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Thread: Plexiglass for bobbin case covers

  1. #1
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    Plexiglass for bobbin case covers

    This is not so much a tutorial as a suggestion or alternative. A lot of older machines are missing slide plates and bobbin case covers. If the plate is square, I suggest plexiglass.

    Plexiglass can be purchased at most big-box hardware stores in sheets. I measure the plate with a dial caliper, lay it out with a carpenter's square, and cheat just a hair on the large side. Marking is done with an awl or a scribe, and I prefer to cut it with a fine-tooth coping saw. Many machines use plates that are angled (beveled) on the edge, so you can either saw on an angle or trim it later with a sharp knife. This will allow the plate to slide into place without falling off. Any knife marks are sanded out with fine-grit sandpaper.

    I like plexiglass for several reasons. First, it is relatively cheap; you can buy a window-sized sheet for the price a replacement plate costs on ebay. Second, it is clear and scratch-resistent, which means you can often watch your machine working as you stitch. Third, it is rigid and relatively easy to work, unlike plastic and a lot of metal alternatives. And fourth, it won't rust or tarnish (although it will scratch if you try hard enough.

    I made plates recently for a Singer 27, a White Family Rotary, and a Singer 66. The 66 was missing the plate retaining spring, otherwise it would have been a lot harder.

    Hope this idea helps someone with a missing plate!

  2. #2
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    Sounds great and I would love to see a picture of one on your machine if you can post one.

  3. #3
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    thanks for posting this... and taking the time to make a tutorial for us
    Nancy in western NY
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    Plexiglass bobbin case cover--with picture

    This is a picture to go with the thread below.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
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    That is slick and sure to save many great machines without throat plates.

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    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    welcome to the board Addiction
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 01-18-2016 at 02:30 PM. Reason: photo now merged, link unnecessary

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    So clever! Thanks!
    Cookie

  8. #8
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    Great idea and very timely! My husband just purchased a 66, our first venture into antique machines, and the throat plate is missing. Thanks for posting!

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    This is a great idea I have a couple older machine missing their plates going to give this a try Thank you

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    Welcome Addiction. I am wondering what thickness of plexiglass, or does it come in thicknesses? Barny

  11. #11
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    Great idea it sounds so simple, but I am sure it isn't for me anyway. I have never heard of anyone using plexiglass but have heard of steel and cardboard,lol, this is just ingenious I think. Awesome to be able to see through it and see the machine and thread working. Wonderful, wonderful wonderful.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

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    wonderful idea

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    A "standard" Singer 66 plate is .085 thick. Yes, you can get plexiglass (lexan, or "acrylic sheet") in various thicknesses. I used what I had on hand, which was .100 thick, and the material has to ride over it. However, you can get it in thicknesses of .08, .093, .118... I would have measured it with my caliper if I were buying new, but knowing now that the Singer plate is .085 I would have tried either .08 or .093 thickness. They sell it at Lowe's, Home Depot, ebay...An 18x24 sheet runs about $10 plus tax--I could make two dozen plates out of that, give or take a mistake.

  14. #14
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    What a great idea!

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    Why is this piece ALWAYS missing on these old machines? I have passed on many because of this. What a great idea. I have a Ma an Pa hardware store down the street and they have cut Plexiglas for me on many occasions for other things. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  16. #16
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    I'm going, right now to trace around my bobbin plate for a future need of making one! Thanks for the idea!!
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
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    When I go to thrift shops I often see the throat plate missing. Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  18. #18
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    All the " new" ones have plexi covers, so why not do for the "oldies" too!

  19. #19
    Super Member kiffie2413's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome to QB, Addiction!
    I kinda laughed as I typed that, as I sometimes feel like I have a QB addiction..lol.
    Thanks for sharing such a great (and thrifty) idea!

    Regards,
    K
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