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Thread: Sewing machine tension questions...

  1. #1
    IdaGudrun's Avatar
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    Tomorrow I put my machine in to have the tension adjusted and to also be oiled.
    I wanted to ask if there is any way I can do these things myself. I heard that I can oil my machine myself, but can I adjust the tension myself? Or is it best to let the professional do all this?
    Honestly I would not know what I was doing.

  2. #2
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I do all that myself. Tension adjustment is honestly not a big deal once you understand how to do it. A problem I won't tackle myself (although some do) is timing. Timing is a lot trickier to get right.

    What brand and model of machine do you have? How old is it?

  3. #3
    IdaGudrun's Avatar
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    My machine is a brother xl-3750 and it is a year old.

  4. #4
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Why exactly are you taking it in?

    Was this machine under $200 purchased new? I'm asking because the tension tends to be not as good on these machines. My Bernina will hold correct tension no matter what I feed it, but lower-end machines sometimes require a lot of fiddling with tension and will not hold the tension adjustment over time and with different fabrics.

    Also, a machine that was new a year ago basically does not require oiling. At most, it may appreciate a drop of oil in the bobbin race area. Some machines have a tiny felt insert (inside a hole) to take that drop of oil.

    Tension adjustment starts with adjusting the upper tension knob. Test tension by doing a wide zigzag. Use different color thread in top and bobbin. An ideal balanced stitch will not show top color on the bottom or bottom color on the top. (If you get just a dot of each color, that's about as good as it gets on most machines.)

    The bottom tension can be adjusted too, but that is trickier. I don't know how to do it with drop-in bobbins. With the more typical bobbins, you just have to read up on good procedures to follow to adjust the screw in the bobbin case.

    The other thing a technician would do for routine maintenance is clean out any lint. This usually requires removing the needle plate (easy on most machines) and using a vacuum cleaner to suck out any lint. (Can tape a straw to a regular vac to do this at home.)

  5. #5
    carolejw's Avatar
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    I use canned air to get rid of the lint in my machines it works quite well. About once a year I give my regular machine a little oil but my serger I have not oiled in 10 years because I was told that had sealed parts. I would think that with a machine that's only a year old you should be able to find all the info you need to do this yourself in your guide you got with your machine. If you don't have a guide you can go on the Brothers website and there you should be able to find the correct guide. Or do a search on the web for "Brothers Sewing Guides". Good Luck

  6. #6
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    i use a small air compressor to blow it out and oil mine i never touch the tension

  7. #7
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I used to blow the lint out of my machine, but the way it was explained to me is: If you want to do that use a vacuum that sucks the lint out, otherwise you are blowing the lint into the machine.

  8. #8
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I have heard the same thing. I clean mine regularly. My Pfaff doesn't get oiled but my Juki drinks it up quite regularly.

  9. #9
    IdaGudrun's Avatar
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    My machine was just over 200.00 when I purchsed it last year in May - 2009. But now I see it is much less.
    Anyway's I use canned air, but there is a time where my machine sews correctly and then this breaking click sound occurs in the middle of sewing anything, when I have checked the bottom of my quilt, curtains - anything - the bottom seam looks as though it is french braided.
    I took apart the cover plate and blew canned air into it, but it still does this after I have been sewing for about ten minutes.
    This is my first machine and it worked so well at the beggining.
    I have tried to adjust the tension, but even after finding the correct tension; it will end up the same way on the bottom seam eventually. Leading me back to the original tension setting.

  10. #10
    Super Member Colbaltjars62's Avatar
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    Sounds like timing issues. My FW does that every once in a great while. That's when I know it's time to take her in to her personal Sewing machine Dr. and he fixes her right up.

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