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Customizable Spinning Wheel Bobbin

by majikthyze Oct 15, 2017
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Hello Majikthyze,
wondering do these bobbins work on a Ashford Traditional spinning wheel? Angela

This project is a template that lets you create your own bobbin by entering measurements. I see that two people have made "Ashford" bobbins from this template. You can find them a these links:
I have not made an Ashford bobbin myself.

Ashford Bobbin Final
by ecoo997
Ashford Bobbin
by Rachnid

For folks who are technically savvy, I recommend downloading OpenSCAD:
And then download and open the "bobbin_v1d.scad" from my project. Then you can enter your own design parameters at the top of the file and select which part you want it to generate (right at the top) and create individual STL files from that.
I find the customizer slow and clunky and annoying to have to create new projects every time. If you use OpenSCAD you can more easily tune your parameters and then use the customizer to produce your own version on Thingiverse when you're done.

I can get everything to come out good except for one side of the grooved end piece. It always seems to come out the same size and its too small. i even tried setting the recess depth through the whole end piece
mandrel_diameter = 23.1
core_visible_length = 183
core_diameter = 33.4
core_recess_depth = 17
front_end_diameter = 104.5
front_end_height = 17
front_end_groove_height = 0
front_end_groove_depth = 0
front_end_extruding_distance = 20.3
back_end_diameter = 104.5
back_end_height = 17
back_end_groove_height = 4
back_end_groove_depth = 7
back_end_extruding_distance = 20.3

also here is the one I made https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3481962

Hi there. The "Thing" link you sent doesn't work for me. Did you mean to send this one?
Or maybe the link is correct and you haven't published it yet?
I'd like to look at the STL output since I can't really tell what is wrong from the jpegs (there's no scale), so the link to the design would help.

There are a couple of odd things in your parameters:
1) You have an unusually large front/back end extruding distance. Is that intentional? Given the large mandrel diameter (is it really that big?), you would need to set the "whorl_support_diameter" (under advanced options) to something larger to accommodate the wide mandrel bore. A value of 27 seems to work for me for your config. But I'm guessing you didn't intend to set the extruding distance like that -- this is used for bushings that extend out the ends as spacers. Normally you'd set those to zero or a small number (like 5mm).
2) The recess depth is too large -- it needs to be smaller than the front/back end height. I usually use about 5mm, I think you could go to 10mm or a little higher for your design if you wanted.

bobbin pvc 3

The bushing and the recess depth wasn't suppose to be those values, but the mandrel diameter is really that big. I made a homemade electric spinning wheel and the mandrel diameter is a 1/2". Anyway thanks … setting the whorl support diameter to 27 worked perfectly. I printed it out last night and everything fits like a glove. so again Thanks for your help.

Great to hear -- glad it is working for you!

Here is my regular size bobbin I need the Jumbo bobbin.

I'm told that the jumbo bobbin requires a jumbo flyer. Do you have a jumbo flyer but no jumbo bobbin? The ends on the jumbo bobbin might not be the same as the ends on the standard bobbin for that wheel, so I'm not sure this will work unless you have access to a jumbo bobbin you can take measurements from.
Anyhow, I've attached an annotated image of a similar bobbin with numbers indicating the measurements I'd need FROM A JUMBO BOBBIN. Here's a description for each numbered measurement:

1) Mandrel hole diameter. How wide is the hole through the center of the bobbin?
2) Visible core length. How long is the core from the inside face of one end to the inside face of the other end?
3) Core diameter. How thick is the core?
4) I call this larger piece the "front end main". How thick is this piece from the inside to the outside face?
5) Front end main diameter -- what is the diameter of this piece? (Guessing 4" from your earlier replies.)
6) I call this small piece the "front end whorl #1" How thick is it from the outside face of the "front end main" to the outside face of the whorl?
7) Front end whorl #1 diameter -- what is the diameter of the whorl?
8) Where is the center of the break band groove relative to the outside face of the front end main? Usually it is in the middle of the whorl, but sometimes they're offset towards the top or bottom. If the jumbo bobbin is like this picture, then the groove for the whorl at the other end of the bobbin is right up against the outside face of the back end main.
9) How wide is the groove for the break band?
10) How deep is the groove for the break band?
11) The black piece at the end here is the bushing. How far out does it extend from the outside face of the whorl?
Now I'll also need you to repeat measurements 4 through 11 for the other side of the bobbin which I'll call the "back end".

Like I said, I think you'll have to get access to a jumbo bobbin in order to take the appropriate measurements, and if the instructions aren't clear then you might consider getting a hand taking the measurements.
If you don't have access to a jumbo bobbin, then my wife (the expert and boss) can ask to see if she can borrow one so that we can take measurements. If not, then there isn't much I can do.

I can see the picture. Confused not sure what you want sorry.

Please confirm that the bobbins in that picture look like the one that you'd like to make. After that I'll send you another picture and a list of measurements.

Did not see anything about the measurements you need just the picture.


I am the one with the Kromski Fantasia Spinning Yes, the bobbin is 5.5" long, and the flanges are just of 4" in
diameter. If you need anything else just let me know.

Thank you!


Click on the "2019-02-20.png" in my earlier reply to download the picture.


Yeah, I need quite a bit more than that. I've copied a picture of some Kromski bobbins in this reply. Can you confirm that this is the kind of bobbin you have? After that, I'll annotate the image and give you a list of all the dimensions that I need.


Good morning, I can get the measurements for you if that is alright?


Yup, no problem at all.

Yes, the bobbin is 5.5" long, and the flanges are just of 4" in

Thank you!

Could you possibly be able to design a jumbo bobbin for a Kromski Fantasia Spinning Wheel? I would be so thankful if it is possible for you to do that! :) Thank you!


Hi there. I'm afraid I don't have access to one of those wheels to take bobbin measurements.
The idea with this "thing" is that you take measurements from your own bobbin and enter them into the customizer in order to create one of your own. If you're having trouble with the customizer and can give me the measurements from your bobbin then I could do that for you. But I will need quite a few dimensions -- have a look at the "Thing Details" and click on "open in customizer" to get more info on that.

I love this! Thanks for sharing. I was wondering if it would be possible to add an optional Woolee Winder cog to the files? There are a few bobbins on Thingiverse that have them but it would be great to have for more bobbin types.

Thanks! I'll look into that when I get a chance.

What a great thing!! I'm building my own Scotch tension electric spinning wheel and this is what I was missing. I wasn't able to get a good clean spin out of handmade with wood and PVC. I've customized it quite a bit, but can't seem to get the inner diameter to print what I'm tell it to. It's about 5mm off each time. Suggestions?

Thanks! Sorry there are issues...
Can you tell me the parameters you've used and specifically which inner diameter is coming out wrong? I'll have a look and see if I can figure out what might be happening.

No problem! I'm just glad you've done all of the hard work for me....lol
I guess I'm confused as to why there's a mandrel and a core diameter? I cannot get the inner diameter of the core correct. I need it to be 18 mm, but it's always way too small or too large. Which parameter needs to be set to 18, and what should the other parameter be set to? Also, when I change the diameter of the core, do the end connection holes also adjust to compensate the larger diameter?

Sorry for the dumb questions. I am extremely new to 3D printing but am getting better. Thank you for your patience.

Not a problem. Hopefully I can help...

The mandrel is the rod on which the bobbin spins and is just smaller than the inside diameter of the core. The inside diameter of the core is the mandrel diameter plus the "mandrel_allowance", found under "Advanced". Normally you only need the core's inside diameter to be slightly larger than the mandrel -- the "mandrel_allowance" setting lets you tune that. If it is too large, it'll rattle when it spins and if it is too small then it won't spin.
To make a long story short: in your case I would expect you to set the mandrel diameter to 18, and either leave "mandrel_allowance" alone or increase it slightly if it is a little off.
Yes, the holes in the end pieces should follow these settings as well, but on my printer with the default settings I do normally need to sand the inside diameters of the end pieces just slightly to make it spin smoothly.

Oh, and the core diameter is the outside diameter of the core -- the long piece that holds the ends together.

It isn't impossible that there's a bug in the code so feel free to send me your full settings and I can have a look to see if it makes sense.
Good luck!

Ok. That helped immensely. I didn't realize that the ID of the core was built into the mandrel.

I will tweak the mandrel setting (which on my customization cannot go above 16, btw) and the allowance and go from there.

I really appreciate the help. Your plans are great, it's the end user that's buggy...haha.

Great to hear. After a bit of difficulty, I uploaded a new version that extends the max mandrel diameter to 30mm. Don't forget to make your core diameter larger than that!
Good luck.