Posts Tagged Sewing
Mary mentioned the pivot pin supplied with a quilting ruler tended to hang up on the layers of fabric and batting in the quilt squares she’s been making. A quick look showed the pin bore a remarkable resemblance to an ordinary thumb tack:
I reset the pin shaft perpendicular to the head, grabbed a small brass tube in the lathe tailstock, inserted pin in tube, grabbed the head in the chuck, ignored a slight radial offset, and attacked the pin with fine files and sandpaper:
The lathe chuck seemed the easiest way to firmly hold the head; I rotated the chuck by hand while filing.
Most of the remaining scratches go mostly parallel to the pin, but it really didn’t work much better than before. We decided polishing the pin wouldn’t improve the situation enough to make it worthwhile.
That’s the difference between sharp and keen, which cropped up with the cheap ceramic knife from a while ago. The point may penetrate the fabric, but the shaft can’t get through the tight weave.
She’s now using a scary thin and pointy embroidery pin, having successfully rebuffed my offer to mount it in a suitable base.
It turns out the thread guide on Mary’s new Juki TL-2010Q sewing machine has what’s euphemistcally known as “negative clearance” with the ruler foot she uses for quilting patterns. With the foot raised to move the cloth, inadvertently pressing the foot pedal or turning the handwheel can crunch the thread guide against the foot.
As you might expect, the intricately bent wire thread guide doesn’t survive the encounter. Not having a spare ready to hand and not knowing quite what it should look like, I reshaped it as best I could:
It worked moderately well:
The automatic needle threader wasn’t reliable, but she could cope until the replacements arrived.
Comparing the new one (left) with the wrecked one (right) shows I didn’t re-bend the loop tightly enough, putting the end on the right at the wrong angle:
It’s the kind of shape you can duplicate by the thousands with a production machine, but can’t make at home without entirely too much tedious effort.
The new one works fine, seen here in front of a walking foot, with the auto-threader looming in the upper foreground:
Aaaand now we have spares!
One of the leather strap anchors on Mary’s giant haul-everything-to-a-concert(*) handbag pulled its rivet through the canvas fabric:
We knotted the strap around the zippered opening and completed the mission.
Of course, it wouldn’t have pulled through if they’d splurged on washers, but noooo too expensive:
Some rummaging produced a pan-head M3 screw of suitable length:
A slightly battered acorn nut was a special treat for the inside, with another washer to keep me happy:
That was easy!
After a week of use, Mary decided the single additional graphite disk in each stack produced a too-high initial speed when the sewing machine started up; this being a matter of how it feels injects some of trial-and-error into the repair.
Shaving a graphite disk down from 0.8 to 0.4 mm seemed entirely too messy, so I snipped squares from 0.40 mm = 16 mil brass shim stock, nibbled the edges into a polygon, and filed the resulting vertexes to produce a (rough) circle:
Each stack looks like this:
- 1.5 mm graphite disk (double-thick)
- 0.30 mm brass (original part)
- 0.79 mm graphite disk
- 0.40 brass (new part)
- The rest of the stack
Protip: dump those shards onto a strip of wide masking tape, fold gently until it’s all corners, and drop in the trash. Otherwise, you’ll pull those things out of your shoes and fingers for months…
You can get cheaper nibbling tools nowadays; I’ve had mine for decades.
After watching Mary fiddle with the shrunken presser foot screw, I tapered the tip as a guide into the hole:
A hint-and-tip (which I cannot, alas, find again) suggested making bushings to simplify trimming screws in the lathe. A rim on the bushing aligns it with the front of the jaws, the screw threads into the central hole with a jam nut locking it in place, then you can turn / shape / file the end of the screw just beyond bushing with great support and a total lack of drama.
For the moment, I just aligned the screw in the tailstock drill chuck, crunched the three-jaw spindle chuck on the screw head, backed off the tailstock, took unsupported sissy cuts, and it was all good:
Gotta make those bushings!
The pedal on Mary’s most recent Kenmore 158 lost its low-speed control, which meant I must add a few more graphite / carbon disks to the stacks:
The contacts needed a bit of attention, too:
Contrary to what I found in the previous rheostats, these stacks end with a double-thick graphite disk backed up by a disk of brass shimstock, all of which needed cleaning, too. No broken disks, none severely eroded, no debris, just a general shortening of the stacks; I think the disks gradually turn into carbon dioxide.
Each stack has 42 graphite disks that average 0.79 mm thick, the double-thick disks measure 1.5 mm, and the brass shims are 0.30 mm = 12 mil. The punched contacts on those brass plates stand 0.95 mm proud of the surface.
With the big graphite plugs in place, the ceramic housing had 37 mm deep holes for the disk stacks. Subtracting the 0.95 mm contact leaves about 36 mm and, seeing as how the stacks add up to just under 36 mm overall, there’s barely room for one additional disk. I added one to each stack, buttoned the pedal up, and it works perfectly again.
Good thing I have a bag of those disks from the crash test dummy machine!
The comments on my previous stainless-steel thread respooling attempt suggested that I was entirely too much of a sissy, so, when another empty spool appeared, I tried again with more vigor:
As before, I put the larger spool on the floor under the lathe and let the thread spill straight off the top toward the smaller spool. This time, I didn’t have a twist accumulating in the loose thread between the two spools:
- Grab longer lengths of the loose thread
- Absolutely no slippage between the fingers!
- Put more tension on the thread at the takeup spool
As nearly as I can tell, the thread still has a slight twist coming off the larger spool, but grabbing longer lengths captures the twist and more tension lays it on the smaller spool. After cutting the thread, what was left had maybe three turns of twist, which was no big deal and obviously hadn’t accumulated.
Seems better: thanks for all the comments!