*** A note about treadling the HitchHiker*** The ST HitchHiker is a true “heel – toe” machine. If you use your toes only, the wheel rotation may be jumpy. Before you can truly spin, the wheel must consistently rotate in one direction. Pick one direction and practice treadling until the wheel turns as desired. Place your heel slightly off the rear of the treadle and rock your foot using your toes and then your heel, the rotation will be smooth and afford you excellent control. Double treadle models do eliminate the need for this heel action.
Your wheel has a light coat of penetrating oil and may need light sanding before receiving a permanent finish. Additional coats of oil (such as Watco Danish Oil) may be applied to maintain the surface condition. A good quality wax, shellac or poly-rub can be used to create a harder finish. If your rubber drive whorl slips on your finish, merely use fine steel wool on the path it takes on the drive wheel to improve the grip. Avoid getting the finish material on the tension filament as this may make the tension adjustment overly sensitive. Some finishes will cause the Scotch tension filament to be sticky – gently wipe clean.
Your wheel will need occasional lubrication at the leather footman loop(s) and the bobbin ends. As the leather loops soak up oil they will need less frequent lubricating. The bearings of the mother-of-all (the triangular wood flyer support) and the bearings of the drive wheel do not need lubrication. The treadle hinge(s) needs a drop of oil when new and may also need a drop or two of oil on occasion; models after 11/2013 with polyethylene hinges need no lubrication.
The flyer must be inserted squarely. If it feels snug after 2-3 turns, back off and re-enter. The flyer should turn 9-10 times easily when inserted. Follow with a slight “snugging”.
The steel footman arm and compression nut on the left end of the axle of the double treadle model should not be removed from the wheel axle unless you feel comfortable that you can align and reattach properly. The black knob attaching the footman to the steel DT footman arm should be “snugged” tightly
To change the rubber drive whorl, slide the rubber retaining o-ring off the drive shaft. Remove the whorl and slide the replacement onto the drive shaft. Replace the o-ring firmly (a snugging twist works best) against the whorl. Store the unused whorl on the lazy Kate post between the spare bobbins. Small hairline cracks in the rubber of the whorl are normal.
During dry seasons the tension knob my become looser; simply slip a thread or place a drop of shellac in the hole and re-insert the knob. Note that one of the black mother-of-all hinges has a loose spring – this is by design.
A rubber faucet washer may be used under each bobbin when on the ‘Kate’ to create tension. The oil bottle may be refilled with any clear 20 or 30 weight oil.
When attaching the second treadle, the two holes in the second treadle base slide over the corresponding two posts on the main wheel base. The black knob at the top of the footman is screwed snuggly into the steel footman arm. A small black knob is provided to secure the second treadle base for use. Tighten the knob snuggly. When removed for transport, the second treadle unit can be placed over the fixed treadle and against the drive wheel or inserted in the pocket of the canvas tote.
If the drive wheel is tracking in and out after traveling it may be trued by a forceful pinch toward the center support at the point where it tracks furthest away from the center support. Doing this once or twice will correct the track of the wheel. A slight in-and-out is normal.