Part two of incorporating the old Bond involved me fixing things on the old bed, and a revelation regarding wax.
First up was the sticker strip marking out the needles. Using Illustrator, I recreated the strip and printed it on sticky-backed paper. But this wouldn’t stick. A previous owner had waxed just about everything on the machine. So I removed all the needles and put the bed in the bath to give it a good scrub with soap and hot water. It helped, but the strip still didn’t stick very well. It still lifted off in places. I needed another solution.
But then I began to wonder if I should bother with a strip at all. The boxes of the sticker strip align with the gaps between the needles, not the needles themselves, and I find at times I can’t remember if a box is supposed to represent the left or right needle. A mark that was in line with the needles would be better. Looking closer, I saw that the carriage and needles don’t rub the back edge, behind the needles. And, of course, either side of the channel at the wider, front part.
So I bought some fleuro yellow nailpolish and, at every fifth needle, marked both places. I don’t know how well this will wear, but it’ll be easy to replace.
Next I dealt with the sponge bar problem mentioned in my last post. The solutions I’d come up with was to buy some foam draft strip and cut the foam away where the strip would cross the bridge between bed sections.
However, the plastic bars that hold the needles and sponge bar down crushed and broke the draft strip backing at the bridge, so I still had the problem of the first needle in each section being too loose. The rest of the needles now moved with about the same freedom as the ones on the new style bed, so at least that was an improvement.
The only solution I could think of for these loose end needles was to cut a very thin sliver of the draft strip and stick it along the needle channel, under the needle. This holds the needle up a little, but the carriage still works and I was able to knit without any problems.
Having already drilled into the old bed, I must admit I’m tempted to get a grinder and remove the bridges between each section so a sponge bar can be laid across the whole thing. But it seems a bit too risky. One mistake and the whole bed could be ruined.
These last weeks of Bond knitting I’ve been looking at the Ravelry “Bonders” forum more often, and someone mentioned Cheryl Brunette’s tutorials over on YouTube and that she talks about where you’re supposed to apply the wax. Turns out I was right: it’s impossible to wax the keyplates properly with the chunky ring of wax that comes with the machine.
She suggests a few alternatives, one which I had on hand: some old partly used birthday cake candles. Once I’d waxed the right surfaces of the keyplates they ran smoother and quieter.
So now MEGABOND has wax where it’s supposed to go, and less where it’s not. The needles aren’t too lose or tight and every fifth one is marked. All I needed now was a way to store and carry it…