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jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Sewing Machine Maintenence on 10/27/2011 10:15:37 MDT Print View

How often do you need to maintain your sewing machine?

I remember my mom use to have this book that showed where to clean and arrows to spots where to put a drop of oil.

I asked the Janome dealer about my machine. They said it would cost $90. They are prohibited by manufacturer to let the consumer know how to service it. Odd comment

I have probably used 8 of the large spools of Gutterman thread 1000 yards.

The thread tension is adjusted okay. It doesn't pucker the fabric when I sew.

The only problem I see is occasionally it quits pulling the top thread so there are large loops on the bottom. Like when I sew Velcro. Then, maybe the loops get jammed up underneath and it quits working until I clear it out. But if I start over, then it works again. No big deal, easier to just work with it than try to fix the machine. It helps if I just let the fabric feed by itself rather than try to force it.

The dealer said something about the bearings are sealed, but when they get hot, the oil will expand out of the bearing but get sucked back in when it cools down. Therefore, you don't need to frequently oil it, but eventually you do.

What do other people do?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Sewing Machine Maintenence on 10/27/2011 12:29:19 MDT Print View

$90 for maintenance? That's more money than I spent for my entire new sewing machine.

If you open it up and clean it and put a half-drop of light oil on every spot that looks like it might have friction, you will cover 90-95% of everything. Cleaning it is important, because lots of lint in there will cause problems.

--B.G.--

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Sewing Machine Maintenence on 10/27/2011 13:40:49 MDT Print View

"The only problem I see is occasionally it quits pulling the top thread so there are large loops on the bottom. Like when I sew Velcro. Then, maybe the loops get jammed up underneath and it quits working until I clear it out. But if I start over, then it works again. No big deal, easier to just work with it than try to fix the machine. It helps if I just let the fabric feed by itself rather than try to force it."

Try a larger needle for velcro.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Sewing Machine Maintenence on 10/27/2011 14:04:14 MDT Print View

> occasionally it quits pulling the top thread so there are large loops on the bottom.
> Like when I sew Velcro. Then, maybe the loops get jammed up underneath

I'll echo Dave's comment about a stronger needle It may also be that the needle you are using on Velcro is bending a bit too much for the hook mechanism.

Lint can be a big problem ; clean it out every few months or before any major project.

If the machine sounds a little noisy when running, oil it. You will soon learn what a well-oiled machine sounds like. The sealed bearings should not *need* oiling - they are after all 'sealed'. But there are many sliding surfaces in there which do need oiling.

$90 ??????

Cheers

warren mcclintock
(the_gr8t_waldo) - F
maintance on 10/27/2011 22:22:22 MDT Print View

if the machine needs adjustment to make it work right...90$ dosen't sound all that outrageous. but basic oiling/ cleaning should be done by the owner...have you spent any time looking for a copy of the owners manuel online?

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: maintance on 10/28/2011 08:59:59 MDT Print View

I have looked for the owner's manual online but they say go to dealer

I went to dealer and they said owner manual doesn't say how to oil and clean it, you have to get that done by dealer (for $90)

I will have to tear machine apart and do my best to clean and oil it, hopefully put it back together correctly : )

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: maintance on 10/28/2011 10:49:03 MDT Print View

That's about the going price for any tune-up for sewing machines. They check the timing, etc...but I still think it's expensive. I found some instructions on You Tube on oiling my Bernina...and there is also online manuals as well. I clean out the fuzz on mine after every bobbin change and oil it on a regular basis. I sew quilts and things quite often, so as long as she runs smoothly, I skip the yearly mainenance. Like going to the Honda dealer and wanting to charge me $60 to change a cabin air filter when I can buy them for $20 and takes 5 minutes of my time to do.

Go to a quilt/fabric shop and talk to some of the ladies there. They may have the same model or at least help you out. You don't need to go to one that sells your brand, either.

The dealer was really not making an odd comment. Many of these brands now will lose warrenty, etc.. if you take the machine to a non-certified brand named dealer. It's a big racket. Someone should do an expose on these companies. They are now made either in China, Japan or Taiwan...come over on the same big boat, get rattled and jiggled throwing off the timing and then have to be serviced before buying...and make sure it is before buying otherwise you have a lemon.

You can also go into some of the sewing or quilting forums and ask there.

Just a side note: check the direction of your bobbin. Some turn cockwise, and some machines require counterclockwise. If it's in the case going in the wrong direction, your bottom thread will get big loops or messed up like a rats nest. The timing may also be off as well.

Edited by leadfoot on 10/28/2011 11:01:45 MDT.

Hobbes W
(Hobbesatronic) - F

Locale: SoCal
Sewing machine maintenance on 10/28/2011 11:01:09 MDT Print View

Nothing really new to add, other than to confirm the big 3:

-clean out all lint
-oil all moving parts @ links/gears/connection points
-use bigger needle

Lint can get into a lot of interesting places. That, and just a smidgeon of friction from lack of oil can throw off the timing/thread tension enough to create problems. Ditto if the needle is bending or just not piercing in perfect time with the bobbin movement.

I may be in the minority here, but if you pay the $90 to have the machine serviced (along with some kind of guarantee), then you will have a baseline in which to hopefully remember how the machine works when tuned-up. It's real obvious when a machine is working smoothly - if you can remember that feeling, then it becomes more intuitive when it stops working at that level.

Think recently sharpened knives, or new car tires, etc. If you can recall how it was, then it's easier to try & move back to a known baseline.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Sewing machine maintenance on 10/28/2011 11:04:21 MDT Print View

Here is a link to help you understand the basics...

http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/4302/understanding-thread-tension

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Sewing machine maintenance on 10/28/2011 12:12:16 MDT Print View

Nice link, thanks Donna

That makes sense that bending needle is causing problem like several people said, because if I just let it feed by itself it's better

I'll try bigger needle