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About RWL2

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  • Location
    Central PA, USA
  • Interests
    Sewing repairs. custom webbing. Repairing old sewing machines.

LW Info

  • Interested in learning about
    Industrial sewing machines
  • How did you find leatherworker.net?
    Looking for specs on a sewing machine listed for sale
  1. A picture is worth 1000 words. That does look like a good method to increase the sensitivity of the clutch to foot pedal position.
  2. I can understand making an extension to the clutch lever, but I'm not sure what you're describing for the foot pedal. After adding the speed reducer, the connecting rods would have been so short that it seemed better to bend a piece of metal and make a link rather than permanently shortening the rods until I saw how this was going to work. Do you have a photo of yours illustrating a modification to the foot pedal?
  3. Post pictures when you have it done. It was through pictures of other's speed reducers that I got my concept for how to make my own. Pictures of what people do or make are helpful.
  4. For those contemplating building their own speed reducer. I used 1-1/4" x 1-1/4" angle iron from a bed frame since I had it available. Old bed rails are frequently given away, so it's a good source of material. There's no reason that you couldn't make one with a wooden frame though. I had a selection of pulleys ranging from about 1.5" to 8" that I'd saved over the years. I also had three pairs of pillow blocks accumulated over the years. All were sleeve bushing ones. If I were buying, I'd probably choose one with ball bearings. I don't know if they make non-aligning pillow blocks, but if you have a choice, choose the self aligning pillow blocks otherwise you'll spend lots of time getting the alignment just so. I chose to use the pair of pillow blocks taking a 1/2" shaft since I had some 1/2" steel around and I only had to put a reducer bushing in the large 8" pulley. The speed reduction is calculated from the ratio of the pulley diameters, so the first reduction was from a roughly 2" pulley to an 8" pulley or a 1/4 reduction of the 1725 rpm motor. I turned the table upside down for convenience in working and laid out the frame around the existing holes for the bolts from the clutch motor, measured the size pieces I needed and cut them on the chop saw. I welded those pieces together next. Clamping the frame to the table kept the frame from warping when the weld cooled. Next was a mock up of the frame with shaft and pulleys attached to see what height to make the upright pieces. Note that I had the pillow blocks elevated enough to allow some room between the large pulley and table top to permit sliding the belt in. I chose to make mine 9" in height so it exceeded the size of the pulley. In retrospect, there was enough space between the center of the motor shaft and the large pulley that I could have reduced this size to 6 or 7 inches. I cut out the uprights and bolted the whole frame together, then sat the motor on top to be sure this was all going to fit. As anticipated, the clearance to the horizontal piece of the table frame was tight. I had to keep the motor more toward the front of the table than it had originally been mounted because of this support. I inset the top piece / motor side piece of plywood into the reducer frame and added the angle iron shelf for the pillow blocks and bolted everything together, discovering that the large pulley was now going to extend farther from the frame of the speed reducer than I had expected. This was caused by the location of the pillow block. I thought about welding a piece onto the shelf for the front pillow block, but decided it was easier to just move the whole frame back a little. In order to accomplish this, I reduced the length of the plywood base (the part against the table) and decided to use lag screws rather than the original bolts and bolt holes from the motor. This allowed the frame to slide back and forth under the plywood "clamp". When making the uprights I drilled three sets of holes for the pillow block shelf. This will - at least in theory - allow for some tension adjustment of the belt from the speed reducer to the machine's handwheel pulley. The tension from the motor to the large pulley is adjusted with the tension adjustment screw on the motor mount that's part of the clutch motor. I paid minimal attention to the lengths of belts required and this could have been a fatal flaw if I couldn't have found the right length belt from the reducer to the machine since there is very little adjustment built into my frame for that. I put the newly painted frame on the table, moved it to an appropriate position and tightened the lag screws. Next it was time to mount the motor. There had been some trial fittings for the location of the motor on the frame before I drilled the holes and mounted it. The motor was moved back and forth a little so that the two pulleys were in relatively close alignment by eyeball. With the motor securely in place it was time to flip the table right side up and see how it all looked. Then put the machine head into the table opening and aligned the small pulley of the speed reducer with the one on the handwheel. At this point I took a piece of rope and measured the lengths of belt required. Both belts needed to be about 36" in length. As luck would have it, I had found an 8 ft length of leather belt at a yard sale the week before so I made my own belts in order to be sure these sizes would work. An advantage of the leather belt is that as it stretches I can just remove the staple and shorten the belt to a new length. I made my own staples. 16 Ga wire worked better than 14 Ga wire for the staples. There is play in the speed reducer shaft causing it to be noisy - but I can control the speed of the sewing now. It is not as slow as I've seen in some videos of machines with servo motors. I cannot stop the needle in the up or down position as I've seen people do in videos of slow servo motors, but that might come with practice. Despite the 1/4 reduction from the motor to the 8" pulley and an uncalculated reduction from the small pulley to the machine's handwheel pulley, I'm getting 424 rpm on the sewing machine shaft, i.e. 424 stitches per minute. I would have thought it would have been lower than that. Regardless, it's a major improvement.
  5. I installed the speed reducer and made belts today. I tried using the skived method and contact cement for the one belt. I used the band saw to create the bevel, belt sanded it to make it even, and used Weldwood contact cement to glue it together. It held up until I put some real tension on it on the speed reducer. After that I spliced it with wire like normal leather belts. I started with 14 Ga wire. I made the staple / hog ring ok with that, but it was too hard to work with. I switched to 16 Ga wire and that was easier to work with and did the job just as well.
  6. I've been taking photos as I built it and will post them as a tutorial since this forum has become the internet's de facto place for information on industrial sewing machines regardless of whether or not the intent is to sew leather.
  7. A legitimate question. Because the leather belting is what I had around and the machine isn't something I'm going to make a living with. The spare rubber belts I had laying around the shop didn't fit. I'm making a speed reducer so belt sizes were not calculated. It will be trial and error. I just happened to run across what looked like leather sewing machine belting at a yard sale last weekend for 25 cents so I bought it as a flyer. Since I'd never seen a leather belt before I wasn't sure what it looked like, but for 25 cents I couldn't go wrong. At a minimum it's worked to give me the length measurement I need for the belt from the clutch motor pulley to the 8" reducer pulley. If it doesn't perform like it should, I will replace it with a rubber belt - but by then I'll have had an adjustable leather belt to confirm the dimensions I need. I will probably have to buy one belt to go from the speed reducer to the handwheel pulley. When I get the speed reducer installed (hopefully today now that the paint's dry) my next task is to find a pair of inexpensive 1.5" diameter hinge plates so I don't have to fabricate them. The machine came with the hinge pins. Cascabel - thanks for the information about the staples / hog rings being common at automotive upholstery shops.
  8. We've got a pretty good old school sewing machine shop (Sunbury Sewing Center) near us and I stopped in there this morning because he said he had clips for leather belts. 65 cents. I showed him the belting and he felt his clips (which were for 3/8" belting) were too big for the belt I had. He also found the belt curious because it was a flattened oval rather than round. He reinforced what a couple of you have said about the clips being a good system because if you need to shorten a belt that has stretched, it's pretty easy to do. He advised just getting some heavy wire and making my own now that I've seen what they look like. I have some 16 or 18 Ga steel wire in the shop, so I'll try that. I would have liked to have talked to him more but time is money for a solo shop, so I didn't linger too long. He mentioned that he's getting people from several hours away coming to the shop to get their old Singers rebuilt. Other than tinkerers like those of us who populate this forum, there aren't too many people who work on sewing machines.
  9. Thanks to both of you. I'm surprised by the things I turn up at yard sales. I got a Consew 226 in July, a sewing machine table in August and the belt for a speed reducer I've built in September. The roll of belting cost me 25 cents. What glue did you use to attach the belt ends to each other? I have some Sil-Bond RTV-4500 (primarily used for boats I think) that seems to bond anything to anything. OK to use a belt sander to skive 2" of belt? How much does leather belting stretch, if any? There's a certain amount of adjustment built into the clutch motor, but if the belt stretched, I'd have to cut the belt and rejoin it, which I'd like to avoid. I'll be using this on a Consew 226, mostly doing things in canvas and denim, but might move into leather at some point. Will a leather belt do the job or should I just go with a standard rubber belt from the beginning?
  10. Is this Leather Belting for a sewing machine? It's about 7/16" wide by about 1/4" thick. I picked it up at a yard sale. If it is belting, what can I substitute for a link to join the two ends. I picked it up at a yard sale thinking it might be belting and I'm in the process of making a speed reducer for my machine.
  11. I worked on it this afternoon. I had looked for eccentricity in the hole for the needle as suggested above by CowboyBob and hadn't noticed it the first time, but when I went to take the needle out and reinsert it this afternoon it was more noticeable. Tightening the needle clamp screw moves the needle to the left. It's usable as is. At least it's not striking the feed dog, so I'll let things alone for the time being.
  12. This was a brand new needle and didn't look bent when I inserted it. I can't address the foot since I only have the one set of presser feet but they didn't look bent.
  13. I loosened and reseated the stud just to be sure and there was no play there, and the rock frame was not loose behind the bracket D at the lower end.
  14. Thanks for the suggestion. That was a good thought, but loosening the needle set screw doesn't allow the needle to be wiggled at all. The hole in the needle bar is not worn eccentrically. The needle is pretty well centered in the vibrating foot, but not the feed dog. The machine does sew (powered by hand at this point so I haven't done extensive testing) but I see the fabric pulling down on the right side as the needle passes through because of the needle being pretty far to the left.
  15. I went down in the shop and looked with a flashlight. I cannot see a part number on it although the side closer to the casting isn't as well seen. It is indeed an old model 226. There is no R after the model number on the badge. This bar is symmetric end to end. The little hole at the upper end is connected to the return spring that holds the reverse in the up position. The protruding bottom end of the bar has the same hole at its distal end. It looks like the bar could be flipped end for end and used no matter which end was installed up. Is there some purpose for the extension with the hole on the bottom end, or was this just how the manufacturer made it for assembly convenience? A fuzzy parts diagram I found suggests that this is part number 10841 - Bell crank connecting rod.
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