DBLOCK's project thread
OK - High level plan - make some hammocks.
Found me a machine at Goodwill: Kenmore 385.1278180. It looks pristine and operates quietly. Missing the shuttle so I can't verify if it actually sews though. One on order for $13 from Searsparts and 7 day return policy... I think I got a killer deal on a basic machine. First project is to dismantle it and clean/lube everything. Thank God for YouTube! Hmm - debates abound over oscillating vs rotating shuttles - I guess I'll have to read up a little.
I found a 36" bolt of nylon for $1/yd so will be starting with some bags for practice. BTW, I haven't sewed since Home Ec. way back when. Wish me luck...
Found the fabric I want to use for my first project, Amsteel, and rings at DIY Gear Supply. I'm going with the 1.4 OZ Ripstop 2nds (7yds). Enough 7/64 amsteel to make a couple whoopie slings, and I'm also adding descender rings on each end for flexability for the time being. If this project works out, I think I may try the taffeta tablecloth as it sounds like it's already hemmed.
Found some load rated tubular webbing at REI
I am focussed on outfitting the crew for an excursion next summer. I figure this will get us all involved to some degree and give us something to look forward to.
This should be a short YouTube link of the new machine after cleaning...
Sounds like you've got a plan! Good luck with everything, and let us know how it turns out!
As far as the webbing, if you haven't already ordered, I'd skip the nylon webbing. Nylon stretches under load, which is wonderful for climbing (it means that it acts as a shock absorber during fall arrests) but terrible for hammocking (it means you can wind up on the ground due to the stretch overnight). Look at DIY Gear Supply's poly webbing; it'll work just fine for this application.
Hope it helps!
Thanks for the info on the webbing - I thought the REI webbing was the stuff I should get - I'll look at the DIY website...
I searched youtube for "how to clean a sewing machine" and settled on the following video which also covers oiling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AYV3hbqF4U
I'm still waiting for the shuttle hook to arrive - thumbs down for searspartsdirect customer support on this issue.
BTW here's how to time a Kenmore: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymJN-mnqQVM
My oldest daughter is eyeing this machine to make her prom dress. Am I gonna have to keep it in a locked room?
I have that exact machine dblock. I found mine at a local store for $12. It works great. You should be happy with it if you get it working when the new part arrives! Thanks for the youtube links. I'm sure I can use them for mine.
I finally got the shuttle hook and installed it and checked the orientation between it and the needle (aka the timing). It looks good but what do I know?
Got her threaded and ready to practice on some Walmart $1 remnants. Actually 13 yards of 36" wide black nylon that will be perfect for stuff sacks and whatever else I can dream up. They had some nice ripstop as well as a coated nylon ream too. A guy could go overboard before actually figuring out how to do this if he's not careful.
Hint: BTW - It seems my local Walmart "$1 Bins" are actually situated at the end of the fabric row. I say this because I've seen many comment that their store doesn't have these "bins". Great deals can still be had. Just look a little closer... I've also noted that not all of the local stores actually carry fabric.
Ha! I just found a "how it works" video on my style machine - with a reciprocating shuttle:
OK. Shuttle received, installed, bobbin wound, thread - threaded... and away we go... NOT.
Threading this machine turned into a 2 hour chase my tail. I was able to progress the needle one stitch, and then everything bound. Maddening! Oh yeah - bypass the bobbin tensioner and go through the little arm going up and down... Now we're in business!
I cut 2 strips off my practice nylon. one was intended to simply be different strips of stitches but this thing went so relatively well that it became a stake bag or something similar. The next section was practice hemming an eventually became a bag that will hang on one end of the hammock. I left a hole so I could run the hammock through. I left a hem on the opposite end so I could close the bag after stuffing everything inside.
Uh - none of my seams were very straight yet. I also buggered up the thread in between seams a couple times. Oh well. This will all iron out.
Finally, I sewed loops into one end of my tree straps. these straps are 10' long - mostly because I've noticed larger trees where I've been wanting to hang here in the PNW... I used 2 different loop designs so I could experiment and see which was the better setup. Each was fastened using 4 "bars" of stitches.
I hung the hammock using the new straps and am thinking about sleeping outside tonight to see how it holds. My 10 minute test hang was fine, but I did notice my hammock stitch length is a bit longer than what I just sewed. Little corrections here and there.
Life is good. I'm thinking a couple more small projects and then hem up a hammock!