Repairs and Adjustments

Our Ball Winder needs occasional adjustments in order to work well. It literally will last a lifetime if these tasks are done.

Cleaning - the ball winder will accumulate fiber debris inside of the gears and slowly over the months and years, this debris will build up between the gear teeth and the unit will begin to develop wonky (mis-shaped) balls of yarn. This is because the unit no longer runs smoothly even though you may not detect these subtle changes in smoothness or speed. So, you must clean it out inside perieodixlly depending on your level of usage.

Shops need to clean their ball winders out annually or even more often. Knitters at home can do it every 2-3 years or even less frequently. It is a function of the following: amount of use, how much debris the yarn has, and how dry the climate is in your area (squeaks can develop). This last item also affects the black o-ring which will develop cracks over time and which also needs to be replaced periodically (every 1-2 years) .

But the most important adjustment that the knitter needs to make is the tension on the black oring. If it is too tight or too loose you may get wonky balls.

How do you determine how tight or loose to make it? You do the "Spin test"  which means you spin the handle as fast as you can and leave it go. After letting it go, count the number of solid rotations that the handle makes on its own energy after letting it go.

  • It should spin 4 to 5 times.
  • Less than 4 means it could be too tight and will cause wonky balls.
  • More than 6 means it could be too loose and will cause wonky balls.

Also - never over tighten the plastic shaft Collar on the end of the spindle - it could crack. When tightening collars after cleaning or making an adjustment, always leave a gap the thickness of a business card or two between the collar and the adjacent surface. Collars are ONLY there to prevent you from pulling the spindle or torque tube out. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN them as they can leave an indentation in the steel shaft or even break (plastic). By the way, the reason we use a plastic collar is to reduce the weight and achieve a better balance of the rotating assembly.

You then need to adjust the tension.

Watch these videos to see how to adjust and clean the ball winder

If you cannot do it yourself, then you can send it back to us (for a fee) to adjust and clean it as well as upgrade it, if necessary. See this link for more info on that option.

Let us know if you need help determining your best option. Although there have been some weaker areas of design in the unit early on, which we have addressed over the many years of production, these units will indeed last a lifetime with a little care and maintenance. They are made in the USA by craftsmen from Maple hardwoods, steel, and hi-grade plastics. They are definitely built to last which is why we are the number 1 provider of ball winder systems for yarn shops and professionals Worldwide. 


Bob Shroyer