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  #1  
Old 01-23-2015, 07:49 PM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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Default Sewing Machine Saga 1/2015...

OK.... So I have this old garage sale $5, Kenmore 36 machine... It is a table top model that comes in a box.... Gave it a good cleaning, lube and a new needle... It worked fine... Fast forward to a few days ago...

Using old thread, kinda rough projects, not much talent using it and it broke the needle.... Put in and broke 2 used needles... I was also using quilt thread as it was the color I could find, and way cheaper for a big spool of it than of all purpose thread.... Yes.... I'm cheap.... Machine was running like crap....

So when I tore it open to find the broken off part of the 2nd used needle, I found a broken off top end of another needle in the works around the bobbin area.... It must have been messing up how the top thread was working with the bobbin thread, as that has been a problem for a while now... Found my latest broken needle sharp end on the floor...

Cleaned it out again.... A few drops of oil.... Set it all back up again.....
WOW...... OMG..... Does it run like a charm.....

Yes... The serger or quilt thread may be thinner, (and cheaper) but I routinely go over seams 2, sometimes 3 times.... The machine seems to tolerate these threads OK.... Remember these projects aren't for the county fair...

Good luck.....
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:12 PM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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I don't know...old thread...bobbins don't like it (in general). Things got better for my sewing when I pitched thread more than two years old.

The dreaded bobbin area...very sensitive. Jam ups, needles going the wrong way, etc. (I have a 20+ y/o Singer table top model). Basic and runs, but the bobbin = PITA. (And repeat $$ going to have it fixed or tuned at the repair shop).

Looking to upgrade to a Brother or anything that will have a bobbin drop in and no thread maneuvering like in old-fashioned manual machines. Not a lot of $ but won't have a bobbin problem, hopefully.
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Old 02-02-2015, 01:07 PM
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CarolAnn Female CarolAnn is offline
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Wyo - you'll soon be sewing up a storm the way you've dived into this! It's good that you're comfortable with opening the thing up and digging around under there.

Check the top and bottom of your work - if you have pulled thread on either side, rather than clear stitches, that's a tension adjustment that you can do easily. (Also will help keep you from breaking thread if it happens again.) There's a little screw on the bobbin holder for the tension there and a dial on the tensioner that the top thread goes through. One book I've got recommends that you test your combination of thread & needle at a given tension number, check both sides and record the results in a note book so you know what tighter or looser tension does for your work. Thicker or thinner thread will, of course, give you different results too. (BTW - you almost never need to mess with the tension screw on the bobbin holder, but it's good to know it's there in case nothing works with the top setting.)
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:02 PM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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Yes.... Thanks for the tip about bobbin tension... Other than the way bobbin threads from the roll I didn't look for a dedicated bobbin tension adjustment there..

Rule one when testing out a machine... Doubled over scrap of white T shirt material.... And different color threads top and bottom... I set this machine up with orange bobbin, and green top thread... Easy to see changes in tension adjustments...

Enjoy...
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:26 PM
Sugarfoot Sugarfoot is offline
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I know this is really old thread but just ran across it. Advise on tension adjustment I got years ago was to check top against bottom by simply threading machine then pulling both out as you would to begin sewing. If they feed at the same tension you should be good if not then an adjustment is needed. how much tension needed is determined by the weight of the fabric you are sewing. Works like a charm every time for me.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:19 AM
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Knowing nothing about sewing myself, I have no idea what you guys are talking about, but my Ma has been sewing on a Pfaaf (excellent German made machine) for more than 60 yrs. More than once when I was a kid, she'd sew me a new shirt as I got dressed in the morning and found I had no clean ones in the closet-- faster than washing an old one.

Anyways- she doesn't sew as much anymore (I only wear T-shirts now and don't care if they're clean or not) but she noticed some problems with the stitching lately. People at the sewing/repair store were clueless about such an old machine (new ones are all computerized now) . She deduced it has something to do with how thread is made/wound now compared to the good ol' days. I guess she made some adjustments herself to compensate and things work well again.

She laments not having saved all those old wood spools (or Indian head pennies, for that matter) which are worth so much now to collectors.

In case you're wondering, she's 88, but doesn't look a day over 85.
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