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Thread: Vintage Sewing Machine Shop.....Come on in and sit a spell

  1. #33571
    Super Member BoJangles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    We have a slant stitch monogrammer that I wanted to try. Since our 401 has a needle plate lift lever I thought it would be simple to try it on that machine.
    I hooked it up and got to trying it out. But I had problems from the start. As I was trying to figure the thing out I realized the top tension was way tight. I could not reduce it. It didn't take long to see that the presser foot was not releasing the tension. It had worked just the other day when my wife put some decorative stitches on some jeans pockets so I knew something had gone wrong.

    To make a long story short I got back to it and looked inside the hole the tensioner fits in. I saw some shiny silver bits. Then I had an epiphany. When I had originally cleaned this machine I had to remove the tensioner to clean the area around it. It wouldn't go back in the I thought it should, but it did work.
    I removed the long set screw cleaned and oiled it and put it back in snugly.

    Today I removed the set screw (first pic) and slipped a very small long shanked screw driver into the hole. It would not protrude into the hole the tensioner passed through so I gave it a push. A bunch of metal chips came out (second pic).

    I cleaned all this debris out of the set screw hole and everywhere else, reassembled the tensioner and put it back in the machine.
    Then I printed out the top tension instructions to the TFSR site and adjusted it.

    Put everything back together, threaded it up and proceeded to test sew with it. Works great now. (third pic )

    So, if you have a machine that has tensioner problems and yet the tensioner is in good working order, check the set screw hole. If it's full of aluminum chips from when the threads were cut, the tensioner may be working loose as you sew with it.

    As I'm doing this post my wife is sewing up a storm with our 401A. (last two pics)

    Joe
    Geeze, Joe what a mess! I can't believe all those shaving were in that machine! Great information for the rest of us!

    Ok, I am really impressed! I never dreamed of using my 503a or my 401a to put decorative stitches on jeans! That is a lot of fabric that your wife is going through! I add cystals all the time, but never ever thought about trying decorative stitches! How cool is that! I always just figure those denim jeans are just too thick! What thread is she using - a heavy weight?

    Nancy

  2. #33572
    Super Member BoJangles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsnana2000 View Post
    I got her from a friend at work. The machine and cabinet are in really good condition. Plus she and her husband delivered her to me.
    Kathie, congratulations on the Redeye! You will love sewing with her!

    Nancy

  3. #33573
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoJangles View Post
    Geeze, Joe what a mess! I can't believe all those shaving were in that machine! Great information for the rest of us!

    Ok, I am really impressed! I never dreamed of using my 503a or my 401a to put decorative stitches on jeans! That is a lot of fabric that your wife is going through! I add cystals all the time, but never ever thought about trying decorative stitches! How cool is that! I always just figure those denim jeans are just too thick! What thread is she using - a heavy weight?

    Nancy
    Nancy,

    I was quite surprised about all that debris in there too.

    My wife was using Sulky bright orange thread. The lable says it's 100% Viscose. That's German for something. It's a very pretty thread but not exceptionally strong. And it a very slick thread that has the annoying habit of falling down off the spool and winding itself around the spool pin. In the pic above the spool is on the cone stand behind the machine.

    Not all of our machines will do decorative stitches through this many layers of denim. The 401, 319K, and Bernina 930 will, but the Wards 7 Jewel will not.
    We've got several others to try too. Each has different patterns and my wife wants the variety on her projects.

    Also just in case you're curious she was using a Schmetz #16 jeans needle.

    Joe

  4. #33574
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Viscose is rayon and yes, it's not a strong thread at all. Really, any area that is going to be in contact with a chair or rubbing shouldn't be embroidered with it. (Like jeans pockets, sorry to say!) I have a good example, one lady spent hours and hours doing beautiful embroidery on her skirt and soon began to notice areas on her skirt had lots of thread breakage. Guess where those areas were? ;> I'm actually phasing out all of my rayon and not buying it anymore(this includes Sulky). I'm only buying polyester embroidery thread now, like Isacord. Rayon is also not colorfast in the wash using any kind of bleach product. Young mothers with babies bleach their clothes and blankets a lot and all that fancy embroidery may end up stained and or different colors.

  5. #33575
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melinda1962 View Post
    Attachment 327529Attachment 327530

    It isn't exactly quilting, but it is sewing several layers of fabric together for a purpose. I used my late mom's 1966 Wizard for the construction, to make this a legit post about vintage machines. It is the same machine that made both mine and my sister's wedding gowns several years ago. The wedding went well, and my "legion of sisters" put on a wonderful reception for my daughter and her new husband, and I am eternally grateful for all they did. Her dress turned out great, and I even made a little purse. The edge of the veil, 8 yards of beaded fun as well, is in the top of the picture.

    I have been enjoying reading about the new machines. Miriam, you are cleaning up at goodwill. I was hoping that was you bidding on those machines. I also am stoked about using Glenn's restoring methods on a couple of machines that need attention, now that the wedding is done, and more time on my hands. Everyone keep up the good work!!
    Love the dress and veil, Melinda! Beautiful bride, and yes, a great looking couple!

  6. #33576
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltdoctor View Post
    I was at a sale that a friend was having yesterday. She had lots of antiques and fabric this sewing machine. I knew from the minute I laid eyes on her, she was going home with me. She is a Wheeler Wilson 9 handcrank, 1/2 size. I brought her home and she sews just great but needs a cleaning. Alex of
    www.Sewalot.com calls her the "Half size Half Pint Wheeler & Wilson 9". I have never seen one like her. She is very close in size to a Singer Featherweight, but weighs 20 pounds. The throad width is the same as a FW but the throat height is almost 2" higher. I am fascinated by her. Could this have been the idea that inspired the Featherweight after Singer bought Wheeler Wilson out in 1905? I don't have a firm date on her, but probably 1901 to 1905 is very close.


    Texas Jan
    Adorable machine Jan!! Love it!

  7. #33577
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    Candace, Thank you for that great info on nylon threads. You just saved me. I was going to buy a bunch of nylon embroidery thread. I'll now look for the poly thread.

    Cathy


    Quote Originally Posted by Candace View Post
    Viscose is rayon and yes, it's not a strong thread at all. Really, any area that is going to be in contact with a chair or rubbing shouldn't be embroidered with it. (Like jeans pockets, sorry to say!) I have a good example, one lady spent hours and hours doing beautiful embroidery on her skirt and soon began to notice areas on her skirt had lots of thread breakage. Guess where those areas were? ;> I'm actually phasing out all of my rayon and not buying it anymore(this includes Sulky). I'm only buying polyester embroidery thread now, like Isacord. Rayon is also not colorfast in the wash using any kind of bleach product. Young mothers with babies bleach their clothes and blankets a lot and all that fancy embroidery may end up stained and or different colors.
    Cathy

    "Most sewing machine problems are due to the carbon based unit in the chair in front of the machine"

  8. #33578
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Cathy, rayon thread does have uses. For sheen and shine, it's a great thread. I wouldn't hesitate using it on items not worn and washed frequently. Like on wedding dresses, specialty garments etc. I sure wouldn't use it for FMQ quilting (strength issues) or in areas of wear. I still have a bunch of it I'm trying to use up. Right now, I'm using it for raw edge applique on areas of quilts that are mainly wall hangings and the occasional t-shirt embroidery. And that is fine... really it depends on the use. But, for me it's much easier just to have poly embroidery thread so I don't have to put too much thought into every project. Just my opinion of course!

  9. #33579
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Candace,

    The decorative stitching my wife was doing was on shopping bags made from old jeans. Some of them she makes plain, some are lined, and some are fancy.

    But considering what you said, I doubt we'll buy any more.

    Joe

  10. #33580
    Super Member Crossstitcher's Avatar
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    Kathie,

    Beautiful machine (Red Eye) . You will love sewing on it. This happens to be one of my favorite machines to use along with the lotus .
    Quilting with a friend keeps me in stitches.

    Trish

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