Zest Bobbin trouble


Yesterday I put a size L bobbin into the Babylock Zest. It was very difficult to remove (I had to destroy the bobbin to remove it).

The manual says the Zest requires a “Class 15 bobbin”, and internet search seems to suggests that a size L bobbin should work (although the reverse is not true). They are allegedly the same diameter but different thicknesses.

It darn sure didn’t.

Is it just me? All of the bobbins for the Janome and the Babylock embroidery machine are size L. I was extremely gentle and careful getting the size L bobbin out of there, but if the bobbins really aren’t interchangeable we should probably segregate and label them.






I haven’t tried one of the zest’s yet but that’s good to know. Also, I found this nifty informational diagram on the two and I’m going to drop it here for future reference.



Allow me to introduce you to my boyfriend. He’s from France! I met him on the internet.

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@Hardsuit, does Astrud have any knowledge bombs to drop here?



Suspect it is one of a small selection of donated bobbins that don’t fit well in anything. Just use another bobbin…

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Can we mark these and remove them for general use?



Why would we want to even keep them??



Search and dispose, IMO…



If someone will mark them, I will take them to use isn some of my jewelry
classes, I can place fine wire on them and hat will help my student not get it tangles as
easily. There is a twinning technique I would like to
teach and they would be big help for it



That’s a real possibility … but I took it out of the bobbin container in the main bobbin storage bin and there were lots of them that looked the same. It certainly looked like the right size but it jammed in the bobbin holder. There was a small box of about four bobbins that were clearly Class 15. The diameter was slightly smaller and the thickness noticeably thicker and they easily went in and out.

Here’s one way we could test the other bobbins. We can use a sewing pin as an extractor handle for the test. Take a sewing pin with a large glass head. Pass the pin through one of the tiny holes in the bobbin so the head is “inside” the bobbin. Place the bobbin in the bobbin holder. If it can’t be removed, use a pair of pliers to grasp the pin and extract the bobbin. Then, of course, we still need to see if it fits into the Janomes.


In theory, the prewound embroidery bobbins are size L but it’s possible that rewinding those is the problem.

The problem is that once you put one of the offending bobbins in, you have to pry it out. If someone is less gentle than I was, it could destroy the metal bobbin holder. That’s my concern.



I’m not sure it’s a spectacular solution but these bobbin spacers are available



You have the diameter, you just need to use a set of calipers to measure and find the ones that are larger than .8 inches or 2.03 cm and get rid of them.



The weird thing is none of them should be larger than 2.03 cm



If they are plastic bobbins that get wound too quickly with a poly thread, the thread can heat up and stretch during winding, then snap back after cooling, which can clench the center of the bobbin to a smaller diameter. If the bobbin is in the bobbin case when the shrinkage happens, getting it out is next to impossible.

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