Kenmore 158 Sewing Machine: Glare Reduction

The additional LEDs around the needle on (one of) Mary’s Kenmore Model 158 sewing machines provide plenty of light for normal sewing, but produced too much glare on the polished steel “hand hole cover plate” (their nomenclature) for small-scale work. A matte surface seemed in order, which came from some translucent mailing labels left over from our Christmas card effort:

Kenmore 158 - non-glare cover plate
Kenmore 158 – non-glare cover plate

Mailing labels probably aren’t a permanent solution, but they certainly solved the problem without delay. We’re loathe to etch the steel, as increasing the surface roughness definitely isn’t what you want, nor blacken it, for obvious reasons.

Too much light is definitely better than too little, though.


  1. #1 by Dave Mackie on 2019-12-26 - 12:28

    If you have more than one Model 158 machine and if the “hand hole cover plates” are easily interchangeable you could take one plate and bead blast it to produce a lambertian surface. Use this with small sewing items, replace with the original high polish / low friction plate for everyday use.

    • #2 by Ed on 2019-12-29 - 08:45

      In a fit of craziness, we gave the Crash Test Dummy to one of Mary’s compadres with a repair biz and Customer Opinion is firmly against sandblasting any of the operating machines. Drat!

    • #3 by Vedran on 2019-12-30 - 14:13

      Dropping it into ferric chloride might do the trick. You can try it out on a non critical piece before committing. See here for before and after:

      • #4 by Ed on 2019-12-31 - 09:26

        That looks a lot like the blackening on Tiny Bandsaw’s table. The finish held up surprisingly well, but I know without asking the process won’t receive approval. [grin]

        • #5 by Vedran on 2020-01-08 - 10:19

          Take a walk on a wild side… Upppss honey, I accidentally dropped these 5 sawing machine parts I was holding in my hand into an open container of Ferric Chloride an didn’t notice for about 5 minutes :)

  1. Kenmore 158 Sewing Machine: Hardware Deglaring | The Smell of Molten Projects in the Morning

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