Tag Archives: 15-91

Back in the Saddle – Take care of your back

Ergonomics Part 1: (This post ended up far longer than I’d intended (yeah, shocking, I know!), so I will split it into 2, and offer you part 2 tomorrow.)

Lately, I’ve noticed that I hunch a lot when I sew.  This is on the longarm or at the domestic machines.   The result of this is that I “hurt” and I can’t sew for long periods of time.  So I thought I’d talk today a little about ergonomics, both at the stand up and sit down types of machines and your cutting table. Continue reading Back in the Saddle – Take care of your back

Greased Lightning – Singer motor lube in Canada

Update 06-30-2016:  The latest batch of Singer Lube I received from the supplier is no longer suitable for use in Singer motors.  As such, I’m recommending the use of Petroleum jelly.

People far smarter than me are recommending it and White Sewing machine motors of the same time period used it.

 

Over the last few months, I’ve been hearing that Singer Lube / Lubricant / Motor Lube (S2129)  is getting really hard to find, especially here in Canada. This has been my experience as a consumer as well.  Walmart used to carry it, but no longer.  I believe that it may have been at Fabricland at one point.  Also, no longer.  With the loss of the Singer store in Edmonton, there were no longer any options I was aware of in my area. Continue reading Greased Lightning – Singer motor lube in Canada

Love becomes Electric – Electrical Safety and your sewing machine

*Note:  The photo above is of a mis-assembled power connector.  This is an example of what not to do, or Love becoming Electric – which is the topic of this conversation today.

Today, I want to talk about the electrical connections in your vintage machines.  In particular, the topic will be when you’re using the machine and you feel a tingle, or a light shock, or buzzing sensation. Continue reading Love becomes Electric – Electrical Safety and your sewing machine

Bobbin’ Along – bobbin tension

You may have noticed in the previous post about tension that we didn’t even test sew the machine.

Yet.  We will test sew it, but not just yet.  You see what I’m trying to do is get the machine to a point where it’s in the ballpark first, then the rest is just small tweaks.  The goal is to help you rule out the big problems, the ones that require repair, or in drastic situations, possibly a trip to the sewing machine spa.

Consider this statement:

Tension too tight on the top can also be tension too loose on the bottom.
Top Tension too tight does not automatically mean bottom tension is too loose.
Tension too loose on the top can also be tension too tight on the bottom.
Top Tension too loose does not automatically mean bottom tension is too tight. Continue reading Bobbin’ Along – bobbin tension 

Fragile Tension – Tension does not have to equal stress (Updated with a video)

Possibly the most common reason a machine ends up on my bench is for tension.  Usually bird’s nests.  The thing is easily 80% of the time, there’s nothing really wrong with the machine that a repair person needs to look at it.  Sometimes it’s basic maintenance, sometimes it’s because someone told you at some point “DON’T YOU TOUCH THAT! EVER!”

I’m sure that the people who’ve said that meant well, but today I’m going to show you how to manage that dial properly and what to do when it’s not proper. Continue reading Fragile Tension – Tension does not have to equal stress (Updated with a video)

Spring has sprung

Well, not really.  Not here in Central Alberta anyway.  We got about 10-12″ of the white sh…. stuff over the last weekend.

Ever had your bobbin case just fall out while you were sewing?  You’re just sewing along, and the darn thing just gets up and leaves? Or maybe you’ve found it not snapped in when you’re positive that you installed it right.

No,.. chances are that you don’t need a new bobbin case. Continue reading Spring has sprung

Tear it down – bobbin case maintenance

What do you do when you’re sewing along and your machine’s tension goes crazy for no reason?

There are the obvious things to do: re-thread the machine, in case the thread “popped” out of one of the guides, or came unseated from the upper tensioner, clean out all of the fluff and lint from the machine, especially in the thread path ( don’t forget the bobbin case area) … sometimes you might even get desperate and clean out the upper tensioner.

If you don’t know how to do that, it’s really straight forward, and can save you a trip to the sewing machine repair shop.

But what do you do if you’ve done all of that and the tension’s still goofy?  Especially if your top tension seems way too tight.  Say you have it turned the upper tensioner all the way loose, and your thread is still laying on the top of your fabric… Continue reading Tear it down – bobbin case maintenance

Second Floor – Hardware, Children’s wear, Ladies’ lingerie… A Universal Desk

Lately I’ve been experimenting with Free Motion Quilting (FMQ).

Yes, I see that surprised look on your faces!  I do, in fact, sew sometimes!  When I’m not buried elbow deep in the innards of a sewing machine, sometimes I even use them.  🙂

My latest “thing” is FMQ.  It’s really fun, but if your sewing surface isn’t set up correctly, it can be a real pain in the neck, shoulders, wrists, arms, back, and head.   With a lot of damage already in my back and wrists from computer work, (and dirtbikes, and old car wrecks, and skiing,… well you get the picture.)  I had to think this one through pretty carefully.

I wanted a new desk, but had to do it on a budget.  I’m willing to contribute some sweat equity, so I figured I’d give it a go at building something.

Continue reading Second Floor – Hardware, Children’s wear, Ladies’ lingerie… A Universal Desk

Running out of Time

Timing series part 5:  Examples

Note: The 401A and 201 timing directions have been updated.  My apologies for the previous mistake.  I’m not really sure what I was thinking when I put those directions in, they were just plain wrong.  They should be correct now.

Note:  Never run the machine with the pedal If you suspect that the timing is off, while checking or after adjusting the timing until you’ve determined that the setting was correct.  Running it at speed if the timing is off can cause massive damage to the hook, bobbin case and also smash the needle which can lead to shards flying around.

Note: The process I show for adjusting timing doesn’t necessarily work for newer machines that are set up a little differently, but the process of checking it still applies.   And if your machine is on warranty, please just take it in and have it fixed.  Some dealers / manufacturers will void your warranty if you try to change anything.

In order to demonstrate setting the timing on a machine, I’m going to show a series of photos.  The first is the location of the timing lines on the machine, if applicable.  The next is the location of the screws / nuts / bolts you need to loosen to time it.  As needed, I will provide further explanation.  For the technical explanation, please refer back to this post: Making Time

Continue reading Running out of Time

Making Time

Timing series part 4: Why it’s fairly difficult to throw timing off, and how to adjust timing.

Note:  Never run the machine with the pedal if you suspect that the timing is off, while checking or after adjusting the timing until you’ve determined that the setting was correct.  Running it at speed if the timing is off can cause massive damage to the hook, bobbin case and also smash the needle which can lead to shards flying around.

Note: The process I show for adjusting timing doesn’t necessarily work for newer machines that are set up a little differently, but the process of checking it still applies.   And if your machine is on warranty, please just take it in and have it fixed.  Some dealers / manufacturers will void your warranty if you try to change anything.

First, why it’s very hard to throw timing off.

Continue reading Making Time