Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bobbins, Bobbins, Bobbins!

One of the things I love most about my little hand cranked singer sewing machine is that I can always use it. . . Power or no power! It is so sweet and easy to crank. I love it! I love it!

When I received her, I noticed that she only had one bobbin. Anyone that sews knows that you need at least two bobbins. So I set about hunting down another, or more bobbins.

I went straight to the internet. Living in the mountains of New Mexico is wonderful but not when you are shopping. The internet is my" local" shopping mall.

I found a website that deals with supplies for vintage machines and ordered bobbins for a vibrating shuttle machine. They came in packs of 5. I ordered two packs. 10 bobbins!! I was so excited when I received my little package!

I started winding the bobbins immediately. I then noticed that the thread was winding itself beyond the area where the thread is supposed to be. At first I thought I had done it wrong. I wound another new bobbin. This time I made sure to follow the instruction manual step by step when winding the bobbin. It happened again! There was the thread beyond the flange at the edge of the bobbin!  You can just barely see in the picture below (slightly blurry) that the little arm has extended beyond the edge of the left side of the bobbin.

In the picture below you can see the thread that wound beyond the flange of the bobbinl.

Now what? I wound another bobbin. This time I went very slowly so I could watch the action.  I noticed that the thread continued it's journey to the left of the bobbin's left flange only after the bobbin winder went to the left. It did not go past the flange on the right side. I tried to figure out why it did this.  I finally came up with the idea that the new bobbins might be a little too short. I have laid out the new bobbins side by side with the bobbin that came with the machine. You can see in the pic below, the new bobbin IS shorter, slightly from the original which is in the middle.

Back to the internet! I ordered from a seller on eBay. They were supposed to be original bobbins, not reproductions. They were too long! In the picture above, the top bobbin is too long and the bottom bobbin is too short. The middle bobbin is the one that came with the machine and is "just right"!

Back to the internet! I thought to myself. . . Third time's the charm. I found another vendor that was selling 12 assorted sized bobbins there were not reproductions. When they came I noticed that some were even fatter than my original, some were smaller. But, I noticed that there were two that were" just right"!
I now have three good bobbins!! YAY!

Lesson learned. . . Measure your bobbins carefully before you buy and ask the vendor to tell you how long the" axle" is. The axle is where the thread will wind. Measure the diameter of the right and left flanges. As you can see in the picture below, the flange on the right most bobbin is too wide. It won't fit in the bobbin winder.

Apparantly not all" vibrating shuttle" bobbins are made equal. Something I took for granted and wished I hadn't because I ended up spending almost $50 with the shipping charges and ended up with only 3 useable bobbins. The bobbins that are "too short" are still useable in the shuttle but are a pain to wind because of the overlapping to the left. The bobbin that is too long will not fit in the shuttle and as such can not be used at all.
This is the correct bobbin and is winding correctly!