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John Keith Russell

Shaker Squirrel Cage Swift

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The Shakers built and operated their own carding mills, and swifts were one of the many tools used in processing wool into useable fiber. After the wool was carded and spun, the yarn was wound around a swift to measure out a specific length, called a skein. A Squirrel Cage Swift was used when dealing with recently washed yarn. Wrapped vertically around the two “cages,” the wet yarn can be rotated so that the skein dries evenly. This unique, double-sided design features four cages, allowing two skeins to be processed at once. ¶ Cherry, ash, and maple in an old, dry surface. Stamped with the initials “S.M.” Intricately constructed, the Swift displays a masterful level of Shaker cabinet work. Featuring mortise and tenon construction with pinned joints. The upper cages are adjustable using locking wooden thumbscrews that feature precise hand-cut threading.

John Keith Russell


  • Material/

    Ash, Cherry, Maple

  • Dimension/

    61.0 x 114.3 x 61.0 cm (24.0 x 45.0 x 24.0 in)

  • Style/


  • Heritage/

    United States

  • Ships from/

    New York, USA

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