Thursday, November 19, 2009

Racing Season is Over, Now We Get Busy

I had already forgotten about my post a month or so ago about buying the Big Bad Barudan and the bus remodel. We've had a lot going on since then three events and the end-of-season inventory and clean-up for our NHRA trailer.

It was nearly a MONTH before we got to try out the Big Bad Barudan! Of course by then my memory on exactly how the machine worked was not all that great. Of course it isn't easy to distract me…nope, not at all. Luckily I can work from written instructions. Give me a user manual and even if there are errors, sooner or later I will figure it out. This time was no exception. However, it probably took me an hour to thread two colors of thread into the machine. Once it was done, it was done right and I haven't had to mess with that since.

The very first files I stitched out were very successful. A horeshoe looking thing, and a wing. That was all I was able to do at the time. Now another couple of weeks have gone by and we made another attempt. All went well until the bobbin thread ran out. Instead of just stopping, changing the bobbin and resuming, I tried to back up to where I left off using the command keypad. Somewhere in that process I really screwed up because I resumed sewing and the needle went straight over and embedded the needle between the two sections of my hoop. Pretty lucky, because if it had hit the hoop it would probably have messed up the machine! Oh, and I also broke the needle. That was enough of that.

Didn't have extra needles so I got online and found a shop about 4 miles down the road in San Dimas, CA, that sold needles, thread, and the like for industrial machines. I bought a pack of 100 needles (hopefully I will never need that many).

I didn't continue my efforts until hours later. I put a new needle in the machine and tried to find the starting point of the original patter once again. A few tweaks and I got pretty close to spot on. Then I needed to advance thousands of stitches to where I left off or sew the whole damn thing again. Again, got pretty close to right on and started the machine and it went for a coupe minutes, then Big Al noticed that the needle had fallen out so the machine was really sewing nothing.

Grrr. it's dark, I'm sewing with black thread on a black background. The room is dimly lit and I keep having to rethread the needle, not to mention putting it back in AND making sure the right side was facing forward, again, a very difficult thing to see in the near dark. But after that little repair we were on a roll…for a little while.

The machine beeped and slow down. I figured it was time for a color change. It was supposed to change to white, but it didn't. I was in pushing buttons and whatnot and probably told it to change to black instead of white. Not that black-on-black doesn't look cool, and it really does, but the machine wasn't doing what I thought I told it to do. The status indicator didn't say it was time for a color change anyway.

Then, I probably, accidentally programmed in some stop-and-cuts because the machine would sew three stitches, stop, cut the thread, sew, stop, cut (needle comes unthreaded, rethread needle), sew, stop, cut, sew, stop (needle comes unthreaded, rethread), sew…

"This is stupid", I thought. I'll just advance forward to the next color change. So I started pushing buttons again, and in the process got the pattern all out of alignment somehow. It would be nearly impossible to back up where I left off at this point. I now have black-on-black, can't see a damn thing, I'm frustrated, tired and Big Al wants me to give up on that bit and start another one. NO WAY, I need to learn how to manipulate the machine to make it do what I want. I did it before, I'll do it again, I tell ya!

I'll try again tomorrow.

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