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Tiffany

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #1 
I give up. This is for a Willcox treadle base. I can't find any info on how to get a rubber ball replacement into or out of the large wheel guard on the treadle base.
I believe the old rubber ball is no longer in the wheel guard. I know a 3/4" super ball or neoprene ball is a good replacement.
How do you get that ball in the wheel guard? I'm stumped!!!
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Stacy

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Posts: 73
Reply with quote  #2 
"How do you get that ball in the wheel guard? "

 Dismount the wheel guard. It's attached by a large screw, going rightwards into the right leg brace.
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Tiffany

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you Stacy. Something so simple. LOL
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Stacy

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Reply with quote  #4 
Yes Tiffany, It Would be a head scratcher if there were no easy access...maybe we'd have to invent some kind of a 3/4" inflatable rubber ball, and inflate it in situ?? Thank goodness it was simple.

 On the other hand, some years ago, in the  middle of the night, I thought I'd see if I could inspect my nicely working W&G's needle bar. I wanted to see if I could remove its locating pin, (I 've heard that some folks have W&Gs which had the locating pin removed). I dove in, unscrewing parts without having a good grasp of how all the parts including needle bar interacted, so it's messed up for now. I hope someday I can find the time to figure out how to restore it back to working order, or someone who could do it for me. (I'm overwhelmed with other matters now which are not as much fun.)

Stacy
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pgf

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Posts: 1,135
Reply with quote  #5 
By the way, rubber balls are available from McMaster-Carr (for roughly $3.50, plus likely a similar amount of postage):
   https://www.mcmaster.com/1854t58 buna-n, $3.34

and also currently from Amazon, in a pack of 5, for about $13 (and prime, so no shipping):
   https://www.amazon.com/Neoprene-Durometer-Precision-Backing-Diameter/dp/B001TAZXDE

I haven't tested either one.  I don't need the ball that badly, and keep hoping to spot one in a kids gumball machine or something.  Sadly, the last local 5&10 store closed earlier this year.  :-)

paul

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My machines: http://projects.foxharp.net/sewing_machines/by-age
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kewpiefrog

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Reply with quote  #6 
I think I saw someone on one of the Facebook groups say that the balls in an older computer mouse will work. I have not tried it and don't have any of the old ones anymore. I don't think I've even seen them in the thrift stores for a long time. As for installing... Stacy's comment makes sense.

Liz
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Stacy

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Posts: 73
Reply with quote  #7 
Liz, I think it depends on how big the mouse balls are. Years ago, when in an old hardware shop, I ask the proprietor if he had old mouse balls... he did, but they weren't the right size. Some time ago, when I decided to reduce my exposure to EMF, I got an old wired mouse. I just took out its ball, and it's too big. The ball shouldn't be more than 3/4".

 Besides finally ordering a ball, one could whittle down a wine cork, or I suppose just build up a ball from rubber bands.

 Stacy
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JonesHand52

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Posts: 348
Reply with quote  #8 

Stopgap methods of making a Willcox & Gibbs rubber ball will work in a pinch, but in the long run it would bring more joy to pay the money, take the time and order a good reproduction or proper size replacement of the proper material. Restoring old machines should always be done as accurately as possible. We owe it to our descendants. 

As for that, my Willcox & Gibbs hand crank, British version, uses a 1/8" drive belt. I finally got one, but still need to fit it. Busy with more pressing projects at present. That size is also used as a short piece for the brake on the American Willcox & Gibbs hand crank machine. At present, both machines are making do with 3/16" belting, but it just doesn't look right. I'll make the swap soon and take care of both machines. 

- Bruce

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