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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

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  • 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. I went yesterday to the factory where I spent almost 8 years of my career. I bought 3 pieces of equipment that will be a reminder of my time there. It was weird seeing the building so empty. I ended up with the Utica Mills combo slitter. I had rebuilt this machine 3 years ago, so I knew it was in good shape, and we needed another one. I bought a small heat press while I’ll rebuild, and a 5hp vacuum motor. It had been factory rebuilt a number of years ago. Factories use vacuum systems for various things. I obviously had a huge advantage in this auction since I knew all of the machines. Some people didn’t have a clue what they bought or what the machine actually did. I took a final look around and then walked away, making the long drive back to Seattle. I’ve had a long career and am currently working for the 6th apparel manufacturer during a 38 year span. Not bad I guess for an industry that has been devastated by importing. Regards, Eric
  2. The vast majority of the Singer and Union Special machines were all originally owned by Pacific Trail Sportswear. At it’s height of production in the late 70’s and early 80’s there were over 600 machines. These are the machines I built my career with beginning in 1980. This factory shut down a year ago. I was the head mechanic there. I have fond (and not so fond) memories of the machines. I worked for Filson for 3 years, but over the course of my career I was the head mechanic for these machines for a total of about 13 years. There were other mechanics in charge during the years I worked in other factories. I worked in this particular factory for 7 years. At its peak in the mid 80’s while it was a contract factory we had 300 operators. So for me, this is the end of an era, I’m happy with my new company, so no looking back. The 211 151’s are the best deal. Needle feed, bullet proof. They have been in storage for 20 years or so. Our main machines were Juki 9010’s and 3578’s double needles. Before those we used the Judi 5410’s which meant the retirement of the 211’s. I didn’t look through the entire auction, but there are a few 211W157’s. They actually have reverse and are set to use 135x17’s. Still needle feeds. The Singer 300w’s are my favorite chain stitch machines and we’re still in use to the end. The Juki LU562 was rebuilt a few years ago by me and sews like a dream with T135 thread. A few of the Singer 153’s are well loved, but decent. I debated whether or not to comment on this thread, but I at least wanted to share some history. Hopefully my PM box won’t blowup with questions, as I likely won’t respond. I simply don’t have time. Regards, Eric
  3. Squealing clutch motor

    I’ve always used white lithium on cork clutch surfaces after deglazing them with some 220 emery cloth.
  4. Juki DNU-241H stitch problem

    Remove both tension discs and degrease them. Then take the flat side of each and polish them on a piece of 800 grit paper. Put it back together and readjust your tension. Take Floyd’s advice and rotate the last thread guide 90 degrees CW. Lastly, see if you can use less needle thread tension by loosening your bobbin tension first, then adjust top tension to balance. Thread that is old or is of low quality get dry and will crawl right out of the tension discs. Have fun! Regards, Eric
  5. Thread guide Adjustment & function

    Hey Greg, Think of that component like a take-up adjustment on a chain stitch machine. If you want to measure the difference in thread pull off, you can thread something you can mark with a Sharpie, (like white thread). Sew on some material stopping with take up lever at the top with the needle up. Mark the thread where it comes through the first thread guide, and again at the eye of the needle. Cut and pull the marked portion of thread out of the machine, rethread and sew after adjusting whatever guide you want to the opposite position. Repeat the sewing, marking of the thread etc., then lay the two marked samples side by side. I do this on chainstitch machines to see which adjustments do the most, and which ones are more or less just guides. On lockstitch machines, you may see no difference at all, or some differences. As a general rule, I always set adjustable guides in the middle of their travel and seldom move them after that. It’s not an adjustment that requires much fuss, the check spring travel and stiffness, needle tension, are much more critical. It’s kinda interesting to do that test, some machines don’t change in the least, others just slightly, few make a bigger difference. What’s interesting, is look at some old Singer machines and you’ll find no adjustment at all. I suspect Singer made their take up levers exactly the right length and with the correct amount of travel. Regards, Eric
  6. Moving a Juki DLN-9010A-SH

    Yep, great apparel machine. Direct drive needle feed with Juki’s dry head system. The CP180 control panel is very user friendly but you’ll need the manuals for all the programming capabilities. All the cables are plugged into the control box, pretty straightforward connecting using process of elimination. Adjustable speed control at your fingertips, very smooth and lots of torque. T90 bonded nylon max. Needle sizes 12-21, but will require hook adjustments. It will sew waxed canvas, heavy wool, denim, and garment weight leather. Forget veg tan. The feed dogs will mark leather for sure. These machines replaced the Juki 5410’s. The heads are really heavy because of the motor. Do not, and I repeat, do not remove the motor. The foot lift should be electric. Have fun! I had 30 of these units in my last factory. Regards, Eric
  7. Juki 1341 questions

    I love the Juki direct drive motors. Strong, quiet, no belt slot for an operator to drop all their stuff into the motor guard. I bought 30 machines or so with them 4 years ago, no issues. The Brother direct drives are decent as well. We bought some 7300 series that now have a step motor driving the feed dogs. The machine senses a bump in the sewing and the computer adjusts the feed dogs accordingly. It’s a drop feed machine, but sews at least as well as needle feeds. We’ll use them for binding. The Juki 1341’s are nice. I have 3 at the moment. Regards, Eric
  8. Hi Eric, I found a deal on a couple of new (less than 10 hours) Juki's that are about a 7 hour drive from me. I am picking them up in a pick-up with a shell and slide out bed. I have to remove the heads to fit the tables in the truck. I figure the LU-1341 is like my DNU-1541s and no problem. The other machine is a DLN-9010A-SH with a CP-180 panel. I am not sure what I need to do to safely remove and transport the head for this machine. I have read on this forum that you know these machines well and hope you can give me some tips. It looks like a very capable machine for production work.

    Thanks in advance.


  9. 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
  10. Singer 153W103 feed dog trouble

    Your top and bottom shafts are out of time. Regards, Eric
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. Grease for Gears in Gearboxes

    TriFlow stays longer than any other grease I’ve used. And I’ve used them all. Regards, Eric
  14. 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
  15. 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