After you have the dowel rod cut to a 12" length, push it into the center hole of your wheel allowing about 1 inch to stick out of the bottom. You may need a hammer to tap it in. Use a bit of sand paper to smooth the cut edges (an emery board will do just fine too). The hook will be placed in the top of the rod closest to the wheel (the wheel is actually your whorl if you want to get technical). If you have a steady hand you can twist the little cup hook back and worth to start your hole and screw it in by hand, making sure to keep it centered. If it goes in on an angle your wood will split. When in doubt, drill a small starter hole in the center of the rod end, with your tiniest drill bit. Saw a slight notch on one side of your wheel and sand it smooth. Your yarn will pass through this so you don't want it to be rough. This notch is optional so you may try spinning without it and add it later if you like.
Start Top Whorl Spinning When your top whorl spindle is assembled and sanded, you are ready to start spinning. First you will need to add your "leader" yarn. You will need about 18 inches of yarn. With your hook pointing upwards, tie your leader yarn around the spindle just underneath the whorl. Wrap the yarn and tie a loop. Bring the looped end up over the whorl and wrap it a couple of times around the hook. Leave at least a 5" length to start spinning your fiber. As you spin your fiber, it will collect on the spindle in a cone shape below the whorl. Bottom Whorl Drop Spindle
Add a creative touch to your new spindle by painting or staining the wood, or even burning your own designs onto the edges of the wheel. Have fun and give it a whorl! A few great books to get you started:
Spinning in the Old Way by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts
Spin It: Making Yarn from Scratch by Lee Raven
Hands On Spinning by Lee Raven