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Adjusting presser foot pressure

Adjusting presser foot pressure

Old 10-29-2015, 05:42 AM
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Default Adjusting presser foot pressure

My FW's seams are kind of puckery, and I think maybe I have too much pressure on the presser foot. I really just need to play with it but I was thinking that I haven't really seen posts on adjusting presser foot pressure properly, and it's something I've never really thought much about.

What's a "good" amount of pressure, and how do you test it? Is it just guess-and-check, or is there some sort of general test that can be done to help get it right? (Of course it's going to be different for different needs, but is there a way to test it with the intended fabrics...?)

Do any of you mark your vintage machines somehow when you find the sweet spot? I have changed pressure on my big modern machine a bit, but it has a numbered dial so I can always put it right back to "normal" afterwards.
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Old 10-29-2015, 06:00 AM
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That's a really good question. I'll be watching to see what others say.
Sorry, I'm no help.
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Old 10-29-2015, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Sewnoma View Post
My FW's seams are kind of puckery, and I think maybe I have too much pressure on the presser foot. I really just need to play with it...
... (Of course it's going to be different for different needs, but is there a way to test it with the intended fabrics...?)

Do any of you mark your vintage machines somehow when you find the sweet spot? I have changed pressure on my big modern machine a bit, but it has a numbered dial so I can always put it right back to "normal" afterwards.
Yes, one has to play somewhat to get it "right" especially with something that isn't numbered. I have seen some things about adjusting the pressure in some of the Singer manuals. One of the 221 pdf manuals I have just tells which direction to turn to loosen or tighten, but not much else.

The best description I have is from a "Singer Study Skills" booklet I have that I scanned. I don't know if it is legible how I have edited it but here it is. sskill-adj-press.jpg

Wow. that turned out better than I thought it would.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.

Last edited by OurWorkbench; 10-29-2015 at 06:54 AM.
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Old 10-29-2015, 02:00 PM
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It an art...
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Old 10-29-2015, 04:36 PM
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I always just test do it too, not much else to do really. If it doesn't feed correctly is when I check the pressure most of the time. If the stitches are not the length they should be for the length you have selected, usually smaller then you need to release the pressure a bit. If it is wondering all around when you are trying to get a good straight seam, then loosen or tighten it, just remember which you are doing, it can be caused by either one. Not a big problem usually, you can always change it back and try again. Yes it is an art,lol, I am an artist
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Old 10-29-2015, 06:10 PM
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I have had a couple machines that needed the feed dogs height adjusted. That can also reek havoc.
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Old 10-29-2015, 06:24 PM
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I had trouble with one somewhere along the way. I ended up looking at the rough setting of it in the manual (how much I could see in the illustration).
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Old 10-29-2015, 09:19 PM
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Another suggestion. If your tension is too tight it can also cause puckered seams. Tension can be balanced(top and bottom equal) and still be too tight.

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Old 10-30-2015, 05:45 AM
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Ok, so guess-and-check it is! I had a feeling that would be the answer but figured it was worth asking!

I've played with the tension already - that was my first assumption but I could only make things worse but not better. I gave up on that in frustration (I usually am pretty good at fixing tension so I was annoyed it wasn't working) and had an "ah-hah" moment just yesterday that it's probably the presser foot pressure causing me fits. And then that led me to thinking about the bobbin tension test and wondering if there was something similar for presser foot pressure.
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Old 10-30-2015, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Sewnoma View Post
Ok, so guess-and-check it is! I had a feeling that would be the answer but figured it was worth asking!

I've played with the tension already - that was my first assumption but I could only make things worse but not better. I gave up on that in frustration (I usually am pretty good at fixing tension so I was annoyed it wasn't working) and had an "ah-hah" moment just yesterday that it's probably the presser foot pressure causing me fits. And then that led me to thinking about the bobbin tension test and wondering if there was something similar for presser foot pressure.
Most of the time when my machine I'm currently using is having fits, it is operator head space error . In other words, it's the carbon based unit using the machine having issues & not the machine. I do try to remember that plus a cup of tea.
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