Sewing Projects on Study Breaks

All the sail making supplies have arrived from Amazon, and I’ve been completely swamped in homework for the last two weeks. Not that I mind so much, really. Physics this semester is WAY better than last, I even got a high B on my first exam. (As opposed to last semester, 30% was my average on the first two exams. Yuck.)

I’m still plugging away at schooling, as it comes first, so when there’s time for breaks, I try to sneak something productive in there. Tonight’s task: Figure out what to do with this HUGE spool of poly thread. After much research online, I had picked up some V69 Poly Thread for my sails. It’s high tensile strength, UV resistant, and I fully expect it will outlive the sail itself.

Also, the spool it came on is made for a much more robust machine than mine. As you can see here, there is NO was that was gonna work on my trusty Kenmore…

Large spool is large.

Large spool is large.

I had to Google “How do I use an ENORMOUS spool of thread with my sewing machine?”. As it turns out, there’s a device that is made to solve this problem. You can buy a “Cone Thread Holder” for less than $10.

That simply would not do. Since I needed a study break, I decided to scavenge my office for parts to make one of my own.

  1. Old CD Spindle
  2. Zip ties
  3. Steel wire (~12 gauge)
  4. Rubber feet

Construction was pretty simple. After bending the wire to fit around the inside of the base, I fed about 16″ through one of the holes in the spindle and twisted a loop into the top. Then, zip-tied the wire to the base, and added the feet to help keep it in place.

Mmm. Rubber feet.

Mmm. Rubber feet.

And the finished product sitting in my Buffalo Bill-esque sewing room:

The smaller loop in the wire was intended to cut down on the thread swinging all over the place when running at higher speeds. Unfortunately, it was eyeballed, and thus about 2 inches too low, and the thread binds on it.

First tests runs winding bobbins went very well. I managed to get 4 of them threaded without a single snag. I’m still troubled by how much the thread “dances” on the wire. It seems to have a tendency to wind itself backwards over the loop in the wire. If there’s one major annoyance when running a sewing machine, it’s having the thread bind or break mid-stitch. Eventually, I’ll want to work out a solution there.

Here is winding the last bobbin, and the basic setup:

Back to physics homework!

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