I must admit I was a little hesitant about rescuing this drum carder. When I tried to rescue a rigid heddle loom last year from craigslist it was a complete bust. The price on this was low enough that even if I had to replace the carding cloth(which is very expensive) the carder still would have been a lot cheaper than buying a new one. ( estimating the cost of carding cloth replacement at 200$) brand new carder cost at least 500$ and many are a lot more.
Here is what I did:
I took it apart and cleaned it up. Took the chain off and cleaned it with a cloth. When I put it back together I added some oil. I used a vacuum cleaner on the drums. I would really love to put them in some soapy water but I am worried it will ruin them. I did spray them with bug spray...when I first got it I was worried about critters. When putting it back together I researched how far apart the swift(big drum) and licker(little drum) should be...the responses I got were it depends on the fiber, generally the width will fall between a width equal to a sheet of paper or equal to a credit credit card.
Enough of that... Here is the cleaned up drum carder:
I love it! . The carding cloth is in good enough shape for my needs... Some tines are bent but it seems to work ok for blending.
Here is what it looked like when I bought it. It was sitting outside and very dirty.