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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tutorial Brother KX 350

Replacing the Sponge Strip on a Brother KX 350

1. Study the underside of the needle bed. Notice that the needles are on top of the sponge strip from this vantage point. Peek under the braces and you will see the needles are situated exactly the same way. There is no need to unscrew the braces, though.

2. Remove the yarn mast and row counter. Push all the needles forward, and with a flat edge, close all the latches. Remove each needle by pulling up on the butt and sliding it backwards and out. If it gets stuck, it’s probably because the latch opened up. Push the needle out and close the latch again and it should come out more easily. Lay the needles out in the order they were in the machine so that when you put them back, you can rotate the outer needles to the inner part of the bed. Clean the needles with some alcohol or a soapy solution if you think they need it. Dry them well. I did a few of my needles and nothing came off them, so I skipped it.




3. Grab one end of the old sponge strip and gently pull it out.


4. Vacuum out the channels if there is any fluff evident.



5. Put some Scotch tape around the end of the new sponge strip to help guide it through the channel. Starting on the right side, coax the new sponge strip under the first bar and push it through little by little. Use a 1 or 2 prong tool and push it little by little while pulling with your left hand. After a while, I found it necessary to pull up on the right side now and then before pushing the end further.

It’s kind of a painstaking process. You need to go under each “bridge” that holds the strip in place. Going behind the metal braces is a little tricky, but do-able. When you have the sponge strip inserted the entire length, make sure the sponge strip extends a little beyond the last needle slot on the bed. The strip should be about 4 inches longer than the bed to allow for this.

6. Now return all the needles to the bed.

You’ll probably develop your own technique, but here’s how I did it. I put the needle bed on my lap vertically with the back side facing me. I leaned the bed against the table. Grasp a needle the way it will sit on the bed. Push the needle hook through the slot on the right side at a 45 degree angle. Then once it’s through and is on top of the sponge, pull back a little and insert the needle through the second hole on the back. Sometimes it helps to push down on the sponge with your left hand. The needle will softly click as it slides into place. You really can’t put it in upside down. It doesn’t fit. You have to look back and forth from front to back to get the needle into the next available slot. It’s a little tricky to get the needles inserted behind the metal braces. Maybe save those for last when you have your technique down pat.

The needles will be snug in their channels. Your knitting will go a lot more smoothly now.



33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you thetutorial, this will help me change the sponge strip on the dual gauge KX395.

P. said...

This is a great tutorial but I don't know where to buy the sponge strip for my KX350.

Anonymous said...

I just got a KX350, and was wondering what type of foam you used on the bar and where you got it.
Thanks,
Ramona

Anonymous said...

I just purchased a kx350 and would like to know what kind of foam you
used.
Thanks,
Ramona

Mar said...

Any of the machine knitting dealers have the sponge strips or can order them for you. They are not expensive for this machine because there is no metal involved. I think I got mine at knitsew world in St. Peter, MN. They have a website.

Mar said...

Here is their web page. Click on the contact us at the bottom left.

http://www.knitsewworld.com/home.html

Anonymous said...

I made my own by purchasing a small piece of car headliner at Hancock fabrics.

Mar said...

What is "car Headliner"???? Sounds interesting.

Anonymous said...

Car headliner is the material backed foam you use when you replace the inside ceiling of your vehicle. I found out about it on another website and I changed it yesterday. I tried it and it seems to be working fine. I also have a Brother KX 350 that I have not used in 17 years. It has been sitting in the closet and am interested in using it again. BTW, the sponge strip I removed from my machine was disgusting!

Mar said...

Good to know there are other options.
Mar

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to report, since I changed the sponge strip with headliner, my machine is working great! I have knitted 3 scarves already with no problems!

Mar said...

A good sponge strip or bar can make all the difference. Good for you!

Mar said...

A good sponge strip or bar can make all the difference. Good for you!

The Potty Knitter said...

Thank you for this tutorial. I just successfully replaced my sponge. the instructions that came with the sponge was very ambiguous, so I googled 'how to replace spongebar on Brother KX 350' and was sooo delighted to have found your tutorial. Many thanks, Happy Knitting,
Angie

Mary said...

I bought a KX395 from eBay and had a very frustrating time as the needles kept jumping and the carriage jamming. The instruction manual didnt mention a sponge bar. Now I know I will dig said machine out from behind sofa and investigate. Thank you very much.

Mary said...

I bought a KX395 from eBay and had a very frustrating time knitting a sweater as the needles kept jumping and the carriage jamming. The instruction manual didn't mention a sponge bar. I will now dig it out from behind the sofa and investigate. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for help with this machine.

I bought a second hand one and I think it needs a new sponge strip.

As was already said, the instruction
book does not mention it.

It was confusing because a machine with a sponge BAR needs the bar moved along to release the needles, but with a sponge strip you do not have to do this, so I thought it did not have sponge till I read Marzipanknits. Many Thanks. Vintage Knitter, from Fife, Scotland

Mar said...

Good luck. Hope it works out for you.

Anonymous said...

My mother just gave me her old KX350. She never used it, opened the box only once to try to learn it and put it in the basement until she had time to learn it.
20 years later, it's a bit musty but seems to work fine. I've been looking online for tips and saw this page... I have no idea what the sponges are! Given the age (and basement mustiness of the machine) is this something I should be replacing?

Mar said...

Is the sponge still springy? Does it have an odor? If you answered no and yes, I'd get a new one. Any of the knitting machine dealers have them and they are not too expensive. You just have to specify the machine number. If you run the carriage with a bad sponge bar you run the risk of hurting the machine.

Anonymous said...

In the illustration you seem to have tape on both sides of the weather stripping and it only comes with one side finished. What did you use for the second side? This is not the same as the foam that is sold as a replacement for the KX350, which has no backing whatsoever and is thinner.
I had a lot of trouble with this foam as it got shredded at the end with pulling it through all those tight places. Joan

Mar said...

Hi Joan,
Actually it is the replacement sponge strip that is sold specifically for the KX 350. It's not weather stripping. It has a nylon sort of backing both sides which helps to slide it through. No easy task, I know. I got mine from Knit and Sew World (by mail) in St. Peter, MN. Maybe someone sold you something that they thought would work with the 350???

Shannon said...

I have a Singer Model 120 knitting machine (just had it given to me) with a bulky ribber model sr-120. I am trying machine knitting for the first time and I don't see the sponge bar but I suspect this is why it is dropping stitches and jamming. It has been under someone's bed for years :). Any idea where this is located on my machine?

Mar said...

Hi Shannon---Yes, old machines typically have old worn out sponge bars. I'm not familiar with your 120 machine, but usually the sponge bar is located inside the plate just behind the needle hooks. Look from the side and you should be able to see a rectangular opening. Your best bet is to contact a dealer and they can supply you with one and answer questions. There might also be a Yahoo group for Singer knitting machines that could help you out. Good luck! I hope you are successful.

Anonymous said...

Shannon, I have the virtually the same machine (mine is actually a 140, or "Bulky 8"). I've owned the machine 27 years and up until recently, had no idea I should have replaced the sponge strip. And they don't make them anymore.

Turns out, the sponge strip is located in a small channel at the front of the needle bed. Look at the machine from the side and you can see it. The sponge bar is within a very long narrow u-shaped piece, and you'll need some needle nose pliers to extract it.

Replacing it is another challenge...

HJ said...

When I took my needles out I didn't pay attention to how they were placed. So when I went to replace the needles, I didn't know how they fit. It also got stuck and wouldn't go through the holes. From looking at your photos, I figured out that I put my sponge bar on the wrong side. I bought a sponge bar where the ribbon was on one side only. I realized from your photos that the ribbon side needed to be on the side where the needles goes through. So I flipped the sponge and the needles went through smoothly. Thank you for your help and this blog.

Mar said...

I'm glad it worked out for you!

Xena said...

hi

just been reading this blog, wonderful info, we are able to supply the sponge to order as a DIY kit, my website is www.xenaknits.com

thanks :)

Anonymous said...

I bought my KX355 and didn't realize it had a sponge bar either and it is complicated by the fact that there is no opening in the body of the bed at either end. The sponge can only be seen through the rectangular hole in the metal reinforcement at either end and the sponge is completely covered by the plastic on either side of the needles. Does someone have a suggestion as to how to get the sponge back inside the bed under these conditions. Help!!!

Joan said...

I have a KX355. There are no holes in the end of the bed to pull the sponge bar out. The sponge can only be seen at the extreme ends under the rectangular openings. Even then, the sponge is hidden under the plastic between the needles. This makes the sponge almost impossible to see when the needles are in place. Can someone suggest how to put a sponge back in to the bed under these circumstances?

Mar said...

Do you have a machine knitting dealer near you who you could ask about it? Maybe someone with that model will chime in. Sorry I can't help.

Tracy J said...

I had a KX350 sitting in my closet for years because I could not figure out why it was so hard to knit with. I changed the nastiest sponge I have ever seen (I got 1/8 yd of headliner fabric and doubled it, using a tiny safety pin to pull it through), cleaned the needles and the bed and ran the carriage over it. For the 1st time it glided across like I always imagined it should. I will be practicing my stitches tomorrow and hope to complete an afghan this weekend. Thank you!

Mar said...

I'm so glad this helped you out. There are a lot of free midgauge patterns on my blog here that you can now try out!