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Can I mix bobbin styles on a pillow?


On Thu, 27 Nov 1997, Jean Peach wrote: I have always been told not to mix bobbins - continental - Midland. Well, to-day I broke the rules.

So have I. And I have even confirmed it by experience -- if you mix bobbins, you break your rhythm. I'm so persnickety on the matter that I don't even like to mix Midlands if they're not the same length. I've been spending every spare cent I have to get myself a large (by my standards) set of identical bobbins, so I don't have to worry about it....

I break that "rule" regularly -- all my "daily bread" bobbins are identical (essentially continental in that they're not spangled) but not the gimp ones. And, since recently, not the "hookies" I use with metallic thread. All of those are spangled and heavily too. Plus, the gimps are oversized as well (I need a lot of room on the neck for gimp; not so for "daily bread"). I find it doesn't make a bit of difference; in both instances, the thread itself is different enough from the rest to require different handling and to mess with your rhythm. Eventually, when I have money to blow and time to discuss the pattern, I intend to get my gimps and my hookies made to confirm with the rest of the bobbins in shape (just in a different material, to make them heavier). In the meantime, the mix works well enough, so why not?

Tamara Duvall
Lexington, VA, USA
**************************************

Tamara Duvall wrote:
[I don't even like to mix Midlands if they're not the same length. I've been spending every spare cent I have to get myself a large (by my standards) set of identical bobbins, so I don't have to worry about it.... ]

This would indicate that what is required is a bobbin gauge. Just as knitting needles are identified by a gauge number bobbins could also be identified. How much easier for the makers and the buyers. e.g. to send an order for 100 size #6, 10 cm long, 600 milligram ready spangled midlands bobbins or 10 pairs of 200 mg 60 mm Honiton bobbins and get back what you expected. Currently pricking carry such information as the thread to be used and the number of pairs of bobbins but not the slightest mention of what sort of bobbins. A standard would make such things as #6aM6S common currency It simply means a number 6 bobbin of length a of Midlands type weighing 600 milligram ready spangled. Or some such convention.

I suggest that a committee be formed to write the standard, probably under the auspices of an organization such as OIDFA.

Gary Peach
***************************************

Gary Peach wrote:
[ This would indicate that what is required is a bobbin gauge. How much easier for the makers and the buyers. e.g. to send an order for 100 size #6, 10 cm long, 600 milligram ready spangled midlands bobbins. A standard would make such things as #6aM6S common currency. It simply means a number 6 bobbin of length a of Midlands type weighing 600 milligram ready spangled. I suggest that a committee be formed to write the standard probably under the auspices of an organization such as OIDFA.]

Dear Gary -

EEEEWWWWWW! Had I not only just returned from 10 days restful and relaxing vacation, and if I did not know you were sending this tongue in cheek (you are, aren't you??), I would really fuss at you. I fight regimentation is most aspects of my life and now you are trying to tell me we need some sort of standardization in Midlands bobbins! Isn't that just a tad anal retentive, love? For me, making lace is a restful and relaxing activity and I cherish my pillows and their individual look and feel. When I shop for bobbins at lace days and the like, I sometime take along a favorite bobbin, one that suits me in length and heft, and use it to compare to others that take my fancy. Usually I just pick them up, fondle them a bit and if they call out to me, I take them home.

Additionally, I also think pre-spangled bobbins an invention of the devil (unless they are antique ones, of course) because the weight of a bobbin truly is a personal thing, varying with the type of lace one is making and personal preference. I sometimes think that when lacemakers are testy about different sizes of bobbins in use, they sometimes really mean different weights.

Okay, okay, I do sort my Midlands by weight, you got me on that one. But standardization in bobbins! A scrofulous idea!

Question authority, up against the wall, off to find another Mohito.....

Cindy Hutton
Norfolk, VA
*****************************

Gary Peach wrote:
[ How much easier for the makers and the buyers. ]

Buyers -- *maybe*. Makers? No way. It maybe possible with factory-made bobbins, always the same wood and always the same template but in hand-made? Hardly ever do two bobbins make a *truly* identical pair. And, I may be (which is why I'm aiming for a "perfect" set) but even with the ones I have I either plaster something on them, carve something into them or have Jacqui paint and varnish them for me. Each of which procedures further changes the weight (however minimally). Even with Honitons (fairly uniform in size and shape) it would not be possible unless one were to limit oneself to a single material (and, if wood, a single wood). With Midlands, you'd have both the makers and the users after you, stoning you with glass spangles and sweeping out the remnants with tastefully carved brooms.

A hundred and fifty years ago, with lace being made in a basement of a sweatshop or an orphanage, your idea might have had merit -- uniform bobbins would have provided less distraction and bigger output. I can just see them too, all the same colour and shape with uniformly-sized beads in grey and black (memento mori etc). Since today most people make lace for their own pleasure, I'd have to agree with Cindy -- EEEWWW (and Icky Poo, too). I happen to have enough trouble with getting my *lace* look right that I'm less interested in what my bobbins look like. But it would be a sad day indeed if everyone were like me -- I'd be bored to tears, for one thing :)

Tamara Duvall
Lexington, VA, USA
******************************

Now if we are truely fortunate, Gary is still pulling our leg. If not, it would create a windfall business for the CNC (Computer Numrical Controlled) lathe business, but would require additional approches to the problem. Perhaps while playing darts , the selection of a 19 gram set of darts may be preferable to a set of 17 gram or 21 gram, the selection of bobbins by that criteria would be a nightmeare for turners and bland for the lacers. There will always be a market for both types of bobbins , but I suspect that while beads are there for weight, the selection is based on visual.

I tend to mix all types of bobbins on my pillow, but I am also so new to lacemaking, that I can not yet notice the difference in weight or style when lacing. Speed is not what one thinks of regarding my lacemaking.

In setting a criteria for bobbin types, have you considered the difference in weight of the wood used to create the bobbin? Unless you used only one type of wood for the bobbins, the size and shape would still differ. Consider a bobbin made from English Yew and one made from Ebony. Both would still be size #6, 10 cm long, 600 milligram ready spangled midlands bobbins, but would require differing spangles or shapes.

I think I will just continue to make the bobbins I do, and I will let Gary purchase what ever bobbins he prefers. :-)

Kenn Van-Dieren
******************************

Kenn Van-Dieren writes:
[I think I will just continue to make the bobbins I do, and I will let Gary purchase what ever bobbins he prefers.]

I think it might be safer for Gary for him to buy the bobbins Jean prefers - otherwise she might retalliate and start buying him non-uniform floppy discs :-)))))))

Jane Partridge
**************************

Fore soothe me thinks thou dust protest too much. Here is a little table of a few woods with their densities. Now suppose that the weight of an unspangled bobbin is chosen to be 1 gram for example (to make the maths easy) and the required length is 100 mm and the wood to be used is Teak. From the table we see that Teak weighs 41 lb. per cubic foot or 0.65g/cc. For a bobbin to weight 1 gram a volume of Teak equal to 1.54 cc or 1,538 cu mm is required. For a bobbin 100 mm long this requires a cross sectional area of 15.38 sq mm or a diameter of 4.4 mm. QED e.g. Now should you choose to make the bobbin from Cedar simply multiply this diameter by the constants that I have calculated for you in the last column in this case 1.308 So a Cedar bobbin of the same length as one of Teak 4.4mm diameter to have the same weight would be 4.4 x 1.308 = 5.789 mm diameter.

What's so hard about that?

Gary's Table
Wood SG (g/cc) lb/cu ft % Variate Diameter multiplier
Cedar, Western Red 0.33 27 -41.6% 1.308
Antiaris 0.44 27 -32.4% 1.216
Aspen Poplar 0.44 27 -32.4% 1.216
Cedar of Lebanon 0.45 28 -30.8% 1.202
Primavera 0.46 29 -29.3% 1.189
Agba 0.50 31 -23.1% 1.141
Douglas Fir 0.50 31 -23.1% 1.141
Mahogany, African 0.50 31 -23.1% 1.141
Mahogany, Honduras 0.50 31 -23.1% 1.141
Elm 0.51 32 -21.6% 1.129
Pine, Ponderosa 0.51 32 -21.6% 1.129
Lime 0.56 35 -13.9% 1.078
Sycamore Maple 0.56 35 -13.9% 1.078
Avodire 0.58 36 -10.8% 1.059
Lacewood Plane 0.63 39 -3.2% 1.016
Walnut, Circassian 0.63 39 -3.2% 1.016
Cherry 0.63 39 -3.2% 1.016
Iroko 0.65 41 -0.1% 1.000
Teak 0.65 41 -0.1% 1.000
Walnut, Black American 0.66 42 1.5% 0.993
Sapele 0.67 42 3.0% 0.985
Beech 0.67 42 3.0% 0.985
Birch 0.67 42 3.0% 0.985
Eucalyptus 0.67 42 3.0% 0.985
Zebrawood 0.68 42 4.5% 0.978
Ash 0.69 43 6.1% 0.971
Bird's-Eye Maple 0.69 43 6.1% 0.971
Maple 0.69 43 6.1% 0.971
Oak 0.69 43 6.1% 0.971
Oak, Brown 0.69 43 6.1% 0.971
Pearwood 0.69 43 6.1% 0.971
Afrormosia 0.74 46 13.8% 0.938
Walnut, Australian 0.77 48 18.4% 0.919
Padouk, Andaman 0.83 52 27.6% 0.885
Paldao 0.83 52 27.6% 0.885
Purpleheart 0.86 54 32.2% 0.870
Rosewood, Brazilian 0.88 55 35.3% 0.860
Satinwood, East Indian 0.88 55 35.3% 0.860
Bubinga 0.91 57 39.9% 0.845
Ebony 1.08 63 66.0% 0.776 Average density 0.65 g/cc
SD 0.151114662

One does not require an NC lathe to perform this task simply a GO-NOGO gauge to ensure that a batch is within specification. This has been good practice in the manufacturing industry since a lathe was first used in the fabrication of pulley blocks for ships.

Gary.Peach ************************************

[ I am serious.]

Gary, you have failed to figure in the relative humidity as it affects the weight of the wood, and the weight of finishes as they are absorbed differently by different woods. Even that can be measured and gauged, but to expect (...tongue in cheek.) a user to be able to maintain the same humidity level as I have in my dust/temperature/humidity controlled GARAGE!!! is asking a little much. I don't even WANT to be able to measure to 3 decimal places in either distance (in mm) or weight (in grams).

[ What's so hard about that? ]

Nothing! I suggest you start immediately, but remember to keep the cost down to about $5.00 per dozen for manufactured bobbins, as few people are willing to pay much more than that for machine made stuff. Good luck..

Robert Baldree (bobbin maker and lurker)
********************************

Gary,

This sounds like a great Idea. Please send me a Go-NoGo for each of the mentioned woods. I also need one for Desert Ironwood, Lilac, Mahonia, Black Locust, Italian Poplar, Privit, Pyracantha, et al. . ;-o)

Jim Stavast
***********************************

And of course, Gary could not resist responding back to Jane Partridge -
***********************************

Jane Partridge wrote:

[ I think it might be safer for Gary for him to buy the bobbins Jean prefers - otherwise she might retalliate and start buying him non-uniform floppy discs :-))))))) ]

I wouldn't dare buy Jean bobbins, but if she buys me a the lathe of my choice I'll be quite pleased to make some for her. As for my floppies, she's doing a good job in that respect. But I'm hoping for a re-writable CD-ROM :-) If I don't get the GPS :-)

Gary Peach
*****************************************

Jim Stavast wrote:
[ This sounds like a great Idea. Please send me a Go NoGo for each of the mentioned woods. I also need one for Desert Ironwood, Lilac, Mahonia, Black Locust, Italian Poplar, Privit, Pyracantha, et al. .... ) ]

GO NOGO gauges are purchasable which can be reset to any dimension that you care to with the aid of an internal micrometer. They look a bit like a micrometer without the screw stem and spindle. The GO gauge is usually the set up on the outer and the NOGO on the inner. Gauging is by a single feel the work pieces to be gauged must pass through the first pair of jaws but not the second it is then accepted as within tolerance. I do not have the average densities for the woods which you have asked for but it is easy enough to make up a test piece of know volume and weigh this test piece of known volume. A large piece will produce a better answer. Another way to do it is the way that dear old Archimedes did it for gold. Fill a vessel which is large enough to accommodate the test piece right up to the brim with water. Force the test piece under the the water until it is totally immersed. collect the water which flows out to make room for the test piece. Put it into a graduated measuring vessel or weigh it. Now weigh the test piece. The ratio between the weight of the displaced water and the weight of the test piece is the Specific Gravity.

But I'm quite sure that a quick phone call to Kew Gardens will get a response that will reveal these arcane secrets.

Gary
****************************************

Robert Baldree wrote:
[ Gary, you have failed to figure in the relative humidity as it affects the weight of the wood, and the weight of finishes as they are absorbed differently by different woods. Even that can be measured and gauged, but to expect (...tongue in cheek...) a user to be able to maintain the same humidity level as I have in my dust/temperature/humidity controlled GARAGE!!! is asking a little much. I don't even WANT to be able to measure to 3 decimal places in either distance (in mm) or weight (in grams). ]

Yes, you are of course quite correct and in a good controlled laboratory experiment these items would be taken into account. However we are looking at practical working practices and the effect that the bobbins have upon the finished work and the subjective pleasure of the lacemaker. The variance due to the things which you mention is small compared to matching up bobbins of different timbers and from different makers. It has yet to be conclusively demonstrated that bobbin weight and configuration has any effect at all upon the finished lace. Presumably the more the pillow diverges from truly horizontal the greater the effect of uniformity of bobbin weight becomes, but that is purely conjectural as I have conducted no blind experiments to ascertain the truth or otherwise of such an assumption. Presumably with a completely horizontal pillow the evenness of the work will depend more upon the discipline of the lacemaker than the uniformity of the weight of the bobbins plus spangles.

Of course cast plastic has been an attempt to produce cheap uniform bobbins, but the seam makes them a bit undesirable. Presumably if a good loaded plastic with proper finishing was tried an acceptable uniform bobbin could be produced well within the costs you suggest. It is rather like stopping on a journey to ask the way and the person says, " well if I was going to 'x', I wouldn't start from here."

Gary
***************************************

Tamara Duvall wrote:
[ Gary Peach wrote: So a Cedar bobbin of the same length as one of Teak 4.4mm diameter to have the same weight would be 4.4 x 1.308 = 5.789 mm diameter. ]

(to which Tamara responded -
[Over a *milimeter* wider than a Teak bobbin, then? But that's just as bad as being a milimeter longer than the other, if not worse. Worse, I think.

Don't blame me I didn't design the wood :-) A mm on the length is nothing like the extra volume hence weight that a mm on the diameter is in fact a mm on the diameter is increasing the volume by 30.8% a mm on the length of a 100 mm bobbin only 1%. The moral of these seems to be get all of your bobbins for a particular purpose all at once and have them made identical from the same piece of as uniform as possible timber. select and weigh your beads, and cut the spangling wire into standard lengths. the density of metals is many times that of timbers and small differences are equivalent to large differences in the wood. In fact winding the bobbin with wire which would reduce the effects of variance in the timber density might produce a more uniform bobbin weight for the identical size of bobbin. Or a small hole drilled axially up the bobbin could have lead added until the bobbins reached a standard weight.

[ However evenly we try to keep our bobbins, the thread between the lace and the head of one bobbin isn't likely to be the same to within a milimeter of another. So, a milimeter longer might not be too distressing (I start kvetching when the difference goes over 1/4"). But for your fingers to encounter, unexpectedly (you're keeping your eyes on lace, not on the bobbins, right?) something substantially thicker/thinner than you had just handled might lead to a very shaken-up lacemaker. One who might even make a mistake in her shock.... ]

I suppose you could always use the odd man out for the gimp.

[ And don't fool yourself; the difference in width required to keep both the length and the weight identical, could be *very substantial* indeed if one of your bobbins was ebony and the other balsa (though I'd leave the exact maths to Gary]).

Even if balsa soaked up twice the amount of the finish (thus compensating a bit for its lack of weight) than the ebony would before it could be made usable (as an example of foolishness, perhaps?) How much lead would you need to add to a balsa bobbin to bring it up to the same weight as an identically dimensioned ebony bobbin. I suggest that if you are using ebony that you combine them with Lignum Vitae to keep things in black and white. BTW, Baerbel Poehle had once weighed several batches of bobbins, made of different woods and made a list of relative weights, using ebony as 1.

Ebony is in fact 8% heavier, (I should say denser) than water which is universally recognised as the standard so adjusting Baerbel's figures by 8% should make them conform. We could then compare the reality of the bobbins that she measured with the figures published for the densities of timber. We might even recognise from the differences a shape factor which modifies the weight for a given density.

[Everything else was lighter, nothing more than 98%). ]

She didn't try Lignum Vitae obviously.

[ But the wood list wasn't as long as Gary's and the precision wasn't as microscopic either but it was a good enough "ballpark" measurement to tell me which woods were likely to be my favourites (other than ebony) by staying close to the same weight.

I would be loath to choose the timber for bobbins by their density alone, the most important factor would be it's strength so that the bobbin does not break and the ability of the timber to turn well and to take a good and uniform finish. Once one has chosen which timbers are most suitable for the purpose and it would seem from Tamara's comment the diameter which one prefers then the length the final step is to then design a shape which is good to handle but which produces the desired weight. Or perhaps in the case of midlands one does not worry too much about the weight of the bobbin but adjusts the weight of each individual bobbin to the target weight by careful selection of beads for the spangle. A sensitive scale can be used for this put the bobbin the spangling wire pre cut into the weighing pan and then having selected the beads put them also into the pan now exchange beads until the target weight is achieved. now spangle your bobbin. The value of a matched set would be considerably more then a randomly aggregated collection of bobbins. Now there's a way for the individual lace maker to put value added onto her bobbins. such a process would be prohibitively expensive to perform on a commercial scale. You could even re-spangle all of your midlands bobbins by this method to produce a uniform set. Not a lot you can do with your Honiton bobbins though if they are not uniform in size and of the same piece of timber, except start again.

Gary
********************************************

[ for a bobbin 100 mm long this requires a cross sectional area of 15.38 sq mm or a diameter of 4.4 mm. So a Cedar bobbin of the same length as one of Teak 4.4mm diameter to have the same weight would be 4.4 x 1.308 = 5.789 mm diameter.]

Over a milimeter wider than a Teak bobbin, then? But that's just as bad as being a milimeter longer than the other, if not worse. Worse, I think. However evenly we try to keep our bobbins, the thread between the lace and the head of one bobbin isn't likely to be the same to within a milimeter of another. So, a milimeter longer might not be too distressing (I start kvetching when the difference goes over 1/4"). But for your fingers to encounter, unexpectedly (you' re keeping your eyes on lace, not on the bobbins, right?) something substantially hicker/thinner than you had just handled might lead to a very shaken-up lacemaker. One who might even make a mistake in her shock...

And don't fool yourself; the difference in width required to keep both the length and the weight identical, could be very substantial indeed if one of your bobbins was ebony and the other balsa (though I'd leave the exact maths to Gary). Even if balsa soaked up twice the amount of the finish (thus compensating a bit for its lack of weight) than the eony would before it could be made usable (as an example of foolishness, perhaps?)

BTW, Baerbel Poehle had once weighed several batches of bobbins, made of different woods and made a list of relative weights, using ebony as 1 (everything else was lighter, nothing more than 98%). The list of woods wasn't as long as Gary's and the precision wasn't as microscopic either but it was a good enough "ballpark" measurement to tell me which woods were likely to be my favourites (other than ebony) by staying close to the same weight.

Tamara Duvall
Lexington, VA, USA
**********************************

[ She didn't try Lignum Vitae obviously (from Gary). Point me to a bobbin maker who makes those and I'll see if I can afford to send her one for Christmas....

Lignum Vitae is a very oily wood - it's virtually self-lubricating, which is why it is used for ship's propellor shafts. Eric found it quite a trial to turn, and dropped it from our list, although I loved the weight of it - it has to be one of the he aviest woods known. However I'm sure there are plenty of other bobbin-makers who still use it.

[them spend more time making lace than talking about it.... :) As for the bobbins they use, they probably have whatever was handed to them at first, learnt to make the best of them and don't pay a blind bit of attention to the "science"]

Absolutely right - it was so difficult for me to get bobbins when I started making lace (in the wilds of Borneo) I was grateful for any type at all, and very quickly learned not to be fussy! I did, however, develop a dislike of continentals after tea ching with them for four years.

Jacqui Southworth, Fleetwood, Lancs, England :
*****************************************

[ She didn't try Lignum Vitae obviously ]

Point me to a bobbin maker who makes those and I'll see if I can afford to send her one for Christmas....

[Or perhaps in the case of midlands one does not worry too much about the weight of the bobbin but adjusts the weight of each individual bobbin to the target weight by careful selection of beads for the spangle.]

Absolutely right. When I was using Midlands, I had much less of a problem with slight variations in length/weight because I could always adjust those by re-spangling. The problems became more pronounced (but not unsurmountable) when I switched to t he unspangled ones.

Originally, I thought of a separable "tail" (ie, sort-of standard bobbin with a variety of differently weighted tails which could be removed and replaced depending on the weight of the thread on the neck). But the precision required to do that sort of thing would make both the bobbins and the "tails" prohibitively expensive. So I've been working with a variety of woods (and hence weights since all of the bobbins are the same length and, more or less, width) and have had no problems except with one pair which is considerably lighter than all the others and with a few pairs which just won't finish properly and snag.

[ You could even re-spangle all of your midlands bobbins by this method to produce a uniform set.]

You could and I *did* (more or less; again, not quite as exactly as you suggest, but...) I also arrange all my spices alphabetically (and built myself a 4-tiered shelf to be able to see all of them at a glance). So *there* :)

Re: one of your earlier messages suggesting that we should study the best lacemakers and see what it is they do to *make* them best: I suspect that them spend more time *making* lace than *talking* about it.... :) As for the bobbins they use, they probably have whatever was handed to them at first, learnt to make the best of them and don't pay a blind bit of attention to the "science"

Tamara Duvall
Lexington, VA, USA
********************************

In a message dated 97-12-05 , Gary Peach wrote:
[ She didn't try Lignum Vitae obviously. Point me to a bobbin maker who makes those and I'll see if I can afford to send her one for Christmas....]

And Jacqui Southworth wrote:
[ Lignum Vitae is a very oily wood - it's virtually self-lubricating, which is why it is used for ship's propellor shafts. Eric found it quite a trial to turn, and dropped it from our list, although I loved the weight of it - it has to be one of the h eaviest woods known. However I'm sure there are plenty of other bobbin-makers who still use it. ]

I have found that it is a very hard wood to control on the lathe, but if you keep the tools sharp, it can be a joy to turn. When I get everything working right, I can throw a a continuous ribbon of shavings up over my left sholder. It is a very expensive wood and is sold by the pound rather then by the board foot. It will also crack, check, split and warp on you every chance it gets. A couple of months ago I did a Mother and Babe from a blank (3/8" by 4-1/2") that has been drying for over a year now. Two days after turning the bobbin, it had a very noticable warp to it on the thin neck. Cracks and checks in the wood can be controlled with filling them with Super Glue, but again, it must be forced in with pressure or the wood will simply continue to check again next to the original check.

Having said all that, I still do love the wood. Although it has a soft brown colour when it is turned, it turns the most beutiful dark green colour when exposed to the air and sunlight. One simply has to except some of the limitations of the wood and play with it.

Kenn Van-Dieren
***************************

Kenn Van Dieren makes bobbins and other tools out of Lignum Vitae. He sent me a very reasonable priced combo tool (pin pusher/pin lifter) made out of this wood and a complete description of how the colors will change under certain conditions---check it out!

Heathere B. Cericola

***************************

[The moral of these seems to be get all of your bobbins for a particular purpose all at once and have them made identical from the same piece of as uniform as possible timber. select and weigh your beads, and cut the spangling wire into standard leng ths. the density of metals is many times that of timbers and small differences are equivalent to large differences in the wood.]

Uh-oh, there's yet another factor you need to consider! Not all thread paths require the same amount of thread (think about passives vs. workers). Either I wind more thread on some than on others (making them different weights) or the thread gets u sed up faster on some than others (making them different weights). Now what?

Robin Panzer
*********************************

I know that some will have problems with the mathematics of my previous table. Here is a table of worked diameters for a few woods. The table is based upon a bobbin of 100 mm length.

Working the table in reverse for a bobbin of a different length,
(1) look in the row for the wood from which the bobbin is made
(2) find the nearest diameter,
(3) in that column look at the weight at the top of the column
(4) multiply that weight by the normalised length of the bobbin which you have.

e.g. a bobbin made of Ash is 120 mm long and average diameter 6 mm from the table we find in the row for Ash 6.07mm as the nearest diameter, the weight given at the top of the column is 1.5gram the weight of our bobbin is 1.5 x 120/100 = 1.8 gram

Gary's New Table
Bobbin Length mm 10cm
Bobbin Weight gram 1.00 1.25 1.50 1.75 2.00 2.25 2.50 2.75 SG
Wood
Afrormosia 4.15 4.64 5.08 5.49 5.87 6.22 6.56 6.88 0.74
Agba 5.05 5.64 6.18 6.68 7.14 7.57 7.98 8.37 0.50
Antiaris 5.38 6.01 6.59 7.12 7.61 8.07 8.51 8.92 0.44
Ash 4.30 4.80 5.26 5.68 6.07 6.44 6.79 7.12 0.69
Aspen Poplar 5.38 6.01 6.59 7.12 7.61 8.07 8.51 8.92 0.44
Avodire 4.69 5.24 5.74 6.20 6.63 7.03 7.41 7.77 0.58
Beech 4.36 4.87 5.34 5.77 6.16 6.54 6.89 7.23 0.67
Birch 4.36 4.87 5.34 5.77 6.16 6.54 6.89 7.23 0.67
Bird's-Eye Maple 4.30 4.80 5.26 5.68 6.07 6.44 6.79 7.12 0.69
Bubinga 3.74 4.18 4.58 4.95 5.29 5.61 5.91 6.20 0.91
Cedar of Lebanon 5.32 5.95 6.51 7.04 7.52 7.98 8.41 8.82 0.45
Cedar, Western Red 5.79 6.47 7.09 7.66 8.19 8.68 9.15 9.60 0.38
Cherry 4.50 5.03 5.51 5.95 6.36 6.74 7.11 7.46 0.63
Douglas Fir 5.05 5.64 6.18 6.68 7.14 7.57 7.98 8.37 0.50
Ebony 3.43 3.84 4.21 4.54 4.86 5.15 5.43 5.69 1.08
Elm 5.00 5.59 6.12 6.61 7.07 7.49 7.90 8.29 0.51
Eucalyptus 4.36 4.87 5.34 5.77 6.16 6.54 6.89 7.23 0.67
Iroko 4.43 4.95 5.42 5.85 6.26 6.64 7.00 7.34 0.65
Lacewood Plane 4.50 5.03 5.51 5.95 6.36 6.74 7.11 7.46 0.63
Lignum Vitae 3.09 3.46 3.79 4.09 4.37 4.64 4.89 5.13 1.33
Lime 4.77 5.33 5.84 6.31 6.74 7.15 7.54 7.91 0.56
Mahogany, African 5.05 5.64 6.18 6.68 7.14 7.57 7.98 8.37 0.50
Mahogany, Honduras 5.05 5.64 6.18 6.68 7.14 7.57 7.98 8.37 0.50
Maple 4.30 4.80 5.26 5.68 6.07 6.44 6.79 7.12 0.69
Oak 4.30 4.80 5.26 5.68 6.07 6.44 6.79 7.12 0.69
Oak, Brown 4.30 4.80 5.26 5.68 6.07 6.44 6.79 7.12 0.69
Padouk, Andaman 3.92 4.38 4.80 5.18 5.54 5.87 6.19 6.50 0.83
Paldao 3.92 4.38 4.80 5.18 5.54 5.87 6.19 6.50 0.83
Pearwood 4.30 4.80 5.26 5.68 6.07 6.44 6.79 7.12 0.69
Pine, Ponderosa 5.00 5.59 6.12 6.61 7.07 7.49 7.90 8.29 0.51
Primavera 5.26 5.88 6.44 6.96 7.44 7.89 8.32 8.72 0.46
Purpleheart 3.85 4.30 4.71 5.09 5.44 5.77 6.08 6.38 0.86
Rosewood, Brazilian 3.80 4.25 4.66 5.03 5.38 5.71 6.01 6.31 0.88
Sapele 4.36 4.87 5.34 5.77 6.16 6.54 6.89 7.23 0.67
Satinwood, East Indian 3.80 4.25 4.66 5.03 5.38 5.71 6.01 6.31 0.88
Sycamore Maple 4.77 5.33 5.84 6.31 6.74 7.15 7.54 7.91 0.56
Teak 4.43 4.95 5.42 5.85 6.26 6.64 7.00 7.34 0.65
Walnut, Australian, 4.07 4.55 4.98 5.38 5.75 6.10 6.43 6.74 0.77
Walnut, Black American 4.39 4.91 5.38 5.81 6.21 6.59 6.94 7.28 0.66
Walnut, Circassian 4.50 5.03 5.51 5.95 6.36 6.74 7.11 7.46 0.63
Zebrawood 4.33 4.84 5.30 5.72 6.12 6.49 6.84 7.18 0.68

The largest bobbin which Jean has is a Spanish one which is15.5mm diameter and 160 mm long.If anyone is interested in tables up to this size I will compute them and send them privately. If you have Microsoft Excel I will be glad to send the file and you can compute you own.

Now about including the weight of the thread in the calculation, if you have figures for the density of threads I will be glad to pursue this topic for you, it will require a knowledge of exponentials. Mind you don't bight your tongue when your jaw drops open ;-)

Gary Peach
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Tamara wrote:
[ I suppose you could always use the odd man out for the gimp. If not for gimp, then for other purposes. ]

Have you tried cotton buds for that?

[ She didn't try Lignum Vitae obviously.  Point me to a bobbin maker who makes those and I'll see if I can afford to send her one for Christmas....

I see that someone has been so kind. A chess set made from Ebony and Lignum would be a desirable thing to own. weight...midlands ...adjusts the weight of each bobbin to the target weight by careful selection of beads for the spangle.

[ When I was using Midlands, I had much less of a problemwith slight variations in length/weight because I could always adjust those by re-spangling. The problems became more pronounced (but not unsurmountable) when I switched to the unspangled ones.]

Have you considered an axial hole into which you put lead or some other dense malleable material, Gold! :-) I've never seen a bobbin decorated with gold.

[ Originally, I thought of a separable "tail" (ie, sort-of standard bobbinwith a variety of differently weighted tails which colud be removed and replaced depending on the weight of the thread on the neck]

I think we should do some calculations about the density of thread. All of the thread on a fully wound bobbin would hardly equal the weight of a piece of spangling wire. I think this is probably a red herring Tamara and as Holmes might have said, "The game's a foot." even if the bobbin isn't.

[ But the precision required to do that sort of thing would make both the bobbins and the "tails" prohibitively expensive. So I've been working with a variety of woods (and hence weights since all of the bobbins are the same length and, more or less , width) ]

By width I presume that you mean diameter, or are you using those flat Japanese bobbins made from chop sticks?

[ and have had no problems except with one pair which is considerably lighter than all the others and with a few pairs which just won't finish properly and snag.]

When you say they "won't finish properly" what precisely do you mean? Do you mean that the bobbin has rough appurtenances?

[ You could even re-spangle all of your midlands bobbins by this method to produce a uniform set. You could and I *did* (more or less; again, not quite as exactly as you suggest, but...) I also arrange all my spices alphabetically (and built myself a 4-tiered shelf to be able to see all of them at a glance). So *there* :)]

Do you have one of those rotating aids in the center of the table:?)

[ Re one of your earlier messages suggesting that we should study the best lacemakers and see what it is they do to *make* them best: I suspect that them spend more time *making* lace than *talking* about it.... :) As for the bobbins they use, they probably have whatever was handed to them at first, learnt to make the best of them and don't pay a blind bit of attention to the "science"]

Ah! but what of the rest of us? It is indeed a pleasure to watch a fine craftsman produce exquisite works with the most rudimentary of tools and materials. But not everyone is blessed with such gifts and needs the aid of a bit of science to complete their task. Without a bit of science we would still be reaching through the bars of our intellectual cage the carrot/banana still beyond our grasp.

Gary
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Tamara wrote:

[She didn't try Lignum Vitae obviously (from Gary) } Point me to a bobbin maker who makes those and I'll see if I can afford to send her one for Christmas.... Lignum Vitae is a very oily wood -]

The Guaiac resin was widely used in medicine and it is that feature which gives the timber its name "wood-of-life" Lignum Vitae. One might expect a bobbin-maker in the Florida area to use this wood as it grows in that region. Guaiacum (Guajacum)

Gary Peach


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