Instructables
I have been looking for a ball winder to wind center-pull balls of yarn. After reading many reviews of commercially made winders, it seems that all of them have something wrong with them. So I decided to make my own. It is not perfect, but I made it all by myself! This Ball Winder can wind 100 grams of yarn easily, and I was able to double up and wind two 100 gram balls together as well!!

This instructable may look long, but you could make it in a few hours.  

I didn't feel like working in the workshop so I designed this so you don't have to use any power tools or hand tools that would make a mess.

Most of the items I had on hand.  I just bought the lazy susan bearing ($2.19) and the tubes of silicone (~$7.00 each), and the binding post (~$1.00).  

Using a Yarn Swift with the Ball Winder is a good idea.  I made a swift out of wire hangers, a wine bottle, duct tape, and a box to stabilize the bottle.  It is a modified version of the Yarn Swift at http://aemmeleia.wordpress.com/2007/09/05/diy-yarn-swift-desparate-measures/.  I used 6 hangers instead of 4 and put the bottle in a box.  Didn't cost anything!


 
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Step 1: DEMONSTRATION VIDEO

Picture of DEMONSTRATION VIDEO




The beginning shows the parts of the ball winder and yarn swift and the end shows how to use it.    It might help as you go through the steps.
handprints (author) 3 years ago
Video is done!! Click on the link to You Tube.
MicioGatta19 hours ago

My Mother's winder broke up a lot of times. My father repaired it every time, but I'll keep in mind this great project in case it will be no more to do. Thank you

dsiddens10 months ago
Beautiful!
ntolbert1 year ago
Video is private so im not sure how i can view it
handprints (author)  ntolbert1 year ago
I think I fixed it. Try it again. thanks!
handprints (author)  ntolbert1 year ago
oops! let me see what I did to it!
I love duct tape! This is great. I will have to try and make one of these. Making hand made items to make hand made..a double cool thing.
handprints (author)  NaturalCrafter3 years ago
thanks so much! I love your knitting "D" too!
Thanks for the compliment. I was looking more closely to how the parts went together. I am getting ready to try and make my own yarn and wanted to be able to wind it up efficiently. You also found references I never found before.
Very cool! How resourceful of you!
sideways3 years ago
YOU ROCK! GO GIRL! I love this :-)
handprints (author)  sideways3 years ago
thanks!!!
handprints (author) 3 years ago
Sorry, had a problem with the link.
lemonie3 years ago

Very good - any possibility of a video?

L
handprints (author)  lemonie3 years ago
still trying to get it uploaded....
handprints (author)  lemonie3 years ago
I forgot my camera had video capabilities!! Will include it today.

Thanks (RealPlayer didn't like it, but I had a go)

L
handprints (author)  lemonie3 years ago
Really? Maybe after Thanksgiving. I have to finishing knitting my daughter's first winter sweater. thanks for the comment!
aemmeleia3 years ago
Great instructions for a very useful thing for knitters/spinners/weavers! Thanks for the link-back to my DIY swift idea, too!
handprints (author)  aemmeleia3 years ago
Thank YOU for designing the swift! I have to double up the yarn I am using to get the correct gauge so I am dealing with 30 skeins that each need to be dealt with and then winding them two balls to into one. I'd rather be knitting! I am making a heavy cardigan cabled hoodie for my daughter.
rimar20003 years ago
Good work, handprints.

I did one of these winders many years ago (1959-1960), copying the design of a commercial. It was a little simpler, but it worked very well.

It had a main axis ending in a small cone at the tip. Revolved around this axis had an arm holding the reel, tilted. The reel had a rubber ring that rested against the little main cone. Manually turning a crank, that rotated the reel support. For every turn that this was, winding the yarn at an angle, slightly rotated its position so that the next turn was adjacent to the first. The result was a winding perfectly cylindrical.

I think I have it still in the attic, would have to scramble a bit to find it.
handprints (author)  rimar20003 years ago
Thanks for the comment!!

please do look for it when you have the time. I love to see how things work! I have my great-uncle's old eggbeater hand drill and am trying to replicate the gear work hobby shop parts...
Forgive, I looked in the attic, garage and backyard shed, without success. I know it exists, or at least was there time ago. Perhaps I have lent it or given away, for years I do not see it. I thinked to take a photo a send it to you...
handprints (author)  rimar20003 years ago
So sad. Things sometimes disappear. Maybe you can sketch it out?
Found on the web these two images that are not very good but they serve to give you an idea. The one I did was not so good finish, but it worked perfectly.
ovillador2.jpgovillador1.jpg
handprints (author)  rimar20003 years ago
Thank you! So the friction from the rubber rings facilitate the turns on both winding the yarn and adjusting the spool. I will work on this some more. Many many thanks!
No. The rubber ring is that lags slightly each turn of yarn over the previous. The loop is produced simply by the rotation of the reel. As the winding axle is skewed, the loop is traversed diagonally.
handprints (author)  rimar20003 years ago
How does the rubber ring make each turn of the yarn slightly lag on the spool? That is what I can't picture in my head.

Thank you for being so patient.
handprints (author)  handprints3 years ago
I see how it works now! Thank you very much!