wire bobbin

This very simple device has been made to try and stop 'birds nest' tangles that can occur when using reels of fine wire. Having run the shake-a-gen workshop several times with a range of ages this can certainly be a problem when you try and wind 1000 turns onto the cans !

The reel holder is a piece of MDF (10 x 10 x 2cm, or any wood but the heavier the better) having a 9mm hole drilled in the center. A 9mm diameter dowl (10cm long) is fitted and glued into this hole. Over this is pushed a 35mm film can lid (drilled out to say 8mm hole. The reel of wire rests on this and lets it rotate with less friction.
Finally, near to one corner of the wooden block another hole is drilled and a second dowl (9mm x 8cm long) is fitted. This second dowl has a 2mm hole drilled near to the top of the dowl. The end of the wire is threaded through this hole and guides the wire when it is unwinding. This stops the possibility of a loop (or many loops) coming off the top of the reel and starting the seed for a birds nest tangle of wire.

wire bobbin


Dr Jonathan Hare, The University of Sussex

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