Celebrating Schacht's 50th Anniversary

The Schacht 50th Anniversary celebration was last Friday, September 20, 2019. There was a full day of events - factory tours, shuttle races, a spin-in, demos, and more - to celebrate the occasion. My wheel is a Schacht Sidekick, and I’ve wanted to see where it was made since I moved to the area. Never got around to taking the tour in the last few years, and I’m happy to have finally gotten the chance.

The Schacht banner welcoming visitors to the festivities. Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Oliver the Corridale/Teeswater sheep. Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
One chicken from the flock named after Lord of the Rings Characters.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years

I was there a few minutes before the next tour ran so I took in the sights. There was Oliver, a personable Corridale/Teeswater sheep, and a whole flock of chickens named after Lord of the Rings characters. This is a naming theme I can stand behind.

Part of the Schacht Factory with verious saws, routers, and stacks of wood.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Assembled center wheels on a rack ready to go to finishing.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Interior of a router on display.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Stack of sheets of hard rock Maple labeled “Schacht Spindle”.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Stacked pieces of cut loom parts ready to be sanded.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
A step in the process in how the center wheels of a wooden spinning wheel is made.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Tour guide explaining the process of making the wooden wheel for a spinning wheel.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
The machine used for making wooden wheels, a table showing wheels at various steps in the process, and a finished wheel on display.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Rough edges of laminated and shaped wood beams for the Matchless Spinning Wheel.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Shelves in a storeroom for un-assembled parts.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Stacks of cut side pieces for the Sidekick spinning wheel.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
A view of the factory showing saws, sanders, and the vacuum ducts.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
A worker dipping parts in oil during the finishing process.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
A look at how the center hub for a spinning wheel is assembled.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
A stack of unfinished weaving shuttles.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years
Labeled drawers in the final assembly area of the factory.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years

The factory was really interesting. Our guide showed us the whole process from start to finish. We saw the CNC routers cutting down blanks to make looms and wheels. There were the jigs used to make pretty much everything. There was even a crash course in how the “wheel” part of wooden spinning wheels are made which was so cool to learn. We saw how the various pieces were sanded and finished with oil before heading off to assembly. I got a little thrill seeing the stacks of cut wood that would become Sidekick wheels.

It was really neat seeing where my wheel was made and the people that made it. As expected the whole place smelled like wood and saw dust which was nice. Though I didn’t expect how loud it would be, not due just to the various machines, but the factory wide vacuum system for controlling sawdust.

A table covered in decorated weaving shuttles waiting to be judged.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years

I wasn’t able to stick around as long after the tour as I wanted to. The heat and a crushing headache were not a good mix. I was able to find some neat fiber and project bags though. On the left is a fun bump from Hummingbird Moon and the right bump of fiber is the 50th anniversary colorway from Sweet Georgia.

Two 4 oz bumps of fiber bought from vendors at the 50th anniversary celebration.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years

I did pack up my wheel and some fiber for the spin-in, but just wasn’t up for sticking around. Same deal with the Try Out tent. I’ll try my hand at weaving one day. Headache aside, I enjoyed myself and the peek behind the scenes.

A warped inkle loom set up and ready for weaving with pink, yellow, and black thread.  Celebrating Schacht’s 50th Anniversary || withwool.com  #schacht50years