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Knee Pedals
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Date: 6/1/14 1:04 PM

Can someone explain how these work and how do you know if your sewing machine can use a knee pedal?

Thanks.

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Date: 6/1/14 1:37 PM

Good question. The last time I saw a knee pedal was in the late 1950s on my Mom's singer cabinet.
That kind of makes me think it's more a feature of the cabinet as opposed to the machine. How the two inter-connect? I've no idea.
We know that someone out there knows all about this subject!

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Date: 6/1/14 1:51 PM

Mount the foot pedal inside your table where your knee can operate it and you have a knee pedal. That's all it was. I learned to sew on a machine with the knee pedal wired through the cabinet to the machine - otherwise we could have put that pedal on the floor - I don't know what or why knee pedals were about, but it was fun when I got a knee lift machine a couple years ago because I expected the lift to operate the machine at first.....old habit...really OLD habits.... :biggrin:
-- Edited on 6/1/14 1:55 PM --

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Date: 6/1/14 1:58 PM

I have an old White straight stitch sewing machine in a cabinet with a knee controller. I loved the knee controller, and found it a little difficult getting used to the foot operated pedal when I bought a new machine (years ago). Not positive, but I think it's possible to take a (floor) pedal and attach it to the side of any cabinet your machine sits in. It would take some figuring out, but I think it can be accomplished. At least, that's what I was told a long time ago.

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Date: 6/1/14 2:10 PM

Quote: Mufffet
Mount the foot pedal inside your table where your knee can operate it and you have a knee pedal.
........

This is so simple, it's brilliant! Makes me feel a little dumb for not knowing it.

I feel like I asked this question before, but I didn't remember the answer. hmmm

My old school (aka vintage) sewing machines have the foot pedal connected to the power plug, so in reality you would have to purchase/find/get/steal a power source with a knee pedal connected? Then just mount that to the table.

So, new machines with the presser foot lift are very different than this. How are they connected? A plug into the machine somewhere?

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Date: 6/1/14 2:21 PM

As far as I know, it's not as simple as attaching your foot pedal to the side of the machine's cabinet. There's a bar (for lack of what's it's really called) that attaches to the foot pedal that protrudes out quite a few inches from the pedal itself making it easy to operate. It also allows you to continue sitting directly in front of your needle. I guess one could use a very thick piece of wood attached to the cabinet, then attach the foot pedal to that. Otherwise, one would have to move their chair over to the right (if operating pedal on right side) to be able to push comfortably with their knee.

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Date: 6/1/14 2:22 PM

Hahaha! I know. It would look pretty silly wouldn't it?

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Date: 6/1/14 2:38 PM

Found some pics, but none look exactly like mine. Anyway, you can get an idea of what they look like, and how they work. Click here.

beauturbo
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Date: 6/1/14 3:38 PM

It depends on what you got, and what you want your knee control to do. Some old sewing machines actually have the knee control for driving the machine and making it go, going into the machine. You would know that if you had one, as you would have no foot control and a place in the metal of the machine to put the knee control into instead.

I think most new home machines, the knee control just lifts the pressure foot of the machine instead. So does not control the machine actually running and turning at all though.

If I had something like a Singer 20U machine and I wanted to use it for embroidery, then I would even have a choice on what I wanted the knee control to do, and for me I would actually pick and make that , so it controlled the bight and width of the zig zag in the machine instead, just since that is what I would want there, more for embroidery.

But if you have some old cast iron machine, with actual post holes in the back of the machine bed, that uses a foot control to make the machine turn and run, you still could use a knee control for that pretty easy. Just by even using an old sewing cabinet that had posts to hold the machine in in it and had a on purpose there, knee control metal swing down bar built into it even. Just because some of those are made that way on purpose with a place behind the front of the old cabinets where you can tuck your real foot control into. In that case the knee control is not wired up electrical to anything at all. Just a loose piece of metal attached to the cabinet a machine might be put into. Instead when your knee presses on it, part of it (the knee control) just touches the real foot control tucked up in there instead, just like your foot would, if it was on the ground instead. I don't know all the ones that might be like that, but a lot of older wood Necchi sewing machine cabinets are actually like that sometimes.

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Date: 6/2/14 7:42 AM

Great memories of using moms singer 301 knee pedal.
When I had custom desks made a few years back I had DH screw my knee pedals to the side. It works fine for standard size machines but tge oversize TOLs do put you a bit too far away from the needle area.

Since moved and a different setup back to foot pedals. I like standing up to sew. Pushing on a foot pedal gets tiring. Another thing I like about the old singers was being able to tap the foot pedal with my toe. It doesn't lock my whole leg into a position like with an angled foot pedal.

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