Category: hobby

Inexpensive Rola Bola is lots of fun

Rola Bola made of 27 inch long 2x8 pine, varnished

Rola Bola made of 27 inch long 2x8 pine, varnished

Life can be simple yet fun. Take the example of a Rola Bola, aka rolla bolla, rolo bolo, roly boly, balance board, rocker-roller board or bongo board. Whatever you call it, there is a board that allows you to stand shoulder width apart, a wooden stop board on the underside each end, and a rolling cylinder. You put the board on the cylinder and get on. Simple.

Banning Kite Flying in Toronto, Unfortunately

Afghan Kite Flying in Afghanistan. Here in Canada do not use glass covered or metal kite line. They are illegal and dangerous.

Afghan Kite Flying in Afghanistan. Here in Canada do not use glass covered or metal kite line. They are illegal and dangerous.

Kite flying is a favourite pastime of our family. It is so unfortunate that kite flying at Milliken Park, Toronto, Canada, a very large park near our house, has recently been banned. Kite flying is very kid and family friendly, but has been spoiled by people that come from different cultures. South East Asian (India, Pakistan) and Afghanistan kite flyers in their country use metal wire and glass coated flying line to cut the lines of competitors. They are importing and illegally using this type of line here in Toronto, Canada. They then leave the lines as garbage. Kids and adults using the park get cut up from these types of lines. It is certainly a safety hazard.

Imperial Sewing Machines

Imperial sewing machine, model 535: I am looking for an owner's manual and other info on this machine

Imperial sewing machine, model 535: I am looking for an owner's manual and other info on this machine

An exhaustive internet search yielded very little about these lovely sewing machines. From information from Needlebar.org I found parts of other machines were similar but not exactly the same. Parts of these machines were built in Japan after WWII and imported to North America for final assembly and badging. Here are the few links I found. If you have an owner’s manual for a model 535 please let me know.

Imperial Sewing Machine, Model 535

Imperial sewing machine, model 535: Front, Perhaps made in Japan and badged in North America

Imperial sewing machine, model 535: Front, Perhaps made in Japan and badged in North America

Fate has voluntold me as the human caretaker of an Imperial Sewing Machine, model 535. This lovely machine was left out on the curb as trash, coincidentally as I was bicycling. Though the machine weighs a LOT, it is all metal and sews very beautifully. It even sews quieter than my Singer. The 535 has straight and zig zag stitching, and can darn. Included were about 5 different presser feet. Casting marks “J-C 27” and “304-1”, and printed marks “JA/3”. A thorough internet search has provided very little, except a couple of photos of similar machines, but images from Needlebar.org shows parts of similar looking machines were manufactured in Japan and badged in North America, circa 1950-’60s. As I did not see a Model 535 anywhere I hope that someone can see my photos and help me find its origins, and perhaps an owner’s guide.

Singer 29K Patcher Sewing Machine

Singer 29k71 Patcher is a very versatile machine. The treadle stand is missing.

Singer 29k71 Patcher is a very versatile machine. The treadle stand is missing.

If you know this machine then you know how versatile it is, helping you out of tight spots. Old they may be, but they certainly do a great job at fixing up modern day clothing. While the design of these machines has varied little from the ~1910s the machines can be purchased new today with near identical designs.

It is not easy to use, nor is it easy to set up. The bobbin is small and has a very limited capacity. Threading of the bobbin requires some learning, as this is unlike other machines. What is the purpose of the long wire?

Singer Sewing Machine Model 217 Motor Replacement

Singer model 217, ~1960s: Simple and reliable, and always ready for me.

Singer model 217, ~1960s: Simple and reliable, and always ready for me.

Old Singer sewing machines are well made and built to last. My Singer model 217 was handed down to me and sews very well. I was dismayed that the machine would not turn over as it did before and discovered that the motor needed replacement. These motors are no longer made so getting a replacement was not straight forward. After the motor replacement my Singer hums along like new. Maybe I will sew up some Canadian flags!