Wobbly Stitch-Length Lever???
Wednesday, 3 December 2014
I've had the problem of a wobbly 'stitch length adjustment lever' on two of my machines...on one of them it just waggles (machine name- waggler) up and down in a very annoying manner and on the other it waggles and slowly rises (machine name- waggly-riser) so that the stitch length slowly gets smaller the more I sew. Waggly-riser is a near mint condition knee lever Mark 1 201-3 I bought just a few months ago and at the time, whilst it pee'd me off a bit, I didn't know what to do about it and as the whole thing was in such beautiful nick, and worked fine apart from this, I decided to keep it and come back to it at a later time when I had more confidence and knowlege. Then last week I started work on a new arrival, waggler, discovered the same problem, and thought 'ok, enoughs enough' and tonight got both of the troublemakers out onto the kitchen table, along with a perfectly working machine, to do something about it.
Angela loves me using the kitchen table for stripping down my oily sewing machines by the way. I do it as much as possible just to keep her happy.
I've never taken a 201 completely apart and until I do I'm never going to totally understand what is what exactly. I've always tried to work out as much as I can by peering amatuerishly into the gloomy depths with my trusty head torch...and this is exactly what I did this time too.
I ummed and aahed...did the whole 'the knee bone's connected to the leg bone, the leg bone's connected to the...' thing...scratched my head and so on, but then I started to notice a few things...the lever seemed stiffer on the faulty machines...one of them even squeaked a little when moved despite the fact it was well oiled...the feed-dogs went up and down but not in their regular 'circular' motion. So with a bit of force I held a lever as hard as I could then turned the wheel, sure enough they now went in the circular motion. I gradually arrived at the conclusion that 'something' was 'blocking' the feed-dogs in 'some way'...but before I go further, obviously the first place you would check is right here...:
...no need to on any of my machines because they're as clean as a whistle however usually that's not been the case when they've arrived on my doorstep. Sometimes there's so much compressed and congealed cloth, dust and God knows what else under feed dogs it's a surprise they even move at all. So I started working backwards from the feed-dogs...I tilted one machine backwards and carefully watched what was going on underneath and then noticed something...
As you probably know, underneath a 201 there are three long rods/shafts that travel most of the full length. The back one is the one we're interested in. As I turned the wheel with my right hand and moved the lever now and then and then turned the wheel again I noticed it wasn't moving much. It moved...but not a lot. A quick cross reference against the perfect machine confirmed this...and here is what you need to do...:
The above picture is of the back-right-hand-corner...get your spanner and loosen the nut, then do the same the other end.
Then get your screwdriver and loosen what initially appears to be a screw but is actually a pointed grub screwy thing. At no point did I take anything completely off so I don't know if the shaft is completely hollow (I doubt it) but its ends certainly are. The points of the grub screws enter the hollow ends and the shaft sits/floats/rotates upon them. Now if these grub screws are either done up too tightly, or just as importantly not tightened the same each side, there'll be a problem.
Drip a bit of oil in, then tighten the screws just enough so that when you give the shaft a tug it doesnt move at all. Then, ensure you've got the same amount of grub-screw-head protruding from either end and then re-tightened the nuts. Now turn the wheel and hopefully your problem is solved? You may need to tinker a bit to get it just right so that when you run your machine the lever stays put.
Hope this helps and if you need any help or advice or have any questions, feel free to drop me a line...I'm still very much a newbie at all this, but if I can help, I will: