Over the years, I have had spinning wheels come to live with me that were missing an orifice hook. Darn! That meant the hunt was on for a replacement—a beautiful or unusual hook, or one that reminds me of a good memory. I have a beautiful handblown glass bead on the orifice hook for one wheel, an antique shoe-button hook on another, and a wine-cork hook I use when I’m feeling down that reminds me of my supportive group of Spinning Goddesses. One time I needed a hook while in a class and made one from a bobby pin. (Yes, I have small folding pliers in my traveling tool kit.) Rebent paper clips work great, too.
I like to recycle or upcycle found items, including wine corks perhaps left from a special occasion with friends or family. With a few low-tech tools, it’s easy to make orifice hooks that are unique and functional and that remind you of good times and happy memories every time you use them.
You can use the pattern shown here as a general guide, or you can go where the wire takes you.
To make a wine-cork orifice hook, you will need:
• Wine bottle cork
• 16-gauge brass wire
• Wire cutters
• Round-nose pliers (My pliers are small, and I use the tip for small bends and the middle section for bigger bends.)
Wear safety glasses while cutting wire, make sure your tetanus shot is up-to-date, and if you get scratched by the wire, make sure to clean the cut well and seek medical attention if necessary.
For this hook pattern, cut 10" of wire. If you plan to go off on your own and want more loops and squiggles, cut a longer piece of wire. (You can always trim off any extra wire later.)
Center the cut end of the wire on one end of the cork. The cut end will be a minichisel that works like a drill bit. Hold the wire close to the cork to keep it from bending. Gently push on the wire while rotating the cork until the wire comes through the other end of the cork. Be sure to keep your hand away from the end of the cork where the wire will emerge so that you don’t get jabbed. If the cork is very dense, you may need to work slowly and with more pressure. The end of the wire may not emerge from the cork in the center, but this is okay. The loop of wire you make at this end of the cork to keep it from slipping will let you position the wire for the orifice hook toward the center.
Use the wire on the centered end of the cork (where you started the wire) for the wire design.
Step 1: Using the pattern and the round-nose pliers, wrap the wire around one jaw of the pliers. Rotate the wire for some overlap of the loop.
Step 2: Position the pliers to start the first loop.
Step 3: Reposition the pliers to complete this loop.
Step 4: Reposition the wires and make the second loop. Step 5: Reposition the pliers and make the final loop.
Step 6: Push the cork up the wire to the loop you just made. Step 7: At the opposite end of the cork, make another loop in the wire and snug it against the cork to keep it in place. (If you are running out of wire, you may skip this step; the wire should fit tightly enough for it to stay in place.)
Step 8: File the wire end smooth.
Step 9: Put a small bend in the end for the hook.
Enjoy your special hook!
Jeannine Glaves lives in Oklahoma and feels she can neither have too many tools nor too much fiber. She feels all her wheels need to be accessorized, and she is sticking to that story. She confesses that she does like to be an enabler. Jeannine would like to thank her group of friends, the Spinning Goddesses, who tried out the instructions for this project, especially Lynn Tedder, who edited the article and created the illustrations.
This project was published in the Fall 2011 issue of Spin Off.