Friday, March 21, 2008

Maru dai bobbins

Work continues on my maru dai stand. I really wanted to make some bobbins for it so I could start using it even though I haven't finished sanding or gluing. First I tried the bobbins that look like spools but on those the thread is kept from unwinding by tying a certain kind of knot and I wasn't very good at that. My bobbins kept unwinding and it was giving me sour face.

Next I started on a version of bobbin I found in the book which is my primary source so far, The Big Book of Sling and Rope Braids by Rodrick Owen (ISBN-10: 0304348252, ISBN-13: 978-0304348251). I have used that book alone to teach myself braiding and so far, so good. This next bobbin was problematic; the corkscrew of wire that is inserted in the top of the dowel was hard to twist and impossible to make look nice and even. Then, I had an epiphany! I dug into my picture hanging kit box and took some brass loops, the kind that screw into the back of the picture frame that the picture hanging wire fastens to. The ends were pointed and threaded like wood screws (since they are supposed to be screwed into picture frame backs, go figure) so they went into the ends of my dowels really well (pilot holes helped!). Then I took a pair of pliers and pried the loop open so thread could fit in the loop and voila! it worked perfectly and looked attractive. I only made six since that is how many wooden discs I had so I photographed the stand with a sample four strand braid. It is sitting amongst the lavender in my newly renovated front yard.

Note in the picture that I used metal washers as counterweights; they are a little difficult to see in this picture. I liked them because I could vary the weight on the counterweight, also they fit perfectly on the 3/8" dowel so I can vary the weight (and thus tension) on the bobbins.

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