There were a couple of things that were making spinning on Maxwell (thank you Laura :) difficult. First, I'm used to sitting in my easy chair to spin on my Joy, the orifice is at the perfect height, but Max is almost a foot taller than the Joy, so I grabbed two small pillows and plopped my butt down. Just right! Second, Max has, as I said earlier, a draw like a mule team.
The little ball on the string is the tensioner. Its supposed to go over the end of the maiden and tighten there on the right. I took it out of the equation. Even without tightening the string with the knob, just the weight of that little bitty ball caused friction.
I am pretty sure I wasn't supposed to do this, but I did it anyway. I oiled the metal whatchamacallit. The piece below it is plastic, just like a Louette (I think), and I've seen people with these put that grey powder on this spot, not oil, but I don't have the grey powder, so oil it was! It worked.
This is mohair roving, I have no idea where it came from, but it was handy when I went looking for something strong to put on this bad boy. I will never spin lace weight on this wheel, its all about chunky! And it bobs and weaves a bit when I'm spinning, makes a fairly loud 'thunk' at the top of the treadle path, but I think we're going to get along just fine.