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Thread: Alterations to Ken Lund quilting frame

  1. #1
    Senior Member Prissnboot's Avatar
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    Alterations to Ken Lund quilting frame

    Hi. I purchased one of Ken Lund's quilt frames and had difficulty using it. I like doing loopy quilting designs, flowers, feathers, that kind of stuff, and I had a hard time using his design for this. It was just too stiff, it didn't want to turn. When I tried making a circle, it came out more like a square with rounded corners.

    So I told my very talented and creative father about it, and we came up with the idea of mounting caster rollers instead.

    The alterations were made to the top part of the trolley, the part that your sewing machine sits on. As it was originally designed, the bottom part of the trolley runs east/west along the frame, and the top part moves north/south on top of the other trolley. It's the north/south portion that was altered from the original design.

    I've posted photos below, I hope between my description and the photos that this makes sense.

    We removed the wheels from the top trolley, and replaced them with three caster rollers which rotate 360 degrees. The ball portion of the roller is a little bit bigger than a golf ball, but not quite as big as a baseball, and they are mounted on the underside of the trolley. We then had to put two guides along the side of the trolley to keep it from rolling off of the bottom trolley. The guides measure about 4" x 1.5" x almost 1" thick. Scrap lumber would work great for this purpose if you have any hanging around. Also, make sure to mount these guides about 1/4" above the bottom of the trolley so they don't scrape the bottom of it while it is in motion.

    Another suggestion for this frame is to fill the conduit rods with expandable foam to make them more sturdy. I've used the frame with 5' rods and they work fine without this, but the 10' lengths tend to bend. Home Depot sells a product called Great Stuff. It's in a can with a guide, works like a spray can. I haven't used it yet, so I don't know how much it will take to fill all 4 rods at a 10' length, but if you do this, please share with us how it turns out. My Daddy said it would work, so I'm guessing it should! LOL.

    Oh, one other thing - be sure to check the placement of the two rear casters before screwing them down - make sure the balls have clearance when rotating - be sure they swing clear from the little guides as they rotate.

    See the photos below. I've included a photo with a measuring tape so you can gauge the placement. I've used this and it works like a champ!

    Happy quilting to all, and to all a good night!
    Attached Images Attached Images              
    Last edited by Prissnboot; 07-27-2012 at 07:40 PM.
    She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight.

  2. #2
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    well what a good idea. good for your Daddy. enjoy!!

  3. #3
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    My Daddynis smart too! Love them!!
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  4. #4
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    Thanks for the wonderful photos. That will help out for sure.
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place...the End Times.

    Heaven and Earth are full of His Glory!

  5. #5
    Super Member Emma S's Avatar
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    Prissnboot thanks for taking the time to share the information. I have been eyeing this system since it first appeared on the Board. Now that you have modified your frame do you think it will do the job? I am really tempted but don't want to spend money on something that won't work for me. I think I would be able to make the modifications you described, any insight you could provide will be much appreciated.

  6. #6
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    Prissnboot was right!! I followed her suggestion but my husband put four coaster wheels on mine and I can do swirls and circles with ease!! Just be sure and put them far enough away from the edges so when they do swirl around that they don't bump the frame. I used it last night for about a half hour and I even embroidered my name "Celine"..which as a kid was so much fun writing in cursive!! It even looks great in quilting since it has lots of curves and swirls!
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place...the End Times.

    Heaven and Earth are full of His Glory!

  7. #7
    Senior Member sew4nin's Avatar
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    Do you have speed control on your machine? I have had the problem you described with the circles being square at the corners. I have had my set up for over 3 years. I have done lots of quilts and still have an issue with having control on smaller circles. This seems like it might solve my problem. Since the speed control relies on the direction of the wheels, my dh is working on a way around that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Prissnboot View Post
    Hi. I purchased one of Ken Lund's quilt frames and had difficulty using it. I like doing loopy quilting designs, flowers, feathers, that kind of stuff, and I had a hard time using his design for this. It was just too stiff, it didn't want to turn. When I tried making a circle, it came out more like a square with rounded corners.

    So I told my very talented and creative father about it, and we came up with the idea of mounting caster rollers instead.

    The alterations were made to the top part of the trolley, the part that your sewing machine sits on. As it was originally designed, the bottom part of the trolley runs east/west along the frame, and the top part moves north/south on top of the other trolley. It's the north/south portion that was altered from the original design.

    I've posted photos below, I hope between my description and the photos that this makes sense.

    We removed the wheels from the top trolley, and replaced them with three caster rollers which rotate 360 degrees. The ball portion of the roller is a little bit bigger than a golf ball, but not quite as big as a baseball, and they are mounted on the underside of the trolley. We then had to put two guides along the side of the trolley to keep it from rolling off of the bottom trolley. The guides measure about 4" x 1.5" x almost 1" thick. Scrap lumber would work great for this purpose if you have any hanging around. Also, make sure to mount these guides about 1/4" above the bottom of the trolley so they don't scrape the bottom of it while it is in motion.

    Another suggestion for this frame is to fill the conduit rods with expandable foam to make them more sturdy. I've used the frame with 5' rods and they work fine without this, but the 10' lengths tend to bend. Home Depot sells a product called Great Stuff. It's in a can with a guide, works like a spray can. I haven't used it yet, so I don't know how much it will take to fill all 4 rods at a 10' length, but if you do this, please share with us how it turns out. My Daddy said it would work, so I'm guessing it should! LOL.

    Oh, one other thing - be sure to check the placement of the two rear casters before screwing them down - make sure the balls have clearance when rotating - be sure they swing clear from the little guides as they rotate.

    See the photos below. I've included a photo with a measuring tape so you can gauge the placement. I've used this and it works like a champ!

    Happy quilting to all, and to all a good night!

  8. #8
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    How is everyone doing with their Ken Lund's frames? I did two practice quilts and by changing the wheels to the coaster ones that really did make a big difference. I'm still having a problem getting the right pressure/speed with my machine. When I get it just "right" the quilting is great but then I end up going faster or too slow and then my stitches are not as nice as they can be.

    I am thinking of taking the frame off and using my new machine on its own for FMQ. I haven't tried that yet with this machine since I've only had it about a month. It has the hookup where I can use the knee pressure bar to stitch not the foot pedal. I want to see what that is like too. I can't do that with it on the quilt frame.

    I just finished a big quilt and I am considering doing FMQ on it since it is too big for the quilt frame unless I have my dh buy me longer poles and then I could quilt it the frame. I just think I need to get more familar with my machine first!!
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place...the End Times.

    Heaven and Earth are full of His Glory!

  9. #9
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    This is so interesting. I am going to order one from him. He emailed me and said he would get it ready. Thanks for the suggestions about the wheels. I will do mine that way off the start. This is an answer to my prayers about trying to quilt larger quilts. I have been doing them by hand or wrestling the sewing machine and personally I hate the quilting part, but love, love, love, designing and making the tops! LOL Now to get my sewing machine I use in the shop. It is broken and not sewing right. I have had to rely on my Kenmore, old faithful I call it, I have had for probably 20 or so years now. Wouldn't take anything for it but need the drop feed in the brother embroidery machine I own for quilting. Oh, well. Maybe next month I will bite the bullet [again] and try to find a heavy duty straight stitch for this set up.

  10. #10
    Super Member craftiladi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prissnboot View Post
    Hi. I purchased one of Ken Lund's quilt frames and had difficulty using it. I like doing loopy quilting designs, flowers, feathers, that kind of stuff, and I had a hard time using his design for this. It was just too stiff, it didn't want to turn. When I tried making a circle, it came out more like a square with rounded corners.

    So I told my very talented and creative father about it, and we came up with the idea of mounting caster rollers instead.

    The alterations were made to the top part of the trolley, the part that your sewing machine sits on. As it was originally designed, the bottom part of the trolley runs east/west along the frame, and the top part moves north/south on top of the other trolley. It's the north/south portion that was altered from the original design.

    I've posted photos below, I hope between my description and the photos that this makes sense.

    We removed the wheels from the top trolley, and replaced them with three caster rollers which rotate 360 degrees. The ball portion of the roller is a little bit bigger than a golf ball, but not quite as big as a baseball, and they are mounted on the underside of the trolley. We then had to put two guides along the side of the trolley to keep it from rolling off of the bottom trolley. The guides measure about 4" x 1.5" x almost 1" thick. Scrap lumber would work great for this purpose if you have any hanging around. Also, make sure to mount these guides about 1/4" above the bottom of the trolley so they don't scrape the bottom of it while it is in motion.

    Another suggestion for this frame is to fill the conduit rods with expandable foam to make them more sturdy. I've used the frame with 5' rods and they work fine without this, but the 10' lengths tend to bend. Home Depot sells a product called Great Stuff. It's in a can with a guide, works like a spray can. I haven't used it yet, so I don't know how much it will take to fill all 4 rods at a 10' length, but if you do this, please share with us how it turns out. My Daddy said it would work, so I'm guessing it should! LOL.

    Oh, one other thing - be sure to check the placement of the two rear casters before screwing them down - make sure the balls have clearance when rotating - be sure they swing clear from the little guides as they rotate.

    See the photos below. I've included a photo with a measuring tape so you can gauge the placement. I've used this and it works like a champ!

    Happy quilting to all, and to all a good night!
    Oh huge thank-you for posting this-I am saving it as I am seriously considering do this if I should purchase Ken's frame.
    dee fox
    cedar city ut and i am a fabricaholic & i have a few other addictions-scrap booking is right up there w/ fabric

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