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About gottaknow

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  • Birthday February 12

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  • Location
    Washington State
  • Interests
    Art, music, sewing, photography, gardening

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Industrial sewing machines since 1980, head mechanic for CC Filson.
  • Interested in learning about
    ironicly, hand sewing, leather carving and stamping
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  1. Our luggage factory uses a similar machine to that one Wiz for setting all the leather straps and buckles on our luggage. It's made by Brother, who seems to be fairly aggressive in their automation work stations. If I recall, the price was less than I thought it would be. I have a Brother memory label setter that sets all of our different labels. It can be set for different sizes in about 10 minutes. It was about 7k and has paid for itself in less than two years. I've always been a firm believer in buying the very best you can afford. I understand this can be tough for hobbyist to justify, but if you're going to make a profit as you know, you really need good reliable machines. Regards, Eric
  2. I bought a Reece 101 keyhole buttonhole machine two years ago. $14,500. And all it does is buttonholes. Really nice ones though. My seam sealing machines for waterproof breathable fabric were 35k each. And I have two of them. The return on investment in a factory happens very quickly though. Regards, Eric
  3. We were shut down all week as is customary in the sewing factory circles. It messes up production in the summer when you have people taking vacations randomly, so the shut downs occur nation wide. It's the same with a lot of the support industries as well since there's no one to talk to anyway. Regards, Eric
  4. In my experience sewing webbing on vertical hook machines creates some different issues that other material. First and foremost, the webbing deflects the needle to the left. Even if your hook is set tight to the scarf of the needle, it deflects to the left and the hook point runs right through your thread. I set all vertical hook machines so that the hook point deflects the needle a bit, then adjust the needle guard on the hook to push the needle to the left enough for the hook point to clear the needle. What that means is that when you sew, your needle guard will deflect your needle to the left. Since your hook point is set for that, the webbing can't deflect your needle far enough for your hook to fray your thread because the needle is already under a little tension which keeps it from deflecting more. You also need a very sharp hook point. (Dull hooks fray thread) As for your hook timing, I generally retard the timing just a bit so that it goes through the scarf of the needle a little lower where the loop from bonded thread is more consistent. Bottom line, even though your hook timing looks good, that needle will deflect to the left. More in webbing than any other material, which means your hook is simply too far away from your needle. Even on regular fabric and leather, frayed thread is usually caused by your hook to needle setting (left/right), or a dull or flat hook point. Have fun! Regards, Eric
  5. In most cases, whatever the size needle your machine was set to, that's ideal. However, you can usually go up a size and down a size without issue, sometimes more. If you have a 20, see how it acts. If it's ok, try an 18. If you reset your hook, pick the needle size you want to use the most. On that machine, I'd set it to an 18 which would allow you to use a 16 and a 20 without issue. Your machine is fairly easy to move the hook closer if you need to. You can download a manual from Regards, Eric
  6. If the hook in your machine is set to sew with a size 22 needle, going down to a size 16 will place the hook too far away from the needle. The hook will need to be moved closer to the needle and re-timed. Your hook is simply missing the loop that forms when your needle rises. Regards, Eric
  7. I assume it's still in recovery. He'll send someone to post an update. I crack myself up. Regards, Eric
  8. This happens at least a couple times a week in the factory. Sucks when it's a double needle and you have two jams to deal with. Regards, Eric
  9. That is the latch opener. Different companies call it different things, but to me, it's the latch opener. The hook tip in blue doesn't usually bend. They are case hardened and will break instead of bending. It looks like you'll have to remove the basket from the hook to clear that thread jam which is likely what broke your latch opener Regards, Eric
  10. The picture isn't a 153, but I describe the theory of the latch opener and how to set it. The process is the same. I copied this from a previous post of mine. The latch opener adjustment is one of the most overlooked and important settings on a vertical hook machine. It's function is to hold the bobbin basket open just wide enough to create a clear path for the thread between the tab on the basket, and the back of the "notch" in the throat plate. It's easy to check, and easy to set. Get a couple ply of whatever you're sewing on and sew down a bit on the right edge. That will allow you to slide the cover open, turn the machine over by hand and watch your latch opener. Turn the handwheel slowly in the operating direction and watch the needle thread. After the hook picks it up, it will carry it over the top of the basket where your bobbin is. The latch opener should contact the basket and rotate it slightly ccw, allowing the thread to cleanly pass. If not, loosen the screw and adjust it just enough for the thread to clear. If you have it open too much, you'll hit the front side of the throat plate notch with the tab on the basket. An easy check when finished is to turn it until it's moved the basket as far as it will go ccw, then push the basket by hand ccw. There should be a slight gap. I've attached a pic below so you can see it. Regards, Eric
  11. Blanket stitch machines are cool. I have a couple of them in storage. They are really straight forward to work on. They also come configured in a raised version, more of a platform, not a cylinder. Regards, Eric
  12. I have all the original 153 manuals, and for a novice they are skimpy as you say. For some reason, Singer put more details for certain models. My 300W manuals are excellent, so are the 269 bartack machines. I've determined over the years that Singers manuals for lock stitch machines are really basic, and weren't written for beginners as they skip over a lot of information. I guess they assumed that mechanics were familiar enough with lock stitch machines they didn't go into a lot of detail. For the chainstitc class, the manuals are more detailed. The basics for setting all lock stitch machines are pretty common from machine to machine, so I think they assumed a lot. They weren't really written for hobbyists. Regards, Eric
  13. There's only one thing I know to be fact in sewing, and that is there are no absolutes, but lots of grey areas. I do tend to paint with a very broad brush when I describe things on the forum here. The reason is because I've been head mechanic in factories with 350 operators where I had 4 mechanics working for me and I had to keep them all on the same page. Because factories sew at high speed, things have to be set very precise. I've seen machines in upholstery shops set so poorly I was amazed they worked. My adjustment techniques and troubleshooting methods are time tested for the masses. I know that if all my machines are set to position after the loop has been picked up. I have less problems. If I were perfect, and my machines were perfect, I wouldn't have a job. There are so many variables with industrial machines, I change opinions on things all the time. About the time I think I have something figured out, it proves me wrong. I've been a mechanic for 36 years and there are days in a factory I feel like it's my first day. I am always in learning mode and have learned a ton here on the forum. Back in the days of big factories, I would adjust/repair about 75 machines a day. No wonder I have grey hair. Regards, Eric
  14. Here's my bobbin case repair stash for horizontal bobbin cases. The tool for straightening bent cases is shown there. I have several, but I think this one's from the 70's and was sold by Singer. There are adjustment screws in the antique Singer needle box in an attempt to contain them. Regards, Eric