Tuesday, August 27, 2013
It isn't as diminutive as the Singer 221 but it has more functions. I can say the that FW has a much nicer straight stitch. But for travel and convenience I will sacrifice that for the other features of this machine.
I had NO TIME to get ready for my road trip to North Carolina last week. I grabbed this machine literally off the shelf in the shop. I bought it in March of 2011 when I was in Chicago. I am pretty sure that I serviced it when I brought it home. I hadn't used it since. Luckily I also grabbed my traveling work kit. I picked up some q tips and alcohol (isopropyl, well, ok some wine as well. I deserved a drink, too) at the Ingles around the corner from here. When I set it up yesterday to test it out I oiled it quickly and tried to wind the bobbin. The clutch wouldn't release.
So I set to work. I don't know if the other Keatherweights have a screw off (I did just write that) or a pop off top. This one pops off. I just grab it and pull.
The feed dogs weren't working really well. The straight stretch stitch is short and the zz stretch stitch would not work at all. The feed dog didn't drop either. I wonder what it is about me, my North Carolina trip and Kenmores with feed dog issues? (http://mysewingmachineobsession.blogspot.com/2012/12/feed-dog-drop.html)
Since the feed was messed up I had to pull off the bottom. This machine has three screws holding the bottom on. One on the bottom itself and two on either end. You have to lift up the little extension table to find the one on the left end.
I got the whole thing lubed up. I even stuffed some grease into the shuttle gears. I was not in the mood to pull the gear cover off. I want to sew, for crying out loud ! And I found that the feed dogs were not high enough. By this time Mom had joined me in the "sewing room." I told her what the problem was.( I must correct the incorrect information here. The dime rule applies to diamond shaped teeth. DreinPA and I disagree about the correct height. She says the feeds should be half the height of the dime. I say the full height.)
With regard to these Kenmore feed dogs, they were too low because the underside of the dogs kept hitting the race. But I did have them too high. Drein PA states (also see her comment below):
I checked Ray's manual. The bottom of the v shaped portion of the teeth should be level with the plate when the dogs are TDC. I have no idea what TDC means. But I had to correct the dogs because I could tell they were too high. I did it by feel and now they are better.)
"I need a dime."
"There is one on the floor in the living room. I can't bend over to get it."
I studied the whole mechanism. Then I said "I wonder..." and violated the first tenet of sewing machine repair. Lubricate everything first, then get out the screw driver. Well I HAD lubricated everything. I just hadn't FREED everything up quite yet. Still, I couldn't resist. So I got the screw driver out and turned the screw; it was loose. In the photo below, you will see that the center is not in its housing. Before I turned that screw I positioned the feed dog drop lever in the UP position and turned the screw.
(Not really see above and below.)
I believe this will require some more lubrication and perhaps an adjustment. I looked at the reverse lever and followed its mechanism. The bobbin winder is in the way but I could see a screw near the reverse lever that may require tightened or adjusting. I don't feel like pulling the bobbin winder to fiddle with it.