Bernina - generally

Old 08-15-2016, 09:37 PM
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Default Bernina - generally

Hi! A friend dropped off a Bernina 831 she found at a thrift store. It's got the foot pedal blues so I'll have top either fix or repair but I am here to ask if anyone knows of a Bernina enthusiast site or can give me a general idea about the machine's needs.

It also needs a new bobbin case, but i don't even know if it takes a standard bobbin or whatever.

I am a janome girl through and through with a grudging love for a singer 401a. I would love to have a good zig zag machine. That singer is very finicky!

Is this 831 a more basic, less expensive version of the famous 830R? Tuned and card for will it be my satin stitch queen or should I regift it to someone else?

Thanks for your help!

aileen
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Old 08-16-2016, 02:58 AM
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You an re-gift it to me and the dreaded 401...
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Old 08-16-2016, 03:26 AM
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There is a Yahoo group dedicated to older Berninas, called "Bernina ThirtySomethings". I lean towards repair pedals when possible, a new Bernina pedal tends to cost a bit. It can be a minor thing, hard to know. Some models take well to generic pedals though. It takes a general Bernina Bobbin case; same as some current models. There are generic cases available, but there are lots of confused info on model compatability.

It's a very simple machine to use, easy clean and maintain, and yes much the same as the 830 Record, but with less stitch patterns. The 831 has turn dials (all the 800s does), and it has the same set up as the 830 Record, the same buttonholer. It's very forgiving when it comes to various fabric thicknesses, not as easy to give a full service, at least not as an amateur; but with help and good info anything is possible.

There are various bobbin cases for different type of work; cordonette and one with a black hatch. It needs to be confirmed, but I think all listed for the CB hook type should work with your machine.

Last edited by Mickey2; 08-16-2016 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 08-16-2016, 04:34 AM
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I have a Bernina 830 and get my parts from sewing machines plus. At least I think that is the website. http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/ and http://www.sewingmachinesplus.com/se...hine-parts.php
I wish I hadn't deleted their newsletter so I could give you the link to the actual site.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:05 AM
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The Bernina 831 is an awesome machine! Be certain it's the foot pedal before you replace it. It just may be that the motor brushes need to be replaced. It may have the min/max button switched to min. Or the belt may be slipping. If it has the foot pedal with the carbon piles, it needs to have the capacitor replaced by a thermal switch. If it has the circuit board foot pedal, there's a potentiometer adjustment on the back. If the potentiometer is maxed out, you need to replace the capacitor.

The older Berninas take the same BERNINA bobbin case as the new machines -- not the $5 to $15 generic oscillating bobbin case. The Bernina ones have a hole in the "finger," for when you're making a buttonhole. You can get a generic Bernina bobbin from Brewer. The part # is 0015347200. They retail for about $42.00. They can take a standard 15 class Singer bobbin, but do better with a generic Bernina bobbin #0115367000. Bernina bobbins have 7 holes, Singer 15 class have 10 holes.

That machine will do a beautiful satin stitch.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:12 AM
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Bernina is generally really hush hush with the maintenance of their machines. I have only used Bernina bobbin with my 1020, 1230 and 1530.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:35 AM
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If the Bernina is more than you want to deal with expense wise, a Singer 237 is a basic zig zag machine with a fantastic satin stitch, and any of the 1950s to early 1960s Brother zig zag machines will do a great satin stitch as well. I'm a die hard vintage Brother fan but I love my Janome embroidery machines.

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Old 08-16-2016, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by stillclock View Post
Hi! A friend dropped off a Bernina 831 she found at a thrift store. It's got the foot pedal blues so I'll have top either fix or repair but I am here to ask if anyone knows of a Bernina enthusiast site or can give me a general idea about the machine's needs.

It also needs a new bobbin case, but i don't even know if it takes a standard bobbin or whatever.

I am a janome girl through and through with a grudging love for a singer 401a. I would love to have a good zig zag machine. That singer is very finicky!

Is this 831 a more basic, less expensive version of the famous 830R? Tuned and card for will it be my satin stitch queen or should I regift it to someone else?

Thanks for your help!

aileen
The 831 is the next in the line down from the 830. More basic machine, but still a very good machine. I hope it has attachment feet as they can be a bit difficult to find.
Sharon in Texas
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:57 AM
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The 800 series didn't have holes in the original bobbins, flat sides with only a tiny square cut out near the "hub" (or center) of it. I have a 730 Record (1965 perhaps a year or two later), and a 900 Nova (ca 1977), they have been used a lot and still run fine. They came with identical bobbins as the 830 and 831. They've been in for service about twice in their life, and have never been high maintanance in any way. The 730 had a pedal issue early in it's life (before I had it) but have been running fine since.

Last edited by Mickey2; 08-16-2016 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:04 AM
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The foot pedal goes from off to full speed, so I suspect it can be repaired. How do I determine or test the pedal? I took the back casing off and t looks brand new inside.

The bobbin case is broken but maybe it too can be repaired?

The accessory box is not included, but experience with the 401 indicates I really don't need a lot of feet for the machines. When I went to buy a new machine I decided on the most mechanical straight stitch work horse I could find. I am not jazzed to do machine embroidery and I very seldom use decorative stitches. I really do need a good zig zag/ satin stitch machine. I bet this machine would fit the bill, but I am pretty wary of the costs of fixing another vintage machine.

Hrm.

Thoughts about this bobbin case?

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