Ritathequilter

How high should my machine be?

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I think my machine is too low and have been trying to find out how high it should be for my height. I'm experiencing back aches after only a few minutes at the machine..so it must be too low. :) I'm 5'8" and my machine is at the lowest position right now...I've not raised it at all.

I remember a few months ago we were having a discussion on how hight the "belly bar" should be. I'm guessing that the belly bar is the roller for the "top". I've tried to find those msgs but can't...is there a search option that I should be using?

For those of you that have the hydraulic lift do you find you are adjusting the height of your machine often or do you raise it and leave it at that height? I'm trying to decide whether I should just raise the machine and leave it or get the hydraulic lift. I'm trying to justify spending the money on the lift because I don't usemy machine every day.

Rita

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Hi Rita,

I'm 6' tall, most of it in legs. I've got my machine to nearly the highest point. When I took a machine quilting class (for a DSM) they said that you elbows should form a 90 degree angle between upper arms and forearms. I think I've you're back hurts, you've probably got your machine too low. I didn't go for the hydraulic lift because I'm the only one that uses my girl, so there's no need to raise or lower the legs. I vot for set them up for your height, and leave them there.

Hope that helps.

Beth


Beth Durand

Elizabeth Originals Custom Quilting

www.eocquilting.com

beth@eocquilting.com

2006 APQS Millenium

Authorized APQS Dealer

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Hi Rita::)

How are you doing fellow newbie, long time no hear, I've missed you. :(

Question 1: the search part of this forum, is on the first page, at the top, close to were it says "todays posts". Just click on "Search" & type in "table hieght", that will get you the page were I asked the same question.

Question 2: Myrna Ficken, said that the table can go up a total of 9 more inches, witch surprised me, I went up 6inches, The table is 37in. at the back, & I think that I could even have it higher, but ajusting those legs is hard without the hydralic lift, & 43 inches at the front bar, a good hight for me (just above my bellybutton), they call it a belly-bar for a reson. ;) I'm 5'8" BTW. I think that 90 degree thing is a good place to start, but every one is differant.

So far I have been doing mostly panto's, so I havn't had to rise or lower the table, but I think that a hydralic lift would be a very handy thing to have if I want to sit (I think that some of you sit to do custom work). I'm planning to get one when I start makeing some money, I'd like to pay off the Milli. first.


Gerry in Duncan B.C. Canada

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Doing something fun should not hurt. If you don't have a hydrolic lift, before you send the time (and energy) to get the height right on your table, take some large books or phone books and put a shelf or sturdy board across them to make a standing platform.

This will let you try out a few heights to see what is optimal. Good luck!

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Rita,

I am 5'11" and my machine was not right in the beginning either. I read somewhere that your elbow should be at a 90 degree angle at the the end cross bar. That is what we did with mine and it worked. The feet on the machine are adjustable so you can unscrew them to the height you need. Hope this helps.


Mary Beth 

Powered by 2009 Freedom

Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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I'm 5'2" and the belly bar on my machine is about 36" which is just above my waist. I like it that way. Seems just right.

Don't forget that you can use a car jack to help you adjust those legs!

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I understand the height for the front of the machine, but what about a person who uses both the front (higher) and the back (lower)? Probably a good argument for the hydraulic lift system. Does anyone use both sides of their machine?:)

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I use the back as much if not more than the front. Like I said, the we measured with me standing at the end, where the cross bar connects the front bar to the back and I stood with my arms bent at a 45 degree angle. Then we raised the table to the correct height. We too put two 2x4 blocks under each leg, until I read the manual and found that the legs unscrew:) we adjusted accordingly and all is well.


Mary Beth 

Powered by 2009 Freedom

Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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I am so THANKFUL for this topic. I did not realize I was quilting with my machine WAY TOO LOW!

It should have dawned on me that there was some reason I was bending my knees very deeply to see what I was doing. I just COULD NOT SEE. I have FIVE (not kidding) pair of glasses PLUS contact lenses. Sometimes I would have lenses and one pair of glasses on, sometimes I would have lenses and two pair of glasses on, sometimes I would try no lenses and very strong glasses, sometimes I actually wore three pair of glasses at a time. I was really getting discouraged that I could not see my workspace.

The manual SHOULD SAY how far the legs can screw out. My husband was going to cut wooden blocks for me because he was afraid the screw would fall out if he turned it too far and the table would fall. We looked in the manual, but nothing referred to HOW FAR YOU COULD UNSCREW the adjuster.

After I read this post last week, I told my husband that the table could be lifted as much as nine inches. He told me that could not possibly be right. I begged him to try it because my work was just sad and I have a zillion hours of practice and can do the designs perfectly on paper (because I CAN SEE).

My husband finally agreed that if I would help him lift one end of the table and prop it up on something -- we used a heavy duty bath bench -- that he would see how far the screw thing would come out. Sure enough, it kept coming out more and more and more. We raised that table at least four inches. What a HUGE difference. I am so frustrated that I have completed two very important quilts with the table WAY TOO LOW for me, and I had so much trouble doing them. I think the Manual really needs to be very specific on this topic and show pictures of the screw/bolt and how far it can actually come out -- and will it automatically stop if you unscrew it too far -- or will it come out and allow the table to fall???

Thank you so much for these posts. They have rejuvinated me!

:P

Hugs, Joy



JOYFUL EXPRESSIONS
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Joy,

You will be so much more comfortable now. I felt like a dork for having 2 2x4 blocks under the legs of mine when all along we could have just unscrewed the legs. The manual that I have is not much help on most subjects. We were able to set the machine up by following the manual, but still had problems. I read somewhere that they have a new and improved manual, so maybe those going forward will have an easier time of it.


Mary Beth 

Powered by 2009 Freedom

Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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:(Sorry girls, I have the new manual, & I can't find a thing on table height.

They cover leveling, but not how high the table should be, or how far the legs can screw out/up.


Gerry in Duncan B.C. Canada

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I'm with you, Joy. After following this thread I finally raised my machine height too. I was experiencing a LOT of back aches when working from the back of the machine. So I used my DH's floor jack to raise Princess Stitchy up 5 inches. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!!!

I felt happiness like I did the first day I got her, :D and have been working from the back of the machine now for several days in a row PAIN FREE!!


Deanna Shumaker

Anna Banana Designs

Plant City, FL

APQS Millennium

www.annabananadesigns.com

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My goodness, what would we do without each other??? I think most of us would give up on our machines quickly without all this great advice. I never wanted to be a mechanic. I want to sew! For $16,000+ you would think a machine would run without so much fussing, or at the very least, have a decent manual. I was really disappointed in that manual.

I've heard so much about the great service at APQS, but lately I do good to find a tech at all; never mind one that knows anything. I told one of the female techs that the screw holding my needle plate down was stripped out (by them) and could they please send me a replacement. She told me I would have to go to a Hardware Store and find one. I've only had my machine since June, and I have never touched that screw. Seemed like a small request to me.

I asked her a question about how far the quilt should hang down over the needle plate when just resting (clamps on and quilting). She did not know. I asked her if the machine could be raised or lowered. She didn't know. (My machine seems to form a small mountain up under the quilt.) I asked her how tight the quilt sandwich should be. She didn't know. This was just a few days ago. I was quite discouraged. She was very nice, but sure not very knowledgeable. And several times when I called, everyone was in a meeting. I've decided you must have to be a Sales Rep. to get someone on the phone.

Right now, there is a silver chain hanging down from the motor that pulls the quilt up. One end is hooked to something on the motor, and the other end is just hanging down -- swinging back and forth. I looked at every picture in that manual to see what the chain was for. Nothing! So, it just keeps hanging and swinging. :o Sure hope it isn't supposed to be performing some important function. I bet the tech. doesn't know the answer to that either. :(

Thanks again for the info.

Hugs, Joy



JOYFUL EXPRESSIONS
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They say a picture's worth a thousand words, so.....

this is the view looking down on top of the motor. If I had to guess, I would say the chain is a safety feature in case the motor worked it's way loose or something....but I'm no mechanic either. Anyway, it looks easy enough to remedy your situation. Good Luck!


Deanna Shumaker

Anna Banana Designs

Plant City, FL

APQS Millennium

www.annabananadesigns.com

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I like my machine to be hight than the 90 degree rule.

Myrna


Myrna Ficken A Quilter's Choice - APQS West, 5787 S. Gallup, Littleton, CO 80120;  Store 435-414-2026 Mobile 435-229-2703  myrnaf@q.com  www.aquilterschoice.com community. Look me up on Facebook   A Quilter's Choice - APQS West

 

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Hi Joy---

My DH-the engineer (lucky me!) took a look at my Millie set-up to see why your needle plate would make a mountain in the top.

He thinks maybe you have the canvas unrolling the wrong way. That #3 canvas (lower front roller) should feed out from the TOP of the roller. If it is rolled up wrong, it will unroll from the BOTTOM of the roller and the top will be way too low--thus a mountain at the needleplate. Give it a try. Unroll the canvas and roll it up over the top and towards you. Hope this fixes the problem.

A loaded top should not be too tight. The consensus is you should be able to push a finger up from the bottom and grasp it with your other hand through the top.

The side clamps are not to provide tension on the backer--they only keep the backer level. Most quilters use a yardstick or a valance curtain rod under the elastics of the clamps (pushed up close to the clamps) to level the backer. Don't pull the elastics too tight or the backer will stretch out and will be distorted. Also, only attach the clamps to the backer--not the top or batting-- or there will also be distortion.

I'm trying to talk my DH into writing a more user-friendly manual with better illustrations. I'll let you know how it goes.

Hang in there and soon you'll be quilting up a storm!!

Linda Rech


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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Thank you, Linda. I will check that tomorrow. I can't picture how it is, and I am not where it is right now. (Does that make sense?) How marvelous to have an Engineer for a husband. My husband THINKS he is an Engineer, lol. Every time I get near that Millie with a wrench or screwdriver, he comes running. He thinks I'm going to destroy it. I was checking out the tightness of the wheels, and he came running over. "What are you doing?" "Do you know that machine could fall if you don't know what you are doing?"

You get the idea. He's wonderful -- don't take this the wrong way. It's just so funny that he thinks he is the only one that can turn a wrench. I have 8 sewing machine/sergers and can take them apart and put them back together to the extent I am supposed to. Bet he couldn't thread my sergers!

Hugs, Joy



JOYFUL EXPRESSIONS
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Myrna:

Did you mean you like your machine to be HIGHER than the 90 degree rule? Mine is adjusted now to where I kind of reach up to the handles on the Millie. My elbow does rest on the lower front bar, however, when I am standing right next to it sideways.

I sewed my first feathers today on an old quilt I own, and the new table heighth worked SO MUCH BETTER. I am thrilled to have been able to make this adjustment thanks to all you ladies.

Hugs, Joy



JOYFUL EXPRESSIONS
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Hi Joy,

Yes, higher than the 90. I want to see those pretty stitches up close. One of these days I am going to get a hydraulic lift they are so nice.

(Bet he couldn't thread my sergers)! LOL wish I could thread mine.

I don't think you actually had a tech on the line.

Your table can be raised or lowered.

Then quilt should not hang down over the needle plate. It should hover just on or bit above it. If it is hanging then your chances are your rollers too low. They are very easy to adjust. Or you do not have your quilt roller with the proper amount of tension on the quilt sandwich.

(I've decided you must have to be a Sales Rep. to get someone on the phone) LOL....... that has never worked for me. I'm only teasing ;). Sometimes life is full. Someone is always here to help and answer questions.

Myrna


Myrna Ficken A Quilter's Choice - APQS West, 5787 S. Gallup, Littleton, CO 80120;  Store 435-414-2026 Mobile 435-229-2703  myrnaf@q.com  www.aquilterschoice.com community. Look me up on Facebook   A Quilter's Choice - APQS West

 

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Thank you Myrna. I will see about adjusting the heighth of the rollers. I purchased the 14' table just a few weeks ago -- had originally had the 10' table -- and all these different problems seemed to come along with the new table. The canvases aren't even on straight; center of the take-up canvas is several inches off; the leveler bar is bowed and not level; etc. You get the idea.

I am slowly getting all the problems fixed. Not sure what to do about the bowed bar though. Mark said to put it up high across two somethings and hang on it. Yeah. Like that is possible. We did try putting it across two desks and pushing down on it. May have helped a little.

Thanks for all the info.

Hugs, Joy



JOYFUL EXPRESSIONS
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I asked this question previously, and received a response, but it did not answer my question.

I have the front of the machine a little higher than the 90' rule, but the back is definitely way below the 90' point. So if I do more pantos from the back, is that side to be at the 90' level? And then do I lower it to do freehand in the front, because it would then be about shoulder level on me. I am 5'4", average height, so I should not have as much difficulty as I am having.

However, from reading todays comments, I have learned that after 5yrs of owning my machine, my #3 roller is probably upside down. It rolls from the bottom, but hasn't caused any noticable problems for me.

Also, I find it interesting to see the lack of response from APQS themselves regarding the manual, chain (which I don't have on mine), or any other technical questions. I remember when Mark or Connie would interject a comment in defense of the company. Is the new management not as interested in solving problems anymore? Just a thought.

I agree that for the $$$$$ spent, service could be a little better.

Grace:o

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Hi Joy,

The canvas should be pretty close to the same on the ends. I will add that it is possible that they may not be. It really is not an issue thought. As long as my quilt backing is square I don?t care if I am in the center of the canvas when pinning on a quit. It all quilts the same.

With the quilt leveler being a bit bowed?. mine was a bit also. I just had my DH come down and hand on it with me under the machine to counter act it. We had a good laugh doing it I might add, my kitty thought it was play time. (Of course you need to remove your lexan tops to do it this way, but no big deal. I am not making light of your issues but sometimes things just happen. Write your questions down and ask them in class if you have not taken your startup class. Or look on the most ask questions on the website. They may have been address before.

Grace,

I have the front of my machine higher because that is where I work. The back will be below 90%. If you are working more from the back having your arms higher will make it more comfortable for you then you may need to raise your table more. (I think) the feel is more natural and vision is better as you are looking down at the pattern. If you really like it that high in the back then looking into the hydraulic lift may be a good idea for you at some point to make it easier for you going back to work at the front.

We do have a brand new manual that anyone may order if you need or want one. I am not sure of the cost on them. Dawn Cavanaugh has put A LOT of work into it along with everyone else at the company over the last year. As with any company, growth happens and not at the speed we would like, and it is come with a cost. I fell I have the best machine I can have and like a new car, sewing machine, house or whatever there are some adjustments to be made and get used to. In the end it is all worth it. Now if I could just get my DH to finish unpacking.

Gone quilting,

Myrna


Myrna Ficken A Quilter's Choice - APQS West, 5787 S. Gallup, Littleton, CO 80120;  Store 435-414-2026 Mobile 435-229-2703  myrnaf@q.com  www.aquilterschoice.com community. Look me up on Facebook   A Quilter's Choice - APQS West

 

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