NB. This post will only be of interest to knit machine owners, but I thought I’d put it here in case someone else has a Knitmaster 120 and is tearing their hair out…
Social Fabric recently invested in a knitting machine – a second-hand Empisal Knitmaster 120 Chunky, which was in pretty good shape but had a predictably disintegrated sponge-bar. Given my…ahem…encyclopaedic knowledge and wealth of experience…I was asked to try to fix it.
This machine has a particularly narrow sponge-bar that is no longer manufactured by Knitmaster, and, as far as I’m aware, no-one produces DIY sponge replacement kits for this model either. The only other option was to use spongy insulation tape (or weather stripping, available in most DIY shops) to replace the original sponge, and find a way of cutting it down the middle to make it narrow enough to fit.
Unfortunately, once the old sponge had been cleaned off I realised there was just no way I would be able to cut and fit a length of sponge into a 3mm wide channel. A botch job was required!
After a bit of a brainwave, I decided to flip the metal bar upside down, and stick the insulation sponge down along the length of the underneath of the metal bar. I then used a rotary cutter to trim off the excess sponge at the sides, by running it along the bar, flush to the metal. I secured the sponge at each end of the bar with sticky tape, and left the plastic backing on the top of the sponge layer to protect the machine needles (the insulation tape I used was sticky on both sides).
I seem to have gotten away with it, because when I put the bar back in the machine it worked perfectly! Obviously, insulation tape isn’t designed to work in a knitting machine, so I have no idea how it will stand up to regular wear, but it would be pretty easy to replace again if it disintegrates.
So there you have it, a simple solution to an annoying problem!
If you want more detail about fixing sponge-bar trouble, you can find it in this post.