How to Make an Electric Bobbin Winder for Less Than $125

At Carib Fiber Arts, we like to know how to do things and love to pass that knowledge around. So, having done the research, the step-by-step details of making a viable electric bobbin winder are now yours. Before you drill, please ensure that your measurements are such as would yield the desirable result. Caveat: We are not engineers. These measurements are guides/suggestions that are intended to help you make a bobbin winder for less than $125.

Materials List

1. Sewing machine motor with pedal and motor block for Singer. 1.0 amps 7000 rpm 110 VOLT 100W, variable speed. $40.50, including shipping. The motor has a 1/4" shaft.

2. 3/8-24rh shaft arbor. Part #3ZN04-#3ZN06. $7.27.

The shaft arbor fits on shaft diameter (size): #3ZN04—1/4"; #3ZN05—5/16"; #3ZN06—3/8".

The arbor has 3/8" screw of 24 threads on the other end which fits into the cone spike.

3. Pike nuts (2). Lowbrow Customs. $12.20 (5-pk). Or Moto Part Hub, $10.70 (3-pk)

Available at Ebay, search terms: 3/8"-24 thread pike nuts. 

4. 1-5/8" x 3/8"-24 Stainless steel bolt and 1/2"-3/4" x 3/8" compression spring. $2.80; $2.63 (6-pk).

Note: Purchase these items only if building a Schacht-type electric bobbin winder. 

5. 5/16" x 18" steel rod. $3.47; 3/8" x 4" compression spring.

This item is available at Lowe's and can be cut with their metal gate cutter. 

6. 1/2 in. x 48 in. x 1/16 in thick aluminum round tube. $8.61. 

7. 1" square aluminum bar. 1" x 12". $9.93 plus shipping. 

It may be possible to have this custom cut into 1" squares at the purchase site. This is an alternative to Process part (1d)

8. Clamping screw knob. Star Knob, 1, 1 3/4 In, 1/4-20. 0.95c.

9. Lumber (5 pcs.) Bell Forest Figured & Exotic Woods.

The wood can be purchased anywhere.

10. Flathead wood screws (8). 1/4" x 3/4". 3/8" washers (2).

11. Rubber bumpers (feet) (6). Sized to fit the screws.

Process

1. The Base Platform: 1" x 6" x 20" (1)

a. Mark out spaces for the Motor Block and the Rod End Block

b. Carve a 5/8" x 5/8" x 14" groove from the base of the Motor Block. This groove should be directly under the steel rod when inserted at 2c, 3c, 4c.

2. The Motor Block: 3-1/4" x 3-1/4" x 1" (1)

a. Adjust the width of the block to fit that of the sewing machine motor, if desired.

b. On the 1" side, mark the center of the following 3/8" up from the base.

c. Dead center of the 3/8" line drawn on the 1" side, use a 5/16" bit to drill a hole 1/2" deep.

3. The End Pike Block: 1-1/2" x 2" x 3" (1)

a. On the 1-1/2" side, mark the center of the following 3/4" up from the base.

b. Below the previously-drawn 3/4" line, mark another line 3/8" up from the base, all around the block. (Note: The new 3/8" line is now the new baseline for the 3/4" mark.)

c. Then, dead center of the 3/4" line drawn, use a 1/2" bit to drill a hole straight through the 2" depth to allow the 5/16" steel rod to pass through.

d. Cut the 1/2" aluminum tube 2" long and tap it carefully to fit snugly into the 1/2" hole.

e. Finally, at  the 1-1/2" side, at the bottom, at dead center mark out a center tongue 1/2" wide x 3/8" high. Then, very carefully, on either side of that tongue, cut out on both the left and the right, two strips, 1/2" x 3/8" x 2". This will leave a strip 1/2"x 3/8" x 2" as a tongue in the middle of the underside.

4. The Clamping Screw Knob Block: 1-/12" x 1" x 1" (1). (Alternatively, purchase a 1" square aluminum block.)

a. On the 1-1/2" side, mark the center of the following 3/8" up from the base.

b. Dead center of the 3/8" line drawn, use a 1/2" bit to drill a hole straight through the 1" depth to allow the 5/16" steel rod to pass through.

c. Cut the 1/2" aluminum tube 1" long and tap it carefully to fit snugly into the 1/2" hole

5. The Rod End Block: 1-1/2" x 1-1/4" x 1" (1)

a. On the 1-1/2" side, mark the center of the following 3/8" up from the base.

b. Dead center of the 3/8" line drawn, use a 5/16" bit to drill a hole to 3/8" depth to insert the end of the 5/16" steel rod.

Assembly

1. Drill and insert screws and rubber under the Base Platform.

2. Drill holes and screw the Motor Block onto the Base Platform.

3. Bolt the Motor and its power connections on to the Motor Block.

4. Pin the Shaft Arbor on to Motor Shaft.

5. Screw a Pike Nut on to the threaded end of the Shaft Arbor.

6. Insert the Steel Rod into the Motor Block.

7. Slide the End Pike Block onto the Steel Rod.

8. Slide the 3/8" x 4" Steel Spring onto the Steel Rod.

9. Slide the Clamping Screw Knob Block onto the Steel Rod.

10. Fit the Steel Rod tightly into the Rod End Block.

12. Clamp the End Rod Block on to the Base Platform and screw both together so the Steel Rod is a snug fit.

This is based on the AVL pirn winder available for sale at the AVL website. We do not have an AVL. The measurements presented here were worked out in the process of preparing to build ours. Let us know what, if any, modifications you make. Enjoy.