National Expert B.T. Light Upgrade and Cabinet RefinishAlthough the Expert B.T. came back to life with little more than a cleanup and good oiling; the cabinet was in severe need of repair and refinishing. This is the first time I've done veneer work this large. The real chore was finding veneer - ANY veneer - in the required size. It is possible to buy 4 x 8 foot sheets, or 2 to 3 inch by "infinity long" strips, or 4 to 10 inch square pieces; but finding something in the 20 x 17 inch region was difficult. Perseverance paid off, I eventually found a piece of Hickory/Pecan veneer in slightly larger than the required size.
Tabletop veneer was blistered, warped, stained, cracked, and partially missing.
After I chiseled the old veneer off, a friend with a good sander smoothed it out for me...
A few gouges I had managed to create were filled, and the whole thing hand sanded again.
Interesting to note the non-parallel pieces of wood forming the core.
After heating the piece in the oven, hot hide glue was applied...
The new veneer was placed...
A very flat piece of thick Lexan set on top...
And weighted down with about 80 lbs of cat litter.
Several days later, the new veneer was trimmed, and sanded.
Someone, sometime had started to strip the cabinet. I finished the job.
After staining and varnishing, I used the last of my Chinese HDF to make this little under-shelf.
As seen from the top.
The stained Hickory/Pecan replacement veneer's subtle difference makes a nice accent.
Machine re-installed - the little shelf holds the cords, foot pedal, and a few sewing aids.
Machine with its new lite (detailed below) ready to sew!
The original bottomside foot pedal pigtail was removed, and the topside foot pedal connector was opened up.
End-on view - the refinished wood glows!
Sewer's eye view.
While all the refinishing work was going on, a new LED lite was being readied...
The lite's circuit board was very small, but was originally installed in a round housing that
just wouldn't fit anywhere, despite many attempts, so I had to repackage it.
This little plastic box was perfect, I filled it with black potting compound...
Original lite - unbolted, but not yet removed. Note wiring block cover with just one opening.
For the first time in somewhere between half and three-quarters of a century,
the topside foot pedal receptacle sees the light of day (left)!
Gluing potted LED board to bottom of machine.
Potted board in place, ready for final wiring.
The DC wiring to the actual lite head was spliced here...
...while the AC wiring was brought up to the wiring block.
Guts of the wiring block: AC in on right, AC out to foot control on left.
The wiring block needed its left side punched out to expose the foot control connector.
Foot control connector wired up...
... and plugged in!
Nitetime shot - this thing is BRITE!
First use after all this work, hemming a pair of pants. No, not mine!
The original lite ran VERY hot, I burned myself on it several times - and it was only a matter of time before my wife did too. As I didn't want anything to discourage her from using her new machine, I was determined to replace it with some sort of LED. After trying to figure out how to install an LED inside the original fixture, I decided instead to replace the whole thing with a new one. The old fixture has been retained, it can be re-installed at any time with no-one being the wiser. If I modify something, I like the modification to be reversible if at all possible.
As detailed on the Streamliner page, I removed what was left of the bottomside pigtail and punched a second 5/8" hole in the wiring block cover to expose the never before used topside foot pedal connector. I felt that for this particular cabinet/situation, a topside connector made more sense. The machine now lives in our music/dance room - when closed it holds my wife's classical guitar accouterments - but is ready to sew upon opening it up and plugging it in!
For more information about the "Chicago" connectors as used here, see this portion of the Reversew Rex page (scroll down to see/read the info on these connectors).