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Thread: Replaced my Grace frame's plastic tracks with metal.

  1. #1
    Super Member Debbie B's Avatar
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    Replaced my Grace frame's plastic tracks with metal.

    I have a Little Gracie II frame with a Juki machine. I bought it used 3 years ago. I've quilted quilt a few quilts on it. I was having a problem with the plastic tracks cracking. When that happens it creates a drag in that area and makes quilting difficult. I had bought new tracks 2 times and the last time I bought new tracks they cracked within weeks. But, the Grace Company did sent me a new set free of charge. So, I've replace the plastic tracks 3 times in 3 years!! I had read on this board & a Grace frame Yahoo group about replacing the plastic with 1/4" metal rods. My husband stopped by a metal cutting shop and they cut us two to size (99 1/2" each) for a grand total of $12! The carriage moves very smoothly. I'll be loading a quilt on tonight & starting to quilt it sometime tomorrow. I'm hoping that it moves just as smoothly when quilting.

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    glad you found a solution. everyone will want to know how smoothly it glides.
    Nancy in western NY
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  3. #3
    Super Member Debbie B's Avatar
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    I could not wait after loading my quilt onto the frame. It's quilting smoothly and with no drag. I did get a message from another person that had done the same thing. She suggests putting electrical cord (like lamp cord) in the groove and then putting the steel bars on top of that. She has done this to keep the bars from settling into the groove over time. I will do that after I get this quilt finished. Sure hope that this is the answer to the problem that has been driving me crazy!

  4. #4
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    I don't remember which Grace frame I have but I first tried replacing my tracks with aluminum rods, it felt smooth till I staerted quilting then it felt draggy, replaced them with stainless steel and it's better than it's ever been but I can't imagine putting anything underneath it, they fit the groove perfectly.

  5. #5
    Super Member Debbie B's Avatar
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    Kathy, My rods are steel, too. And they fit perfectly. But, the person said that after a while her rods started to "settle" into the grooves. So, I'm going to use mine and if I notice a difference then I will try her suggestion. How long has been that you replaced your rods? Debbie
    Quote Originally Posted by kathy View Post
    I don't remember which Grace frame I have but I first tried replacing my tracks with aluminum rods, it felt smooth till I staerted quilting then it felt draggy, replaced them with stainless steel and it's better than it's ever been but I can't imagine putting anything underneath it, they fit the groove perfectly.

  6. #6
    Super Member CarolinePaj's Avatar
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    Hi Guys,

    Can you post a picture so I know what you mean. I am in the UK and we don't have the same types of stores that you do in the USA.

    Hugs

    Caroline
    Caroline

  7. #7
    Super Member Debbie B's Avatar
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    For Caroline

    What type of frame do you have? I have the Little Gracie II frame from the Grace Company. The frame comes with black plastic tracks that fit into a groove on both sides of the frame. The carriage wheels roll on these. Here is a picture, but I don't think you will be able to see it very well, because the groove & the steel rod are pretty much the same color. There is a site or blog called Quilting Tizzy (I think it's www.quiltingtizzy.com) and they talk about doing this & there are a couple pictures. If you feel the picture is not clear enough let me know & I will take a couple more. Debbie
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Super Member CarolinePaj's Avatar
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    Hi Guys,


    Thanks for the picture, it really helps....... I have the Little Gracie II also, and thanks to you all I am going to see if we can do this for my frame, although I don't know where I will get metal rods here in the UK..... guess I will be Googling!!!!!


    hugs


    Caroline
    Last edited by CarolinePaj; 05-21-2013 at 03:07 PM.
    Caroline

  9. #9
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    Hi. I am anxious to try this myself. I have a Grace Pinnacle frame. Will the size rods be the same? Thanks! Kathy

  10. #10
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    can you tell me what the metal rods are called that you brought or take a picture. I have looked forever for these.

  11. #11
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    can you tell me what the metal rods are called that you brought or take a picture. I have looked forever for these.

  12. #12
    Power Poster Tweety2911's Avatar
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    I have a Grace frame also and want to get steel rods. We can't locate a place to purchase them and the shipping rate is ridiculously expensive.
    Helen T.

  13. #13
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    The Yahoo group called GraceMachine Frame has had a lot of discussion on the rods. They recommend 1/4" stainless steel welding rods available from machine and welding shops, where they will apparently cut them to size.
    Laura

  14. #14
    Super Member Debbie B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevymom53 View Post
    can you tell me what the metal rods are called that you brought or take a picture. I have looked forever for these.
    We bought 1/4" diameter rods steel rods. I don't know if there was a specific name for them. For my Little Gracie II frame they had to be 99 1/2" long to fit into the hole where the track goes into the wooden side of the frame. It's been over a year since I did this & I've quilted at least 6-7 quilts, plus a few wall hangings & table topper/runners with no problems. Find a metal shop or metal cutting shop in your area, and go talk with them.

  15. #15
    Super Member Debbie B's Avatar
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    Here's a picture. Notice how we put the rod into the hole that the track goes into on the frame. We put it exactly as the original plastic tracks laid. If you lay the rods to just the edge of the side without going into that hole then the weight of the carriage may cause the rods to move as you move the carriage.
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  16. #16
    Member RebeccaG's Avatar
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    I know this is an old post, but for any one searching I thought I would add what I am doing. I have the grace frame and it has the wooden tracks. I did go to a machine shop that cut the 1/4 inch steel rods for me. There are two kinds of steel heat rolled and cold rolled. I purchased the cold rolled steel and it is a lot more expensive than what others have posted they purchased theirs for. It ended up costing me $30 for 2 rods for the track and 2 for the carriage.
    They fit my carriage fine. But my wooden track the 1/4 in rods slide to deep down. I will purchase some type of cord, nylon rope or something to set below the rod. That way my carriage wheels will not hit the wooden track.

  17. #17
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    How is this working for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by RebeccaG View Post
    I know this is an old post, but for any one searching I thought I would add what I am doing. I have the grace frame and it has the wooden tracks. I did go to a machine shop that cut the 1/4 inch steel rods for me. There are two kinds of steel heat rolled and cold rolled. I purchased the cold rolled steel and it is a lot more expensive than what others have posted they purchased theirs for. It ended up costing me $30 for 2 rods for the track and 2 for the carriage.
    They fit my carriage fine. But my wooden track the 1/4 in rods slide to deep down. I will purchase some type of cord, nylon rope or something to set below the rod. That way my carriage wheels will not hit the wooden track.
    RebeccaG: Did you end up having to make other adjustments? Did you have to take the frame apart to fit the rods into the holes? Thanks for considering an update to your post. I'm looking at doing this as my carriage keeps jumping off the plastic tracks.

  18. #18
    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    I'm interested too. This will be my next improvement to my original little Gracie frame. I haven't had any problem with my plastic track get, but I anticipate that i will eventually.

  19. #19
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    I started out with their Grace Pro frame and changed out the tracks with a "t' shape metal track. Worked like a charm for me. Also added conduit over the aluminum poles to keep them from bowing on me. You can drill a hole into the conduit to place a screw into the original poles to keep them from turning on you. Had that frame for quite some time till I upgraded with the present machine system.
    Suz in Iowa
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  20. #20
    Super Member Debbie B's Avatar
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    Can't you post a picture of the conduits on the poles? I would love to see it. Thanks.

  21. #21
    Member Janet Wilburn's Avatar
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    Thank you for your post. I was quilting last week and noticed my plastic tracks were shredding as i quilted. I was near the end of the quilt so I finished. Then came to quilting board to find my answer about the tracks. I had looked online to buy them but shipping cost was more than the tracks. After reading your post I called our local machine shop and took them pictures of my frame and took my IPad with me to read them these posts. They mostly do oilfield welding but were willing to help me. They ordered the 1/4” stainless steel rods for me, got them in and cut them to 99 1/2” and I set them on the Gracie II frame tracks and it works so smoothly. I appreciate all of the posts from everyone.

  22. #22
    Member RebeccaG's Avatar
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    I'm glad it helped. I'm still using it on my frame and doing great.
    Quote Originally Posted by Janet Wilburn View Post
    Thank you for your post. I was quilting last week and noticed my plastic tracks were shredding as i quilted. I was near the end of the quilt so I finished. Then came to quilting board to find my answer about the tracks. I had looked online to buy them but shipping cost was more than the tracks. After reading your post I called our local machine shop and took them pictures of my frame and took my IPad with me to read them these posts. They mostly do oilfield welding but were willing to help me. They ordered the 1/4 stainless steel rods for me, got them in and cut them to 99 1/2 and I set them on the Gracie II frame tracks and it works so smoothly. I appreciate all of the posts from everyone.

  23. #23
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    When I had my Grace Pro frame I also replaced with metal tracking. I replaced or actually covered my poles with galvanized poles as they would bow when I tightened the quilt. The galvanized poles are fairly soft metal so I screwed them into the original aluminium poles. Worked great for me. No more bowing. Never had issues with the metal tracking either. You'd think after all these years Grace Frame Co. would change their parts to something that would last and work better.
    Suz in Iowa
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  24. #24
    Member RebeccaG's Avatar
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    I agree with you. I'm very surprised about the quality of their product. I don't see how they can be happy with it. Especially for the price they charge.

  25. #25
    Member RebeccaG's Avatar
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    My frame has worked wonderful since the modifications of the steel rods and the nylon chord underneath. Very happy with those changes.

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