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About gottaknow

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  • Birthday February 12

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    Washington State
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    Art, music, sewing, photography, gardening

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  • 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. 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
  2. I can't tell if your looper is bad from the angle of your picture. Of course the definitive test is to compare it to a new one. They don't usually bend because of the hardening, they just break. As for the tension, try removing any extra wraps like at the post on top of the head. There are no hard and fast rules for all the thread guides. You use what the thread and sewing conditions require. As I said before, on these types of machines, tension is your main adjustments. It appears to be threaded right, but check any reference you may have. Don't be afraid to try different thread paths. It also appears your thread is too heavy for your test fabric. That will cause gathering. Regards, Eric
  3. Redneck ingenuity

    Let's face it, any forum on the net will have different personalities. This particular forum has a very wide range, including a lot of international members whose nuances and phrasing is very different. My advice is to always put on your grown up pants and take everything with a grain of salt. When you post in an open forum, you are inviting responses from a wide variety of folks and I personally appreciate all points of view. I have been training mechanics for over 30 years and I start each apprentice with the same opening statement. "The journey you are beginning is a long, arduous process. It won't be pleasant at times and you will make many mistakes, some will be expensive. The main thing you will learn is not so much turning screwdrivers. Monkeys can turn screwdrivers. I will however teach you how to think as it relates to sewing machines. I will bore you with theory, a step at a time building on what you've learned. I expect mistakes as it's part of the training. I will correct, criticize and repeat this process thousands of times until you learn how to think as it relates to machines. In the end, you can either go through this process and reap the financial rewards as I have, or quit and do something else." I've had far more trainees quit than to complete the 5 year apprenticeship. I had to go through this and there were many days I wanted to quit. I was driven to succeed because the man who trained me was 10 times harsher than anything I've seen here in this forum and I wasn't about to let him get to me. I eventually took his job. Most folks come here to learn about things they don't know about. Realizing there may have been a better method is a lesson and will only benefit a person down the road. After 38 years of machine repair, I'm still learning. Learning comes in many forms, you just have to glean what's useful. Don't let the different personalities be a hinderence to the learning process. Regards, Eric
  4. If that is the true shape of your looper, it's bad. The face of the looper should be flat and parallel with the needle scarf. People that don't understand how chain stitch machines work, will often damage loopers. There is virtually no reason to modify the shape of any looper, but especially one on a single thread machine. It is the shape of the looper that determines how long the looper keeps the triangle open so the needle can descend down through it. If the looper has been ground or reshaped in any manner, the machine will skip or not sew at all, no matter how you set anything else. It's easy to change needle length on this class of machine without changing anything but the needle bar height. You rotate the looper until the point is dead center on the needle, hold that position, insert the different needle, and move the needle bar until the looper is in the same spot. The machine doesn't care how long your needle is as long as you don't change the rotational timing of the looper. As for tension, the tighter the tension, the smaller the thread loop, looser it gets bigger. That makes it necessary to make tension adjustments when you use different thread. Also, when you turn the machine by hand, your loop size will be bigger than when you sew under power. Without question, the most common adjustment on this class of machine is the thread tension. Have fun! Regards, Eric
  5. I only use grease on the feed cam and fork. I oil the rest of the machine. Rotating gears throw grease everywhere, well at the much higher speeds used in factories at least. No reason you couldn't though. Regards, Eric
  6. This is a common issue on these machines. The cam on the shaft is harder steel than the fork, so that's where the wear ends up. The forks are easily replaced and are inexpensive. I don't depend on oil/felt. I use TriFlow grease, which comes in a tube. Stays lubed a long time. It's not that hard to replace the cam, but start with the fork. Regards, Eric
  7. Greetings Bert, I'm attaching a simple description of the cycle of a single thread chain stitch with a rotary hook. It's a simple stitch formation, but different than what most people encounter. I watched your video and I believe I see the looper hitting the needle. Make sure the looper is as close as it can be without deflecting the needle. Also, make sure the hook point is entering in the middle of the needle scarf. You may need to adjust your needle bar height to accomplish that. Have fun! Regards, Eric
  8. Using My Reece 101 On Garment Grade Leather

    Turned out great. You're a brave man for taking on that Reece 101. Regards, Eric
  9. Full Function Cylinder Machine

    I would try a different Juki dealer. They have a lot of wiggle room on their mark-ups. You will go broke buying Pfaff parts. Regards, Eric
  10. Singer 111W155 Rehab

    Yep. Regards, Eric
  11. Clicker die needed

    Nicely done Brian. Regards, Eric
  12. It is actually possible on the 153, but it requires several additional parts that would make it cost prohibitive. It also requires removing the top shaft. Regards, Eric
  13. Seiko Cw-8B

    Wow. He actually claimed 277 on a 153 huh. That I'd like to see. Regards, Eric
  14. The specs you have to know are looper gauge, looper avoid, looper travel, and synchronization. Each Union Special machine in this general chainstitch class ( of which there are several hundred variations) , have specific values. Some do overlap for sure. I have a lot of US manuals, so I'll wade through them and see what turns up. If you know what the looper gauge and travel is, you at least have a starting point. The other issue is these machines are capable of being set with two needle classes. 128 and 108. The 108's are shorter. It's likely class 128 which requires a different looper avoid setting than the 108's. So I guess I need to know which needles you're using first off. Also, here's some general information. It covers the style of looper in your machine "across the line of feed loopers", it's pretty close to the beginning. Regards, Eric Loopers and hooks.pdf
  15. Setting a chainstitch properly is nothing like setting a lockstitch. There is an entire different set of parameters, terminology, and troubleshooting requiring a different skill set. There are manuals still available from Union Special's website, however without a basic understanding of how a chainstitch works, you will likely struggle. Before you do anything, I'd get a different foot to eliminate the flagging issue. After that, I can give you an outline of how to proceed. There are some general guidelines that are common to all chainstitch machines. One thing's for sure it will never be the fault of the bobbin case. Regards, Eric