Is a drum carder worth it?

Today I came across someone giving away a LOT of free wool and I am into reenactment, so having acces to natural untreated wool is ideal.

However this send me down a rabbithole on making my own carding machine. Since I don’t have €450 lying around to buy the most basic model.
And turns out, it is relatively simple and would cost me less that €200 I could even add a sewing machine motor and have both hands free to work with it.

However I am unsure if I just think it is worth it because it is so much cheaper than finished machines or if this would really be an interesting avenue to go down.
Do any of you have carding machines or do you think hand carding is the way to go.
Or if you do not card your own wool, would you pay for carded wool from a local variety of sheep (so no merino or anything fancy)

In case you wonder, and/or want to make one yourself these are the best instructions i found.

And the best carding cloth seem to be on etsy (at least in Europe)

Disclaimer, I am no expert.
Drum carders are fun, I can’t lie. Especially if you are blending different colors and textures of fiber. However, if you’re processing wool as part of your reenactment, they might not be historically accurate for the era and place, so you wouldn’t bring it in public with you if that’s the case.
Whether it is worthwhile also depends on how you want to use our present the finished fiber , and what kind of wool you’ll be using. The fiber I’ve been processing locally often just gets stuck in clumps on the drum carder, so even though the group I’m in has a drum carder we all use hand carders instead. Someone may do one final carding on the drum carder to make a prettier batt, but the poor thing isn’t getting much use.
That being said, if you are regularly working with a lot of fiber, and what you work with isn’t exceptionally short-stsple and fussy, it could be a good investment. If you have a group of fiber people near you, possibly you could share the cost and take turns with it? If more than one person can use it long-term that helps justify the expense.

Thank you so much for your response.

I am not planning on taking it with me to events, I want to process the wool beforehand.

I have no clue how the wool it will work with a machine. But I am sure I have plenty of wool using friends who would love to take turns with it.

I guess I’ll get a set of hand carders for now and take my time building a machine, making sure it works before buying the expensive carding cloth.
Thanks again for your feedback :slight_smile: