|Adventures in Sewing Machine Repair
||[Jun. 13th, 2011|05:00 pm]
I thought I would share my tale of sewing machine struggles in case it helps anyone else. Info on this particular problem is scarce on the 'net and took me hours of research to figure out. The story has a happy ending.
Short story: If your bobbin case is really loose in the shuttle, check your bobbin case tension. If that's good, check your bobbin case stopper. This is for a top loading machine.
So.. a month or so ago, my sewing machine imploded. It has a top loading, drop-in bobbin configuration (Singer 2662) and the bobbin case, not just the bobbin, but the whole case, lifted violently out of place and came crashing through the needle plate. It had happened before but never to this extreme. I took all the pieces out, put them back in, and continued sewing. In the past that always worked but not this time. So I replaced my needle, rethreaded my machine, checked upper and lower tensions, cleaned everything out, did everything you're supposed to do, but still no-go. I'd get about three crummy stitches and then the bobbin case would dislodge itself.
Now this machine has gotten about seven years of regular use, and I was ready to upgrade, so I got a nifty new Janome at this point. I still wanted to try to fix this machine to have a back-up and for friends to use. It's also kind of a family member and I wanted to give it my best shot before I pitched it or paid a fortune at the repair shop.
So I did a bunch of test sewing, and lifted up the fabric so I could see what was happening through the clear cover plate. The bobbin case would lurch around with each stitch before permanently dislodging itself. I double checked the bottom tension but that didn't make a difference. Then I spent hours looking up possible solutions before I found something about a "bobbin case stopper".
When I investigated mine it looked like it could be out of position. I also noticed that my poor bobbin case had been beaten to pulp by the needle
but I didn't think that was my current problem. In the process of removing the TEENY TINY stopper screw I dropped it in to the machine. At least, I thought I dropped it in to the machine. I started the process of disassembling everything. I've taken a few cover pieces off over the years, but never to this extent. I removed the bottom, hoping the screw would fall out. It didn't but I did get to see seven years worth of fiber, broken needle tips, and two whole pins.
I cleaned everything thoroughly, and kept removing parts until the whole machine was as stripped as I could get it.
Still no screw, but incredibly educational. And greasy. I kept thinking "No disassemble Johnny 5." At this point I decided to check the floor for the third time and found this
under my sewing desk. STUPIDTINY. I'm not sure if it fell out during the disassembly or if it had been there all along, but whatever.
I realigned the three pieces that comprise the bobbin case stopper, and replaced the screw with a lot of difficulty. Put everything back together, threaded it up and... what's that?
That's a working machine, good tension and everything. And what's that??
Three leftover screws from the machine that I can't figure out where they go. They're probably not important, right?