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201-2 Potential Threading Issue?

201-2 Potential Threading Issue?

Old 05-14-2020, 04:48 AM
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Default 201-2 Potential Threading Issue?

Again forgive me if this has been discussed - am still a bit of a newbie with my 201-2 and have searched ad nauseum and can't find an answer. You all were so helpful with the bobbin issue so am coming back.

I just got new thread (Coats and Clark all purpose so no cross-winding issues) - when using this thread, my machine will sew great for a few passes and then it all goes to pot (loops or total mess underneath). Once I re-thread the machine (I don't have to touch the bobbin), it's works fine for a few passes and I'm back to the issues. I *think* the thread is coming out of the tension disks and that's what causing the issues but that's just my very basic analysis. I've rewound the bobbin, experimented with the tension dial, cleaned out the machine... all to no avail. The machine ran smoothly before this for over 100 masks for healthcare workers so I'm wondering if it has something to do with this thread - or perhaps, much like my bobbin issue, the spool being too light and the thread "flying" out of the tension disks?

Thank you so much in advance and feel free to point me in the direction of another post if this has already been discussed and I missed it. Appreciate all of you in helping me enjoy my grandmother's machine - it was so beloved to her and I now treasure it so much!
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Old 05-14-2020, 06:15 AM
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Welcome to the board. Probably not your issue, but I had to tell a story. I had folks handcranking one of my 99s at a fair and one of the threads kept braking. I thought I hadn't changed anything. But I do live in Kansas. The wind was blowing the thread off the take up lever into places it shouldn't. I turned the machine 90 degrees and it was fine the rest of the day. Do you have a fan on?.
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Old 05-14-2020, 06:24 AM
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Good point, Leon. I know about the wind in Kansas. It blows potato chips off the plate while trying to eat outdoors.

I've heard rumors that some machines are picky with thread, but not a 201. I'm guessing you are using a spool pin felt under the spool of thread, so that it can feed freely. I'm wondering if you have cleaned out the tension assembly and oiled after sewing all those masks. Another thought is that somehow the check/take-up spring somehow got out of position or that accidentally, when threading that it didn't get in position over the retaining fork. In my 201 manual the retaining fork is number 3 in the instructions for upper threading.

I'm not sure it would make any difference, but have you checked the needle to make sure it isn't bent or blunted and the correct size for the thread.

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Old 05-14-2020, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by OurWorkbench View Post
Good point, Leon. I know about the wind in Kansas. It blows potato chips off the plate while trying to eat outdoors.

I've heard rumors that some machines are picky with thread, but not a 201. I'm guessing you are using a spool pin felt under the spool of thread, so that it can feed freely. I'm wondering if you have cleaned out the tension assembly and oiled after sewing all those masks. Another thought is that somehow the check/take-up spring somehow got out of position or that accidentally, when threading that it didn't get in position over the retaining fork. In my 201 manual the retaining fork is number 3 in the instructions for upper threading.

I'm not sure it would make any difference, but have you checked the needle to make sure it isn't bent or blunted and the correct size for the thread.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
I am using a felt and no fans/air blowing on or around the machine. While I blew out/brushed around the tension disks, I didn't oil them or take the whole assembly apart. Maybe I need to go through the whole process of taking them apart/putting them back together (which scares the beejesus out of me) - hopefully between the manual and YouTube I will be okay... Thanks for the input!
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:05 AM
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I am another who worries over taking tensions apart. The Singer manuals are not written well regarding this. subject. After several frustrating attempts, and mixed luck, I stumbled across Ray's Sew Purdy video on reassembling Singer tensions, and suddenly, it all made sense.
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:52 AM
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"I am another who worries over taking tensions apart. The Singer manuals are not written well regarding this. subject. After several frustrating attempts, and mixed luck,"

This is what got me into this madness. GF had a featherweight with tension issues G, "fix in Leon." L " I don't knw anything about a sewing machine. G/ "but you are a gear head" l" Not on something this small. G' "I have the manual" L " manuals only tell you so much. and this was your mother's machine" G "YouTube videos." L 15 ways to do it wrong and mebbe one way that works." G' It will cost me $100.00 and it will be gone for 3 weeks if I take it in." L "hmm I can take it apart and not break anything." G "give it a try." So with manual in hand and you tube at the ready I tore it down, cleaned oil, put it back together. No luck, Tried again, no luck Youtubes, a bit of improvement. G" Well, Thanks for trying." L What do you mean, I'm just getting started." G, " oh." More tinkering and it was stitching. fine. YAY . She had it running the same evening/ Then I got curious about how a sewing machine actually worked. 150 machines later I am getting pretty good at them and have no fear of working with tensions. Well, except for Whites and that's because I haven't had too. I tore a tension apart on a 99 and put it back together and handed it to GF. I'd adjusted it just with a stray piece of thread. Once she threaded it. I had it right on the money.
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:57 PM
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Leon, thank you. That was a fun read about how you got started.

Tensions aren't too bad, if you have the diagram as how they go together. The 201 manual I have, has it broken out, along with instructions.

A few links I found about the 201 tension assembly are:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guYToL6Gegs
https://oldsingersewingmachineblog.c...on-adjustment/
https://oldsingersewingmachineblog.c...sion-part-two/

Another thought - are you sewing at a consistent speed? Are you going over seams or pleats when this happens?

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Last edited by OurWorkbench; 05-14-2020 at 05:02 PM. Reason: add'l thought
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Old 05-15-2020, 05:23 AM
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I'm not much of a mechanic, but could it be that thingy that engages the tension when you put the presser foot down? (thedudeabides, I don't expect you to know this - I'm hoping to engage a better sewing machine mechanic to answer this question.)
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Old 05-15-2020, 02:49 PM
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I think Janey posted this to the wrong thread:

Good point, bkay. I think the youtube videos that I referred to previously do not show the release pin. Those do sometimes get gunked up and do not work properly. A way to check the upper tension can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxtQO2XSB4s

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Old 05-15-2020, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bkay View Post
I think Janey posted this to the wrong thread:...
boy that is embarrassing!

Thank you, bkay. This is the thread that it should have been. I sure did get that posted in the wrong thread. I have reported the other post and asked to have it deleted.

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