Monday, April 27, 2015

Button Down Collar Alternative

How many shirts have I passed up because they don't have button down collars.  If you ride a motorcycle, button down collars are a must.  Button down collared shirts, in general, always look neater than those without buttons.

A simple solution to the problem for shirts without button down collars is to sew them down.


Lay the collar down flat against the shirt and pin in two directions.


Needle down in the corner of the existing seam stitching and take about 4 -5 stitches, then reverse back to your beginning point at the corner; needle down.  Spin the collar about the needle so that you will be going forward on the other side of the collar stitching.  Take 4 - 5 stitches and then reverse back to the corner.


Clip the threads and done.


Here's another shirt.  I didn't have the exact red, so I used a thread that matched the button thread.


Love this solution.

If you like this idea, but still want the look of buttons, you can apply a non-functioning button instead which will save the time and hassle of making a buttonhole.  The problem, of course, is to find a complimentary button.

Hope it helps,
Michael

Rewire Willcox and Gibbs Foot Contoller

This tutorial is a step by step photo documentation of rewiring the motor on a vintage (1937) Willcox and Gibbs chain stitch sewing machine foot controller.

List of Materials:
  • Wire:  18/2 SJOOW Black 300V Priority Wire --- Link To Source
    20 feet will do the motor and the foot controller
  • Round Vintage Antique Style BLACK Electrical Plug --- Link to Source
    2 each will do the motor and the foot controller
The wire is the closest match to the wire that came on my machine.  I've seen some with the braided cloth wire.  The source for the plugs above also carries the braided wire.

Procedure:


Cut nine feet of wire (original length) or whatever length works for your situation.

The wire comes with printing along its length which identifies its construction.  This does not match the original look.  The printing can be removed easily with Goo Gone.


Use a vinyl or rubber conditioner after to keep the sheathing material from drying out.


Remove the pedal from the base by first pushing the hinge pin out with a roll punch (1/8"). Shoot it with some Aerokroil first to free it up.


Top view of hinge pin in pedal.


Remove cotter pin at opposite end of pedal.  If pin is in good shape, it can be reused.


Look at the crud under there.  Remove the screw at the heel end of the spring bar.


In order to do a thorough cleaning, remove all of the feet and the securing screws.


There is a plate securing screw under one of the feet.


Interior view of controller, copper contacts, and wiring connections.  Loosen the brass wire retaining screw (top left), the wire contact nut (white wire), and the wire contact screw (black wire), then pull the wire out of the controller.


Use 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper to clean the copper contacts.  Gently push the contact back enough to slide the sandpaper in and then use the flat side of the screwdriver to apply pressure to the contact as you pull the sandpaper across the contact.  Do three passes for each one of the contacts.


Do the same for both faces of the contacts along the other side.



Remove the wire contact screw and plates, then steel wool all surfaces with 0000 steel wool.


To prepare the controller end of the new wire, use the old wire to determine how much insulation to remove.


Cut the black outer insulation with a razor knife, being careful to just score the outer sheathing.  You can then pull apart the insulation, in effect, tearing the remaining rubber along the score path.  In this way, there is less risk of cutting the insulation of the inner wires.

Separate the inner wires and cut the paper away.

Strip the ends of the wire and tightly twist the strands.


Insert the stripped wire through the grommet in the side of the controller until the outer insulation is flush with the inside of the brass retaining clip and secure the brass screw.  Then wrap the stripped leads around the terminal screws, in a clockwise direction, then tighten the nut and the screw. Trim away any extra copper strands.


Now it is time to install the new plug on the other end of the wire.  Prepare the wire in the same way as on the other end.  Tie an Underwriters knot in the wire conductors and wrap about 8-10 turns of electrical tape under the knot.


This is a close up of the Underwriter's knot.


Strip the wires leaving about 1/2 inch of insulation above the knot and twist the wires.


Slide the base of the plug up the wire to test the fit.  What you want is the tape to fit snug into the tubular part of the plug and the knot to sit at the bottom of the dome shaped base.  You may need to add or remove some tape to achieve a snug fit.


Wrap the wire clockwise about the screw at each terminal so that the insulation is tight up against the head of the screw and tighten.  Slide the two parts of the plug together and install and tighten the outer screws.


Reattach the pedal in the reverse order of taking it apart.  Reattach the bottom plate and feet.


I soaked the cast aluminum foot pedal in a bath of hot water and OxyClean, scrubbed with a toothbrush, then buffed with 0000 steel wood, back to the Oxy, then finished with 100% carnauba wax.  Turned out very nice.


Tried cleaning with kerosene and a toothbrush for the first time and had very good results with no ill effect to the decals.  Lighting doesn't show the decal detail well in this photo.  Lightly buffed with Mequair's cleaning wax, then 100% carnauba wax.

After rewiring both the motor and the controller, plug it into the sewing machine to test.  This machine runs extremely fast, smooth, and with good control at low speeds.

Hope this helps,
Michael


Disclaimer:

Don't attempt the techniques explained in this article if you don't have electrical experience or are not certified in electronics.  Doing so may result in electrical shock and/or death.  If you decide to act on these techniques, you are doing so at your own risk.  It is recommended to have your work checked by a licensed electrician or certified electronics expert.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Rewire Willcox and Gibbs Motor - Part 2

Continued from:
Rewiring a Vintage Willcox and Gibbs Sewing Machine Motor - Part 1


Cut two seven inch pieces of the TFFN wire.  Strip 3/4 inch of insulation from one end of each wire.


Stablize the motor side of the wire with an alligator clip on a stand if you have one.  The alligator clip will act as a heat sink protecting the motor windings.

Wrap the motor wire and the TFFN wire about each other in an end to end orientation making sure that the wrap is tight and that the ends are not sticking up.


Brush a small amount of flux on all surfaces of the exposed wires to clean and facilitate solder flow.


Tin the connection making sure that the solder is smooth and even with no globules.


Slide a three inch length of heat shrink tubing over the solder joint, through the hole in the motor housing, and all the way to the windings in the armature.


It should look like this.  Then shrink it with a heat gun.


Note that the heat shrink tubing runs all the way to the armature windings.


Cut a couple of 2 inch lengths of a slightly larger diameter heat shrink tubing and run it over the first installation of heat shrink and all the way to the armature windings.


Cut a couple of 1 1/2 inch lengths of a slightly larger diameter heat shrink tubing and run it over the first two installations of heat shrink and all the way to the armature windings.  Use a heat gun and shrink them.  The goal with the multiple layers of heat shrink is to protect the wire from the edge of the hole in the motor housing and to protect the wire in its most vulnerable area.

Okay... the motor wiring is done!!!


Take some alcohol on a q-tip and clean up the grease tube ports.  Be careful not to get any alcohol on the paint.


Clean any remaining grease from the interior of the grease tubes with a q-tip.


This is what he springs and wicks looked like before going into the Dawn bath.


And after the Dawn bath.


Cut the new felt into one inch lengths and screw them into the larger end of the spring leaving about 1/4" of the felt exposed.  This is the same felt I use for the Singer 15-91.  You can use thinner felt the same as the original, but I didn't see any reason to buy additional felt since I had this on hand.


Pack the grease tubes with Singer sewing machine grease or 100% vaseline. Screw the tubes back into the motor.


Dry fit the motor to the base and determine how long the wires will need to be to nest into the junction bay while not pinching any of the wires.


Strip the wires and make the connections.  It does not matter which motor wire connects to which cord wire.


Seat the motor in the base and run the screw back up into the nut at the bottom of the securing ring.


Take a moment to clean the commutator by lightly holding a piece of 600 wet/dry sandpaper against its copper surface while hand turning the drive disk on the other end of the motor.


Take the cleaned brushes and securing thumb nuts and place them back into the appropriate side of the motor as noted by the drawing earlier in the process.


Note the curvature on the end of brush.  It conforms to the curvature of the commutator.  After installing each brush, turn the drive disk away from you.  If you hear any clicking, remove the brush, flip it over, and reinsert.  That should take care of the click.  We are trying to get them back the way they have been run for the past 60 or so years.


There it is.  I took the opportunity to clean all of the parts as I went through the process.


Plug the motor into the foot controller and test the unit.  If all is well, it is time to reinstall the sewing machine to the base.

Next... I'll rewire the foot controller... what a mess!


Hope this helps,
Michael

Disclaimer:
Don't attempt the techniques explained in this article if you don't have electrical experience or are not certified in electronics.  Doing so may result in electrical shock and/or death.  If you decide to act on these techniques, you are doing so at your own risk.  It is recommended to have your work checked by a licensed electrician or certified electronics expert.