He ain’t heavy, he’s my Brother – well, it is quite heavy and it isn’t mine so…
Last week (or about a thousand years ago if you are an archaeologist and have discovered and managed to figure out how to read the hard drive in the WordPress server), the Snail returned from a friend’s with a broken sewing machine. This is a slight role reversal (I have been known to return from friends with all sorts of scrap with a capital “C”), although this sewing machine did basically work, bar for one tiny annoying thing – the feeder dog* wouldn’t lift up properly. It sounded as if a bit had come loose or fallen off, so I decided that acquiring a service manual for the machine would be a good first step.
Well, it turns out, that Brother no longer appear to supply the service manual, not even as a download. There are sites that sell them for this machine, but they don’t actually have any (which is odd as some claimed it to available as a PDF download). Weird – and not very #righttorepair friendly, either.
Time to figure out how to take the case off…
Only a few tools needed (!)
The base plate needed to be removed in order to unclip the plastic tag on the actual case without snapping it. The base plate was then held, completely in the way of everything else, by a couple of cables, only one of which could be removed without the aid of either a) a lot of luck or b) a service manual. D’oh! Two screws were cunningly hidden behind the carrying handle so were the last to be removed, once all other possibilities for why the casing still wouldn’t come off were exhausted. In fact, there weren’t too many screws to undo, although they required three different screwdriver heads – yes, you can remove all of them but what’s wrong with one type? Three of them (on the base plate) used a star-shaped screwdriver head and there is no reason I can see for that nonsense.
What’s needed to screw it up properly
The mechanism seemed to be that a spring pushes the plastic gizmo back in place once the feeder dog has been lowered. That spring now seems to have about as much energy as me after lunch, so once the dog is lowered, it can’t be raised again (again, a bit like me after lunch). The mechanism makes no sense to me, it doesn’t appear to be missing a part and nothing looks broken, but the raise/lower switch isn’t permanently attached to the rest of the mechanism (hence the assumption that the spring does all the work).
Spring has not sprung
So, what makes this a ScrapHappy post rather than a Mend It Monday missive? It turns out that the owner of this machine doesn’t want to be able to lower the feeder dog – indeed, this may well be what has caused the problem, as the spring has been held in the same position for many years. So, what we want to do is effectively disable the control that would knock the mechanism out of place. Easy! The fix comes in the guise of a piece of sheathing from a scrapped piece of mains cabling. The sheathing is easy to cut and, in such a short length, is not compressible at all. Perfect!
Now to fit the piece of sheathing into the mechanism…
In a jam (and not the yummy kind)
Eh, voila! Better put the machine back together again…
Everything seems to work, and they are no screws left so that’s a bonus. Hopefully the fix will remain in place for years to come.
* A thing that feeds the dog, er, fabric through. So I’m told…
Many other people contribute to Kate and Gun’s wonderful ScrapHappy every month – check out what they have been up to too!
Kate, Gun, Eva, Sue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Claire, Jean, Jon, Dawn, Jule,
Gwen, Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L,
Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, Edith, Debbierose and Esther