Archive for February 10th, 2015

Kenmore 158 Base: Cable Port

The Crash Test Dummy machine arrived from the usual eBay seller in a cardboard box with a few rigid foam strips and some closed-cell foam sheets tossed inside. The seller thought the machine was “adequately protected”, which turned out to be, at best, optimistic:

Kenmore 158 - Crash Test Dummy Case

Kenmore 158 – Crash Test Dummy Case

Fortunately, the crushed case protected the sewing machine itself and, given that I specifically bought it with the intent of making mistakes thereupon, it worked well enough. At one point, it vibrated off a desk, landed face-down on the concrete basement floor, and now the stitch selection / length cam followers don’t follow their cams very well at all.

I modified the cracked-but-workable base to pass the connectors on the AC motor power and LED power / position sensor cables:

Kenmore 158 Base - cable hole

Kenmore 158 Base – cable hole

That was done by chucking a hole saw in the drill press, running at lowest speed, resting the other end of the case on my thigh, and tipping my foot to drive the case upward into the saw. Worked surprisingly well, but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t use that technique yourself.

Now that the Crash Test Dummy resembles a sewing machine again, running a few trial stitches in scrap fabric showed that it works well enough for straight-line sewing and free-motion quilting:

Kenmore 158 Crash Test Dummy - test stitching

Kenmore 158 Crash Test Dummy – test stitching

We installed it in the Quilting Room, ready for a more extensive evaluation on an actual quilt…