To the workshop!10 July, 2013
But then, disaster struck: the machine was accidentally knocked over one night and two crucial bits of plastic snapped off. These two white ‘thumbscrews’ hold the carriage together for knitting, but let you easily disassemble it to remove the all-too-common wool tangles.
Fix attempt #1: a collection of washers and nuts. Did the job, just about, but was a real pain to undo and redo every time.
Fix attempt #2: sometimes polymorph can remedy situations like this because of its ability to mould to screw threads, but in this case it just got stuck in the crevices of the machine and had to be melted back out with a hairdryer.
Fix attempt #3: to the workshop!
I found a piece of metal in the “teach people to weld” heap of scraps.
Having cut a short piece off, the next step was to drill a hole into it. I had trouble drilling the hole central and straight, but Paul showed me a nice trick: stick the metal cylinder into the chuck as if it were a drill bit, then lower it into a vice, secure it, and release it from the chuck.
Nice and central, and ready for drilling.
The hole needed a thread. TOG only has metric tap sets, and I’d expected the knitting machine to use imperial screw threads because of its age. To my surprise, the thread was metric. Paul thinks it was made in Japan where they’ve been using metric much longer.
Turn, turn back. Turn, turn back. Turn, turn back. Snap the tap off in the hole, order a new one on eBay, cut a new length of metal and start again. Turn, turn back, turn, turn back…
Finally the thread was cut. The end now had to be shaped to fit the carriage. This would have been much neater in a lathe, but we don’t have one. A file did the job instead.
Finished! The second one was much quicker to make, and the knitting machine is now back in action. I consider this a small victory against the tyranny of tiny broken pieces of plastic.
Although, maybe they should be painted a nice 70′s off-white to match the rest of it…