FAQ and Store Policies

When are the store updates?  How can I order a spindle?

Each Saturday at noon Central time, listings for new in-stock spindles and spinning bowls are added to the store. Previews for the products that will be available on Saturday are usually posted by Friday evening and can be viewed using the Product previews link at the bottom of the page. The most popular products often sell within a few minutes after the listings go up.

In addition to the in-stock spindles that are available on Saturdays, also available for preorder are certain types of spindles (currently teacup, cauldron, mushroom, bead, and bird bead spindles) and bowls.  These products are always available to order, but take approximately 2-6 weeks to be made and shipped depending on the type of product and my current schedule.

Each week there is also a stalk free pass (see below) and sometimes one or more spindles that are available by lottery. Those who wish to sign up for these lotteries can do so in the Woodland Handcrafts group on Ravelry.

In case you're wondering why I use these methods to sell spindles and not others, please click here for my thoughts regarding the pros and cons of different selling methods.

To purchase a product, click the appropriate category at the top of the page (e.g. "all products" or "spindles") to see the listings for that type of product. You can then add the item to your cart and complete your purchase. Please note the purchase is not complete until payment is processed. During times of high site traffic (e.g. just after noon on Saturdays), it is possible to lose an item from your cart if someone else checks out faster.

What is a stalk free pass?

Stalk free passes allow the winner of the pass to select one product from the next spindle update to be reserved in his or her name to purchase to avoid having to "stalk" the update when the product listings go live.  They are currently given away by lottery and you can sign up by visiting the Woodland Handcrafts Ravelry group.  If you sign up for a particular month, you will be entered for all of the stalk free pass lotteries for that month.  There are a few rules to remember regarding the passes:

  1. The pass can be used for one product listing only.  If a single listing includes multiple items (such as a spindle set or spindle and bowl set) the pass can be used for that listing as well.
  2. You can only win one pass per month.
  3. The pass is only good for the store update for which it is drawn.  If there are no products in the store update that you would like to purchase, you are not required to purchase anything.  However, you must forfeit the pass; it can not be used on a future store update.

Product previews are usually posted to the store the day before the update.  If you win, please message Carl on Ravelry (WoodlandCarl) or email carl@woodlandhandcrafts.com to let me know which product you would like to have reserved for you prior to the store update.  If your name is drawn and you do not wish to use the pass, please let me know ASAP so another name can be drawn.  Please note reserved listings are expected to be purchased within 2 weeks.  If this is not possible and you need more time, please let us know or the spindle may be sold to another customer.

What is a whorl to shaft density ratio?

This number is included in the listing of spindles with a whorl. It is the ratio of the density of the wood from which the whorl is made to the density of the wood from which the shaft is made, and will range from approximately 0.5 to 2. A spindle with a higher number will tend to have a longer spin time but may be more difficult to flick or have a slower spin than a spindle with a lower number. The number can be used along with the weight of the spindle to give a relative idea how it will spin. For example, if you own two Teacups of a similar weight, but one has a ratio of 0.7 and one has a ratio of 1.2 and you prefer the 0.7, it may be best to seek Teacups closer to 0.7.

Are your spindles balanced? I don't see any balancing pins/weights like I see on some other makers' spindles.

All spindle whorls are balanced using one of three methods: 1) brass balancing pins weighing as little as 0.01 oz inserted internally (through the hole the shaft goes through), 2) removing material from the inside of the whorl where it contacts the shaft and is not visible, or 3) on some carved spindles, carving off more of the heavier side.  All of these methods result in a spindle that is perfectly balanced, yet has no visible balancing pins.  The goal when balancing is for the spindle to feel like it's sitting still while spinning, with no wobble or vibration whatsoever.

Do you ship internationally? What are shipping costs? How long will it take to receive my order?

Most products can be shipped internationally. Shipping is typically $5 for orders shipped to U.S. destinations, $10 to Canada and $15-$23 to all other countries for items that will fit into one box.  Buyers are responsible for paying VAT and customs duties.  If ordering multiple items that can be shipped together, shipping will be combined if possible.  Domestic orders are shipped USPS Ground Advantage unless otherwise requested, which typically takes between 2 and 5 business days.  You should receive tracking information once your order is shipped so you can track its progress.  If you do not and would like it, please contact us.  International orders can take 2 weeks or longer.

Please note that products containing rosewoods (including African blackwood and cocobolo) and some other woods can only be shipped within the U.S. due to CITES restrictions.

If your order is damaged or lost in shipping, please contact us. Orders shipped to U.S. locations that are lost in the mail are eligible for refunds after 30 days have elapsed since shipment. Because international orders take longer to be delivered and can sometimes get stuck in customs for long periods of time, refunds are available for lost international orders after 60 days have elapsed since shipment. In most cases, lost orders will be refunded rather than replaced.

Please note once USPS tracking shows an order has been delivered, refunds and/or replacements will typically not be issued in the event of a lost or stolen package.  If you're concerned about theft in your area, please send an email to customerservice@woodlandhandcrafts.com immediately after placing your order and request that a signature be required for delivery at no extra charge.

What is your policy on refunds, replacements, and returns?

Our goal is for every product we make to be of exceptional quality. All spindles are inspected and tested prior to being sold, so defects are exceptionally rare. However, if you have one of our products and it does not meet your expectations in any way, please contact us.

Repairs or replacements that are necessary due to faulty craftsmanship (e.g. warped shaft) will be done for no charge or for the cost of shipping. The cost of other repairs varies depending on the nature of the repair and can be up to the original cost of the spindle, although simple repairs such as fixing a dented spinning tip are usually done for free. Please be aware spindle shafts unfortunately cannot be repaired. The wood is so thin there is not a sufficient contact area for an adhesive to properly join the broken piece of shaft, and there is no feasible way to get the repaired shaft straight enough to prevent a wobble in the spindle due to the extremely high requirements for precision in these tools.  Be careful with your spindles!

Refunds are not available for preordered products once production has begun unless there is a defect in craftsmanship.  When a refund or exchange is deemed appropriate, it is at our discretion which will be given.  Due to the unique nature of many of our spindles (especially those which are carved), they are sometimes not feasible to replace.

Returns are accepted for spindles in new condition up to 90 days from the date of purchase.

Are the woods you use sustainable?

Unfortunately, many of the most beautiful woods are rare and becoming increasingly so. We only purchase wood from reputable suppliers who obtain wood legally and are under strict regulations regarding the types and quantities of woods they're allowed to import. We use sustainable domestic woods such as walnut and maple for many of the spindles and bowls and do not use species considered to be endangered on the IUCN red list or in Appendix I of the CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species) list.  If you are concerned with purchasing products made only from sustainable woods, we would encourage you to review the CITES and IUCN lists so you can make an informed decision regarding the products you purchase. There is also a more user-friendly list of threatened and endangered woods over at the The Wood Database.

How do I care for my spindle?

On most spindles, the final finish is a combination of walnut oil, wax, and shellac.  The walnut oil "pops the grain", greatly enhancing the figure and chatoyancy in the wood, and the shellac and wax leave a durable, natural-looking finish.  To care for this type of finish, it is recommended to only wipe it with a clean, dry cloth.  Do not apply other finishes such as polyurethane or any product containing a solvent (such as alcohol) over the existing finish.

Although only well-seasoned wood is used for spindle shafts, large changes in heat or moisture can make the shaft warp.  It is highly recommended to never leave a spindle in a hot place, such as in a car during the summer, or to get it wet.  If possible, keep it in a relatively cool, dry place away from small children and pets, stored upright.  To achieve a fast spin, the shafts on our support spindles are quite thin, especially at the flicking tip, and can easily break if not properly cared for.

How can I leave feedback?

If you have any issues at all with any of our products, please contact us directly at customerservice@woodlandhandcrafts.com and we will work with you to remedy the issue.  We encourage and welcome all feedback, including constructive negative feedback.  We can only fix problems and improve our products if we know there is an issue.  You won't find star ratings on our products because each product is unique and those ratings can be manipulated or faked.  If you'd like to leave general feedback or see what real customers have to say about our products, there is a Woodland Handcrafts group on Ravelry.