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.