In this, the third and final part of this general introduction to the Elna No.1, we take a look at bobbin winding and threading the machine.
The first step in winding a bobbin on a Grasshopper is to swing the guide arm down from its parked position to where it is in this picture. Having placed an empty bobbin on the winder shaft, you then run your thread from your spool, along to the wire loop guide at the top of the faceplate, then back round this guide and down to the bobbin …
Now at this point on most other domestic machines, your next move would be to declutch the handwheel so that when you press the go pedal or whatever, your bobbin winds but your needle doesn’t move. Not so on the Grasshopper – putting the bobbin on the shaft magically disconnects the drive to the needle bar.
Having looked at this close up, you probably have two questions, which I’ll now answer for you. That shaft with the bobble on the end which is alongside the bobbin winder/motor pulley shaft is what the speed reduction gear fits on to (there’s a post about that coming up before long), and no, vintage Elna bobbins are not the same as Singer 15 ones. These have a keyway in them, and they’re slightly taller.
Here’s a shot of the rather manky faceplate of this 1945 machine which is still in exactly the same state as when I bought it, but hopefully you can see the thread path for normal sewing. It also shows a weird red reflection and I can’t for the life of me think what that was, but never mind.
There’s nothing weird about threading a Grasshopper though – you go from spool to wire guide on top of faceplate (it’s just visible top left in that snap) then down, round the top tension and back up, through the take-up lever from back to front, then down through the bottom guide and the guide on the needle clamp.
The needle goes in with the flat to the left, which of course means that you thread it from right to left.
Finally, here’s a shot of the shuttle assembly with a bobbin in place and threaded up ready to rock, which reminds me that with the introduction to this fine machine now done, I mustn’t forget to do a post about the proper lubrication of the shuttle race. With paraffin …