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Thread: Simple and Cheap Spool Adapter

  1. #1
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    This is so simple that others may have also come up with it. If so, sorry to duplicate. I have an old Bernina 830 and my mom's even older Elna Supermatic. Both have upright spindles. If you have a machine with horizontal spindles where the thread is not supposed to turn, I'm not sure how this would work.

    My local store was out of spool adapters when I needed one. In order to use Coats and Clark machine quilting cotton, and other large-hole spools on a small spindle I wrap the bristly side of some self-adhesive Velcro around a piece of tubing that just fits my spindles. It takes a few seconds to make and has worked well for me.

    You need just enough Velcro to make a tight but easy fit inside the spool. In this case I went around the tube about 3 times. The Velcro glue side stuck to the bristles better than I expected.

    I use a pair of needle nose pliers or tweezers to pull it out of my spools, but if you take the labels off both ends you could just push it through. I had some old tubing around the house, so I'm not sure of the size, but it appears to be 1/4" inch. The inner dimension has to fit well over your spindle, allowing it to turn freely. It's cheap at any hardware store and also sold at pet supply places for use in aquariums. To be sure of the size, you could take an ordinary thread spool to the store with you and find tubing with the same dimension as the hole in the spool. I hope this is a useful.

    Here are a couple of pictures. The tube I happened to have on hand is black, but most of it that you find is clear.

    Tubing with Velcro wrap
    Name:  Attachment-71144.jpe
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    Tube inside the spool
    Name:  Attachment-71145.jpe
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Size:  31.5 KB

  2. #2
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    Wow. Neat Idea

  3. #3
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I did a similar adaptation using the sticky back craft foam.

  4. #4
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I found pieces of clear plastic tubing in DH's shop. One tube fit over my spindle and another tube fit over that tube that fit the spool of thread. I've used it for years. Spool adapters are expensive for what they are.

  5. #5
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Very clever!! Thank you for sharing with us :D:D:D

  6. #6
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    I use a wooden dowel that fits into the spool of thread and then sets on my spindle. Works like crazy and almost no cost for a long piece of ddowel and then cut it .

  7. #7
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    I took one of those spools of thread with me to Wal-Mart. In their craft section they have dowels. Fitted a dowel to the inside of the thread. Bought the dowel, marked the center, made sure I had the right drill bit (same size) as spindle to machine, and cut the piece the length needed. Drilled a hole down the center of the dowel and have several dowels the size needed for my thread.

  8. #8
    Super Member ontheriver's Avatar
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    Another thing to try, my sweetie took a wooden dow that fit inside the thread, cut a piece the length of the spool, then drilled a hole in it through the length so it would fit over the spindle on my machine. Now I can put larger spools on my antique machine. works so good I had him make one to fit every spool size for every one of my machines.

  9. #9
    Super Member Rumbols's Avatar
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    Love your suggestion. I have been using the inside of an empty Gutterman spools (small or medium size). I twist the bottom inner piece (down where you wind the thread when done with spool) and give it good twist and pull. This pulls the inside out and makes a perfect adapter for the larger spools. When I need to use a machine where the spool lays down, I use two of these end to end in the spool and they help it to ride smoothly. I also use the rest of the spool to wind ribbons on for storage. Hope this is clear for everyone.

  10. #10
    EC
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    I've been told to stick a drinking straw over my spindle and then whatever spool/cone you are using. Works for me!

  11. #11
    Super Member JUNEC's Avatar
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    What a clever idea - thank you for sharing

  12. #12
    cjr
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    Necessity is the mother of invention. Good suggestions

  13. #13
    Super Member annette1952's Avatar
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    Great idea! Thank you!

  14. #14
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumbols
    Love your suggestion. I have been using the inside of an empty Gutterman spools (small or medium size). I twist the bottom inner piece (down where you wind the thread when done with spool) and give it good twist and pull. This pulls the inside out and makes a perfect adapter for the larger spools. When I need to use a machine where the spool lays down, I use two of these end to end in the spool and they help it to ride smoothly. I also use the rest of the spool to wind ribbons on for storage. Hope this is clear for everyone.
    These are a couple of great ideas. I'll have to save those spools. I'd especially like it for ribbon because it would be more compact and would let them be stored in a thread box.

  15. #15
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    I use a couple of washers that fit just inside the thread spool and it keeps the spools in place just fine. I agree that they charge way to much for simple things no matter what it's for. Most of the time, if you need something, you can just go hang out in the hardware store for a while and find everything you need to make your own stuff and far less then what you pay if it's sold for what you want it for.

    And that's exactly why we are in a recession because there are so many greedy people out there. I don't mind paying a buck of something worth a buck but it's a cold day in Hell before I pay 20 bucks for something I can make under 1 buck.

  16. #16

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    I have several different types of thread as im sure everyone does many of these threads have varing sizes of cardboard tubes I just fit one inside another until i have the size i need , you may have to use a piece of cardboard(aka)cereal box cut to size to make each fit inside the next size. works great for me

  17. #17
    Super Member Glenda m's Avatar
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    I have doll stands, so I thought why not. Larger of the stands and it's adjustable.

    large doll stand
    Name:  Attachment-120222.jpe
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    another view
    Name:  Attachment-120223.jpe
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Size:  39.2 KB

  18. #18
    Super Member leaha's Avatar
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    oh my gosh that works so great, super thanks!!!

  19. #19
    Super Member lawsonmugs's Avatar
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    Glenda M could you please show another picture of the doll stand without the spool so I know exactly what to look for thanks alot. Mary

  20. #20
    Super Member Glenda m's Avatar
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    Here is a picture of all my doll stands. Finally got them all in one place. LOL They are just regular stands that you can find in any craft store or ... got most of mine at garage sales. When I set it up, I wrap the thread around the top "doll holding part" once. That well the thread doesn't feed to fast. Works great for me. You might have to adjust it for your machine. Hope this helps. Oh, included one of the dolls I make clothes for. (When I have time)
    Attached Images Attached Images


  21. #21
    Super Member lawsonmugs's Avatar
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    I think I have one. Thanks for your time to post another picture.I thought maybe you had put the spool on top of something you added,like a piece of dowel.Your doll is very pretty and I love her dress. you do great work. Thanks again Mary

  22. #22
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Great idea Rosalind.

    Even before I read the text in your post, I knew you had an old Bernina 830 by your first photo. I still have mine also and love sewing on it. They are sturdy little machines, aren't they? I got mine in 1975.

    Y'all are sharing how you do your thread so guess I should share what I do. I put my spool in an old mug I am not using and on top of my machine, I tape a 1" piece of plastic straw and run my thread through there and then thread my machine. It allows the thread to be loose and yet not bouncing all over my sewing table. :-D

  23. #23
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    Great Idea. Thanks

  24. #24
    Super Member Rumbols's Avatar
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    Using doll stands what a great idea. And here I bought one of those fancy flower stands (on sale of course). What a great bunch of ideas. Thanks everyone.
    Rumbols

  25. #25
    Super Member chips88's Avatar
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    all great ideas here .. i made a spool stand out of a piece of pine board 3 1/2 x 7 inch and got a dowel .. drilled a hole not all the way threw and pound the dowel in and it works for me.

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