldness. As I never want to offend the love of my life, from now on I will call him "Mister Man." :P