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About gottaknow

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  • Birthday February 12

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

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Industrial sewing machines since 1980, Facilities and Maintenance Mgr at Outdoor Research
  • Interested in learning about
    ironicly, hand sewing, leather carving and stamping
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  1. Steel plate table top?

    We use 1/8” steel tables on our Brother 342G’s. They are stand up automatic work stations. The operators do rest their arms on them at least part of the time. No complaints so far. As a side note, my welding bench at work is a section of a restaurant grill. Best welding bench ever. Regards, Eric
  2. Singer 153W103 feed dog trouble

    Your top and bottom shafts are out of time. Regards, Eric
  3. Singer 153W103 feed dog trouble

    I would recheck your belt timing to start with. Tip the machine back, place your left thumb on the take up lever until you can feel it’s at the very top of the stroke. Then check your timing marks. It’s also possible that the lower belt cog doesn’t have the correct screw in the groove of the bottom shaft, making it appear to be in time, but it’s not. No telling what’s been done incorrectly on a used machine. Regards, Eric
  4. Those were common in factories in the 70’s and 80’s. Thank goodness machine companies started building split needle bar machines. In 1984, the company I worked for bought 20 Consew 327RB-1’s. Pretty decent machines using the Variostop air-gap motors with needle positioning, which makes sewing with a split bar much easier. Mitsubishi figured out how to include under bed trimmers on their 2200 series split bars, not for the feint of heart to adjust the knife linkages to work after changing gauge sets. Today, Juki’s split bars are much easier to do re-adjust the knife mechanisms. Regards, Eric
  5. Grease for Gears in Gearboxes

    TriFlow stays longer than any other grease I’ve used. And I’ve used them all. Regards, Eric
  6. Grease for Gears in Gearboxes

    I like TriFlow grease. It coats the gears and a thin film stays there a long time. It’s also not sticky so it doesn’t attract every piece of lint and crud in a two mile radius. When I don’t know where I set it down, I use oil like Bob said. Regards, Eric
  7. oil on thread and dripping down needle

    Hi Kathryn, welcome! Sorry about your oil woes. There’s no adjustment to regulate the flow of oil on the top arm of the machine. As long as there’s oil in the reservoir, you don’t have to worry much about the machine freezing up. What tends to happen on wick oiled machines is the oil eventually pools up around the needle bar bushing as it’s the low point in the top arm. To prevent what you’re describing, most machines have a hunk of felt in the low spot that has a wick that runs from the low spot and follows the casting of the top arm back to the right end of the head and actually wicks the excess oil back to the bottom of the head. As the end of this wick is lower than your needle bar bushing, it should pull the excess oil away from it. If you remove the end cover of the machine you should see the bigger piece of felt with a wick leading away from it. If you have over oiled the machine, the best way to balance it back out is to get a bunch of lightweight cotton fabric. Old t shirts work great, as long as they’re 100% cotton. Cut it up and stuff the end of the head with it. Let it set overnight or longer. It will soak up the excess oil for you. If there isn’t any felt for the return system, you’ll continue to fight this. I know on the Judi 1541 this return system is there and does a decent job. If you’re not sure what’s what, post a picture of the area where your needle bar goes through the bushing, looking at the top of it with the end cover removed. Have fun! Regards, Eric
  8. Threading my Singer 111w155

    I’ve been posting less here for numerous reasons, one in particular is I moved from Spokane to Seattle to accept a new challenge in my career. The company I’m working for produces gloves for the military, perhaps the finest gloves I’ve ever seen. We often sew GoreTex, Urethane, and goat leather all together using T30 bonded nylon and a size 12 or 14 needle. A ball point needle, not a leather needle. That’s not in any book. I have two full time mechanics and 100,000 sq ft building to take care of. We are using old and new memory stitch machines to do repetitive sewing tasks to reduce costs and improve quality. We build custom jigs and do our own programming to suit our needs. I’m thankful I had experience with seam sealers over the years as all of our Gore fabrics get seam sealed. On gloves, that isn’t always easy. We do extensive in house testing to meet the mil specs. Of all the companies I’ve worked for, this one requires the most out of the box thinking. Which reminds me that I need to get in touch this week with Mr. Kovar about an idea I have. Regards, Eric
  9. Threading my Singer 111w155

    Keep in mind Uwe that manufacturers also don’t say to turn the needle towards the hook slightly, advance or retard hook timing, raise or lower needle bars slightly, put Teflon tape on presser feet, bevel the edges of feed dogs, wrap the thread twice around the tension disc, use a drop of oil in the bobbin case to control backlash, or even use that little pin at times for certain threads for thread control. The reason they don’t say all those things is because they’re not sitting in a factory where the variables change every day and you either solve problems creatively with logic and critical thinking, or production stops. You don’t want to limit your skill set just because it’s not in a book. I’ve used that little pin plenty of times to solve a thread issue. I’ve also removed those pins, cut out the center bar on the discs so they spin and converted the tension unit to roller discs. None of that’s in any book. I’ve worked with some amazing mechanics In my 38 years in the business. They all had one thing in common. “A manual is simply a starting point to help understand the machine. It won’t think for you, but can stop you from thinking.” Regards, Eric
  10. Juki’s dry head system has been around for a while now. On my 9010’s that get 40 hours a week on them, we check the grease monthly. Remove the caps and press the grease down with your finger. Time will tell if this system works long term, but no way these machines will last as long as the old Singers and such. Too much alloys and not enough steel throughout them. Factories only need them to last five years until they are fully depreciated. Regards, Eric
  11. Singer 2281B362

    Common machine in apparel factories in the 60's on up. Needle feed with ability to adjust stitch length independently between needle bar and feed dogs. This was to adjust for ply shift in flimsy fabrics. True workhorse for medium weight fabric. Will also handle nylon quite well. T60 thread with a 16 needle is pretty average. Regards, Eric
  12. Singer 153W 100 Jammed

    For some reason, people that make after market parts seem to think they know more than the engineers that designed and built the machines. I'll never understand it, but it always rears its ugly head when least expected. Glad you figured it out! Regards, Eric
  13. Tennessee Attachment will rubberize any feed dog. They do decent work. Regards, Eric
  14. Singer industrial machine model 281-24

    Aside from all the oiling requirements that Wiz addressed, the 281-24 is primarily for woven fabric. It's a compound feed which means the needle bar moves front to back with the feed dogs to move the material through. It sews flimsy nylon and polyester to medium weights. Wiz is right about the stitch length on leather, you'll likely get tearing. That's not to say the machine isn't useful. We used 100's of the 281 series to sew nylon baffles together to make down jackets and vests. It's best feature is there are two stitch length mechanisms. One is for the needle bar stroke, the second for the feed dogs. You can actually set the feed dogs to move slower than the needle bar in order to prevent ply shift in flimsy material. Really handy for production sewing. They are meant to sew at high speed, and they will fly. It was the first series of machines I worked on back in 1980, so I have a fondness for them. The 281 class covers a wide array of machines, basically using the same casting. There are some 281's that are drop feed only, the needle bar moves straight up and down and the feed dogs move the material. Not so great on slippery fabric, great on cotton. the 281-30 has a close couple puller that sits directly behind the presser foot. It is really useful for setting binding on lightweight material. It is a drop feed machine so the binding folder can sit really close to the needle. It came standard with a binding foot, feed dog, and a throat plate that included the folder mount. Keeping with the dual stitch length feature of the 281's, the stitch length adjustment that controls the needle bar actually controls the speed of the puller. Some of the nicest looking lightweight binding I've ever seen came off a 281-30. They are still used to run binding without setting it on material and simply making hangar loops for shirts and jackets. Regards, Eric
  15. Single needle chains stitch machines don't backtack in a way that lockstitch machines do. It's a basting stitch designed for pre-assembly of component parts. The stitch is easily unchained and removed by pulling the thread where the stitch ended. The beginning of the stitching will not come out. It is simply for joining materials that are sewn over, or bartacked later in the process. All it has to do is not unchain until the next operation. The easiest way to do this is to "chain off" a little extra which makes it harder to unchain. ALL chainstitch sewing must be secured at the end of the stitch. For a joining stitch, in the case af a single needle chain, you'll never get the tension tight enough to make a secure seam. Anywhere along the seam, if the single thread is cut or abraided, it will unravel. All chain stitch types are the same way, including two thread machines, cover stitch, overlock, blindstitch, chain stitch button hole machines (there are lockstitch button hole machines), line tackers (Reece S2 class), blanket stitch, basically any machine that doesn't have a bobbin. In a circular operation such a hemming pants with a blind stitch, you simply overlap at least an inch. All that said, the single needle chain machine is very useful in a limited scope of applications. In custom sewing for example, you can quickly sew together a dress, do a fitting, and quickly make adjustments then re-sew inside the seam allowance with a lockstitch. The basting stitch is quickly removed after final sewing. As a side note, you can preconstruct something using a lockstitch machine by loosening the bobbin tension until the needle thread is laying on top of the material so it can easily removed. Regards, Eric