RE: [bolger] Sailrite sewing machine
- Hi Jamie,
I made my Micro sails last winter on my mom's old Japanese cast-iron Singer
replica from the mid 50's; it worked like a champ on the 4- and 6-oz cloth,
including reef points, etc. I had it tuned up first, and the repair guy
swapped the foot pedal. The 'new' (vintage 1965) pedal was very touchy -
like yours, full speed ahead or dead in the water. Since I can't leave
anything alone, I opened it up and found there is a 'full-on' position at
the end of the range, a straight-thru connection, to avoid running all that
current thru the rheostat all the time. The springs that control the contact
with the slider of the rheostat get tired and need to be ajusted so you
don't just skip the rheostat's variable range and jump right to full-on.
It's not hard to figure out once you open up the pedal, just be careful when
test-driving with the cover off. Or just get a 'new' pedal, they're pretty
interchangeable and cheap.
My local library had some excellent old books on general sewing machine
repair and tune-up, appears many of the old machines are very similar, saw
pictures of Sears and monkey ward machines that are identical to mine
internally; they tell you how to do it all if you have the patience. It
ain't rocket surgery, just takes time; I tuned my machine after doing my
sails (it needed it) and it runs well again..... also they tell you all
about setting tension and correctly matching needles to thread, which I
think is the crucial detail in getting a machine to run well with all
weights of thread. I'm still learning but those books helped me ALOT.
I, too, would love a Sailrite machine, but can't justify the expense....
yet. I've had 4 older machines over the years, all freebies; newest is my
mom's (from 1955, in striking 'Miami Vice' colors!), and is my first
zig-zag, oldest is over 100 years old! Those heavy old machines were built
to last, all but mom's have outlived their original owners, and will
probably outlast me. But if you're patient, you can do alot with them for
very little money. I happen to have a fetish for old machinery, so for me
that's part of the sport......
> My machine has a hair trigger clutch, although I think that's just because
> it's old.
> Also try
> it out, if you can, with the thread you plan to use in your sail -- some
> threads run more easily,