Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27

Thread: Frustration and feed dogs.

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    8,105

    Frustration and feed dogs.

    I was finishing up the assembly of the smaller of the two 'All Machines' quilts. I had made so many squares I made a lap quilt to go with the bed quilt. The lap quilt is 48"x60", made from 6 1/2" denim squares with a fleece back.

    I had sewn the squares together with my HOTHER and had intended to finish it with the same machine but then we began talking trade with another forum member here in IL. We had agreed to trade her a 66 for the machines she had and I wanted to make sure it was running good.

    So I took Mr Lucky off the shelf and checked him over. Looked pretty good for an old phart. Mr Lucky was made in 1927 and was sold to me as a parts machine but I borrowed the missing parts from a couple of my other 66s and gave him a try. He sewed so nice I refurbished him. But I never really did anything major with him. So to make sure he was fit to be rehomed I decided to quilt my lap quilt with him.

    But I ran into problems. All the testing I'd done with this machine was light weight materials, two flat layers of denim or pre-quilted materials.
    Because of the decorative stitches in each square we decided to use the SITD method and with a seam every 6" it was a nightmare. He'd stall out at every hump. I had to actually pull the quilt through the foot and feed dogs because he would not feed it. That made no sense to me or my wife and we were pulling out our hair trying to figure this out. I tried different feet and presser foot shaft tensions and nothing worked. The machine was sewing just fine even when it wouldn't feed so that made it even more confusing. I had not run into this before, to this extent anyway, and Elaine hadn't run into this in her life as a sewist.

    Then after finishing the first direction of stitches I decided to switch machines. I had to try something. As we were thinking on which machine to try I had a thought. Perhaps the feed dogs were slipping on the fleece backing rather than feeding it. How to verify this? Well, sew a seam with a different machine. Then I said; that doesn't make sense .... the feed dogs are up why won't they feed?
    At this point I looked at the feed dogs on Mr Lucky and at the highest they would go, the teeth were not completely above the needle plate.
    I opened up my Singer 66 Treadle #1 Mr Lucky was sitting on and compared them.

    Yep, the feed dogs were higher by a bunch.
    I tried to sew a row on the quilt and 66 T1 even with the small straight stitch foot it fed the quilt through without a hitch.

    So while Elaine held the flash light I used a dime as a reference and raised the feed dogs on Mr. Lucky to match 66 T1 and tried that. Success. Mr Lucky now fed the quilt sandwich without any trouble at all. I put the regular SS foot back on and adjusted the presser foot tension back to normal and ran a few SITD rows. Much much better.
    Then after all the trouble was fixed Elaine sat down and finished the rows and stitched down the edges.
    All we need to do now is put the binding on it.

    So I guess the moral to this story goes something like this. If your machine won't feed like it should and everything mechanical has been checked and eliminated, check the feed dog height, they just might be set too low.

    Joe

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    221
    Whoa, good thing to know!

    Fleece *is* a pain in the rear (or in the feed dogs LOL ) for many machines, older and newer.

  3. #3
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    Posts
    3,972
    Good sleuthing and problem solving Joe.
    Sweet Caroline

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    221
    Forgot to mention, that is a great-looking quilt you put together.

  5. #5
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    29,661
    One of my old Singers had tired feed dogs. Since I am not a master mechanic like you Joe, I was able to take off the feed dogs and cut a little cardboard gasket to go under them. I screwed the feed dogs back on over the gasket and they worked much better with the added height. Whatever works.

  6. #6
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    8,105
    toolazy,
    Wait till I post pics of it's big brother. Eeekkkkkk!

    Tartan,
    The 66s, 99, and quite a few others have a single screw that fastens the feed dogs to the machine. There is some adjustment. Other more modern machines have the dogs mounted on a cross bar. I'm sure there is an adjustment somewhere but I don't know for sure. Your fix sounds easy and as long as it works, great.

    Joe

  7. #7
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    Posts
    3,972
    Quote Originally Posted by toolazy View Post
    Forgot to mention, that is a great-looking quilt you put together.
    Can we see closeups of the blocks? I am liking your quilt a lot.
    Sweet Caroline

  8. #8
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    8,105
    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    Can we see closeups of the blocks? I am liking your quilt a lot.
    Ummm, not all of the blocks I hope . I'll have to shrink them and get them on P-bucket so I'll post a few in a while.

    Joe

  9. #9
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    Posts
    3,972
    Nope, just a closeup of a few. Your quilt is so visually interesting.
    Sweet Caroline

  10. #10
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    8,105
    Caroline,

    Here's some close ups. Some are from the lap quilt, some from the big quilt.









    Joe

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    221
    Oh my. Love those blocks. The smiley face and the little people are to die for, and the others are dressed up just enough to make them sing when you put it all together. Good job!

  12. #12
    Senior Member coloradosky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    795
    Joe, Your blocks are beautuful! Thanks for sharing.

  13. #13
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,981
    I love reading your posts, Joe, whether or not they have anything to do with my own machines or issues. I like "watching" you problem solve; you have great mechanical insight and ability and you write so well about what you're doing!

  14. #14
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Homosassa, FL
    Posts
    2,259
    Hope you got it fixed Joe, finally got the singer feed dogs to work. Little more adjusting on tension and it should sew very nice for an 1980's singer, but at least it is working. May pass it along to someone who needs and inexpensive sewing maching or keep it as it has Cams, a first for me.
    Love your cat, she is a real beauty.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jersey Shore
    Posts
    528
    Those feeddogs do slip, so readjusting fit the bill. Usually the are are tightly screwed down so it is a mystery of nature that it happens. Good job.

  16. #16
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    8,105
    Dan,

    That would explain a lot. I checked my 1913 vintage 66-1 and it's feed dogs were way down too. I'll have to readjust them.
    I guess all the years of use tends to push them down a bit.

    Joe

  17. #17
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    Posts
    3,972
    Thanks Joe, I love your denim blocks.
    Sweet Caroline

  18. #18
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    8,105
    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    Thanks Joe, I love your denim blocks.
    You're welcome. Those decorations are the one thing I can't do with a vintage machine .

    Joe

  19. #19
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    Posts
    3,972
    My Elna Air Electronic, purchased in the late seventies, can do the fancy stitches. She uses the decorative cams.
    Sweet Caroline

  20. #20
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    8,105
    Well, sorta vintage I guess. I've used Singers from my wife's 319 all the way up to her 86 vintage Bernina then up to a 2001 Singer plastic wannabee.

    I guess I sorta consider vintage as pre ZZ era.

    Joe

  21. #21
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Northern CA near Sacramento
    Posts
    1,105
    Hey Joe,

    The first zig zag sewing machine was invented in the 1870s.
    I think vintage is considerably younger that that. VBG I tend to think of a vintage sewing machine as pre-early 70s.

    Cathy


    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Well, sorta vintage I guess. I've used Singers from my wife's 319 all the way up to her 86 vintage Bernina then up to a 2001 Singer plastic wannabee.

    I guess I sorta consider vintage as pre ZZ era.

    Joe
    Cathy

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

  22. #22
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    8,105
    1870s?? Hmmmm, I'd like to see a pic or three of that one. Who made it?


    Joe

  23. #23
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    middle TN
    Posts
    1,105
    Thanks for this info !

  24. #24
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Northern CA near Sacramento
    Posts
    1,105
    Joe,

    A lady, Helen Augusta Blanchard invented the zig zag sewing machine. She was a very prolific inventor. She held many sewing machine patents. She started the Blanchard Over-Seam Company in the early 1880s.

    As to which company actually made and sold the 1st ZZ machine I don't know unless it was her BO-S company. I do remember reading that the 1st ZZ machines were for industrial applications. I don't know when the 1st home ZZ machines were sold. But Bernina does claim to have come out with the first portable ZZ with freearm in 1945.

    That's not a lot of info, but it is the best I can do right now.

    Cathy



    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    1870s?? Hmmmm, I'd like to see a pic or three of that one. Who made it?


    Joe
    Cathy

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

  25. #25
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Dallas area, Texas, USA
    Posts
    2,068
    I sure learn a lot of interesting and useful stuff when I browse the vintage threads. I will check my old machines to see where the dog teeth stand. Thanks for the info!

    Just wanted to add that the adorable little calico looks so concerned, as if she's saying, "I have thumbs - I can help, too!"
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.