Kenmore 158: Large(st) Spool Holder

Large quilting projects require lots of thread, beyond the capacity of the previous spool adapter, so we came up with a different solution:

Large spool holder
Large spool holder

These are cheap & readily available from the usual sources, but recent reviews indicate that the “metal” base has become plastic and the build quality isn’t anything to rejoice over. My feeling is that if it’s going to become a shop project anyway, I should just conjure something suitable from the heap.

The base is a random plastic project box that came with a flimsy sheet-steel top, which I replaced with a rectangle of 0.1 inch = 2.5 mm aluminum plate for more heft. The box is filled with 1.5 pounds of wheel weights, so it’s not going anywhere on its own. The silicone rubber feet probably don’t add much to the project, but why not use ’em?

The feed hook started life as copper-flashed welding filler rod, smooth to the thread and pleasant to the eye, sitting in a hole drilled into a stainless steel 10-32 screw. It’s long enough to feed the thread just above the Kenmore’s top surface. A hook works better than an eyelet: just pass the thread over the hook and you’re done.

The central shaft is a wood dowel, shaped & sanded on the (metal) lathe, held in place by another 10-32 screw. Inside the spool sits a length of “3/4 inch” CPVC pipe (ID = 0.7 inch, OD = 0.875 inch, gotta love those plumbing measurements) that’s a sloppy fit in the just-over 1 inch spool ID.

The smaller spools fit directly on the dowel, perhaps atop the CPVC sleeve.

This seems to work OK, but I’m going to trim the dowel down to just over the length of the spool, so the thread will feed without touching the wood. I thought stacking the smaller spools atop the CPVC sleeve made sense, but that turned out to not be the case.

Took about an hour to conjure with found materials and without a hint of 3D printing…


6 thoughts on “Kenmore 158: Large(st) Spool Holder

  1. Wood on a metal lathe. Do you take any precautions to protect your ways and such? I thought that was a no-no.

    1. Other than running a shopvac when I’m doing wood, I don’t worry about it. The total power-on hours for that lathe add up to a few hundred, tops: it’ll go to the next owner with essentially the same wear marks as when I got it…

      (Standing by for the blackball in three … two … one …)

    2. My 12″ Craftsman (Atlas, actually) also does my wood turning. It turns a better cylinder than I can. (Carbide insert FTW. [grin]) It has a few tens of hours turning wood (mostly maple, with a walnut bowl and miscellaneous other woods), with the only effect is the fact that wood dust will soak up the way oil. I’d refrain from turning any abrasive wood (teak, for instance) without precautions, but those wouldn’t be much different from grinding on a lathe. I’ve used paper over the ways to simplify cleanup when roughing a bunch of maple knob blanks.

      Fine Woodworking once did an article about a wood turner who used a metal lathe, so if it’s good enough for the pros…

  2. Please bend a loop into the end of the metal rod, or or put a plastic bead on it, or something….
    Think “eye protection”…

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