Jones produced a number of classes of sewing machines, but I have only worked with cylinder shuttle (CS) and rotary (Spool), so this post focuses on them.
Jones CS is a vibrating shuttle machine after a White design, named cylindric shuttle. These came in two sizes: 14.5″ bed called Medium CS, and 12″ bed called Family CS. See my post on vibrating shuttle machines for more details.
Jones Spool is a rotary machine after Wheeler & Wilson D9, full size only.
Summary on needles and bobbins
Jones CS: Schmetz DBx1 needles, Singer 27/28 bobbins 31mm x 9mm, with a hole in the cap.
Jones Spool: Schmetz DBx1 needles, Wheeler & Wilson rounded bobbin 23mm x 7mm, hole size is immaterial.
Both CS and Spool take “Jones” needles, which are really Singer 128×1 class needles.
The problem with 128×1 needles, is that they are no longer being made. But there is a modern alternative: industrial needles DBx1. Unfortunately, this particular type of needle is not fully standardised among manufacturers, and some of these needles work with Jones, while other don’t.
The problem is the diameter of the scarf, or the thicker top bit of the needle that goes into the needle clamp. This diameter varies among the makers from too big and not even getting into the hole, to too small and skipping stitches.
The scarf diameter of 128×1 needles is 1.74mm. The scarf of Schmetz DBx1 is 1.63mm and it still works, but Organ has 1.58mm and it skips stitches. MUVA has 2mm and it does not fit in the hole.
Vibrating shuttle machines require needles with larger holes. Some needle types, like the “standard domestic” 15×1, have a top stitch variety which is exactly that: the same needle with a larger hole. I am not aware of a DBx1 top stitch needle, so failing that, if your machine is skipping stitches, try a thicker needle.
Groz Beckert makes DBx1 needles also for jersey (ball point) and leather. I am just about to try them out and will update this post when I know more.
Jones CS bobbins
The bobbins for Jones CS machines are the same as those used for Singer VS machine, i.e., the “bullet” shuttle. Note that they are longer than the older Singer 12 bobbins for the transversal “boat” shuttle.
Except that Jones machines have a positioning pin in their bobbin winder, so you need Singer 27/28 bobbins with a little hole in the cap. These bobbins are being made again, both with and without the hole, so make sure you get the right type.
Jones Spool bobbins
These bobbins come in two sizes, both are rare. The oldest Spool I’ve seen was from 1899, and it already used the larger bobbin called “Medium”. The smaller variety was apparently used on even older machines.
The Medium Spool bobbin is a rounded bobbin measuring 23mm in diameter and 7mm thick at its heighest point. It’s only 3.5mm thick at the edges, see photo above in the summary section.
I have so far not found a modern substitute for this bobbin, so if you know of one, do tell!