Lube makes it all better

So...I bought a "WHITE MAGIC KNITTER" to replace the long lost "PHILDAR BIG PHIL" knitting frame. (They're identical but for colour and a difference of 15 extra needles on the frame). It's a great, simple knitting frame for doing intarsia and simple stockinette work: You lay the yarn yourself and run the carriage across, and it knits all the stitches. You can do the knitting in a 10th of the time...very handy for Kaffe Fasset designs. ANYHOO, I bought this supposedly "new old stock" machine off of e-bay a year ago, and managed to do a Christmas stocking on it, BARELY... The carriage wouldn't return to the right without A LOT OF EFFORT, and I'm a big, strong guy. I thought, "Great! That's about $150 pissed away..." I left it set up for no reason. Then yesterday, I thought... This thing is probably almost 20 years old, I wonder if it's EVER BEEN CLEANED? I put the micro tube attachment on my vacuum (what I use for my sewing machine and serger: an industrial straw taped to the narrow attachments: VERY POWERFUL FOCUSED SUCTION.) Then a damp rag, and finally...many, many applications of WD40. I ran each needle back and forth, and just as I had expected: There was some rust deep in the machine, which made some of the needles bind up, which is why the carriage wouldn't return nicely. 1/2 an hour of cleaning, and all the needles ran nicely and I was able to whip out a 2 large gauge samples for some future commissions in about 10 minutes. LET'S HAVE AN "AMEN" for proper lubrication!!!


stef's picture

AMEN for proper lubrication :-)

grandcarriage's picture

Now why should that, coming from you, make me blush?

Kerry's picture

I'm all for lots of lubrication, but would graphite have been better than WD40 which I would normally have used. I was going to use WD40 on a door lock last week when a locksmith advised against it saying that WD40 attracts dust (well in my house it would!!) and he recommended graphite.

grandcarriage's picture

I would think that graphite would eventually work it's way to the needle beds and tips, discoloring the yarn? Is there a clear graphite lubricant?

Kerry's picture

Sorry, can't help you with that Bob, but I assume graphite will always be the grey coloured powder. Now a clear grapite may have endless possibilities........

batsignal2000's picture

Okay, here is what I know about Lube... :)

WD40 was invented by NASA as an agent to keep water out of places that it didn't need to be. WD = Water Dispersement. WD40 does act like a lubricant initially, but eventually it does get gooey because it does trap dust partical and anything else dirt wise that it comes in contact with.

That being said, I am not sure what would be the proper lubricant for that particular piece of equipment, I would think a 3 in 1 oil or whatever you use on your sewing machine would be the proper lube. Again, not sure, so before taking my word definately check with a pro.

Cheers, and hope that wasn't too "Mean Lady" of me. :)


AdrianG's picture

Super Lube is used on bikes -- its clear, repels water and doesn't attract dust. Its made specially not to clog up the chain and gears.

Then there are those lubes you can get for sewing machines... same principle.

Probably buy something online.