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Thread: I just had a preventable "you stupid moron" moment ....

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I just had a preventable "you stupid moron" moment ....

    I just had a preventable "you stupid moron" moment ....

    I traded into a 2001 or so vintage Singer 3810. ( I know it's not vintage, but the moral of the story applies to vintage machines too. ) It is of course a plastic covered aluminum bodied, plastic geared machine, but it sews really nice.
    The spool pin was broken off so I took the machine's plastic cover off then printed out the parts book and owners manual from the Singer site. So far so good.
    Went to the LSMG today and low and behold he had the parts. Yipppeeee! Got home and put it back together very carefully. No screws left over, nothing out of alinement. It even ran.
    Threaded it up, put in a bobbin and pulled up the thread, so far so good.

    Then when I started to sew ..... BANG!!!!! Scared the peewaddins out of me. I had one heck of time getting the machine jam that resulted cleared.

    I had put the bobbin carrier, which is plastic, in just a hair off and it didn't lock. When I stared to sew it rotated around and the needle caught it and snapped off. The bobbin carrier was tilted and the whole shebang jammed.

    I got it cleared and replaced the bobbin carrier correctly, threaded it up, and the thread snarled up. Over and over and over I undid snarled up wads of thread. I had the bobbin carrier out a dozen times. Other than the preexisting broken corner* and the new needle mark just made there was no obvious damage or problems with it. My frustration level was increasing 10 fold and I dropped a bunch of things. After picking them up I sat back and just stared at the machine. Thinking all sorts of bad things about it.
    Then my eyes fell upon the thread take up lever. It's down inside the machine body and you can't really see if it's threaded or not. It was threaded before the jam, but now? I leaned in and looked real close, then picked up the thread from the spool end and slowly pulled it out. Nope, the thread was not through the take up lever. NUTS!!
    I re-threaded the machine from top to bottom and all was well again.

    The moral of this story is: If your machine was sewing properly and suddenly isn't sewing properly, RE-THREAD IT from the spool down. I felt like a total stupid moron.

    Now my worries is that I may have thrown it out of time with that jam. I sure hope not. It sews straight and ZZ and some of the fancy stitches, so I'm hoping for the best.

    * The bobbin carrier has been miss-seated before and the same kind of jam has broken the hook on the right corner off.
    My LSMG has a new one, but it was $15.00 and I didn't have that much today. It will be replaced soon.

    Don't forget ..... when in doubt, RE-THREAD IT.

    Joe

  2. #2
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    That's what I do when the machine just isn't sewing right. Most times, it works!!

  3. #3
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advise. Sorry you had such a bad day. Hope it sews really good for you now.

  4. #4
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    It's okay, Joe....we've all had them and some of the ones we've had have been WAY worse!
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  5. #5
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    In addition....I just finished working on my friend's modern Brother. It was obviously a tension problem, but one I hadn't seen before. The bobbin thread was pulling to the top, but we had loops on the bottom.
    I tightened the bobbin tension and cleaned the tension disks. No more pulling the bobbin thread to the top, but still had weird stitches and loops. Then I noticed the thread she had on the machine. The 50 cent stuff you buy at the box store. No consistency to the thickness of the thread, and really linty. Pulled it, replaced it with Superior, rewound the bobbin, and VIOLA! Decent stitches...not the quality of the old vintage girls, but decent. Lesson. Don't use cheap thread... you don't have to use the most expensive stuff, but that 50 cent stuff is worthless.

    The best part of the story is that she had taken this machine in to be serviced because of the problem. The guy gave her a price of $119, plus parts as needed. He then offered to sell her a Riccar for much less than the service cost....probably a 70's or early 80's model. She bought it and thought she'd sell the Brother on Craig's List with the understanding that it would need service. It no longer needs serviced...so she'll get the Riccar for free and have a MUCH better machine!
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Same thing with really old thread....I mean, REALLY OLD, like from the 1970s. I had a box of old thread from my DH's mom's stuff, and I tried sewing with several different colors....not good!! Most of it was really kinda brittle and wouldn't lay into the fabric well. So I test sewed a bunch of it and had to throw most of it away. some of it felt so stiff I didn't want to put it in the bobbin.

  7. #7
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    LOL, "really old thread....I mean, REALLY OLD, like from the 1970s." To me that's just not new thread any more. We've got some from the 50s that we've acquired in "grab bag" lots on GW that sews just fine.
    Most of it is American made Coats & Clarks, or Clarks or Coats.
    My wife commented that the way it's stored has a lot to do with how the thread lasts.

    We don't use it for anything important, but ..... we do use the C&C Size 50 thread to set the tensions on the old Singers. In the manual I have for the 66-16 it says to use Size 50 thread to set the tension. And it works too.
    So even if we don't use it for anything important, keep it around for that.

    Joe

  8. #8
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    So true. I love my Janome Horizon, but sometimes the thread mysteriously disappears from the take up lever. Gremlins I guess. It is in there and then it isn't. That has caused me to cuss a little ,a few times. Don't know how it gets out. Just one of life's little mysteries.
    Donna Quilts
    We help the wounded soldiers.

  9. #9
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    Good for you Charlee. We used to get some in for charity quilt donations. Cuss, cuss, cuss. Free is not good.
    You are absolutely right. Cheap thread can lead to downtime and trips to repair even. A point well made.
    Donna Quilts
    We help the wounded soldiers.

  10. #10
    Senior Member captlynhall's Avatar
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    Glad to get the pointer about simply re-threading when a problem shows up. I tend to look for the most complicated reason instead of starting with the simplest. Thanks a bunch.

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