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Black table, vertical wheels


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2008 Lenni with black table (lengths are single pieces, not 2-part) and vertical wheels.  

I'd like my machine to roll smoother and I'm wondering if sanding the rails would help.  How smooth should they be?  If you run your fingers along them, should you feel any bumps or should they be "perfectly" smooth?  What should I use to make them smoother and remove any ridges?  I have sand paper in several different grits - use my hand only or put it over a block of wood?  I could borrow a dremel tool but honestly, I'm a bit clumsy with it.  I do notice that even the very ends of the table where the machine probably hasn't been used much aren't super smooth.  Is it possible to sand it too much?  

I've had the machine about a year.  I had not even used another longarm machine before I bought this so I have no reference as to whether it's as smooth as it could/should be.  The table is level and square.  The wheels seem to be riding in the correct position on the frame and the carriage.  I don't know if the previous owner ever replaced the wheels but I don't see anything wrong with them - no flat spots that I can see.  

I'm not interested in moving to a bliss table (if that's even possible with this machine).  

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or advice.

Sue

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Sue:  You didn't add a photo, so I'm guessing your Lenni has the slotted wheels rolling on the edge of the angle iron frame, not the early wooden top type with wheels rolling on aluminum extrusions.  Unless the rails the wheels roll on are actually damaged, there isn't much you can do with them.  My guess is that your wheels are worn out.  I never liked this particular wheel/rail system, and because APQS abandoned it after a few years, I don't think it was very successful.  I don't know, but I don't think anyone offers after market wheels for your set up.  I know my Ult 2 OEM wheels didn't work very well, and replacing them (that was 2010 and Kasa Engineering still offered replacement sets) made a world of difference.

I have an older (1997) Ult 2 with a wooden table top.  I've extensively rebuilt the table, and it works great for me.  The wooden top, and aluminum extrusion tracks are about all that's left or the original Ult 2 table.  If you were particularly handy you could probably add the aluminum extrusion tracks and replace the OEM wheels with someones after market set, and solve your problems, but you probably aren't.  I think the best you can probably do is buy a new set of wheels if APQS still offers them.  

Post some photos of your wheels and rails, maybe I'll see something there that I can help you with.  Jim

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Jim - here are photos of my machine carriage and wheels.  How would I know if the wheels are worn out?  APQS sells the wheels for $23/each - I think.  I'm not opposed to replacing them.  I'm generally pretty handy.  (I made my own texas hold'em bracket).  But adding extrusion tracks probably exceeds my skillset.  (Is that similar to the bliss setup?).  

I can take some closeups of the table rails if it would help to determine if they need some sanding.

Sue

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This is the system I guessed.  The after market wheels have much wider bearing placement than the OEM's, and as a result they are much more stable.  I hesitate to make recommendations because I'm not sure they would work, but if it were me, I would try to find a set of Edgerider wheels for an old Gammill Classic and see if I couldn't fit them to my Lenni.  I have a set of those on my Ult 2 and they work fine.  The "V" shape for the Edgerider wheel will solidly position it on the rail so there would be no back and forth movement allowed by the "U" shape of the OEM wheels.  I was able to fit a set to my machine by simply buying Imperial bolts and nuts to replace the metrics supplied with the Edgerider set, and adjusting for any machine height change the new wheels made.

I don't know whether Edgerider wheels are still available for Gammill Classics machines or not.  They also are a bit pricey.  I think I paid about $200 for a set 10 years ago.  The other issue is the lack of adjustment offered in the Lenni table you have.  I built my table so I could adjust the height of my leveling and take-up roller.  I don't think the roller height can be adjusted on yours.  If you decide to pursue this modification, I'd suggest you contact a Gammill dealer or Kasa Engineering directly to check the availability of the wheel set.  If they are no longer available then the whole modification possibility is mute.

Good luck.  If there is anything more I can tell you, feel free to ask.  Jim

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The EdgeRider website does list Gammill Classic as one of the models for the wheels.  It seems there is one wheel type for all "non-breeze track" Gammills.  They are $160/set - a bit cheaper than replacing the OEM wheels I have.

https://www.accomplishquilting.com/store/p485/Edge_Rider_Wheels.html

You are correct - the leveler bar and take-up roller are fixed on the frame and not adjustable.  Would those Gammill wheels change the height of the machine enough that this would be a problem?  

On the other hand, maybe I just need to work with what I have.  In a photography forum I've been on, they talk about having GAS - gear acquisition syndrome.  I'm sure I have GAS. So instead of working on the art (quilting, photography, etc.), I tend to focus on getting more tools, accessories, books, etc.  :wacko:

Thanks again for your input, Jim!  Have a great weekend.

Sue

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Sue:  I checked the wheels on my Ult 2 yesterday.  The OEM wheels have an effective diameter about 3/16" larger than the Edgerider Gammill set.  I say "effective" because the profile of the wheel face is different, and depending what type rail they run on, they will sit higher or lower.  Since the change is for each set (machine, carriage), the total height might be as much as 3/8"  I think on your rails, it would be less than that.  On my rails, I think the difference was about 3/8", but I can't really remember, and can't tell from just looking at the wheels.

If you're willing to risk the cost of the Gammill Edgerider set, I think they will work on your set up.  In addition to the wheel set, you will need to replace the wheel mounting bolts.  The bolts that comes with the Gammill set are are metric, while the bolts on your Lenni are imperial (or at least they are on my Ult 2).  The hub of the Edgerider wheel is just over 1/4" thicker than the OEM wheel, so you'll need to buy 8 bolts each a quarter inch longer than the original. ( I don't remember if they are all the same length or not).  The bolts are standard 1/4 x 20 so most any hardware store should stock them.

The Edgerider wheels are two row bearing wheels with a significantly wider base which makes them much more stable and durable than the OEM wheels.  You will notice the difference when they are installed.  The precision of my quilting improved significantly when I put them on my Ult 2.  It also improved noticeably on my Gammill Classic when I installed a set on it. (having the two machines is how I became familiar with the Gammill designed set) 

I'm curious, so risking the purchase price of a set of aftermarket wheels wasn't a problem for me.  In fact, after I fitted my Gammill with Edgerider wheels, I replaced them with another brand of aftermarket wheels.  Not much difference, but both aftermarket sets were much better than OEMs.

Hope this helps.  Jim

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sue:  I'm disappointed the wheels ride on the bottom of the wheel "V" rather than on the sides, but the real test is whether they are stable.  Does Lenni wiggle at all when you move it?  If it doesn't wiggle then they'll work fine.  My guess is that even if there is some movement, it's under better control than it was with the OEM wheels.  Jim 

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Jim:  I guess I didn't know what to expect.  The table and carriage rails would need to be wider for the wheels to ride on the edges correct?  I don't think I've noticed any wiggle.  If I run the machine on manual at a slower speed to warm it up or spin out wd40, I note the machine vibrates but I'm not sure whether or not it did that before.  I wasn't too worried about it because if I was quilting, I'd be holding the handle anyway which stops the vibrating.  

I did some actual quilting last night (instead of just scribbling).  I was doing some small swirl/spiral designs.  I felt like the machine was always going where I was guiding it and all of them were round.  Before it sometimes felt like it wanted to move either horizontal or vertical and not around.  I originally thought that was due to the stitch regulator but maybe it was the wheels.  

I don't regret putting them on.  The old OEM wheels could have been up to 13 years old.  Replacing with the same OEM wheels was about the same prices as the ER's.  I bought the machine used last summer and don't know if they'd ever been replaced.  The previous owner told me she replaced a roller brake and the go button.  She didn't mention any other replacements.  The gear box didn't have any grease in it, which I added.  (Seems for a short time, APQS didn't put grease in them.)  

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