MANUFACTURING MONDAY – Bobbin winder. This mini tutorial comes to you thanks to Becky Stern! While Becky was working on her iPhone gloves tutorial, she came over and asked if we had any conductive thread. Luckily, we had a bunch of cone samples of thread and yarn. The good news is we had tons of thread, the bad news is that they were in 1 lb cones and Becky wanted to sell small amounts.
She had previously used a ‘card’ such as used for embroidery floss, but it takes a long time to wind those by hand and she wanted to get these made quick! Thats when she realized that you can buy a bobbin winding machine and pick up plastic bobbins from any sewing shop.
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Hmm. So can you slow down a bobbin winder to wind wire (typically I think they assume that the main spool will “unwind” easily, which isn’t true of wire), and is a coil with the geometry of a typical plastic bobbin good for anything?
I used to run into this problem a lot when I was making kites. I would buy thread on cones but had to get it onto regular spools and bobbins for the sewing machine. (I could work with the cones, but spools were easier). My machine does a good job winding bobbins from spools so all I needed to do was get the thread on the spools.
I built a quick LEGO machine to do this. It would rotate the spool and move a head back and forth along the length of the spool to wind the thread evenly (mostly – there was a bit of a sine distribution) on the spool.