Superba Knitting Machine

Last month, I became the ecstatic new owner of a Superba S48, donated by Ravelry knitting machine angel fibremaniac.

This is my first Superba, and I’m thrilled to have it. I’d like to try the knitty hack. Before we get there, though, the machine needs repairs and cleaning. Lucky for us, Dan and I love taking machines apart to see how they work, and we're starting to get pretty good at it.

Deep cleaning the needles is much, much faster if you don’t turn the machine over. Just clamp the machine to a table as if to knit, and you can access the screws underneath. The screws won’t fall out once they’re loosened-- very convenient. 

To remove the needles, I used a bar magnet and was able to lift them out, ten at a time. I soaked them in denatured alcohol + balistol oil. Afterwards, I dropped each needle in its channel before putting the retaining spring back on. This is much faster than on the Passap, which requires working each needle in after the spring is in place. 

Working under the machine is much easier with something to sit on.

Taking apart the light box: 

The screws are in very deep holes. Once I loosened each screw, I put a tape over the hole, which keeps the screw from getting lost. 
Repairing the cracked plastic housings: Dan managed to collect all the tiny pieces, then used SciGrip 3 Acrylic Solvent, applied with a syringe. It worked wonderfully.

Even the sensors inside of the light box took damage in shipping. Note the crack at the base of the "U" shaped piece.

Taking apart the light box 

Our next challenge is fixing the light box, including the snapped timing belt. Ravelry user Beebell has created 3D printed files for this, but apparently 3D printing still lacks the precision necessary to make these belts work consistently. I've been in touch with Peter Smith Trading Co. about getting a new belt, but they're out of stock. It's not clear when they'll be able to track down another. 

*For a really great archive of Superba info, check out Patrick Madden's Superba knitting site.*