I realize you can buy these at the big retail stores. But, I wanted to make one to fit a specific space by my sewing desk. I also didn’t want a nail to hold the bobbin like I’ve seen a lot of. And, it’s fun to build stuff!
I will post my sizes, but obviously you could use the same techniques and make it custom for your specific space.
My finished size is 93/4” x 25 1/2″
Poplar Wood (3) 4′ lengths of 3/4″ x 1.5″ poplar.
* (1) 4′ length 3/16″ (bobbin holders)
* (1) 4′ length 1/2″ (to cover screws)
Screws (8) self tapping counter sink screws
band saw (optional, could use a hand saw, or Japanese saw)
tape measurer / ruler square
* (3/16″ brad point precision bit)
* (1/2″ countersink bit)
inside squaring / clamping tool (free pattern here)
1. Cut your poplar
(2) at 9.75″
(4) at 24″
2. Measure where bobbin pegs will be located.
Here I ran into problems.
A ruler is not my strongest area of expertise.
I get the 1/4″, 1/2″ markings, but mention 5/16″ and I get overwhelmed. My first idea was to simply start at 3/4″, and measure every 1.75″ from there. That did not turn out well, as the peg marks ended close to the edge of the wood, not centered.
(Ruler breakdown found here.)
Scott’s showed me his method once he saw my troubles.
(I realize it’s probably just me that didn’t know how to do this.)
I knew I wanted my first peg to begin 3/4″ from both ends.
So, mark the 3/4″ from both ends:
Then, take your ruler and find the middle of these 2 lines. (which ends up as 11 1/4″ from the end of the board)
Keep proceeding this way.
Measure from the 3/4″ and the 11.25″ and find the center of that. etc.
View my tips for measuring for the middle between 2 lines HERE
Soon you will have a board with nice, evenly placed marks!
(FYI – the marks ended up being 1 & 14/16″ apart. I am not a math whiz, and never could’ve figured that out with a calculator…)
3. Mark bobbin peg location for the drill.
I knew I wanted the bobbins in the middle of the 3/4″ height board.
Create a + using the tick mark’s you’ve measured, plus the center line of the board, thus making no guess work for where to drill.
4. Drill the peg holes.
I do have a drill press (or rather, the mancave has one) so I used that. If you only have a drill, it’s no problem. My suggestion is this though. Use a “brad point” precision drill bit. (What is that?! I will explain because I had no clue either) Notice the difference between these 2 drill bits?
The little point on the brad point bit ensures it enters right where you want it to. It doesn’t ‘dance’ around on the wood, creating a hole wherever it catches first. (which is often my problem!)
If you don’t have a drill press and can’t set your ‘depth’ then simply measure on your drill bit to 1/4″. Place a piece of tape around the bit here. That way you’ll get consistent depth for your pegs later!
5. Cut 3/16″ bobbin pegs
I also have access to a band saw in the mancave. This could just as easily been done with a hand saw. Set up the ‘fence’ or guide at 3/4″ so all you have to do is cut the pieces. You will use the 3/16″ dowel, and cut 52 of them.
6. Glue pegs in place
Again, if Scott hadn’t shown me, I would’ve made a big gluey mess. I was about to dip the pegs in glue and mash them into the holes… They don’t need that much glue as it’s a snug fit. Use a toothpick or similar. Dip it in the glue and use this to get the glue into the hole. Then simply twist your peg in.
7. Assemble the pieces
This is always the hardest part for me. I always feel like I am not strong enough, or I need another hand. Scott made me an inside ‘clamping square’ that really made my job easier. You can make one too! Template HERE
First, measure where you will be drilling the 2 holes.
Second, set your countersink bit to the right depth:
Get your first corner ready for drilling:
Drill out your holes. Learn from my hesitancy. I was nervous to pull the drill trigger all the way. If you go too slowly, the wood will chip out, as shown.
Add your wood glue, and put the countersink screws in.
INFO ON DIFFERENT TYPES OF SCREWS, CLICK HERE
Pieces attached together!
Continue this with all your corners.
8. Assemble the shelves
I then simply used the nail gun (and glue) to attach the shelves. Thread hardly weighs anything, I felt the corners needed strength to hold it’s shape, but the shelves were fine with a nail…
ABOVE AND BEYOND
You COULD be done at this point.
OR, you could go one more fun step further and really finish off your new thread holder. Make it something to be proud of.
This is where the 1/2″ dowel comes into play.
We are going to cover up the screw heads.
Squeeze some glue into the hole.
Twist the 1/2″ dowel into hole, spreading around the glue.
Cut off the peg.
No exposed screw heads.
It looks like you really know what you’re doing now!
Now finish it off any way you want!
I added some wood filler to fill in my chips that were due to my hesitancy. I sanded it down with 220 grit sandpaper.
I ended up painting it white to match my room.