Bernina Bobbinwinder 1 at Vintage Berninas

A lady brought her trusty Bernina 830 in for attention, yesterday. She’d brought the husband along to carry the 830.

The bobbin winder is stiff and isn’t working, she reported.
I opened the lid and felt the winder and, like she said, it was stiff alright. The rubber wheel was also badly worn.
Time for a new winder, says I. 

Bernina Bobbinwinder 2 at Vintage Berninas

I replaced the old and original winder with the new type, which is better because you only have to change the rubber wheel when it becomes worn.
It was a job of no more than a few moments. She went upstairs to see the girls and pay the bill, as happy as Larry.

This job also reminded of the people who regularly bring machines in for attention because, “they are not sewing very well”.
Further inspection will often reveal a badly wound bobbin.

Bernina Bobbinwinder 3 at Vintage Berninas

Always bear in mind, especially with older or vintage machines, you should hold the thread gently as you are winding the bobbin. This helps to keep a steady tension on the thread as it winds. The spring in your bobbin winder tension unit will wear out and become useless. This can often lead to a loosely wound bobbin which will cause no end of stitch and tension problems.Sometimes we will even find a mile and a half of thread wrapped around the belt channel of the balance/hand wheel.

Bernina Bobbinwinder 4 at Vintage Berninas

You always need a nicely wound bobbin with an even wind, like the one in my photo. Try and keep the wind straight, you can see the example in my photo has a slight ‘belly’, but it’s acceptable.

Bernina Bobbinwinder 5 at Vintage Berninas

Also, always trim your tail – when winding a bobbin, that is.
A long tail of thread will often sneak down the gap at the side of the winder and get caught by the belt. When you then press your foot control and begin to wind the bobbin then acts as a jockey wheel and you are in fact winding thread around your balance/hand wheel.

I’m sure old hands are already aware of all this.