Friday, 25 January 2013

Not All Long Bobbins Are The Same


Here are the bobbins from four different machines.  From left to right, Vesta Transverse Shuttle/Little Vesta, Serata treadle (ie, Stoewer Vibrating Shuttle), Singer Vibrating Shuttle, Frister and Rossmann Transverse Shuttle.

Sometimes bobbins are interchangeable between machines, but not always.  

If the disc at the end of the bobbin is too large for the shuttle, the bobbin will not rotate properly inside it.  The disc on the Vesta bobbin is smaller than on all the other bobbins shown.

If the bobbin winder has a little pin where the bobbin fits in at the right hand side, then there has to be a small hole in the disc.  My Singers can take bobbins without holes because there is no pin.

The protrusion at the centre of each disc might be sharp and pointed like the Singer, rounded like the Vesta and Serata, or not there at all, like the Frister and Rossmann.  The F&R is flat at one end with five holes, but has a solid disc with a central protrusion at the other end.

The first questions you need to ask if you are thinking of acquiring a long bobbin machine are firstly, has it got the shuttle, and secondly, has it got bobbins.  Singer bobbins are easy to come by, whereas other bobbins can prove to be pretty scarce.

15 comments:

  1. Loved the photo!
    My Singer 127K came with only one bobbin.
    I tried ordering new ones from a local Singer dealer. An unpleasant fellow, who was very annoyed with me for ordering an item for a vintage machine.
    I doubt he'll get them, so I'm going to order them online.

    I have a question about shuttles, if you don't mind.
    The shuttle of my 127 is in good condition. Would it be wise to get a spare one, just in case? Or would it be unlikely that I would need it?

    Marianne

    Marianne

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Marianne,

    Lovely to hear from you.

    Of course he was grumpy. He didn't like the fact that you were wise to the old machines being longer lasting than the machines he sells.

    If your shuttle is in good condition I wouldn't bother ordering a spare one.

    I don't know where you are, Marianne, but if you are this side of the Atlantic you can get everything you are likely to need from Helen Howes (link at the side of the page). If you are in America, try Treadle Lady or Sew classic.

    Love,
    Muv

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for the tip, Muv.
    I'm from Holland, so I visited Helen Howes site first.

    She has a rule of no more than 2 bobbins per order, which is understandable. Some people tend to be very greedy indeed, or buy accessories for machines they don't use.

    But I prefer to have at least five bobbins per machine, because I'm used to filling bobbins completely when I sew.
    As I use a variety of thread colors for my projects, I always have (partly) filled bobbins at hand.

    So I decided to order from Sew Classic. At Sew Classic they sell those brand new ones. I'm going to buy a package of 5 and see if they work as well as the original bobbin that came with my 127.

    love,

    Marianne

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have had poor experience with new long bobbins for my Singer 28K. They fit inside the machine and sew but they are just a shade too short (2mm maybe) for the bobbin winder. This means that the thread wants to jump over the end of the bobbin and tangle. I have tried bypassing the thread guide as it moves to the left but that slows down bobbin winding. In the end I sourced some old bobbins from a well known online auction site and they fit - hurrah! I have been polishing them up this evening so they will look more like new. Interestingly one of them appears to be slightly magnetic. Do you think this was planned by Singer to stop it dropping out of the shuttle or was it once stored with a magnet in a pin box?

    Best wishes
    Gavin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Gavin,

      Very interesting about the new bobbins - I wasn't aware of that. I have always been fortunate enough to have a good supply of old ones.

      The magnetic bobbin must have been stored with a magnet. My bobbins are all definitely of the non-magnetic variety.

      Thank you for joining as a follower!
      Muv

      Delete
  5. Hi Lizzie, I've been searching for info on how to thread the bobbin on my inherited Vesta hand crank sewing machine and keep being directed to your fabulous sites. Unfortunately, none of them describe the bobbin I have, which is kind of bullet shaped. Have you ever come across such a one? I can't even work out where it fits onto to thread, let alone how I load it into the machine! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Anna,

      Lucky you! Congratulations on inheriting a Vesta.

      I suggest you click on all the relevant side headings on the right hand side of the page... Long Bobbin Machines, Shuttles, Transverse Shuttles, Vibrating Shuttles, Vesta... and watch the Youtube Videos. Loads of information and photos there to help you with your machine. You should be able to work it out.

      Love,
      Muv

      Delete
  6. A lovely posting, Muv,

    I have been on the hunt for more bobbins for my Singer 128k V.S. for a while. As luck might have it, I may actually have some. A friend of mine has some and is trying to arrange for me to take ownership of them. If so, I will have a full five for my Singer Puzzle Box. Yay!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Scheong!
      Singers are definitely the easiest to find. How nice - a complete puzzle box!
      Love, Muv

      Delete
    2. Muv I wanted to ask: Those Frister & Rossmann TS machines - Do they use modern D-shank domestic machine-needles? Or do they use the older-style cylindrical Singer-12 type needles?

      From what I understand, those old Singer-12 needles are rare as hens' teeth, and nobody manufactures them anymore. But Frister & Rossmann made TS machines right into the 1920s and 30s. Would they have changed the needle-design to take more modern needles, given that the style of machine was so antiquated by then? Or did they continue to use the old-fashioned, 1850s, 1860s-style needles? What needles do YOUR Frister & Rossmann TS's take?

      Delete
    3. Hello Scheong,

      These two post will go some way to answering your questions:-

      http://lizzielenard-vintagesewing.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/setting-needle.html

      http://lizzielenard-vintagesewing.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Needles

      In short, all my machines take a standard flat sided needle, and you can get round shanked needles from Helen Howes and Treadle Lady.

      Exports of German transverse shuttle machines to this country ceased with the First World War. For a short while American machines were imported, but German machines reappeared after the war. Many manufacturers were still making transverse shuttles, and the inter-war machines took a flat sided needle. My Frister and Rossmann and Vesta transverse shuttles all take a standard needle.

      Love, Muv

      Delete
    4. Hi Muv,

      Thanks very much for your reply. The videos helped a lot :) I never realised that older-model German TS machines were modified (or built) to take conventional, modern machine-needles. This is news to me. I shall have to see if I can find one of these machines and add it to my collection.

      Delete
  7. Hi... I am new to your blog and saw the picture of the bobbins for the old machines. I have a Singer 128 and it has bobbins, but I have a dickin's of a time re-winding the bobbin for the shuttle. The thread just does not stay put. I really want to find some bobbins with the hole... like what you show in your demonstration. Do you know where I can get some?

    Thank you,
    Teresa in the USA

    ReplyDelete
  8. I saw your picture of the bobbins with the hole to hold the thread when you wind it. I also saw this type of bobbin in your demonstration of the shuttle and bobbin. Do you know where I can find these type of bobbins with the hole. I need them because it is so hard for me to keep my thread intact and straight on the bobbin when re-winding the thread. I appreciate your help. Your demonstrations are awesome and very useful.

    Teresa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Teresa,

      So glad you have found the blog useful!

      The bobbins with holes were manufactured for machines that have a little pin to hold the bobbin in place during winding. Singer bobbin winders have no pin, but the bobbins from other machines are often compatible, so putting the end of the thread through is a handy trick to keep the end of the thread firm.

      The other option is to trap the end of the thread between the end of the bobbin and the bobbin winder, leave a longish tail so it keeps firm for the first few turns, and once you are sure it is secure, snip off the excess and carry on winding.

      Love, Muv

      Delete

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