Friday, April 22, 2016

School Days

It's always fun to be doing an activity you love and this time of sewing machine repair school is just that: FUN! Ray White is a serious guy but he can still make our class enjoyable as he weaves stories into the facts to help make it stick in our memories. We started out our first day with a bit of show and tell of all the tools of the trade and items we might consider for purchase, some from Ray and some through various distributors. I'm in class with six men and one other woman, Melinda, and half of the men are actually working on industrial sewing machines when they head home. The men add information about tools and where you can get a good deal on a vibrating tumbler (Harbor Freight) but most of us are on equal playing ground.

As we go through the various parts of a sewing machine and how things should be and how to make adjustments, each of us is sitting in front of a sewing machine we brought or one Ray provides (yup, the industrial students don't have personal sewing machines) and we apply this knowledge to ours. Ray then comes around and points out how an adjustment can be made on each of them since we all have slightly different models. Here's Ray looking at my Kenmore 158-13160 and the feed dog timing:

Points for adjusting the feed dog timing

Ray shows other adjustments on my machine
Looking on as Joe has his borrowed Elna Lotus analyzed
As if this wasn't enough, we have our lunch catered by a restaurant that is right in front of the motel where many of us are staying and so far we have had pulled pork sandwiches and fried catfish sandwiches. Hot coffee and iced tea are always ready and bottled water with breaks in the mornings and afternoons to give us time to stretch our legs. But you have to see where we get to sit all day:
Front of the room where Ray is at his desk

Wall behind me, full of Elna sewing machines
Can you believe it? It's all I can do to keep my eyes on Ray and not look longingly at the sewing machines behind him. But in an effort to keep things lively, Ray has a giant needle, maybe 20" long, that he got from Schmetz, the German needle company that he uses to demonstrate how the needle and thread actually make stitches. He also has a nifty board to illustrate how hook timing works:
Is that hook just a little shy of the needle?
 Tonight before two of the men left for a tee time (it's about 75 degrees here today) Ray said we were moving along at such a good pace that tomorrow we will be done well before noon so we have the rest of the day to work on our own project machines so we can troubleshoot using his help to repair. Hot diggity dog: this is why I came! His expertise is great and we are still having fun. As Melinda and I were riding back together she said "I think we have a really good class" and I would have to agree.


Thin Man Sewing said...

Wow! Looks like lots of fun!

Anonymous said...

Karen! So glad you attended the class! looks like you sat in the same place I did. Fun!