I tried using a TV tray as a stand. It just wasn't working as it was terribly top heavy. After reading similar posts in the Sock Machines Yahoo! group, I decided to take their advice. Here's a photo of how J & I cut the stool. It works great!
I've been struggling with having the needles grab the yarn. It seems like I was just doing it wrong - and I've tried everything! I was so fortunate in that a local woman (Mary Berry) who has LOTS of experience with CSM machines came over today to help me start using my machine.
Well, she was not able to get any work started on my machine, either. The problem was with the way the needles were working. They are not raising. They just go down. This is a problem because the yarn needs to raise up high enough to clear the latches - so we started taking the machine apart in an effort to find out why the needles weren't raising.
The cams are installed correctly. When we put the cylinder back, there was a significant gap located between the cylinder and the crank ring. See the gap between the cylinder and the cam cylinder? I'd say it's about a 1/4 inch high. This gap happens with both cylinders I received from my ebay auction (60 & 72 needle cylinders)
Mary thinks that this may be the reason why the needles aren't behaving right.
Here's a side photo of the bottom of the cylinder with the cam cylinder.
Here're the same items from the top.
Since Mary is more of a Legare person, she has recommended that I try to get together with another local person who has an Auto Knitter.
I'm dissappointed that I couldn't get the machine working, but I'm relieved that this was a real problem with the machine - not the operator! :)