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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Product Review: Anderson Originals Kitten Drum Carder

As you may recall from my previous post, The Great Drumcarder Decision 2011, I bough a drum carder. Now that I've had the chance to play with it, I decided to do a product review. You all know by now, my reasons for choosing this drum carder over other brands and models. But here we will talk about the drum carder itself.

It all came in a HUGE box, with a friendly sticker that says "Made in the USA". Yes, I feel good about this purchase, because it was *relatively* inexpensive, and I am supporting a handmade production artist. Now the box is slightly deceiving. The drum carder is not that big (nope, no 3 ft by 3 ft carder...) but the reason for the box being that size was for the care that was put into packing it.

LOTS of bubble wrap!
Not only was the drum carder wrapped in 2 feet worth of bubble wrap, but it was also housed by foam corners to prevent it from moving during travel. Please keep in mind that the care put into packing the drum carder is part of the shipping cost (and seriously, if I made something this sexy by hand, you BET I would be packing it with care as well!)
 The box itself came with a *hand written* thank you card from the master himself. Now that is sweet.

The carder itself has a 90 tpi licker in and 120 tpi drum. What I love is that this is suitable for most wools that I would be playing with, but there is also the option to buy additional drums separately with the other carding cloths. Versatility is goooooood.

The packer brush has a hand burned Anderson Originals stamp on it. Remember: attention to detail. The brush itself has bristles that are about 3/4 inch long. Enough to brush along the tines, but not long enough to remove fiber from the drum as you turn.

My Fancy Kitty Kitten is about 1.5 feet long, and 3/4 ft wide. Small enough to fit easily on my kitchen table, but big enough to make batts that are 22" long and 8.5" wide.

The table clamp is relatively simple, it's just a screw and a nut that bolts the drum carder to the table. If I had my way, this is the only thing I would change, as my table is a little too thick to properly clamp the drum carder to, I would prefer that there be more than one clamp.  But honestly, the craftsmanship might not allow this. I can get by with one clamp. I just need to be creative with how the drum carder is attached.

The Kitten comes *almost* fully assembled to your door. All you need to do is attach the handle that turns the machine. Sweet. Minimal assembly is a plus when you are squeeing your way through the house in anticipation of a new toy to play with.

The poly cord drive belt is serious business. It's thick and seems like it will never wear out. It is completely smooth, so there are no bumps when you are carding to your little heart's content. The fun part is, that if it does wear out, it is super simple to replace.

Just an aside: Do you see how shiny this baby is? Even without a finish, you can tell that love and knowledgable craftsmanship went into it. Everything moves super smooth, and there are no rough patches.

She's so pretty!

I am extremely happy with my purchase. I have already carded some targhee and cheviot batts on her, and am very please with the results (those are available in my etsy shop...)

Again, the only thing I have a vague problem with is that I am worried my little darling will migrate across the table with only one clamp. But, it hasn't happened yet.

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