DIY Bobbin Winder!

I've currently become the biggest cheap-ass in the world. Well, okay, I've always been a cheap-ass when it comes to some things, but now it's most things.

When I first started weaving after college, I didn't splurge on weaving supplies because I assumed it would just be something that I did "here and there". I bought my loom about 6 years ago and never bought myself a bobbin winder*. Yes, I will allow you to re-read that sentence and I will conveniently retype it for you too: I never bought a bobbin winder. 

You might be asking, "How did you wind your bobbins? The other half - the life line, if you will - of everything you weave?" Ah, yes. Excellent question, young padawan. Up until a month ago, I was using my portable drill, with a long shafted drill bit. (My dad gave me the idea. He's so smart.) The set up looked something like this:

But then my drill battery died and I'm too cheap to buy a new one and I also could take this chance to talk about how I really hate rechargeable work tools, but I'll save that for another day. SO. I was walking around at the Chicken Barn (a Maine treasure) last month and found this really awesome hand drill for $2. Heck yeah. And it works perfectly. Usually old tools don't work at all, am I right? And it's gorgeous, right?

This is where it gets a bit blasphemous, for some of you antique-types. I sawed off the top and bottom bit of the wooden side grip, making flats. 

Then I inserted the drill bit I had from before - $2 from the hardware store - and attached the set up to my work table with a C clamp I already owned - $6 from the hardware store - and VOILA! I had a $10 bobbin winder. 

Anyway, a real beautiful $140 Swedish bobbin winder might be somewhere in my future, but for now I'm doing just fine with my homemade one. 

*For those of you who don't know what a bobbin winder is, it's usually a geared (as shown in the first picture above) or belted wheel system that allows you to spool fiber to a shaft of plastic or paper. The wound bobbin is what you eventually weave with, the thing that creates the other half of the woven structure. Yes, it is a very important part of the process.