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Thread: Help needed with a Bernina 440 machine

  1. #1
    Senior Member jarenie's Avatar
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    Angry Help needed with a Bernina 440 machine

    I am having a problem with the top thread. When I do chain piecing the top thread will break between the pieces every 5th to 6th piece and I have to stop and rethread the machine.
    1. Took to Bernina dealer and they told me to just sew slower.
    2. Went to the Bernina website and stated my problem. They sent me information that the bobin casing is too close to the backing. Took this information to the dealer and he said that there was no way to get the bobin casing further away from the case.
    3. Took the machine to a very reputable repair shop and showed them what Bernina had sent. He went through the machine and said that everything was working right. Sat right down and showed him that it is still doing the same thing.

    I have worked on over 30 different machines and never had this problem. As long as there is material under the presser foot and the needle has something to sew through the thread does not brake.

    I have changed the needle. Bought a new Bobbin case and even new bobins. Nothing has helped.
    I have been sewing for over 60 years and I am about the through this machine out the window.

    Please anyone have any more ideas.

  2. #2
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    What kind of spool of thread are you using? It sounds like something is catching the thread along the thread path. It might be the little slit in the top of the spool if that is the kind you are using. It also might be how the thread is feeding off the spool. Crosswise wound thread likes to come off the spool differently from stacked thread.
    Since it is only breaking between the patches, is there a rough spot on the needle plate? Try changing the pressure of the feed dogs? Perhaps they are "chewing" too hard between the fabric pieces? Have you got the top tension on your machine set at the little red factory line? The bobbin tension should be firm enough so that you can dangle the bobbin by the thread and you have to jerk it slightly for the bobbin to descend? That's all I can think of off hand. Hope you can find what it is, good luck.

  3. #3
    Super Member quilter1's Avatar
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    I'm not much help, but I chain stitch a lot on my 440 and don't have a problem. Good luck.

  4. #4
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    I think Tartan has given you the best advise to date.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Skyangel's Avatar
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    I also chain stitch a lot on my 440 and don't have a problem. I would second Tartan's advice and check the thread path and the type of thread, making sure to use the right spool pin (horizontal for cross wound, vertical for straight wound). You didn't say if you tried different thread? What Bernina send just sounds silly. The bobbin case clicks into place. there isn't back-to-front play in it's position. I know you sound frustrated. I've had my 440 for 6 years and it has never let me down. The embroidery unit, that's a different story!

  6. #6
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I have the same or a similar problem, but only when I'm using Bottomline thread in top and bobbin. (I like to do that when I'm piecing.) I haven't asked my dealer about it, since I have been assuming that the thread is the problem. The thread doesn't usually break (although sometimes it does), but it looks like the needle is picking up extra thread from the bobbin. The machine makes a funny noise, and if I stop before the thread breaks I can see that extra thread and can even cut it and then continue sewing without re-threading the machine! This only happens when I'm chain piecing, between the two pieces in the chain. I intend to ask the dealer about it next time I take the machine in for cleaning and check-up. (I have a service protection plan, so I can take the machine in as often as I want for no additional cost.)

  7. #7
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    Do you have the bobbin in correctly? Some of my machines the thread comes off of the bobbin one way and some have the thread coming off the other way. It almost sounds like a little barb somewhere working until it breaks the thread. I would take the sewing foot off and check it for barbs and also the [well I can't think, must be my old age] the THING THE PRESSER FOOT SITS ON [I still can't call it up]. Sorry, I get carried away.ha. FEED DOGS! Check the feed dogs for a barb somewhere.
    Last edited by barny; 09-27-2012 at 01:56 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Patti25314's Avatar
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    When my top thread is breaking I usually have the thread caught in the wrong place in the upper lever thing - I can't remember the name of it - sorry. Anyway, remember that "L" shaped thing that came with your machine? Use it to open the left side of the machine - be sure to turn off machine first. Then look for caught threads. IF you find any, pull them upwards - gently - very gently. My only other thought is to wonder if you've changed thread types recently and might not have bobbin thread balanced with top thread. Needle choice is always a factor, too.

  9. #9
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Try a completely different thread. My friend has complained to bernina about this problem they suggested drop of sew fine on bobbin etc. she just bought a more expensive thread.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jarenie's Avatar
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    Thank all of you for your help.
    Have tried everything mentioned.
    4 different threads. Several different feet. New needle plate. New Bobin. New Bobin case. Even traded by bobin rounder with one at the dealer. As long as there is fabric for the needle to sew through the thread will not break. Only brakes when there is no fabric for the needle to sew through.
    I have been sewing for over 50 years and I have really learned to HATE this machine.
    Bernina has been no help at all. Keeps sending me to the dealer I bought the machine from and they tell me to SEW SLOWER which means that the thread brakes every 8 or 9th piecing instead of 5 to 6 piecings.
    I have had it serviced 6 times in 2 years. They all say that everything is fine.

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