Thursday, November 7, 2013

Champion 77 Whirl Replacement

I decided to replace the Whirl and Pinion today. Following the instructions in the manual of course but because the machine was already stitching very well I took careful note of the small hole location before I removed it, and that was a good decision.

The cover piece S-503 has some serious wear on the underside but I am going to keep it as is for a while.

FYI, on the left of the picture below is my standard way of repairing nicked screws; its an extremely fine 1/4" square file. Here is the trick to not nicking the screws on an old machine; you must push harder down onto the screw than you are forcing the turn. Sounds simple but the more stuck the screw is the more down force you must apply, any way you can find to push down on the screw VERY hard while turning is going to improve your chances of not slipping. 

The new Pinion & Whirl, pretty expensive at around $45 each.

The new Pinion was longer than the old one and so the adjustment instructions in the manual worked very well. There is a screw in the middle of the upper gear that moves the pinion up and down; if it is too far up the cover piece will not seat down and forcing it binds up the whole system; you can feel that the horn won't rotate due to the binding or trys to turn around while stitching.

The alignment of the head is easily done by aligning the marks on the main shaft, this is about half way around the cycle.

 It turns out that aligning the whirl to the mark on the horn head S-502 was 180 deg. from where the old one had been. When I tried the machine after assembly it did not stitch at all so I reset the whirl back to where it was originally was and all is fine. More experimentation to come.

Good stitching, I tried a nice groove on the top and it really compresses the two threads together making a very nice looking stitch.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Champion 77: Some Patents

Fascinated by the old machines and while trying to date my 77 I came across these patents.

Although they may never match a production machine exactly patents are good for setting a timeline and more interestingly establishing the intenet of the design.

The needle and shuttle mechanism

After working with the machine for a while it is really just the head that is doing everything, the horn is mostly along for the ride.

This one shows the outline of the shoe insito.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Champion 77: Rewire on - off switch and add work light

I didn't care for the look or the location of the on - off switch, also I wanted to wire a work light on to the side.

I used the two 5/16 - 18 threaded holes on the right under the tray and placed an outdoor style electrical box with a combination switch / outlet device.

The low location for the switch box is fine for reach and leaves the side free of the modern world intrusion of electrical.

Having said that, I for one much prefer small lighting especially LED lighting. I chose a simple LED lamp from Lowe's and carefully modified it so that it fit directly into what I assume to be the lamp mounting hole on the upper right.

Champion 77: Wax wheel rebuild

When I started into the details of cleaning I discovered the awful truth about the wax pot; it looked like it had not been cleaned or filled in years, but worse of all was the broken and missing wax wheel. Sorry don't have a picture of the broken bit.

So when I opened the wax pot it had a rusty mix of glop and without the wax wheel the thread was missing the mess altogether.

I have to admit that I have garnered more useful information from this one video from Graham's Shoe Service thanks so much for that!

The lid casting had one whole side and half of the other side of the wheel casting broken. Fortunately there was just enough of one side pin hole for me to make a drawing of the original part and design the replacement part.

I made a nylon wheel that runs free; I know that the machine stitches fine without a wheel but I'm trying to get back to the original intent of the designers that's all.

Also the wheel on the inside of the horn was frozen solid and took some time to remove and reinstall.

Again, the machine ran fine without either of the aforementioned wheels turning but I would rather use the tension knob to adjust rather than leave it to other parts.

Champion 77: Serial number?

My machine has a number stamped on the left side of the head main casting... I'm wondering if the this is any sort of numerical order?

So this one has A103 stamped into the casting, any other numbers out there?

If anyone knows of a catalog or historical record of these machines please share.

There are red and green Champions out there, I'm thinking that the red ones are earlier and the greens are from the Landis period? Any ideas?

Here is another machine @ O2415

Champion 77 Stitcher: clean - up

I wrestled with this purchase for a while; it's always hard to balance need, want, and access.

1st I needed an insole stitcher so I can take my men's sandals to the next level. What I really wanted was a lock-stitch machine but  they are just too expensive. But then I was lucky that the "Lucky 7" shoe repair shop was selling out machines near by.

Petar was gracious to give me a demo on it. She's a big old piece of cast iron, may be 70 to 100 years old, I'm still looking for more in depth info on when they were manufactured. Probably weighs in around 300 lbs but the guys at Grosse Pointe Moving and Storage handled it well.

So far I'm very happy with it having the fun of cleaning, polishing, adjusting, and figuring out what does what and why. 

It's a chain-stitch machine but depending on the project and how you design your works it is just as sound of a stitch as the lock-stitch, its just not what you would use on a Goodyear welt.

I have learned a lot about these machines and am looking forward to doing more than just practice stitches with it. 
It's certainly not a "point and shoot" machine you are really just stitching one stitch at a time, you watch very closely as each stitch is completed and go to the next; that's OK because there is no hurry to screw things up.