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About LePoisson

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  1. Good questions everyone. I got T70 #69 210D/3 thread off amazon for a first test. It is thinner than I expected. Thread path is in photos below - but the white thread is tough to see. I am aware that I am missing the thread guide that goes ahead of the needle (there is a screw there, but no guide) apparently it has been like that for some time since the paint is all worn off the touchpoints where the thread meets the face of the machine. Thread Path 1: Thread Path 2: Needle Pack:
  2. With the help of this group I have equipped my new-to-me machine with a servo motor, got thread and needles, and the right foot, and even fired it up and got teh first few stitches out of it... but it hasn't been a pretty process. Now I return, head hung low with yet another question... tension. Thread tension on my machine seems wonky. on the 545, I'm coming off the "pre-tension" top post with the thread and going around 2 holes in the tension plate, clipping on to a little button guide, then feeding the thread between the tension plates before going over the spring guide and on to the arm/needle. My thread seems to be jamming on both the tension plates and the button guide. The only way I could the machine to sew without just eating through the thread was to remove the tension spring altogether, and use the adjustment screw to barely support the plates. I got it working, but after a bit the thread jammed again, this time in the button guide. Should I fart around and try to replace all these various parts, or is there a whole package that just replaces the plate and everything on it? To be honest, I haven't been able to figure out what the thread is jamming on between the plates - despite taking them apart and cleaning and pondering, and the button guide I have no idea at all what to do about. Any tips or sources are welcome. FWIW - this video has the same threading as my machine, it may be helpful to see teh parts I am referencing.
  3. Taking my thread sideways here - sorry for the poor netiquette. So... Rifling through the drawer and I may have found a "Single Toe" similar to what Wiz mentioned. Or at least a part of one. I think I will still order a new one just to be sure it's all there. There was also a Schmetz needle pack which I believe will work for the stuff I'm sewing - reading the needles and threads thread, I think I want Bonded Nylon #69-#92 thread. These needles are Nm:130, which I believe are a little big, but passable for practice projects at least. The code at teh bottom of the pack for tip type is SY 7225. I think we are supposed to DP. What is SY? There was also a little pill bottle filled with needles in 2 different lengths. Is there any way to identify what all these needles are (size/tip)? Is there anything to beware of with the different lengths if I try using them? Should I just assume that these are old, dull needles and toss them?
  4. Perfect Wiz - I'll have to order one of those and see if it works for me!
  5. Still very new to this forum and to leatherwork in general so please forgive my ignorance. I have a sewing machine (Pfaff 545, walking foot) and I have some projects in mind for it, but I really have no clue what I'm doing. Most of the projects I work on involve either strapwork and hardware (BDSM stuff - so many rings and buckles) or wet-formed leather (folding knife sheaths). Can you sew these with a machine? Currently I just rivet everything together or hand-stitch but I'd like to play with contrasting threads, and I've been asked to make some machine-washable (webbing) items - the queue of small projects seems good as learning exercises on the machine. Everything I make involves sewing next to a ridge of some sort though... I can't see feeding it into the walking foot. Is there a way?
  6. I recently picked up a Pfaff 545 at auction. I positioned it in the garage where I do my work and... ignored it for the past couple months. Last night I went out to try running it and the motor buzzed and hummed for a few minutes, then went silent. Pressing the foot pedal and engaging the clutch by hand, nothing happened. This may be repairable, it may just mean my garage is too damned cold right now (it is) but really, I intended to convert this over to a servo motor anyhow, so I think I have an excuse. I've done a preliminary search of the forum and found a lot of posts advising to convert machines to servo, but not a lot of details on the servos themselves. This brings me to 2 questions... 1. I'd really prefer to buy from a fellow Canuck on here, is there a recommended Canadian expert in the house? 2. My local shop has "a servo that will work" for $350. They can tell me details tomorrow when it arrives in the store. Sounds like a fair price? I mean, I got no details on the unit - not even a brand, so I am having a hard time. I suspect no one else knows either. 3. Is there anything in particular I should beware of? I believe I just want a 550 W motor with a separate controller and motor, and a 110V lamp plug. I think I would prefer a dial adjustment but that's sort of a personal preference thing. Are there brands to avoid/look for?
  7. To the bending - you get a pretty steady hand after a while and figure it out. I may get some turn out at the end of a strap and have to scrap the last couple inches, but most of the time, that's where I punch a hanging hole anyhow (I have a rack I store my strips on before working them). And since I work from the opposite end toward that spot, well, meh. It's headed for the scrap bin regardless. If I'm starting on a skinny bit of a strong taper, then the cutter does not start the strap nicely. Workaround is to just square off the end of the hide for an inch or so to allow the cutter to get a start - which is going to happen anyway after I cut the strap out, so no excessive waste there.
  8. I bow in deference to teh many pros here, but the only strap cutters I've used I made in about 10 minutes on my table saw and drill press out of hardwood offcuts. They only cut one size of strap, but since they cost a razor blade and 6 woodscrews, cut precisely, and never need adjustment, I'm pretty happy with them. No layout or measurement needed - just make sure your final depth and width of the strap cutting slot matches your desired outcomes. I'm not sure whether there is a name for these. I guess you could call them strapp cutting blocks. Construction is in 6-7 easy steps... Drill 6 holes in two rows on the narrow side of a block of wood to a depth of about 1". Cut a slot in the block lengthwise equal in width to the "normal" thickness of leather you work, and to teh depth of the width of strap you wish to make. Slice off the face of the block with the 6 holes in it, leaving yourself with a block with pilot holes, and 2 small plates. Place a razor blade between the facer plate and the block, and screw the plate in place, holding the blade. For safety, grind the blade flat to the block if it protrudes. Test cut a scrap of leather. The strap should be too narrow by about 3/8" Adjust depth of the groove in the block to the width of strap you want by re-cutting the groove on the table saw deeper into the block until you have the depth you want. If you go too deep, shave a little off the face until you have exactly the width you need. Mark the block for its intended use and add it to the tool shelf. I have about 6 of these, set up to different sizes. Some have a different size on each side of the block. For instance in the one shown, I can cut a 3/4" strap (sized a little small to fit my buckles) on the side facing the camera, and a 1/2" strap on the opposite side.
  9. Wow - what a great community in here! I used to work in East Beaver Creek in the same block of towers as the Honest Lawyers. Those were the good 'ol days. I'll have to stop by that shop next time I'm down that way.I live in Durham, so I try to avoid heading west if I can, because traffic isn't my vibe. Glad to know I didn't overpay on this machine. I am very new to leather, but figured I may as well start collecting equipment for when the projects get bigger - and this machine seems like a decent all-arounder for leather, canvas, sails, etc. all of which I have had or am having some involvement with. I'll also watch E-bay for older Servos, I'm all about saving a few bux. I did see the plates on Ali, but then I found one of the plates in teh drawer on the machine. Now I only need teh right plate (the one under the arm) that's a 50% savings for opening a drawer! Also the machine came with teh original manual. But it's in French. Thank goodness for Google Translate - I have some french, but it's rusty. I do not know who Ferg is, but he sounds creative and inventive. Love the ideas you shared!
  10. Thanks for the kind comments folks. I got it into the garage this morning - it was heavy, but I've moved heavier equipment for woodworking, so not end of the world. It is missing one of the slide plates, and it has a clutch motor. I'm thinking my next steps should be a thorough cleaning and a once-over to make sure everything runs OK. Then I can determine whether a trip to a sewing machine repair place for a tune up is worth it. After that I'll look at a servo motor and whatever other doo-dads will make it magical. For a price benchmark - I got this at auction with a winning bid of $325 CAD. Once sales tax and buyers premium were tagged on, it came to $433 CAD. I think I did OK. Of course it comes with a Texas guarantee, and I've never seen it run/sew, so who knows. I bought it with money from selling a lathe that was just gathering dust, so as far as shop toys go, there is no change.
  11. For the record, here's how a Pfaff 545 fits in a (badly abused) 2004 Sienna minivan. Now it's time to start the cleanup.
  12. Thanks again to everyone! I just got home with the machine. All teh tools I ended up needing was a #2 robertson screwdriver to take off the thread "tree." The machine and table went on a flatbed dolly across the shop and then the staff guy and I were able to just lift it into the back of the van. I put a couple load straps on it to keep the table upright for the drive home, and now here we are... ready to shunt it into the garage. My next post will likely be trying to figure out how to get this thing up and running.
  13. My packing list so far. I head out in a couple hours so if I need to add anything to the kit, I'd love your suggestions. 4-wheeled flat appliance dolly plus plywood cover (flat platform I can roll around if needed) 2-wheeled hand-truck dolly 1/4" drive socket set 3/8" drive socket set Adjustable wrenches (small and large) Vice Grips Linesman and needlenose pliers Screwdriver set Box knife Tape (duct and masking) Blankets Bottle for oil Ratchet/cam straps to secure load Small boxes/ziplock bags plus tags to label items Sharpie marker Rags
  14. You just confused me... doesn't this machine have an oil sump?
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