(I could not link from the header - so here goes: spinner's weasel)
My first skein winder is of the type the skein-winder guru Grenander-Nyberg calls "clicking winders".
I came to weaving through spinning, so I really needed a skein winder. There are always ways to make balls - making skeins is more difficult without a tool, and some ppl are not quite made for using a niddy-noddy. I am one of these.
So I was happy when I found this at a flea market:
It clicks after 60 turns *.
It has a circumference of ca 153 cm (which is near enough to the 2.5 aln (ca 60 cm x 2.5 = 150 cm) often used as a standard measure - plus a small "fudge factor").
To off-load the skein, there is a way to "bend" one arm:
Another nice winder I have (that, too, found at a flea market - ) is this clock winder. That, too, clicks - or would, if it was complete. I found it so cute it just had to come home with me...
It is a lot more elaborate - or, on second thought, maybe not. It needs some repairs if it is to be used on a regular basis - maybe I'll get around to that some day. For now, it just acts as a decoration.
The front part is hinged at the bottom. Opening it, this is what we see:
The winder "cross" with its threaded axle lift right out.
This too has a circumference of about 155 cm - possibly a tad bigger than the other.
The clock face is (I think) from an actual clock. It is probably paper, and we can see that it is dated 9 years before the winder. The text says Å?? 1832; the middle line says Den (there should be a figure (date) right behind where the axle comes out) Mars, next line says Bengt SvenSon, and the bottom line reads I hylte hus. There is a place (a farm?) called Hyltehus near Laholm, and there is also a village (I think) of that name outside Hyltebruk. So I guess the whole thing might be made within some 100 kms from where I bought it...
(As usual, pictures get bi8gger when clicked)
On the back, it misses one vital part (if it is to "ping", anyway). I suppose there should be something fastened to the clock axle, to get the "clicker" go back. The spring still works - if I release it gives an almighty ping. (Obviously, this one also clicks at 60 turns *)
There are many thoughtful details - the holes for the bobbin-holder pin are lined with brass, the thread guide is also lined, and it has a somewhat more sophisticated "bending" mechanism. The whole thing seems to be made of oak.
Whenever using a counting winder, consider the mechanism carefully: most of them *need* to be turned one way only! Remember that, if you are going to use it as a swift, either take the skein "from inside", or disable the clicking mechanism.
* For some more history on traditional skein sizes see the article on old reeds on my home page (or here for Swedish).