Monday, March 03, 2014

Consumer Alert & Supermatic Update

Last week, Kathie was working up a notions order from her distributor and asked me if there was anything I wanted.  Strolling through the pages, I saw a neat-looking product called a Needle Grabber.

  The theory is that you can push down the plunger and a "U"-shaped metal hook emerges.  You grasp a sewing machine needle in the hook of the tool and release the plunger and the needle is now held securely in the tool and it will be easier to insert in the needle clamp of the sewing machine.  Once the needle is installed, you push down the plunger again to release the needle.  I could not order just one to examine, the minimum quantity I could order was three, so I ordered three.

  When they arrived, I took one out of the package for a look-see.  The third time I pushed the plunger, the metal hook broke off, the plunger fell out and the spring shot across the room.

  No way can I sell these, If you want one for yourself, order some needles from my Etsy shop and specify that you want a Needle Grabber and I will include it in the next two buyers' packages free of charge. Just be aware that you have been informed of the inherent dangers and that wearing eye protection when using would be advisable.


  I am not happy with this machine. It is fussy about the material I try to sew, the stitches are too short for many of the things I sew, the friction wheel drive slips, and the knee lever speed control is too sensitive - I am constantly bumping it and running the machine without fabric under the foot. Anyone who sews knows what happens then, the needle thread gets caught around the hook and has to be worked out. The stitch and friction wheel issues might be correctable but I don't see any way to overcome the kneebar problem.

  I have never done this before to a complete machine in good cosmetic condition but I am going to part this one out and sell the pieces in order to recoup my investment and free up space in my sewing room.

  If you need any parts from a tan Supermatic, email me at my gmail address OldSewingMachines.  



JustGail said...

These clips are easily repaired - simply put back together and use a needlenose pliers to bend another hook. I'd suggest using a round-nose plier so it's a gentler curve on the bend. We use this type of clip on electronics test leads.

How well did the clip work until it broke? I have a plastic holder (need to insert the needle through a hole), I'm wondering if the clip had any advantages.

Ed Lamoureux said...

It might be possible to repair the clip but a) the metal is flat and very thin, I don't believe it would hold a bend for long. It would be better if it were round and thicker like the leads on a resistor. And b) should I have to repair a product I have only owned for two minutes? I pushed the plunger three times and it broke. I can't say how well it works holding a needle because it didn't last long enough to put a needle in. - Ed

JustGail said...

It sounds like a case of make it cheap quality and charge the same (or more) since it's for sewing! Maybe the clips we use at work have sturdier metal parts, but then, I haven't gotten any clips recently, maybe they're all flimsey now.

JustGail said...

I forgot to ask a question about Necchi Supernova Ultra machines. I *think* I'm going to get Mom's machine. I don't think it's been used in at least a year, probably more like 2 years. I know I've read on your posts, that they are very close tolerances and oiling is critical. So that will be the first thing I do, besides check for lint in the bobbin area. Is there anything else I should check before giving it a run, like the crumbling insulation on the wiring that old Singer machines usually seem to have?