Sunday, December 4, 2011


The first big project with my new sewing machine. I will give it some credit for making it through with no issues. I'm too lazy today to write about the fun, but here are some pics:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sort of Excited About My New Sewing Machine

When I left Vancouver a couple years ago I sold my sewing machine (along with almost everything else). I had bought it used off of craigslist for $65 and then two years later I sold it for $65. Awesome. It wasn't a fancy machine. Just a Kenmore that was probably 10-20 years old, but (more or less) it got the job done. It definitely struggled at times with some of the spots on the shoulder bags I made, but I wasn't expecting miracles.

So, now that I'm settled in a new place/life I was ready to invest in a new machine. I'm not proud of this, but I was just too lazy to go hunting for an used machine. It's not like I don't have time, I just didn't want to trek all over the city on the bus trying to find a machine that I liked. Anyway, I ended up doing a bunch of research online and decided on the Singer 4423. It did everything I wanted out of a machine and it got good reviews. I found it on sale and ordered one. It came last night and my first reaction is that it looks/feels cheap. I do like the style of the machine, but they used an abundance of plastic on this thing. In fact, almost everything that you see or touch is plastic. More specifically ABS. It's not just the fact that it's plastic, the parting lines (where the separate parts come together) are not very precise. The gaps aren't consistent and there are little steps all over the place. To be fair some of this probably comes from working in an industrial design studio where we nitpick every detail. My old Kenmore also used a lot of plastic, but the construction was much better. Plus most of the pieces that were touched had consistently better CMF (color/material/feel). I think almost all the knobs, wheels, levers, etc were steel. It just seems ironic that it's called "Heavy Duty" and nothing about it feels heavy duty. To be fair, it does sew things, which is obviously it's primary function, but I also haven't done more than a few test lines. I'm concerned about how it will handle the canvas and webbing I use on the bags I make. I also realize that you get what you pay for and this thing wasn't very expensive. The verdict is still out, but so far I'm not impressed...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Forgotten Wall Prints

I made theses a couple weeks ago and forgot to post them. I made them from pictures I had taken in the last couple years.

The original image is from my road trip to Detroit/Toronto/Montreal last year. This was taken in Crook, CO where Anthony and I were forced to spend the night because we had brake problems. This place was straight out of the Twilight Zone, but it was beautiful watching this thunderstorm roll across the plains.

The original image was taken in Vancouver during the summer of 2009, just a couple weeks before I left for Berlin. It was just an interesting truck parked in my neighborhood.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fun with the ZA50 Engine

I've actually done a lot of work on my 1979 Puch Maxi(affectionately named: Bettina) over the last few weeks, but I've been too lazy to document any of it. Mostly I was having issues with the first-gear clutch wanting to engage at idle (despite a REALLY low idle speed). This causes the bike to jump around a bit while I'm sitting at stop signs. Sometimes it's bad enough that it will stall the engine. So, I took apart the clutch/transmission following the wiki from

While I was taking apart the clutches I wanted to also check the shift dampers (pucks). I had bought some new ones a while back and I had never checked whether or not the original pucks were still good. Anyway, the dampers are inside the second-speed gear. Unfortunately you can't see them without taking off these two plates that are held together by three flat-head bolts. Two came out with minimal effort, but one gave me a huge headache. I ended up having to do quite a bit of dremel surgery in order to get it out. I wanted to put in some hex heads, but my little local hardware store only had phillips head, which is still a minor upgrade.

So, after all the angst associated with getting that one bolt out, it turns out the pucks were in perfect condition... At least they'll be easier to check in future.

Other updates:

- Down-jetted because of the colder weather, plus I was already running a little rich
- Chased all 6 of the tapped holes (M6) for fastening the clutch cover.
- Transmission fluid was leaking from one of the bolts, so I sealed it with some Yamabond.

My new toy:


I'm not sure I love how this turned out, but I thought it was worth a try. Here is the: inspiration/instructions

Bonus point if you can figure out the map.

Monday, October 17, 2011