Using Your TravelKate

Your TravelKate is easy to use and you likely won’t need any instructions. Just in case though, the following describes a few of the features and intended use.

There is a latch on each end to secure the lid, both for storage and while in use. Be sure to latch the lid open on both sides before inserting the spindle rods. The slots cradling the spindles are deeper on each end to allow you to easily remove them. Just press down on one end to raise the other. You can then grip the rod for easy removal. You can also slide the spindle to one side once you press on the end. The spindle sockets in the lid are sized to be a close fit for the spindles. If a spindle does get stuck due to seasonal humidity changes in the wood, wiggle it very gently to free it. Do not grip with pliers to avoid scaring the rod.

Four black, low friction nylon washers are included with each TravelKate. These washers are intended to fit over the spindles against the TravelKate lid before you mount your bobbins. While not necessary for plying, the washers will protect both your TravelKate and bobbins from wear with extended use over time.

Setting Tension

TravelKate Tension

Tensioning two bobbins on the TravelKate.

The TravelKate is designed to hold your bobbins at a convenient angle to allow plying without tension. Many users find that natural tension to their liking. Those who prefer a bit more resistance can quickly and easily set any desired tension level using the included tension pegs. This photo shows tension applied to a pair of bobbins. Click here for complete instructions for setting tension and to clarify any questions you might have. Note that you do not need to force the tension pegs into their holes. A very light press fit will provide sufficient friction.

Your TravelKate has been designed to give years of faithful service with minimal maintenance. Indeed, you can literally do nothing but use it. If you would like to clean it from time to time though, simply wipe the wood with a lightly dampened soft cloth. Do not use any chemicals or harsh detergents on your TravelKate as these may damage the finish.

The hand-rubbed tung oil finish is quite durable and will protect the wood for many years. If desired, you can easily rejuvenate it using supplies from your local home center or hardware store.

The brass spindles are uncoated and will develop a subtle patina over time. If you prefer to keep them brightly polished, I recommend Nevr-Dull polish wadding and a little elbow grease whenever you want to restore its luster. Again, Nevr-Dull should be available at most home centers or hardware stores, if not your local grocery store. A few swipes with a bit of Nevr-Dull and a wipe with soft cotton cloth will bring them right back to their original full polish shine.

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