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Thread: Observations about new manufactured presser feet.

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Observations about new manufactured presser feet.

    Just some observations about presser feet if anyone is interested.

    Sometimes I've had to buy new presser feet for my machines. Some of them have come to me with the bottoms of the feet just chewed by the feed dogs. Some can be polished down, others have to be replaced.

    I got my last Sew Classic order yesterday. I had ordered some of the generic low shank ZZ feet with the curled up toes and one high shank one too. They looked really good, fit OK and worked good too. I had a magnet handy for something and started checking the feet.

    A lot of them were made from aluminum or some other non ferrous metal. Some of them had steel feet with aluminum shanks. Some had steel shanks with aluminum feet. And some had an aluminum shank with the feet made from some alloy that just barely attracted the magnet.
    Then there were some that were genuine steel that about jumped at the magnet.
    Visually, you can't tell them apart. They are all chrome plated and look nice.

    I just hope the aluminum and bi-metal ones last as long as the steel ones.

    At least you can see the plastic ones and ignore them if you want to.

    Joe

  2. #2
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    43 views and no comments. I guess I was right, nobody is interested.

    J e

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    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    I guess we just didn't take the time to reply Joe. I was wondering about those myself. Need to find a walking foot for my one machine. the 15-91. thought I had one that fit, but off a bit.

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    Super Member sweet's Avatar
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    I haven't had any problems with the feet I have. One thing new that you mentioned is that I have never heard of feet being scratched up by the dogs. Interesting. The metal combinations seem to be in our future, hope they work out for you.

  5. #5
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    All of the chewed up feet were on older machines. They looked like somebody had run the machine with the presser foot down on the feed dogs for an extended period of time. And they are all steel feet.
    That's why I was curious about the aluminum ones.

    I have a 1/4" foot with the little spring guide on the side I got a couple months ago. I've used it enough that the plating is wearing off the bottom already. So .......

    Joe

  6. #6
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    I always keep a scrap of cloth under the presser foot of my old girls. Every sewing machine manual warns you not to run the machine unless there is material under the presser foot. I never thought about presser feet being made of anything other than steel.
    Sweet Caroline

  7. #7
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I've been taking two pieces of denim and cutting on piece smaller than the other. Then I center the small piece in the large piece, fold the edges of the larger piece over the smaller piece and sew them together. It makes a perfect cushion for the presser foot.

    Joe

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    hahah...I think everyone ran to their machines with a magnet to try their feet....I know I did..I have hundreds of them here for many different machines....can't beat the OLD feet...

  9. #9
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Day before yesterday we did an experiment with our Dial 'N Sew machine and one of the new feet. The D'NS machine uses high shank feet and I'd bought a ZZ foot to try because the toes really curl up out of the way. The toes on the original foot are almost flat by comparison.
    I sat and watched as my wife sewed a couple shopping bags. That curled toe foot glided up and over the seams and multi layer joints like they were not there.

    It is aluminum, and I'm hoping it lasts.

    Joe

  10. #10
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    I've been taking two pieces of denim and cutting on piece smaller than the other. Then I center the small piece in the large piece, fold the edges of the larger piece over the smaller piece and sew them together. It makes a perfect cushion for the presser foot.

    Joe
    Thanks for this idea Joe. I had never thought to protect my machines this way. May in Jersey

  11. #11
    Super Member BuzzinBumble's Avatar
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    This is really interesting ... I had noticed that some feet weighed more than others. For our family's 301, 401, & 500 I noticed that a few of the new 1/4" feet have been less or more than 1/4" and this is because of the way their shanks position them. Supposedly they were made for slant shank machines, but they aren't accurately positioned.

    Okay Joe, now let me reveal my stupidity.... I am confused about why presser feet need cushions. When my sewing machine is at rest I have always kept the presser foot in the up position. Is this habit a No-No? Should it be kept in the down position with a cloth cushion beneath it?

  12. #12
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Lara,

    The pads under the presser feet are just to keep the two apart. It's the way I was taught years ago about keeping a spring under tension. They can take a set and loose strength. Weather they will or not depends on a lot of things.
    So I make the pad, lower the presser foot and take most of the tension off the spring. It's just the way I do it.
    Your way isn't wrong.

    Joe

  13. #13
    Super Member BuzzinBumble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Lara,

    The pads under the presser feet are just to keep the two apart. It's the way I was taught years ago about keeping a spring under tension. They can take a set and loose strength. Weather they will or not depends on a lot of things.
    So I make the pad, lower the presser foot and take most of the tension off the spring. It's just the way I do it.
    Your way isn't wrong.

    Joe
    It may not be wrong but your way makes much more sense. I knew there must be some very sound reason behind it! Thank you Joe for enlightening me!

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    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    Joe, interesting info about the feet. I was taught that the presser foot goes down as well as the needle when the machine is at rest. I always have a piece of fabric between the presser foot and the feed dogs.
    I meant to behave......but there were too many other options

  15. #15
    Super Member Mornigstar's Avatar
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    Never checked feet for metal content just the style/usage. I have a lot of old feet that I will be selling but so
    far I have them sorted to keep with my machines. I have been promised a beautiful 99k machine to finish my
    collecting then plan to part with any extras as they are piling up. Don't want to be a hoarder.
    No glass feet in the collection as I would keep one as conversation piece. Still have a 127 to repair.

  16. #16
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    Ok Joe, I don't know about anyone else on here but I amused myself by digging out my Home Depot Special telescoping magnetic wand and checked if my 301's feet were steel. I only checked this machine cuz it's my go-to main machine. Yes, the feet were all magnetic. Again, thanks for this info. I have to confess that I do use 1 plastic foot - it's my 1/4" foot but only on one machine because that's the only machine that it will work on.
    I meant to behave......but there were too many other options

  17. #17
    Senior Member pinecone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    I've been taking two pieces of denim and cutting on piece smaller than the other. Then I center the small piece in the large piece, fold the edges of the larger piece over the smaller piece and sew them together. It makes a perfect cushion for the presser foot.

    Joe
    I make a lot of purses and use the fusible fleece ironed to the fabric. I use a square piece of the leftovers.

    I too have some really old presser feet with scratches on the under side. I just thought it was from sewing over pins. I have noticed that some of the newer ones don't quite line up with the feed dogs. Guess I really didn't give it a thought about the metal involved, it is easy to see plastic. Is one metal supposed to be better than the other?

    piney

  18. #18
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I have old steel feet that are from the 19 teens that are wear free. I some others that look like someone took a grinder to them.

    I do not have any of the newer aluminum ones that have much use on them at all. Well, my 1/4" foot has a bit and the plating is already wearing through.

    The feed dogs are made from some pretty hard steel in the older machines. In the newer ones I don't know. They might be aluminum too for all I know. I know Singer made some from plastic years ago.

    I suspect they'll all last a good long time if you don't run the machine past the end of the fabric or let somebody play with it.

    Joe

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