Monday, June 16, 2014

Sharp tool!

My KH-864 carriage must have been damaged in transit (or maybe while packing it) last time I took it out for a demonstration.  When I was running the needles across the bed, they made a "clacking" sound when needles were in upper working position.  If I put the needles in hold, the carriage would not pass in one direction only.   Or maybe I got some yarn caught and pulled something out of place.

Fearing a large repair bill and a long wait time, I decided to see if it was something I could figure out myself.  The KH-864 is a punchcard machine, so there are no electronics to damage, everything is mechanical.

I took the sinker plate assembly off, and the carriage worked beautifully without it.  No interference with any of the needles. 

Just to be sure, I took the needles out of hold (I can learn, even at my advanced age!) and pulled out the sponge bar.  I would say that I need a new sponge bar but I do not think that is the source of my problem.

Since I had just done a plating swatch on the KH-930 upstairs, I had recent experience with removing the yarn feeder assembly.  So after an aimless wandering around the basement looking for a screwdriver, I finally found the ribber spanner from the KH-230 in a tool box.  I removed the yarn feeder assembly and reinstalled the sinker plate assembly.  The problem was not with the yarn feeder assembly, it stayed with the re-assembled carriage.  Removing the sinker plate again, and spying up inside the mechanism, I saw that a piece of spring steel seemed to hang down a little more on one side than the other.  Using the handle of my Jolie Unicorn, I was successfully able to bend it back up into the normal place. 

Voila! the carriage now runs smoothly in both directions.

The TGKA project took a large chunk out of my weekend.  I got swatches 5-10 done and started #11 with the KH-864.  

I decided to use some of the yarn from my newly acquired, inherited stash.  There were a couple of cones of shiny mercerized pastel cotton.  I tried a few times to make it work, but the stitches kept jumping off the needles.  My guess is these two cones will have to be knitted on the bulky or at least the mid-gauge. 

Next I found an unlabeled cone that might be a hard wool, probably purchased for a warp yarn, from my weaving friend, the lady in Columbus who sold me the loom bench. 

It was kind of hard to use also.  Again the Jolie Unicorn came in handy,
because even though the fibers of the wool wanted to felt together for this hand-manipulated swatch, the pointed tip of the tool was very helpful to get into the middle of the stich and pry it back open again.  If you see any of these tools offered for sale, be sure to get one for yourself.  I have one in the "bulky" size and one in standard gauge.

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