How to Turn a Wood Lace Bobbin

Introduction: How to Turn a Wood Lace Bobbin

About: Hi, we're Dara and Nash. Industrial designers, tinkers, and mayhem builders. Follow our travels.

This simple tutorial will teach you how to turn wooden lace bobbins using a wood lathe and basic hand tools. This is a great Christmas present.

To make them you will need:
Hardwood pen blanks (3/4 inch square square by 5 inches)
Wood lathe
Lathe Tools- Especially a 1/2 inch gouge and skew

Step 1: How-To-Turn Your Pen Blank

Take your pen blank and put it in wood lathe. You can cut these down from a larger block of hardwood to make your blanks inexpensively on a table saw.  If you have small gouges for pen tools that generally works better. Mike likes to use a 1/2 inch gouge to make the bobbin. Slowly start turning the blank.

You need a handle at the bottom and a bobbin at the top to hold the thread. It's easier to start with the handle and then move to the bobbin second. The wood tends to break on either side of the bobbin, especially at the far side where it's weakest.

Afterwards finish with oil and you're done. You can wrap them in ribbons to look cool. Generally a dozen is a good number to start with, but you can do 2 dozen if you're feeling ambitious.

Voila, one awesome Christmas gift.

Happy Holidays!

Step 2: Finish With Danish Wood Oil

I like to finish my wood lathes with a little oil to help the thread come off smoothly. You can also use butcher's block oil as well. this will keep your thread from twisting when it comes off the bobbin. Pretty cool.

I wrap mine in fabric furoshiki's for a final elegant twist.

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    10 years ago on Step 2

    What a great idea, I would love to have some wooden bobbins.
    What are my chances of getting one of those made - wait, let me find "Nash"!

    Haus Page
    Haus Page

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Actually, Mike Hinman, a Techshop RDU member made this on the small lathe in the woodshop for me. I think techshop is running a special about getting free classes this month or something so maybe I need to e-mail them this instructable. All the stuff I've posted was made at Techshop in Raleigh.