Twinsane’s Weblog

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Oh Brother

Posted by --- on Wednesday 22 January, 2014

So I finally found time last night to try to set up the Brother we fetched on friday. To be honest, looking at it properly in the light of my kitchen, I’m disappointed with how much it cost. I’m watching one on ebay at the moment that is closer, has the knit radar plus all the accessories and the ribber and it’s still less than I paid. I’ll try to remember to update with the final price.

Anyway, this machine… The listing said it had rusted on the catch that holds the cast on comb – which she pointed out when we arrived late on friday evening after our 4 hour drive. What she didn’t point out, and we were too busy chatting to look (stupid), is that it has also rusted the cast on comb, parts of the machine, and the needles. Non-plussed – I can rust treat it can’t i? – I began setting it up, following the manual (which is a black and white print out off the internet with pages upside down interspersed with those the right way up) I managed to get to page 13 where it tells you about the buttons on the carriage. I tried to press them in and the tuck and skip stitch buttons worked, but were stiff and sometimes wouldn’t stay in, but the centre fairisle and lace buttons wouldn’t press in at all. I managed to get in contact with the seller who was helpful on the phone and offered to repair it if I return it to her. We agreed to do that (she would refund the postage) but this morning she rang and suggested I mix methelated spirit (meths) with the machine oil that came with it and brush it over the cams to try to free it. I spent over an hour doing that without any effect. Then I searched the internet for a way to dismantle and clean it as I had done for the passap. The internet didn’t disappoint and sent me in the direction of the answer lady, Kathryn, and her husband, Jack. They have a video showing how to dismantle it. I then spent another hour trying to clean and free the buttons. In the end ES arrived and he had a go too. We managed to get it free and then I carried on scrubbing the meths mix over it while pressing the buttons. In the end after around 3 hours on and off of soaking, scrubbing, and pressing, the buttons were fairly free but still sticking occasionally so I decided to give it a bath in mystery oil (MMO) Jack had recommended in another video. The carriage is quite big and I struggled to find a container big enough and then the container I ended up with was so big i didn’t have enough MMO to bathe the carriage so had to keep scooping it over. I left it in the MMO for a couple of hours occasionally brushing it over the mechanism and pressing the buttons. It ended up that it was working most of the time but the buttons wouldn’t return to start position. I decided to drain it and dry it and send it to the seller to have a look. I cleaned the carriage off again with meth & oil mix and left it to dry off. Then I started putting it back together. It was then it hit me. The plastic buttons have a spring on (you know where I’m going with this…) which, when in place, put pressure against the carriage to assist the button to return to it’s starting position! I’ve reassembled the carriage and so far, fingers crossed, it seems to be working! As soon as it’s dried completely I’ll be giving it a whirl.

While I was doing all of this today, I got the KM out and was going to have a go on that. This also needs cleaning up. I’m not surprised as it’s been in the loft (in it’s case in bin liners) for a few years and I haven’t used it since I bought it. It also needs a sponge bar I think (novice talking…) because some of the needles are sitting low down at the butt (technical term 🙂 ) end and don’t have any “bounce” when you push on them so I’ve put it back in it’s case for now.

On a good note, the passap seller refunded me my money! That’s great. When DDI is at school full time I’m hoping to spend more time learning how to use it because at the moment, by the time she is in bed, I haven’t got much enthusiasm to go and start setting it up.

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