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Thread: Overheating foot pedal?

  1. #1
    Junior Member woody1229's Avatar
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    I have a wonderful 70's era Bernina that has never given me any trouble, but I'm worried today. I whipped through a lap quilt that I need for a gift for a birthday party tonight, and I'm FMQing it with a quick vengeance. But my foot pedal has overheated so badly it's burning the bottom of my foot! I know I need to take some breaks to let it cool down, but I have a deadline goshdarnit!

    Does anybody have any input on this?

  2. #2
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I would call a dealer and ask if they have ever seen this happen.

  3. #3
    Power Poster
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    There might be some loose wires in it.

  4. #4
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Wow, I would have that checked out. Mine never heats up that much.

  5. #5
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    I've seen foot pedals for sale on the Yahoo group SewItsForSale and on eBay. That won't help your deadline,but might help you in the future.

  6. #6
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    My featherweight foot pedal did that once. it really scared me.

  7. #7
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    Mine do that when in constant use. Wear shoes or slippers. It has something to do with how they are constructed, allowing the electricity to flow thru at different rates to make different speeds.

  8. #8
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    my 1970 penncrest machine did that about 15 years ago so i had the peddle replaced. about a year ago it started to happen again. it would get burning hot and smelled like smoke. i haven't used it for fear of a fire, my cousins house burned to the ground from a faulty expension cord and my cousins 10 yo son perished. i won't play around with hot anything involving wires.

  9. #9
    Senior Member quilter41's Avatar
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    I would get this checked. Could cause a fire. Something isn't right

  10. #10
    Super Member Grammy o'5's Avatar
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    Mine was doing that one day ... I got down there and checked it ... it had slid over a little and was barely wedged under something that was sticking out of a box and was staying pressed "just a smidge" but enough to keep it "on" ... I moved it and all is fine. Actually I soon rearranged the whole room! LOL :lol: :lol:

  11. #11
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Most likely the foot needs to be rewired inside. Wires don't last forever; sounds like the insulation on the wires has deteriorated.

  12. #12
    Senior Member krabadan's Avatar
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    That happened with one of my machines. There's some wiring problem. I had to replace it. I did use a cutting board under it for a while just in case. I didn't want the carpet to burn.

  13. #13
    Super Member GrammaNan's Avatar
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    I would be afraid to use it if that happened to me. It sounds like an electrical problem. My DH always says, "If you can't fix it with a hammer, its got to be an electrical problem, LOL! Be safe and get that checked out, please!

  14. #14
    Super Member sewingladydi's Avatar
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    I've had to replace my foot pedal on a Kenmore many years ago because it got hot. But it shouldn't get hot, so be careful. A "HOT" electrical anything is not a good sign.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by woody1229
    I have a wonderful 70's era Bernina that has never given me any trouble, but I'm worried today. I whipped through a lap quilt that I need for a gift for a birthday party tonight, and I'm FMQing it with a quick vengeance. But my foot pedal has overheated so badly it's burning the bottom of my foot! I know I need to take some breaks to let it cool down, but I have a deadline goshdarnit!

    Does anybody have any input on this?

    Buy a treadle....... :mrgreen:

    Some how I think I am going to be flamed for that statement! :lol: :lol: :lol:

    But honestly it sounds like the winding or the resistor is old and worn. Just replace the pedal and that should fix it for the next 15 years!

    Billy

  16. #16
    Senior Member Katia's Avatar
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    My feather weight pedal was doing the same thing the other evening. I guess it is time to buy a new one. Is that something you carry Billy?

    Actually the pedal that came with my 301 does not work right at all. It makes the machine go way too fast, and then it "diesels" to use a car term. It looks like an aftermarket one. So I tried the pedal that came with my Featherweight and it worked so much better. Well, better till it started overheating.

  17. #17
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    Yep I carry the pedals for your machine,

    Billy

  18. #18
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woody1229
    I have a wonderful 70's era Bernina that has never given me any trouble, but I'm worried today. I whipped through a lap quilt that I need for a gift for a birthday party tonight, and I'm FMQing it with a quick vengeance. But my foot pedal has overheated so badly it's burning the bottom of my foot! I know I need to take some breaks to let it cool down, but I have a deadline goshdarnit!

    Does anybody have any input on this?
    Many of the old machines had pedals constructed so that they NEEDED breaks between stepping on the 'gas' to cool them down. That's why some older Singers have the 'button' foot controllers - the ones with the wierd square solid button next to the actuater. Many times when people 'gas' it (engage the actuater by depressing it)... their foot gets lazy or tired or something, and when they let up... they don't let up all the way. Kinda like when people drive with the foot on top of the brake pedal all the time. Don't do that.

    The idea with those older Singer pedals was that the solid button was to rest your foot on, then you'd tip your foot sideways to run the machine... then tip back off of it when not running, in between seams, etc.

    For newer machines. Just do this: Get into the habit of taking your foot all the way OFF the foot pedal when not stitching. Put your drive foot on the FLOOR when you're not actually stitching. Don't leave your foot partially on the thing, cause inside there... it's still 'on' and heating up... even if your needlebar is not moving. That will heat up, melt, overheat and start a fire...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwendt
    The idea with those older Singer pedals was that the solid button was to rest your foot on, then you'd tip your foot sideways to run the machine... then tip back off of it when not running, in between seams, etc.
    Talking about that pedal, I have some Singer interoffice memos talking about that pedal. The engineers were talking about you put your whole foot on the pedal and use your heel to operate the machine. It was designed to keep your foot from getting fatigued from long periods of use. That is why the foot control is so big.

    Some useless Singer trivia for you!

    Billy

  20. #20
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostn51
    Quote Originally Posted by kwendt
    The idea with those older Singer pedals was that the solid button was to rest your foot on, then you'd tip your foot sideways to run the machine... then tip back off of it when not running, in between seams, etc.
    Talking about that pedal, I have some Singer interoffice memos talking about that pedal. The engineers were talking about you put your whole foot on the pedal and use your heel to operate the machine. It was designed to keep your foot from getting fatigued from long periods of use. That is why the foot control is so big.

    Some useless Singer trivia for you!

    Billy
    Yes, that's it. There's a good write up of that on the yahoo vintage Singer site. What's interesting to me is that they didn't come up with that design until the bakelite model pedels. The other tin? ones, are still like a normal old lever switch. At first, i thought that those lever switches were supposed to be used in conjunction with knee press actuators installed into cabinets. But now I've seen so many of them on electric portable machines... that cannot be. The bakelite pedels are interesting.

    Billy... do you know how to test a plastic/composite surface to find out if it's really Bakelite? (I bet you do...). If not, and you think it's worth it... I can post that.

  21. #21
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostn51
    Quote Originally Posted by kwendt
    The idea with those older Singer pedals was that the solid button was to rest your foot on, then you'd tip your foot sideways to run the machine... then tip back off of it when not running, in between seams, etc.
    Talking about that pedal, I have some Singer interoffice memos talking about that pedal. The engineers were talking about you put your whole foot on the pedal and use your heel to operate the machine. It was designed to keep your foot from getting fatigued from long periods of use. That is why the foot control is so big.

    Some useless Singer trivia for you!

    Billy
    Ah... but you couldn't actually do that if you were wearing heels, like so many of the fashionable females in the Singer ads! No you, switched them around until you could use the ball of your foot for depressing the switch... I remember my mom showing me this 30 "ahem" years ago on her old 401. I'm not going to say it, but.... who was it that thought of using a 'heel' to depress that small switch? hum.. lol.

  22. #22
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    I can just look at it and tell from the feel and the weight of the part if its Bakelite or not. I have messed with these old machines, cars, and memorabilia for so many years its almost second nature for me. But it would be neat to see the scientific way of knowing.

    Billy

  23. #23
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostn51
    I can just look at it and tell from the feel and the weight of the part if its Bakelite or not. I have messed with these old machines, cars, and memorabilia for so many years its almost second nature for me. But it would be neat to see the scientific way of knowing.

    Billy
    Not so scientific. lol I learned this in the process of learning to identify civil war to 50's original jewelry and beads. There are 'tricks' to every trade.... lol.

    Anyway... Bakelite was used for lots of things besides radios, sewing machine pedals/parts. It was also used in jewelry - for beads, chokers, collars and bracelets. A true vintage Bakelite piece will go for $30 or more dollars. How you tell... is you rub the surface to be tested with your thumb, repeatedly, a lot, fast. The friction and slight oils of your hand will create a bit of heat. Then you sniff it. It will smell sort of like smoke. Once you test things a few times, you'll learn to recognize that 'smoke' smell. It's different from say, cigarette smoke or wood smoke... it's distinctive. Bakelite in and of itself doesn't usually smell.

  24. #24
    Super Member quiltmaker's Avatar
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    Very informative and interesting thread...so far I haven't had any problems....thank goodness... but am glad to learn how to prevent any problems.

  25. #25
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    That sounds dangerous. Get it checked out ASAP. Not worth a fire.

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