Monday, June 10, 2013

Oh, Brother!

A neighbor called on Saturday.

"Do you work on machines, too?"

"Yes, I do."

"My Little Brother is in desperate need."

"Bring it over.  I would be happy to look at it."

She arrived in a few hours with the machine.

"What's wrong with it?"

"The tension is all off and feel this?"  As she turned the hand wheel.  It was a bit stiff in one part of the revolution, relatively speaking.  It sure didn't turn feel like any of the machines I am used to.

I looked it over and found some screws that looked as if they held the clamshell body together. 

Then I popped the race cover off and removed the hook with about ten pounds of lint.

"I didn't know you could do that."

Then I removed the needle plate and found about ten more pounds of lint. 

"That's a nice little screw driver"

"It's all about the tools, J.  All about the tools."

She left on her errand when I told her I would VERY CAREFULLY try to take it apart. 

It was dirty and needed oil.  I cleaned it and gingerly put it back together.  I hate putting metal screws into plastic fittings.  I worry about strippage (if there isn't such a word, there should be)
As you can figure out by now, there was nothing wrong with the tension.  The stitches all worked fine and I called her to report as much 90 minutes later.  To her credit, the needle I removed from the machine seemed did not feel as if it had a burr.  But who knows?  I did not wind a new bobbin to see how well it works.  I only checked that it worked. 

If she ever calls again to ask me to fix this machine, I will tell her that I prefer not to.  It is just too risky getting those screws seated just right.  Sure it is light weight but if I had to sew on this machine I would hate sewing.

I happily went back to my Singer 15-91 with its nifty new light switch.


  1. Didn't Ray used to say 60% of machines brought into the shop only needed to be cleaned?
    Now that you have educated her I doubt she will return; but don't worry there's a lot of life in those plastic screw holes. Has anyone brought you a vacuum cleaner yet? Not much different than that Brother.
    Did you charge her or was it “a favor"?

  2. Cram as much stuff into the most compact lightest weight compartment you can ...and what do you have? The latest cell phone, laptop, reader, sewing machine or other new gizmo. They are meant to be discarded after a year or two. So convenient! The fix for these is to just go out and buy the latest edition (which will be lighter and do more things)

    And, as long as the dump for all these is not near you, why should you care?

    Thanks for taking the clamshell apart; it's amazing what those designers can cram in there.

    1. Well, that was part of the reason I decided to try to help her out. The machine won't last much longer. But until then it is not at the landfill. Hopefully when it finally gives up she will call me and I can at least salvage the motor.

  3. Strippage... I like that!!!