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Thread: To repair or to replace?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    To repair or to replace?

    First I'm so glad to be back on here. My anti virus software blocked the site saying there was a virus. Then today I'm allowed back on. I missed you guys.

    How much does it cost to have a machine serviced and how often do you service your machine?

    I have a very small sewing room. How big is a long arm? What brand is good and how much are they?

    If you haven't guessed already something busted and I'm deciding to repair or replace. I just have an inexpensive home sewing machine that wouldn't be worth repairing if it is too expensive. If I need to spend a lot of money it's time for a new machine. I bought this one new maybe three years ago and have never had it serviced. Maybe that was my mistake?

  2. #2
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    You can buy an older vintage machine that you can service yourself and save lots of money. The old girls are also a lot more dependable than the newer plastic machines. The long arms vary in size depending on what you want to do and also the price.

  3. #3
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    I service call for my Bernina is usually $100. I only bring it in when I have trouble. No idea on the longarm as I don't have one.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bigredharley's Avatar
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    I have what they call a mid-arm on a frame. It is 12 feet long and you need about 5 feet deep to give yourself minimal room to move around it. I paid $11,000 for a floor model.

    You could use the same sewing machine for both regular sewing and long arm-ing but that sucker is too heavy for me to move. If you are looking to spend less, you can go with a sit-down machine like the HQ Sweet 16 or a DSM made specifically for quilters like the Baby Lock Crescendo ~$4000.

    Good luck.
    ​Nancy

  5. #5
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    since location matters (we have no idea where you are) and local resources matter- it's pretty hard to tell what it costs to have a machine serviced---and of course it depends on what broke! regular service- cleaning/tune up's run anywhere from about $40 right on up- depending on what machine it is- and what service shop you take it to- as for repairs...only the service person can tell you- if you contact a local shop/dealer they will tell you how much they charge for service and if you go in they will probably give you an estimate on what the price of 'fixing' will be. if you love the machine it is worth fixing, if the service person says it's 'fixable'. they can answer that question for you. as for the long-arm....they are big- you need room for a 10-12 foot table, the machine, ability to walk around the table- and they are fairly expensive- visit either a show, dealer or website for long arms and check out the size/foot print (amount of space it takes up) and the variety of price ranges- long arms like everything else range in price form *moderate - $10,000 on up to $40,000+ * depending on the set up, the options, lots of variables- it is possible to find them used at times- again, depends on where you are & what is available.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  6. #6
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    when i lived in minnesota, i had a largish master bedroom. since my sleeping stuff only took up about half of the room, i was able to put my hinterberg stretch frame up at the window end of the room. the hinty allows you to set it up at any length you want because you buy your own poles from home depot, etc. i was able to have the frame at 9.5 ft. and was able to quilt queen sized quilts on it.
    Nancy in western NY
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  7. #7
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I clean my own machines. I only take them for service if I think they really need it. I use two straight stitch only machines that need to be oiled, I try to keep up with that. The oldest of these two is about six years old and I use one or the other everyday. I don't have space for a longarm. These two have 9" throat space and I can quilt any size I want to.
    Another Phyllis
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  8. #8
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    I usually bring my machine in for an 'oil change'...aka a tune up only when it has an issue. Flat rate tune up only is $65 here in upstate NY. If anything else is needed, it's more. Usually it's more! Good luck!
    Go forth and sew!

  9. #9
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    OK I don't have room for a long arm. This machine is an inexpensive brother that I paid 250 bucks for. I guess I'll find out what it needs first. I inherited my grandmothers Bernina, but won't have it till summer when my mom brings it to me. Of those of you that have one, is the maintenance a lot pricier? My grandmother died recently at 102 years old and credits sewing and quilting for keeping her mind sharp.

  10. #10
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    In my neck of the woods taking a machine for annual check -up is typically about $100.00. Anything more needed , such as a light bulb change...it more ... a lot more . My local wanted to charge $25.00 in addition to the annual check up charge for replacing the light bulb... and that was just the labor .. the bulb was more ... 200 percent of actual cost.
    Its one reason I love vintage ... so easy to maintain myself. Alas , I have a love hate relationship with my newer machine.

  11. #11
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    In my area, there are two LQS that service Berninas and Janome/Baby Locks. Each of them charges around $80 for general maintenance, then if anything else is needed, they will call and tell you how much it will cost to fix it.

    With most machines, if you will do two things consistently, you will hopefully never have a repair issue. (1) Clean the lint out of your bobbin area EVERY TIME you change the bobbin. You will find that different threads and fabrics generate different amounts of lint. Do not try to blow lint away, as this will put moisture into the machine's innards and may cause problems down the line. I use a Q-tip, others use a brush (either the one that comes with your machine or something like a medium art paint brush) to catch the lint. (2) Oil and lube your machine every 6 months. Your manual will show where the points are. If you don't have a manual, google your machine model number plus the word manual and you will probably find one online. On my Bernina, I put a drop of oil in the bobbin area at least once a month.

  12. #12
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    I service call for my Bernina is usually $100. I only bring it in when I have trouble. No idea on the longarm as I don't have one.
    Same price at a Bernina dealership in Southern California. I need to get mine in for general servicing. One time my Bernina STOPPED working. I found that there are areas I can not get the dust bunnies out and they had over populated that small space bringing the Bernina to a grinding halt. Even the dealer was surprised!! It is just finding someone who will drive me to the local dealership since I had to give up driving.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  13. #13
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    I take my machine in every year for servicing -- it is a TOL Bernina and it is easier to have it cleaned and updated when I want to take it in rather than waiting and having an issue. Take your machine to your local dealer -- they can give you an estimate on the service and repair. Then you can decide what your next step is.

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