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Thread: I need a 1/8”-44 nf socket head cap screw or….

  1. #1
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    I need a 1/8”-44 nf socket head cap screw or….

    As time passes, my hand tremors get worse. My latest challenge is replacing the needle in my sewing machine. The machine screw is 1/8x44 nf which seems to be unique to sewing machines. Also called a “needle screw”. My problem is that it’s a slotted head screw and the screwdriver tends to come out while I’m fiddling with the needle.

    my first thought was to get a socket head screw so I could use an Allen wrench. I’m darned if I can find a socket screw that size.

    An alternative would be to make a special screwdriver with a brass sleeve around the blade that would help me keep the driver in place.

    Another idea would be to just machine my own screw. I don’t have the means to cut the threads so I would need to find a 1/8”-44 die.

    Right now, I’m liking the custom screwdriver idea.

    im open to suggestions…

  2. #2
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    Could you glue or weld a small washer into the screw slot to turn it into a thumbscrew? Not being a sewer, I don't know if clearance is an issue...
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  3. #3
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    there are screwdrivers you can use to hold it while you position and start it.. here is a link to one...

    https://quickwedge.com/3-16x6-screw-...%7C%20%2412.86

    if you search for "straight slot screw holder" you will find others...

    https://www.bing.com/search?q=straig...FORM=QBLH&sp=1

    I know Klein makes one also..

    Good luck..
    Last edited by Ed Aumiller; 12-29-2021 at 3:52 PM.

  4. #4
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    That is an odd size. The shaft designation on most American screws use numbers up to a size 12. Is there any possibility of it being a metric thread?

    One of my thoughts was using a screw holding screwdriver. Some of them might not be strong enough to hold with hand tremors. My dad used to have one with flat springs on the side that would hang on real tight. So tight one had to make sure to release them before fully seating a screw and trapping the holder.

    Another thought is to carefully file the screw head into a hexagon so a small socket could be used to hold the screw.

    Is this a screw for which a replacement can be purchased through sewing machine supply stores?

    Wow, just looking online it looks like it is important to know the brand since every sewing machine seems to have a different screw thread. It also seems none of them say anything about the thread pitch.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
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  5. #5
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    This might work Roger. By my research a #5 is .125 diameter. McMaster Carr has them in allen head. Here's a link.

    https://www.mcmaster.com/screws/sock...ead-size~5-44/

  6. #6
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    All,
    This is indeed a weird size but seems to be some sort of standard among sewing machine manufacturers. They call these things “needle screws”.

  7. #7
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    Tremors are a pain. I don't have much trouble with screws but I feel like I have an audience when I attempt to eat scrabbled eggs.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Feeley View Post
    All,
    This is indeed a weird size but seems to be some sort of standard among sewing machine manufacturers. They call these things “needle screws”.
    The #5 x 44 isn't correct? The one I linked is 44 tpi. #5 is .1236 by this chart.


  9. #9
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    The thread that Ron listed is the correct size. %-44 is a standard #5 fine thread size.

    Roger, If you find a 5-44 threaded bolt online it will be the correct bolt. The major diameter is listed as .1195 to .1243 for a c;ass 2a fit.

  10. #10
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    Roger, I just searched for a 5-44 bolt online and came up with numerous choices with a socket head cap screw. Amazon has them.

    You may even find one at the hardware store.

  11. #11
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    I ordered some 5-44 screws. Thanks!

  12. #12
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    Roger

    5-44 is more than likely correct. Juki, Consew, Brother, all have a #5 NC(40tpi) or NF(44tpi) needle setscrew. You probably found that your presser foot setscrew was just a little bit to big. My Consew 230 uses a #5-NC(40tpi).
    I have seen a needle setscrew with a wing nut tacked onto it for pretty much the same issue you are dealing with.

    Right now I'm looking for a #5(NC), partially threaded screw, about 3/4" long, to adapt a walking foot attachment to my Consew.
    Thank you for the timely thread.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  13. #13
    What will work to get the screw in place as is, superglue the screw to the screwdriver. The driver will just pop right off when you're done...
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  14. #14
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    use a short piece of drinking straw, or clear rubber hose slipped over the screw driver tip as a guide.
    I should buy a box pox plastic straws before they get banned here. They will soon be gone in restaurants, paper only. It has been illegal for several years for them to give you a straw before you ask for one.
    Bill D.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    What will work to get the screw in place as is, superglue the screw to the screwdriver. The driver will just pop right off when you're done...
    Kev,
    in normal use, the needle screw is never removed. You loosen it to remove the old needle and tighten it to hold the new needle.
    that’s why a hex cap screw and a ball end driver would work so well.

    I contacted Sailrite (manufacturer) and they weren’t much help. I got a response that they use a slotted screw because they didn’t want the user to apply a lot of torque. That strikes me as kind of silly. The diameter of the screwdriver handle has a lot more effect on torque and the screws supplied with the machine is fairly large. If I find a cap screw, I will get a little Wiha ball end driver to limit torque more effectively than the supplied driver and screw.

    I know Im spending way too much time and money on this teeny tiny problem. This has become a quest for me. I must conquer this!!

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