Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Little Maintenance Goes a Long Way

As with any learning curve there can be a lot of “oopsies” along the way. Now that I finally got a fairly complex job to run beautifully, it's time to make the stitches even better. I have driven the needle into the hoop a few times as well as run the foot into the side of the hoop. This can wreak havoc on the fine adjustments to the machine at best!

So into the Big Bad Barudan I went. I now know which covers I can remove to do what is necessary—thankfully I don't have to do that very often! It takes three sizes of hex keys (Allen wrenches), a Phillips screwdriver, and two sizes of standard slot screwdrivers to do everything I need to do. A flashlight and a friend were listed as “optional”.

The picture shows the inside guts of the machine where the needle bars live. The needle depth adjustment was really off and to set that correctly there are two screws that need to be loosened to make and adjustment of about 2 millimeters! I just made sure to crank them down really good when I was done so it wouldn't come loose again. On many machines each needle has to be adjusted individually. I have 15 needles, I think I would still be adjusting them right now! Luckily, Barudan has a single adjustment that takes care of all of the needles with just those two screws.

That isn't cream cheese frosting up there behind the take-up levers. That's some kind of Teflon or silicone lubricant. Or maybe it's cream cheese frosting. I'm not going to taste it, let alone touch it!

Next was adjusting the hook timing underneath which went pretty well considering that I had to manually move the needle up and down by pushing the pulley belt located at the back of the machine! I could not have pulled this off (pun intended) if I didn't have long arms. I had to work the belt at the back while leaning to the front to watch the needle and hook assembly. I guess this is where the optional “friend” comes in to help—and hold the “optional” flashlight! I can tell you, the friend part was “optional” but the flashlight part was not.

I haven't turned the machine on yet to see if what I did helped. If nothing else, the learning curve flattened out a little bit more!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Little Bit Naughty—But VERY Nice!

A custom piece that I stitched today. Of course BigAl created the art and the digital file, I made the magic happen on the embroidery machine. It turned out way better than expected. Usually we have to make some color change somewhere because it turned out to be lighter, darker, or a different tone than anticipated. This went well, very well. A minor easily-fixed file glitch that was all. Was it easy to do? Nope, but if it were easy everyone would be doing it. Enjoy!