Question about Kenmore 15358

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Kenmore 15358 going way to fast for a beginner

I purchased the Kenmore 15358 to use as a beginner machine however the petal speed control is too sensitive and I'm having problems sewing at slow speeds. It seems to jump from not moving to speeding off with just the slightest degree change. I'm trying to quilt and I just can't get the machine to slow down without straining some leg muscles. I've used other older machines in the past and never noticed this problem. It seems to me that my speed control is off or there should be a way to have a more gradual change.

Any suggestions?

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We just acquired a Kenmore machine from ~1968 that had poor speed control. The wiring and contacts were ok.

This pedal control works by a rather old method know as a carbon pile rheostat. It contains a ceramic block, with two cylindrical holes, inside of which are stacked dozens of graphite disks. Pushing the pedal compresses the stack, lower resistance, and increasing the electrical current through the motor.

Replacement controls are available from $13 ( to $60 (www.sewvacdoctor), including Kenmore - $30. Rewiring may be necessary to fit the old plug to the new control.

Another option is time-intensive, but gets the job done in an hour or so and saves the cost of replacement. I removed the wires from the aparatus (2 screws) and the ceramic block from the pedal case (1 screw). The carbon discs are held in the block by the brass fitting that also is the connector for the wires. I removed the screw holding this fitting to the ceramic block, and spilled the discs onto my desk. Note that there are also graphite front and back of pile pieces; make sure they go back in the right position as you reassemble the pile. (Your working surface is going to collect carbon powder - so use something cleanable.) Some of the discs were shiny; some had one or both sides covered with a black carbon powder.

Separate the discs into clean and dirty ones. Clean the dirty ones on both sides using a eraser, holding the discs still with finger-tip pressure on the edge and moving around the disc to clean it all - maybe 1/2 minute to a minute per disc.

I mounted the ceramic block in a taped dispenser stand to hold the hole vertical, and inserted the front-end piece. Then I dropped in the discs one-by-one. Finally I screwed down the brass fitting and reassembled the control.
The difference was amazing!

Posted on Nov 01, 2009

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If it is still under qarantee (<12mths old) call the dealer where you bought it, express your concerns and arrange to meet and show them the issue.

Posted on Sep 04, 2009


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