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Thread: talk to me about timing, please

  1. #1
    Senior Member MrsBoats's Avatar
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    talk to me about timing, please

    So. The Kenmore has been freed up, cleaned up, oiled and polished up, and is all back together. (And it only took a couple of tries to get it right! )

    The problem now is the needle is ticking on something in the bobbin/hook area. The hook, I think, or some part of it; there's no bobbin or bobbin case in it currently. I don't know if it did before or not (frozen) but I had the needle bar out to clean everything, so I'm assuming that's what did it.

    I'm using the old needle; I have no idea what size it is. It *looks* like a standard HA 15x1 when compared side by side, but I just don't know. I have several close-but-not-quite Kenmore manuals, and all they say about size is to mention that your machine is a rotary and give the serial number when buying needles. (How helpful!)

    Assuming I've got the correct needle, can I retime this myself? Got any good links showing me how? Anything I should know before I give it a try?
    -Karen
    There's no such thing as too many sewing machines!

  2. #2
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Get a new needle. Using a 30 year old needle isn't a good idea. It may be bent or have other problems. It should be just a regular 15 x 1 needle. If you google timing sewing machines there are diagrams and info. available, but I'd for sure put in a new needle before messing with the machine.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MrsBoats's Avatar
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    Changed the needle-apparently 15x1 is the correct one. It's not catching on anything, but it's also not picking up the bobbin thread, either. Both old Kenmores have a funky bobbin case with the tension spring on the finger, and that's where the upper thread is hanging up, I think. I'll fiddle with it some more, but I'm also going to my osmg's tomorrow, to take him the current batch, and this one for a rewiring. He said he'd check out everything else while I was there, so one way or another, I'll get this sorted!
    -Karen
    There's no such thing as too many sewing machines!

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Make sure the presser foot is down. Some machines have to have the presser foot down before they'll pick up the bobbin thread.

  5. #5
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I think I did a tutorial on this somewhere Vintage sewing machine not stitching - very generic tutorial ah here is it - links and videos if you need to time it - I do everything but time it first
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal.
    It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  6. #6
    Senior Member donna13350's Avatar
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    Yes...timing is very simple and takes less than 5 minutes, even for a beginner.
    First..you need to see if it is OUT of time...remove your bobbin and bobbin case, then turn the hand wheel toward you while watching the needle and hook. Once the needle has risen and has gone all the way down, it is what it does when returning up that counts. When the needle is coming back up, watch the hook, the tip of the hook should pass just over the top of the eye of the needle...if it does, your machine is timed properly ...if it does not, then you need to time it.
    To time it, lay the machine on a towel on it's back, remove the bottom cover, if there is one. turn your handwheel so that you can see the shaft that turns hook assembly(follow the dots...the hip bone is connected ..etc!)....on that shaft there will be a bearing with (usually) 2 set screws...loosen them with the proper sized allen wrench....now just line up the top of the hook over the top of the needle(again, on it's upward stroke), ...tighten set screws...turn hand wheel again, and check to see that it's correct, then snug the set screws down well, replace bottom, then put your bobbin case and bobbin back in and test...NEVER with the foot pedal first! always test the first few stitches by turning the hand wheel manually in case something isn't right...if nothing jams and nothing hits, then go ahead and run machine.

  7. #7
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donna13350 View Post
    Yes...timing is very simple and takes less than 5 minutes, even for a beginner.
    First..you need to see if it is OUT of time...remove your bobbin and bobbin case, then turn the hand wheel toward you while watching the needle and hook. Once the needle has risen and has gone all the way down, it is what it does when returning up that counts. When the needle is coming back up, watch the hook, the tip of the hook should pass just over the top of the eye of the needle...if it does, your machine is timed properly ...if it does not, then you need to time it.


    To time it, lay the machine on a towel on it's back, remove the bottom cover, if there is one. turn your handwheel so that you can see the shaft that turns hook assembly(follow the dots...the hip bone is connected ..etc!)....on that shaft there will be a bearing with (usually) 2 set screws...loosen them with the proper sized allen wrench....now just line up the top of the hook over the top of the needle(again, on it's upward stroke), ...tighten set screws...turn hand wheel again, and check to see that it's correct, then snug the set screws down well, replace bottom, then put your bobbin case and bobbin back in and test...NEVER with the foot pedal first! always test the first few stitches by turning the hand wheel manually in case something isn't right...if nothing jams and nothing hits, then go ahead and run machine.

    Only if it is really out of time or you will still have the problem
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal.
    It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  8. #8
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donna13350 View Post
    Yes...timing is very simple and takes less than 5 minutes, even for a beginner.
    Well, I have to disagree that it's simple and takes 5 mins. And I'm not a beginner. I have spent up to a couple of days re-timing machines. It's not just the bobbin assembly that needs adjustment, sometimes the needle bar needs it too. And since every machine is a tad different, it always takes me added time to figure each one out. And lots of time to sometimes extract stuck screws etc. No...sometimes it can be a day to 2 or more day project. It's not something to tackle if you don't have to.
    Last edited by Candace; 12-13-2011 at 08:36 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member MrsBoats's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies! I'll definitely bookmark this thread for future reference.

    Lesson learned: Know what you're talking about before you talk about it. The bobbin case that I borrowed from the other old Kenmore "fit" in the sense that it did go in the shuttle, but it still wasn't the right bobbin case. My osmg dug one out of his boney pile, and with the right bobbin in it, it picked up the thread. (Imagine that! ) It's still at the shop for a rewire (I do NOT fool with electricity-everyone has an edge, and there's mine) and a new friction drive rubber.
    -Karen
    There's no such thing as too many sewing machines!

  10. #10
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Good. I'm glad you were able to figure it out. It is good to check everything else before you do the timing - I've very seldom found timing to be an issue. I would encourage any one reading this to exhaust other ideas first - specially if this is a machine you have been using. They just don't magically go out of time.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal.
    It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

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