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Thread: The Tension Dance

  1. #1
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    The Tension Dance

    Climax Kate, a New Home series L treadle, is finally up and sewing. My struggle is with the tension. Between the upper tension and the VS it is a struggle to find a happy medium. I've even adjusted the presser foot tension to try to remediate puckered stitches.

    Are there any strategies that I can try to reduce the amount of puckering? I can get the interlock to meet in the middle but the stitches still pucker!
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

  2. #2
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Tension is my biggest problem too. My wife has it down pat. If your thread interlock is in the center of the material, but it's still puckering, try reducing the tension just a wee bit on both the shuttle and top tension.

    Joe

  3. #3
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    ​Congrats on getting Kate up and running. I agree with Joe, check out the shuttle.
    Sweet Caroline

  4. #4
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Oh, one thing to check; take the shuttle tension spring off and clean under it. I had one that wouldn't sew worth a hoot. Took it apart and cleaned a lot of lint and crud out from under the spring. Also cleaned out the insides where the bobbin rides. Worked pretty good after I cleaned it.

    Joe

  5. #5
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    Not only is Kate up and sewing, she's in the house! Alvah has been usurped and resides in the "wreckroom". I took apart the shuttle prior to installing to check for crud. You have me thinking though. What if the bobbin's ends are a bit rough? Hmmm...

    I am loosening here, stitch a while, loosen there, stitch a while. The VS is amazingly noisey compared to all the other VS machines I've worked on. Perhaps it is traveling too much?
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

  6. #6
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Find your camera and take some pics. Glad to hear Kate is now in the house. Perhaps she is just being a bit testy because she was "on restriction" in the workshop too long.
    Sweet Caroline

  7. #7
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    Wouldn't surprise me! The more she stitches, the better she gets. Now if only I could get MY timing right to keep her starting the right direction. The treadle is so smooth that a slight nudge to start results in several stitches. Yeah, except when it goes backwards and breaks the thread!
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

  8. #8
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbugsullivan View Post
    Now if only I could get MY timing right to keep her starting the right direction. The treadle is so smooth that a slight nudge to start results in several stitches. Yeah, except when it goes backwards and breaks the thread!
    I had a guy at the antiques restoration place tell me that you should always give the hand wheel a little turn towards you as you start treadling. This prevents you from going backwards and breaking threads. I tried it when I got home, sure enough he was right. It's how I start almost all of my machines these days, electric or human powered.
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, 31-15, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

  9. #9
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I have four functional treadles right now. My #2 Singer 66 is for the lack of a better word, balanced, so well I can start it with the treadle. All I do is glance at the wheel to see if it's turning the right direction and if so continue treadling. If not I reverse the pedal and go.

    My Franklin and #1 Singer 66 are more obstinate. My 9W-7 is azz backwards from the start and drives me nuts till I'm able to reverse myself to match the machine.
    For those three I have to turn the wheel by hand until I get them going.

    Joe
    Last edited by J Miller; 08-21-2012 at 12:22 PM. Reason: spell checker put the wrong word in

  10. #10
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    Joe, like you I pay attention to the wheel at start up. My Alvah is so stiff to start I turn the treadle wheel!

    On recommendation, I took apart the shuttle again. This time I closely checked the bobbin. Looked good. Put a couple of drops of SM oil on a swab and shoved it in. OMS!!! The black crud that was in the bottom was thick. It took a soak with oil for 10 minutes and a small screwdriver scratching about to get it cleaned out. Much better results now! Still rather noisy but the stitches are acceptable.

    I am finding that the stitch length is off. Even at the longest throw of the feeddogs I get 12 stitches per inch. Right now I am hoping more oil time (soaking it in) will improve its function. Everything on the underside moves freely. Suggestions anyone?
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

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