Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sponge Bar Refurbish... Do It Yourself

Of course the first thing you do is pull the sponge bar out. Didn't think to photograph that. I know they make these fancy dancy sponge bar removal sticks, but save your money and get a pen or pencil from the drawer. They work equally as well. I like to use a pencil with a nice eraser on it. I put the pencil in the sponge bar slot eraser first and push the sponge bar out the other side just enough so I can grab it. Then I gently slide it out keeping it level with the floor. One doesn't want to bend it or get it caught on any of the needles.

Once it's out I bring it to an area I have covered with newspaper to catch all the creepy old sponge bar mess as you scrap it out. I use a large flat head screw driver. I've done 3 now and they scrape out pretty easily.
If there is any residue left of the sticky strips from the old sponge bar I squeeze in some Goo Gone to soak.
It doesn't have to soak long. I start scraping up the old glue pretty quickly.
Here's the finished cleaned Sponge bar minus the old sponge. After Goo Gone give Sponge Bar a good cleaning as the Goo Gone is oily and you don't want it to stop the new foam from adhering. I use some regular household cleaner. As you can see I'm doing this outside in case the Goo Gone and household cleaner cause any noxious fumes. One can never be too careful mixing chemicals.
I buy Frost King Rubber Foam Weather seal 3/8" X 5/16" at Home Depot. All three of my knitting machines have used the same size. You might measure yours just in case.
Starting at one end remove the waxy strip to reveal the sticky strip and start centering it down the middle of the sponge bar. I like to hold my thumb and forefinger on each side of the sponge bar to assure it is going into the channel and sticking straight. Take your time it goes fairly quickly and you want it on right the first time.
After weather seal is applied glue a strip of ribbon on the exposed side of the weather seal with plain white glue. I used yellow ribbon as it was what I had in my stash.
It is now finished and waiting for glue to dry on the ribbon.
At the very end of the sponge bar on each side. Take a small piece of tape and wrap it around the ends. I usually forget this until I go to push in the sponge bar on the knitting machine and foam starts to peal back. The tape wrapped around the ends keeps it on the sponge bar as you slide it in. Now I just have to clean up my mess.
Any questions feel free to contact me.


  1. I love you.

    This is *exactly* what I needed.

  2. Thank you, thank you!
    Your article is well-written, well explained and well illustrated. Thank you for putting in this big effort to assist others.

  3. Thank you!!!! Just inherited three machines and the bars alllllllll need to be replaced!!!

  4. hello. what type of ribbon did you use? I'd think it would snag...no? thanks

    1. I suppose it might snag if you put your sponge bar in upside down. The ribbon helps it slide in with metal side up against the needles.

  5. Has anyone noticed how long this lasts? I need to replace two both machines from the 1960's. yikes

    1. Hate to admit this, but the couple I made I'm still using. Probably should be replaced, but the machine is still working great.

  6. Thank You, I do love a picture heavy tutorial!. I like the weather strip method as well ;)