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Thread: ? on tension on Janome 6260 qc

  1. #1
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    ? on tension on Janome 6260 qc

    I hope some of you who have this machine or one similar can give me some advice. I have the opportunity to buy this machine for a really good price. The current owner said it could probably use a tune-up, as she had some problems with tension the last time she used it, but that may have been due to the type of fabric she was using and her own inexperience.

    So my question what is the best way for me to test the tension when I go see the machine? I will of course bring some cotton to sew, and maybe a block with batting to see how it sews through the layers. I am a little leery of taking it on if it has serious issues, but if she was sewing something really unusual it might not be surprising that she had trouble, and it may not be a tension problem.

    Any thoughts you have would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I would also bring my own thread and some new needles. Good luck!
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  3. #3
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I learned years ago that the best way to check tension is to do a zigzag. That will show up problems with tension that might not show up in a straight stitch.

    My experience has been that almost all tension problems are due to people not knowing how to adjust tension properly on a machine. Over the years I bought quite a few thrift store machines and fixed them up for donation to a non-profit. I was always able to adjust tension sufficiently well on those machines for people to use them for piecing quilts.

    The only non-user issue I can think of regarding tension is if a machine has worn out parts or was so junkily made (with very poor tolerances on parts) that it cannot maintain tension once it is set. The former can typically be fixed by a technician; the latter is simply a characteristic of really poor quality machines.

    One thing to note about modern machines is that it is possible to damage the bobbin area enough to require replacement. This happens especially when people use metal bobbins in machines that came with plastic bobbins. The bobbin areas of older machines are all-metal, whereas some of the components in more modern machines are made of hard plastic. The hard plastic is fine for plastic bobbins, but metal bobbins can damage the plastic.

  4. #4
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    That is very helpful, thanks!

  5. #5
    Super Member MacThayer's Avatar
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    Another thing you can do is to put two different colors of thread in the machine, quite different colors. Put for example red on top and bright blue on the bottom. The reason for doing this is so that any misaligned tension will show up right away. If the bottom thread is pulled through and visible on the top, either your top tension is too tight or your bottom tension is too loose, or both. If your red is visible on the back side, then either your bottom tension is too tight, or your top tension is too loose, or both.

    I have a Janome and this is how I check my tension. And yes, I do adjust the bottom tension. They used to teach it to us eons ago when I was in Home Economics (about age 14 on), and now they don't want you to touch the bottom tension, which is rubbish. If tension is the only problem you see, that's fairly minor, and can be worked out with patience and slow changes in each top and bottom tension.
    MacThayer

  6. #6
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    I've had to adjust my older mechanical Janome on occasion, and I've even adjusted the screw on the bobbin (!!!), but I wasn't sure if it was very different with a computerized model. I wasn't sure if it was a sign of big problems or just the usual need to tweak a little.

  7. #7
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    I want to thank you all for your input. I got the machine yesterday. When I first sewed with it, the tension was off, but just using different thread and different material improved matters, and I adjusted the tension dial just a tad. Of course later, as I looked at the manual, I see it has automatic tension, but it's not set to that. More exploring to do!

    The coolest thing? The first thing I sewed was two pieces of flannel with batting in between. It sewed so easily that I doubled it up and the machine still sailed right through. I can tell you my old machine would have choked and sputtered on that mouthful. I can't wait to get sewing!

    Thanks for your encouragement!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jamiestitcher62's Avatar
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    I had the 6260 Quilters Companion, I gave it to a friend when I got my larger machine. She loves it too. It was a sturdy workhorse.
    Laura

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