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Thread: 301A to FMQ -- Hot foot pedal -- what to do??

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    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    301A to FMQ -- Hot foot pedal -- what to do??

    I've been using my 301A to FMQ, mainly just stippling. Problem I have is that my foot pedal gets so hot that I have to quit and let it cool off. Should I invest in a different pedal? What is the cause?

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    I don't know. Mine get too hot too. They're very old. I just go take a break and get back to them.

  3. #3
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Those old foot controllers are resistance units. They use wire or carbon pile resisters to control the voltage. When you sew slowly for an extended amount of time, they get hot. I have several like that. I use silicone iron pads between them and my carpet and like barny said, I sometimes have to stop and take a break. Since I usually sew bare foot I can tell pretty quick when they get hot.

    About the only cure is to replace the old controller with an electronic unit. They don't get hot at all. But they are amp sensitive so you have to make sure the controller is rated for the same or higher amp rating as the motor on your machine. Also my only real gripe on the electronic units is they are lightweight plastic and tend to scoot out from under my foot. The factory electronic controllers are better made if you can find one.

    Joe

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    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    Joe - could you provide the name of a factory electronic controller? I'd like to get one siince this is my main sewing machine for FMQing and I have lots of quilts to do. Don't want to burn my tootsies!

  5. #5
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Stitch,

    Well not exactly but most of the machines since the 80s use them. Our mid 80s 4622A has an electronic controller on it. The controller is labeled Singer and it's a bit more substantial than the aftermarket units.

    Another idea is to go to you LSMG and see if he'd have a used one. Or an online Singer factory parts source.

    Joe

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    Super Member Glenda m's Avatar
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    Since I have three of these lovely machines, I just switch cords and don't have to stop. LOL I know, that's cheating, but when you are on a roll, who wants to quit?
    You can get older, but you never have to grow up!

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    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    As an aside, back when these machines were in regular household use they were probably not used as much for FMQ and so there wouldn't be this situation happening. As others have said, take a break from the machine.
    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  8. #8
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Joe - Put a piece of velcro on the bottom of the foot, cut a piece of wood to size, put the other part of the velcro on that, and stick the two together. Maybe a little felt on the bottom to save the floor. Velcro lets you move one board from pedal to pedal.

    Stitch124 - Hot is "ok", obviously not desirable, unplug it and let it cool then it will be fine to use but if it ever starts making popping sounds, unplug it immediately and don't use it until it's properly repaired.

    It means the pedal is adjusted wrong and it may start a fire. I've had 3 now that have done it. The first one was before I started seriously working on machines. Scared the beans out of me. The second was about 3 weeks ago, on a featherweight I went to look at. The machine started humming as soon as it was plugged in, and after a few seconds, started sewing by itself. Within about 2 minutes, it was popping and fizzing. Yes, I brought the poor lady home. The last one was this week. I took it completely apart, cleaned every carbon disk, and reassembled. It's a nice "mildly warm" running pedal now.
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 99-, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

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    Senior Member citruscountyquilter's Avatar
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    Mine has gotten hot too and I discovered that where I was using it it was resting on thick pile carpeting. Once I took it off the carpeting to sew it helped to a great extent. I just set the foot controller on s thin book. The hard surface allowed air to circulate around the bottom of the foot control. I also limited the time I FMQ to 20-30 minuted at a time and laid the foot petal on it's side to cool off faster when I was done. I was using a machine from 1977. Probably the newer machines have something that takes care of that.

  10. #10
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane View Post
    I took it completely apart, cleaned every carbon disk, and reassembled. It's a nice "mildly warm" running pedal now.
    Do you use just a damp Q-tip or do you use something else to clean it with?

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