Lasercut bobbin rack for sewing thread

Here’s something I came up with today to make it easier to organise sewing thread.

The problem is how to organise about four or five tubs worth of these:

before v01.JPG

As an experiment, here’s what the exact same collection would look like if it was densely packed. Much more space efficient, but completely useless when it comes to actually retrieving thread to use:

possible stacking v01.JPG

“Do you have any lemon yellow thread?” “Er… I’ll let you know in an hour or so”

OK, so is there  a happy medium between those two? Something that shows the colours, but allows what Adam Savage calls ‘first order retrievability‘?

Here’s what I came up with:

rack pic v01.JPG

I make no apologies for variations in the colour ordering here. Deal with it.

Here’s the same collection from before, with the overflow and different sized bobbins on the right:

after v01.JPG

So not as efficient space-wise, but way more efficient for actually using it. If we need to know whether there’s any cerulean-off-turquoise thread, that’s something you can see in less than 5 seconds.

I made versions for the 3 bobbin sizes I found in the box. They’re something like 20mm, 27mm and 41mm. No idea whether that’s all the sizes available, or if there are other common ones?

large rack v01.JPG

Medium and large rolls can be accommodated too.

Also, there’s a row piece for each sized rack, that keeps each column at something close to the densest packing. There’s also nothing to stop you mixing the columns to accomodate multiple sized bobbins in one box, but it just won’t be as space efficient.

The whole thing is designed to fit nicely into the Quadrant 5 litre storage tubs, so that it’s both portable, but keeps the dust off. I use a ton of these boxes of for both part and project storage. They’re available from ‘the reject shop’ in Australia for a few dollars each.

Files here for anyone that wants to make their own:

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