Knitting Machine - Avoiding A Major Problem Before it Occurs - Worn Needle Channels

Knitting Machine Lubrication Knitting Machine Problem FAQ Knitting Machine Tips By Judy Knitting Machine Troubleshooting

One of the biggest and most frustrating problems a machine knitter can face is that of a worn or damaged needle channel. A worn or damaged channel can be seen as a small nick or gouge on the side of the needle channel, but more often it is not noticed at all until your knitting machine starts jamming regularly. Even slight wear or gouge will cause the needle to be jammed as it is trying to move on the bed. It can bring the carriage to a sudden and complete stop. In other words, the carriage jams. The cause of a bad needle channel is simple - cleanliness and no lubrication.  Without lubrication or if there is lint or yarn build up in the channel, it actually acts just like a grinding compound. As the needle moves in the channel it prematurely wears the channel and is  met with enough resistance that it starts having difficulty moving across the needle bed. The carriage simply tries to run over the needle and the channel wears. This creates high wear in the needle channel. The things the knitter also needs to be aware of is that  if your tension is set too tight or if you use poor quality yarn, you may have a situation where, besides the high wear factor of the channel, you may notice the antenna can whip down and hit the front of the needle bed. This can cause the yarn flow to stop as it moves through the carriage. Without yarn flow, the momentum of the carriage simply stops. A tip that will ease this situation is regularly cleaning of the sponge bar channel and oiling of the needles. Using knitting machine oil, put a small drop in the top of each needle and let it slide back and forth through the channel. Be careful not to use too much oil, a little bit can go a long way and too much oil will be carried onto your knitted piece.  


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