Spinning-

Uncategorized-

Wool

DIY Blending Board

I have wanted a blending board for years, but the price tag of a new blending board has never been in my budget. I wanted to experiment and make my own DIY blending board, and guess what? I did it for less than $70!

My DIY blending board, some fiber, and the first yarn I spun from a blending board rolag!

If you would like to watch the video of this project, you can watch it here, otherwise keep reading for the steps to complete your DIY blending board!

Materials

The materials I used for this blending board include:

Carding Cloth

Cutting Board

To match the 12 X 12 blending board pad, I purchased a 12″ X 17″ Cutting Board made of acacia wood from Amazon. Remember if you choose a custom length of cloth to be sure it will fit on your cutting board. I also recommend using acacia rather than bamboo. Bamboo can be tricky to get staples into.

Blending Tools

I purchased a pet brush and paint brush from my local dollar store, and they are working just fine, although I do anticipate the pet brush wearing out fairly quickly. If you would like a more durable and “proper” tool to use on your blending board, you can check out these flicker brushes and tools created specifically for blending boards.

  • Paradise Fibers Mini Carding/Blending Brush – The handle is located on the back of this tool so you can face the tines away from you to press fibers into the board, or toward you for a carding effect.
  • Woolery Golden Fleece Blending Brush – The carding cloth on the brush is specially developed for blending purposes with longer and finer wires.
  • Ashford Flick Carder – This is the flicker that is sold with the Ashford brand blending board. It can be used with the blending board or on it’s own to flick open locks.
  • Dowels or Knitting Needles – I needed to use my extra long knitting needles to remove the rolag from the blending board. Dowels work too. Just make sure the length of your dowels or needles is slightly longer than the width of your blending board.

Tools to Assemble the Blending Board

I used a utility staple gun that I already had in the family’s tool box.

Assembling Your DIY Blending Board

Let’s put the blending board together! It is fairly straightforward, but there are a few tips I discovered along the way that will help you create a fabulous blending board!

  • You will want to make sure you have the tines of the carding cloth facing the right direction. Do this by figuring out which direction they are pointing. That direction is “up”. Orient the carding cloth so the tines are pointing up toward the top of your board.
A cutting board with carding cloth laid over it to show the direction the tines on the carding cloth face.
The tines on the carding cloth should point toward the top of your blending board.
  • Line up the carding cloth on the cutting board and make sure there is enough space around the edges to staple the cloth to the board.
  • Begin by stapling in the center of the carding cloth and working your way toward the edges by alternating adding a staple on the left, then the right, etc. This will ensure your carding cloth stays centered.
A staple gun is positioned to staple a sheet of carding cloth onto a cutting board.
Begin stapling in the center of the carding cloth
A carding cloth is stapled to a cutting board.
Work your way to the edges by alternating adding staples on the left then right then left, etc.

After completely stapling one side of the carding cloth, staple the opposite side of the cloth to the cutting board. If needed, you can come back to the edges and add a few staples to secure the cloth to the board.

And that’s it, you are finished! Here are a few pictures of the first rolags and yarns I made with my new blending board!

Don’t forget to thwack your yarn when you finish spinning! Thwacking is especially great for woolen yarns, like what you will spin from your lovely new rolags!

14 thoughts on “DIY Blending Board

  1. Lisa

    Hello Eve!
    I plan to make my own blending board as well…some day. But I am interested in a set of hand carders. I am wondering if you can explain something to me. There are a variety of hand carder “sizes” – 72 ppsi, 108 ppsi or even higher ppsi. I would love you to explain their different uses according to the ppsi and which I should ask Santa to bring me for Christmas.
    I love all your videos and am so glad I found you. You are great at explaining things and make the world of spinning a lot easier to understand for a fairly new spinner. Plus, you are adorable!

    Thanks so very much!

    1. JillianEve

      Hi Lisa!
      Hand cards do come in a lot of different sizes so let me explain what that means! Great question! The PPSI or sometimes called TPI tells you how closely the “pins” or “tines” are spaced on the carding cloth. The higher the PPSI number, the more pins there are and the lower the number the fewer pins there are. 72 PPSI is the middle of the range and a lot of people go with 72 because it is great for medium wools, and can do an OK job with fine wools, it will just take more passes to fully card the wool. If you move up to say a 120 PPSI then there are more pins on the paddle and it will work best for fine wools with a low micron count such as Merino, but it won’t be great for medium wools. If you want to only do lots of fine wool/alpaca/angora/etc. I would go with the higher PPSI. If you are exploring and experimenting and enjoy using different types of wools, then I would go with 72. I hope that helps answer your question! Happy spinning!

  2. Lisa

    Yes, thank you! That helped a lot. Plus I watched your podcast yesterday where you explained it as well. Love your podcasts and videos.
    The thing that “scares” me (little Halloween reference there ?) is that you can get little neps(?) in the wool. Is that a wool issue or TPI issue?
    Thanks so much for your help.

    1. JillianEve

      I’m glad you were able to catch the Q&A! Your question was the inspiration for that part! The little neps can be caused by a few things, but the main issue is the wool itself. It might have tender tips, a break, have been scoured harshly or get run through a carder too fast. Basically, neps happen with the individual wool fibers break. Bad processing can make neps worse, but it starts with the fiber itself. 🙂

  3. Teresa Griffith

    Hi Evie! Question for you! Can you use locks directly on a blending board, or do you have to use prepared wool like roving or combed top? I have tried using alpaca that was only skirted and it didn’t work the best, but honestly, I’m a beginner at this, so maybe I was doing something else wrong! Like not loading the board enough, maybe. On the internet, everyone seems to be using dyed commercial fibres that they can spread very evenly on the board. Thanks!
    Teresa

    1. JillianEve

      I think blending boards are awesome for playing with prepared fibers and getting them into different forms for spinning. Adding locks will add fun texture to your rolags or batts that you create with a blending board. However, I don’t think blending boards are the best tool for processing wool from its scoured lock form to rolag or batts that you would use for more consistent kinds of yarn spinning. I would prefer hand combs or a drum carder for that. That is why people usually use already prepared fibers on a blending board. You can always experiment and see what happens though!

  4. Kay Bussjaeger

    Do you have a you tube video that shows how you out fibre on blending board , use dog brush, and paintbrush.

    I also would like to wAtch podcast but don’t know how to find it.
    Thanks so much

    1. JillianEve

      You can find my video channel on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/jillianeve the podcasts are listed under the Livestream section. Happy spinning!

  5. Nikki

    Hi Jillian! After having used your board for awhile, do you still think it’s totally stable with only staples along the top and bottom? My blending cloth doesn’t have much margin on the sides so I’m debating whether to leave as is, or pull out tines to make space for stapling.

    1. JillianEve

      Hi Nikki! Yes, the staples are doing their job just fine. I think the staples are better than glue because if the tines get messed up or worn out, I can replace the cloth by popping out the staples. I won’t have to get a whole new board. If you need to adjust yours to work for you though, go for it. Maybe some staples on the sides will give you more stability? Happy carding!

  6. Kay Bussjaeger

    Jillian
    I’m so excited. Just ordered the Rosies Blending Pad and the Acacia Cutting Board to make the blending board. Thank you for your budget friendly diy tutorial.
    Question. If get dog brush at dollar store do the little tins have to point a certain direction?
    I am 73 years old and for many years have wanted to learn to spin wool so this past year have learned. Very excited.
    Thank you for you help

    1. JillianEve

      I’m so happy for you! I missed some of the comments on my blog and am only just now responding to them. I’m so sorry for the delay. I hope that by now you are carding and spinning away! The dog brushes from the dollar store do work, but I turn them around from the direction you would use to brush a dog. It feels like they are working backwards, but it is the best direction for the tines on the blending board. Happy spinning!

  7. EM

    I really wanted to get the 12×12″ carding cloth but it seems to out of stock from the place I can get it – have a time constraint for delivery. Is an 8×12″ a good enough size? Or is it worth the wait of around a month or so to get the 12×12 size?

    1. JillianEve

      Either one will work just fine and I think the difference really comes down to personal preference and how much working space you want. The width will also affect the width of the rolags you make too so if you hate making joins when you spin, you may want to hold out for the wider cloth. Happy spinning!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *