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JustSewSimple

Towa Bobbin Gauge: a question of numbers!

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I just bought a Towa Bobbin Gauge. I was wondering if I have wasted my money. Do you use one and if so how accurate are they? Are you glad you have one?


Just Sew Simple Sylvia Blissett APQS Freedom '09 "Stitch" Circle Lord 2010 “"Until one has loved an animal, Part of their soul remains unawakened.”

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I use those magna glides most of the time so rarely have to use it, if I am using a regular bobbin and start having trouble, then I pull it out and check on my tension. I marked my towa gage where a regular bobbin's tension should be so I start there and then play with the top tension if I am having trouble. It did seem like alot of $ to me at first, but when you are new or are having trouble getting your tension to play right they can be helpful.


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We also buy mega glide pre-wound bobbins and also wind our own. When we wind our own we always use our Towa gauge. It is wonderful tool.


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Patches and Seams Quilting Services

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When life throws you scraps, make a quilt. ~Author Unknown

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i use mine all the time.

i wind my own bobbins.

i have made a list of the numbers for each thread combo and i check the tension for every new bobbin with it.

i also have the top tension gauge that i only use for king tut. the top gauge is PITA to use, but it works.

now when i have a tension issue - i know its either threading or lint related.


Meg

"Do small things with great love." Mother Teresa

"Life's too short to fuss with thread." Meg Fazio

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I use mine every day, every bobbin.

All they do is measure the force required to pull the thread through the bobbin case. The higher the number, the more pull, the tighter the tension. Sweet spot for me is about 18 (or 180 on the newer gauges). You can practice with it and make a chart for various threads, but with a few exceptions, the number will be set close to the same with every thread.

It's a good investment and if you don't like it, you can always re-sell it.

Renae Haddadin has a YouTube demo on her website.


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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I use mine all the time - As for accuracy - I have a "rule of thumb" number I use for each type of thread and then always do a stitching test for the final adjustment of the top thread. I do this with each bobbin change. I have found that with my own wound bobbins, there can be some very slight variances of the bobbin itself when winding and different colors within the same thread type of thread need slightly different adjustments. If I am changing type of bobbin thread - I start with the drop test and then insert into the towa.

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Thanks, you guys!!! My problem was (even with prewounds) I'd put in a new bobbin and the tension may be off. I was having to test at each bobbin change. This should really ease my mind and have me get those perfect stitches I love. Really, thanks again!!!


Just Sew Simple Sylvia Blissett APQS Freedom '09 "Stitch" Circle Lord 2010 “"Until one has loved an animal, Part of their soul remains unawakened.”

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I wind my own bobbins and use the spider test on every one. So far I have used only a couple of different bobbin threads. At a recent show I bought the towa gauge just to see how good my "eye" was on judging the spider test, so now I check them with the towa gauge as well. It turns out that if the bobbin case is adjusted so that the spider test works the way I have learned that it should, the towa gauge number is always almost exactly the same. So, I guess I don't really need the towa, but it is reassuring for a relative beginner to be able to eliminate crummy bobbin tension as a source of problems.

And I'm assuming it will help me as I get brave enough to try different weight threads in the bobbin.

So I say, as a relative beginner, that having the gauge is reassuring, but not really necessary. (But I'm not selling mine - yet).


Bonnie

(and Amazing Grace)

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Originally posted by JustSewSimple

......My problem was (even with prewounds) I'd put in a new bobbin and the tension may be off. I was having to test at each bobbin change.....

Sylviia, I think regardless (whether you use a Towa or the spider drop test) it is a very good habit to test every bobbin after it's wound. I do. Just takes a sec for me to pop it in the bobbin and drop test to see how it rolls. And if I need to make a minor adjustment I do.

I also test my top tension with every thread change (pulling on thread while looking at the top tension spring and where it's hitting (on the clock) and I pull using the "feel" test to see how it feels going through the tension. Sometimes I tighten or loosen as needed. That's just my process, though....


"Of all the things a woman's hands have made---The quilt so lightly thrown across her bed---The quilt that keeps her loved ones warm---Is woven of her love and dreams and thread." excerpt from The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt by Carrie A. Hall
 

:rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes: 

Shana in North Pole, Alaska ---- The Farthest North APQS Sales Rep  
 Always quilting with her faithful friend, Mademoiselle Madeleine Millennium, Bliss-fully skating gracefully...and having lots of fun with IntelliQuilter

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Linda I was going to buy that one but realized it was the M bobbin gauge so I just went online and bought and L gauge.


Just Sew Simple Sylvia Blissett APQS Freedom '09 "Stitch" Circle Lord 2010 “"Until one has loved an animal, Part of their soul remains unawakened.”

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Glad you bought the right size!! :P


"Of all the things a woman's hands have made---The quilt so lightly thrown across her bed---The quilt that keeps her loved ones warm---Is woven of her love and dreams and thread." excerpt from The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt by Carrie A. Hall
 

:rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes: 

Shana in North Pole, Alaska ---- The Farthest North APQS Sales Rep  
 Always quilting with her faithful friend, Mademoiselle Madeleine Millennium, Bliss-fully skating gracefully...and having lots of fun with IntelliQuilter

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The sweet spot on the Towa gauge appears to be gauge specific. If we were all to the the drop test after our sweet spot, we may find they are the same. My sweet spot is 160.


Lyn Crump   Hand Guided 2013 Millenium Blissed and Gliding    APQS Sales Rep SE Qld Australia   www.busyquilting.com.au   On Facebook and Instagram as BusyQuilting


Attitude is everything - So pick a good one!

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I am bringing this back to the top because I need to ask a question. My gauge test out at 100 with the glide bobbins. That seems low but the stitches are good. Does that sound low to you guys?


Just Sew Simple Sylvia Blissett APQS Freedom '09 "Stitch" Circle Lord 2010 “"Until one has loved an animal, Part of their soul remains unawakened.”

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Hi Sylvia-sweety! If you want it tighter, just tighten the screw on the bobbin case until the thread pulls 160 or 170--whatever gives you good stitches. Then tighten the top tension comparably. I was coaching a newbie on tension and told her, pull on the bobbin thread and then pull on the top thread (coming through the needle eye and towards the back of the machine). The force should feel the same there at the needle plate where the stitch is made.

If you are getting good stitches at 100, that just means your upper tension is loose-ish as well. All you are looking for is balance. You can set the bobbin wherever to like and then tweek the top so it all works.

I don't like a loose top thread because it has a tendency to fling around and catch on my light switch, etc.


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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Originally posted by ffq-lar

I don't like a loose top thread because it has a tendency to fling around and catch on my light switch, etc.

Sigh......, I wish I had a light switch. I have one of the very early millenniums and so no switch.


FFE992D1FB7A16BDBE9FDE1627DBA781.png ? Chris Landis

2001 APQS Millennium

Quiltizoid

www.facebook.com/pages/Feathercreek Quilting by Chris Landis

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I was wondering about this myself too what people set theirs at, I have recently started using my guage more often and am surprised that all bobbins are different, I have found about 200 is good for me,


3903CF121430B009ACE771072A3FAF28.pngLenni 2009

on IQ carriage with edgerider wheels and 2012 Lucey on bliss

www.j-quilts.co.uk

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Janette,

You will find that all bobbins needs to be set a similar number and then you only need to change your upper tension.

I must like mine loose my machine prefers bobbins set at 150-170. I too only use the top tension gauge for the finicky threads, like King Tut and for that it works!

Lyn


Lyn Crump   Hand Guided 2013 Millenium Blissed and Gliding    APQS Sales Rep SE Qld Australia   www.busyquilting.com.au   On Facebook and Instagram as BusyQuilting


Attitude is everything - So pick a good one!

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