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Thread: Attention: All you long arm owners.....

  1. #1
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Attention: All you long arm owners.....

    How often do you get your machine serviced? And do you keep your machine well oiled? My long arm died last weekend. I took it to my Viking dealer for service and she returned it today. I thought I was doing a great job of keeping it oiled and cleaned of lint. But the repair lady told me that there were massive amounts of lint in areas that are sealed. That lint gets into the tiniest crevices. She tells me a long arm machine should be cleaned and serviced more often than a sewing machine due to the lint build-up. This lady has been servicing my sewing machines for years and knows I take excellent care of my machines, but she says long armers just don't know that they need regular service too.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Patti25314's Avatar
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    So, your machine is OK now?
    Since I gain weight reading cookbooks, why can't I lose weight watching a fitness program?

  3. #3
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I think this lady is wrong about longarms needing more frequent maintenance. Most longarmers don't take their machines in, unless there's a severe problem, because their dealers are not usually nearby and the machines are meant to be cleaned, oiled, and maintained by the owner, much like vintage sewing machines. I know there are fewer places for lint to hide in my Innova than in my Bernina, and I also know that I can reach the (single) regular oiling point very easily (the bobbin hook). There is one other place that can occasionally be oiled (although not required), and that's also easily reached. As a Viking dealer, perhaps she doesn't frequently see longarms? Or perhaps she is familiar with only one brand? I frequent several longarm yahoo groups, and I don't remember anyone ever talking about needing to take their longarm in for regular servicing.

  4. #4
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    Most of the time I see the 'repair person' go to the longarmers home. This is because the machines are heavier and you don't just sew with them sitting on a table. And as dunster stated above they are made for us to take care of. I know my machine doesn't have any hidden places, the bottom is all open and I can see everything in the needle arm area. Not sure if I would be happy with a machine that was all enclosed.

  5. #5
    Junior Member An Arm Long's Avatar
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    I have a Baby Lock Crown Jewel and went to the 4 day class in St. Louis put on by Baby Lock. We were told to clean out the lint and oil the race after every other bobbin while quilting and to clean and oil before using if it has been awhile. The machine has a trip counter which keeps track of the number of stitches to let you know when it needs to be serviced. I have had it a year and a half and have not yet had it serviced. I think they said that if you use it alot, you may need to have it serviced yearly. The Crown Jewel is the same machine as the HQ Avante.
    Beth in Maryland

  6. #6
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I have a viking and I do not take it in. I oil and clean it myself. Have not had a problem.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Spudgm's Avatar
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    I have a Nolting FQ and I clean the bobbin case with every bobbin change, I oil the bobbin hook after every two bobbins and I oil it and warm it up each day when I am using it. If I do not use it for awhile I will oil it and warm it up for about 5 minutes each week. This is how the factory, where it was made, told me to take care of it.
    -Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy -and- sorrow, stitched with love- http://spudgrandma.wordpress.com/

  8. #8
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    I have an APQS Millenium and we plan on taking their maintenance class this spring so we can repair our own should the need arise. We are scrupulous about keeping it cleaned and oiled.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  9. #9
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i have (machine/tech) vacuum attachments & between projects really give mine a good cleaning, i also maintain it constantly- as for brushing out all the lint & a drop of oil between bobbin changes- in the 9 years i've had my machine i took it in once for service- was quite unhappy when it came back- now if i need something i call the main company- talk to customer service- trouble shoot- if i need something they send it to me & hubby does the repair-replacement.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  10. #10
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the comments. Yes, I clean and oil scrupulously also. But I have been quilting for the Operation Hurricane Sandy, and have done at least 20 quilts in the last few weeks. I do the Q-tip thing around the undercarriage and around the bobbin case, my bottom is not sealed either, but I cannot lift my machine to do maintainence under there; have to have someone lift it for me. The machine is fine, the fuse blew is all that happened. I chose my Viking because I love my service lady and my Viking Dealer. True, she only works on Vikings, but she has been servicing machines, both sewing and long arms for years.

  11. #11
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    I'm not a LA owner yet, but I'm planning to be soon. I was told by 2 dealers that long arms aren't really meant to be taken off the frame and brought in to the shop, which is why they come to the home if service is needed. I probably won't get this quite right, but there was something about it being on a belt and the belt could stretch if you remove it?

  12. #12
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    The day I have to take my Gammill IN for servicing is the day I'll start looking for another brand of machine...it's too big, and I'm too old to play those kind of games. I see no reason to have to go through that if you have a good maintenance program for it at home and a reliable dealer to work through problems with you on the phone. (And yes, I understand that sometimes you just HAVE to take it in....but, no thanks! I guess I'd have to see if I can bribe my OSMG to come look at it if I can't fix it with dealer help.) Even the thought of having to take it in sends cold chills down my spine!
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  13. #13
    Senior Member Michellesews's Avatar
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    I've had mine since 2006, use it at least once or twice a week, keep it cleaned and oiled. I have never had it serviced. To do so would mean removing a 25# pole and hauling a 75# machine somewhere. I have nearly taken it apart before, due to a thread issue, and put it back together myself. I reset my timing myself and I can open portholes to gease the gears and look inside, and there is no lint in there. I really don't feel the need to take mine in at all. Hopefully I won't be sorry some day!
    Michelle Guadarrama

  14. #14
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    As a new owner of a Bailey machine (since 9/2012), I have yet to oil it since the DVD that came with it says to oil once a year. Since Colorado can be dry with low humidity at times, I will be keeping a close eye on this. So far it is doing great.

  15. #15
    Senior Member cedarvalleyquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudgm View Post
    I have a Nolting FQ and I clean the bobbin case with every bobbin change, I oil the bobbin hook after every two bobbins and I oil it and warm it up each day when I am using it. If I do not use it for awhile I will oil it and warm it up for about 5 minutes each week. This is how the factory, where it was made, told me to take care of it.
    Agree with this. We also have Nolting machines in our shop. Fortunately, we do live close to Hiawatha, but have never taken ours in for regular service, as the instructions above are sufficient, but it's nice to be close in case we should ever need to.

    Christine

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudgm View Post
    I have a Nolting FQ and I clean the bobbin case with every bobbin change, I oil the bobbin hook after every two bobbins and I oil it and warm it up each day when I am using it. If I do not use it for awhile I will oil it and warm it up for about 5 minutes each week. This is how the factory, where it was made, told me to take care of it.
    I have an APQS and do as above. But every 3/4 yrs, I call make an appointment and take an overnite trip to factory so the techs there can really go over the machine head....I call it a spa day for machine, a fun day for me....quilt shop, antique shop, resale shop......they have done some things I would not know had to be done, like "bushings" one time, heavy grease type stuff put somewhere another time, check timing, etc.,but each trip they do mention how lint free it is, so I know I am doing my job. It is worth it and when "we" come home it is like cutting butter with a warm knife.......but I think these machines are more industrial than the ones made by dm makers and can be cleaned and oiled much easier by us.......JMHO

  17. #17
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    There's certainly no reason to take one of the big machines in for servicing when most of us are just a phone call away from great service. As for maintenance, my Gammill is made so I can open the top and side for cleaning. The bobbin case assembly easily comes out for cleaning. I keep it clean and oiled and it has given me great service for the past 12 years, over 1,000 quilts quilted, with no trip to the dealer. Had to edit because I forgot to mention that I have put in new switches, brushes and a fuse; but their online manual is a great help if you do not want to call the dealer.
    Last edited by Bobbielinks; 01-18-2013 at 06:53 AM.

  18. #18
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I have a 26" Innova and the only time I had my machine serviced is when the drive belt went. Then the manufacturer (in Texas) talked my husband through removing the gear assembly and bobbin race and send it back to the factory for a new belt. When it came back it was up to us to reinstall and time the machine. Most LA owners I have chatted with on line have all learned how to time their machines because most of us aren't capable of removing the machine from the carriage and hauling it somewhere. I think you Viking dealer is feeding you a load of garbage. She may have been doing this for a long time, but there is absolutely no reason to bring LA in for servicing frequently. They are built so the owner can adequately clean it, oil it and do routine maintenance, such as timing. My machine also makes it easy to remove the face plate and get at the needle bar. I routinely oil in there as well, though not required it is recommended.

    I don't know about viking machines, but if they require you bring in for servicing that often, you may want to consider upgrading. Viking are mid arms so they are smaller and not as heavy as a LA so maybe they aren't made like the others to self service and maintain.

  19. #19
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    This is kinda old history now. But the end result was that the machine had to be returned to the factory for all new electronic boards and new mechanical bearings. HV covered all costs. But then just 2weeks ago the stitch regulator went crazy on me. So it is back in Tennessee for factory repairs. Mine is a longarm 18/8. I love it when it is working, but have lost confidence in it now, and am in the market for a new machine.

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