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Thread: Bent Needlebar Top! HELP!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    Bent Needlebar Top! HELP!!

    This weekend I purchased a sweet New Home Climax and treadle from 1881. Tonight I tore into it and discovered the very top of the needlebar is bent. It is the division where the thread would go through a slot. How I missed it earlier I have NO idea!

    Can I bend them back without breaking? Should I use heat to help reduce the chance of breakage? They are steel, I know that much.

    I do know that the last time this machine was remotely operational was 1966. That's when the original owner passed away and it was sent to her brother in Washington state.

    The shipment process was not good to it. Not only did the needlebar get bent but the stitch regulator knob fell off and one of the machine mounts shook loose (we found them in the OLD packing material and newspaper). Please help me get this baby running again!
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

  2. #2
    Super Member jlhmnj's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Always upsetting when SM's arn't packaged properly for shipping. I had the same thing happen to me on a New Home except the "ears" snapped off. I had to drill a hole slightly lower after removing the needle bar and then chamfering the edges.

    To try to straighten out the fragile ears on your machine, heat with a propane torch is certainly better than no heat. Can't say how successful the torch would be as there is not much metal connecting the ears to the needlebar.

    One last thing, can you live with the bent part? It's only a thread guide to keep the thread in the bottom hole.

    Best of Luck
    Jon

  3. #3
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    If the top of the needle bar is like the needle bar on my New Home AB, I would remove it from the machine and put it in a vise. Then using an adjustable jaw wrench I'd gently coax it back into place. This isn't really hard steel so it's not brittle. Heat might help too.

    Joe

  4. #4
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice folks! I realize it is just to guide the thread so I may just see if I can get them to separate enough to do the job. The vise and heat will help. Of course, the wonky ears will add to the character of this old sweetheart. :-)
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

  5. #5
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    It is good to know that it is NOT as brittle. That was my fear. I also know slow and steady makes for a much better outcome.
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

  6. #6
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    So, my DH bent it back just a bit. Yes, it cracked but not completely through. Contemplating JB Weld... I'm just going to baby it and let it remain a bit wonky. Adds character! With a name like Climax, how can it not have plenty?
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

  7. #7
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    Wound up buying another frontpiece with a needlebar. Feeling a bit like cheating if I use the whole frontpiece! It's in better shape than the original as far as paint is concerned. Am I alone in feeling a bit guilty when replacing a part just for esthetics?
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

  8. #8
    Super Member jlhmnj's Avatar
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    Enjoy the new front and don't feel guilty. You can always save the old for the sake of history if you like.

    Jon

  9. #9
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I don't feel guilty, but I do try to keep as many original parts on the machine as I can. Just looks more "right" that way.

    PS, my apologies for the wrong advise I gave above. I did not realize it would be that brittle. Now I know better.

    Joe

  10. #10
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlhmnj View Post
    Enjoy the new front and don't feel guilty. You can always save the old for the sake of history if you like.

    Jon
    Well said! This machine has a documented history from the point of original purchase. We even have its original purchase box (and packing) shipped on rail, paste on label and all. You made me feel better.
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

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