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Thread: Overheated foot controller

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Overheated foot controller

    I know the old style foot controllers get warm. But .... I just finished sewing about 4 feet worth of decorative stitches on our MW 7 Jewell with the new cams. Been having some trouble with it eating needles. It can be finicky so I was going slow.

    After finishing I showed it to my wife and then we walked back to the sewing machine and I bumped the foot controller with the side of my foot. I sew either bare foot or in socks. I just don't have a good "feel" for the controller with my shoes on.

    THAT THING WAS VERY HOT! Too hot to pick up. I picked it up by the pedal part and got if off the carpet.
    The thing is, it's a new foot controller. We bought it especially for this machine since when we got it it had no cord block or controller.

    So my question is; is it normal for these things to get hot enough to burn you when you sew a long continuous stitch slowly?

    Joe

  2. #2
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    In a word, NO!
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    It needs an adjustment. Some of the old Singer foot controls do this and need to be adjusted. Sounds like there is current going through it while it's not being used. There are tutorials on the vintage singer yahoo site that show you how to do it.

  4. #4
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I went to the Yahoo Japanese machine group, signed up and promptly got lost. Couldn't navigate or find anything at all. I've never been back.

    This foot controller is an Alpha Sew unit sold by Sew-Classic. I've bought several in the last for or so months and this is the first one to get hot like this.
    I don't know if it has any adjustments but I'll pop it open and look.

    I sent an email to Sew-Classics about it so we'll see what she says about it.

    Joe

  5. #5
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    I remember other folks saying it turned out to be loose wiring or the "friction" (probably wrong term??) mechanism inside the unit being loose or something like that. Loose something, anyway!!

  6. #6
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Popped it apart a couple three hours ago and nothings loose that I can see. Wiggled everything, all tight.

    Joe

  7. #7
    Senior Member VickyS's Avatar
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    I've had the same problem with the foot controller on the 2005 White sewing machine I inherited from my mom. My old Featherweight foot controller works great - never a heat problem with the old one and the replacement new one I got a couple of years ago when the plug in broke on the machine. The White foot controller gets so hot it starts to scorch the non-slip pad I was using to keep it from moving over the carpet.

    I finally gave up and just have to remind myself to shut off the machine every so often to let it cool down. It only seem to happen after about an hour or two of sewing, so I usually need to take a break from sewing anyway.

    I think it's a design flaw with the newer foot controls. I think the manufacturers just are trying to keep costs under control and they don't care if their customers have problems with overheating....this way they can sell a new machine.

  8. #8
    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
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    The older traditional (non-electronic) foot controls will heat up when sewing slowly. The electronic ones do not.
    Stephanie in Mena

  9. #9
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Yes, that I know. It's not the heating up that bothered me, it was the amount of heat in such a short time that bothered me.

    I've got several machines with old style foot controllers that I have done slow sewing on and this one is the only one to get "this" hot.

    .................................................. .......................................

    In the same vein I got the response from Sew-Classic this morning. She only partially answered my questions.
    So I still don't have a definitive answer whether or not the amount of heat this unit put out was normal.

    My question:
    Towards the beginning of the year I purchased a cord set with controller for one of the Japanese machines we acquired. It didn't get used until the last several days because we didn't have cams for it.

    Today I sewed a section of about 4 feet using a decorative cam. Because this machine hasn't been used it's a bit cranky and broke the tips off several needles so I sewed this slowly.

    I sew barefoot or in socks because I don't have a good "feel" with shoes on so after finishing the piece I walked into the other room to show my wife and then walked back to where I was sewing. I bumped the foot controller with my bare foot and it was VERY HOT. I couldn't pick it up by the body, I had to use the pedal part and that was a bit warm too.

    I know the old style tend to get warm, but I've never had one get too hot to touch it.

    Is this normal?

    Joe


    Sew-Classics answer:
    Hi Joseph,


    Electronic controllers don;' build up heat, but any of the carbon pile controllers (old or new) do make heat unless they are in the fully off or fully on position. Based solely on your description, it sounds like the controller was ever so slightly "on" -not enough to move the motor, but enough to generate heat. The closer to the "off" position the controller gets, the more heat it will produce. It turns "juice" not sent to the motor into heat. As to any further details, I can't even begin to guess.



    Thank You,
    Jenny
    Shop.Sew-Classic.com
    Discount Sewing Machine Parts & Supplies






    I have no idea where she came up with the idea the controller was just barely on,not enough to move the motor when I clearly said I was sewing slowly.

    I don't know anymore. Does anyone really comprehend English?



    Joe

  10. #10
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    What she means is that electricity is going to your pedal even though your foot is not engaging it fully "on". When you're sewing slowly, you're not sewing for 1/2 hr. without stopping. You sew, lift your foot off the pedal, adjust your fabric, stop to pin etc. Normally, your foot pedal should not be conducting current during these breaks and that's when they should be cooling down. Yours is continuing to conduct current as soon as it's plugged in the wall, so it seems. If you give the yahoo groups another chance it's an easy fix, I believe and they have photos and how to's. I've had to adjust several of my foot controls. More for speed than heat, though.

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