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Thread: BANG HEAD HERE > + < or releave the tension???

  1. #1
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    BANG HEAD HERE > + < or releave the tension???

    I picked up a cheap derelict sewing machine from the Goodwill Auction sight unseen....
    It was dirty. I cleaned it.
    It was smelly... Cleaning helped a lot.
    It was not moving. (It does now) Does that mean it isn't derelict now???
    no...
    I decided to take the tension apart.
    The spindle/post thingy was spinning around in the socket.
    Stuff and thingies were not coming off like they normally should.
    After a while, I got the bit pieces off the post.
    The spring was sprung. ssssooooo not good...
    So I thought I would pull the post it out and see if I have a spring that fits.
    Well...
    The spindles are held in by set screws or they screw into the socket.
    I turned the set screw and metal came chipping out around the set screw... ARGH.
    Eventually it came out. It took the right screw driver, Tri-flow and heat...
    I started looking more closely at the socket. It looked a little knackered.
    Well, someone must have taken a hammer and screwdriver to that socket and tortured for some reason known only to them.
    Usually they come right out if you take out the set screw on the side or top somewhere... I guess that Egor character who worked on it never saw a service manual.
    I found the set screw, got it out. Then tried to pull the socket.
    Some of the metal came apart like a bad tooth filling.
    Then I thought I would pull out the remains of the socket.
    It crumbled some more. But the part that stayed in was stuck - very stuck.
    REMEMBER I had all the set screws out.
    Well that socket was toast... It had to come out
    thanks to that Egor character with the hammer going nuts...
    DH to the rescue. He got out a chisel and hammer... to no avail.
    That puppy was stuck. We did a bunch of head scratching.
    Then he got out the drill and drilled it out. The machine is now full of metal bits from that socket.
    I'm going to need to check and see if another tension/socket will fit in the hole after I get all the metal out of there...
    OK. So let this serve as a terrible warning:
    TENSIONS HAVE SET SCREWS HOLDING STUFF IN PLACE.
    READ THE SERVICE MANUAL.
    READ IT AGAIN............
    FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS.
    Manual: http://www.tfsr.org/publications/tec...achine_manual/
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  2. #2
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    I did that at the beginning of working on machines with an old singer plastic...it was a disaster...I feel your pain and yes, reading the manual does help. Not all machines are intuitive, and some are just poorly designed and are not meant to be be fixed. None the less, you should be able to retrofix the socket, but it may not be worth the effort.

  3. #3
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    stick with 19th century... hehehe

  4. #4
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
    stick with 19th century... hehehe
    BTW I do have a 19 century Singer 15. Nice machine - Egor sand blasted the finish... The guy must get around.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Vridar's Avatar
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    TENSIONS HAVE SET SCREWS HOLDING STUFF IN PLACE. - Miriam

    Had the same experience with Grandson's remote control boat prop shaft. Taught me to slow down - RIGHT!! Been telling myself for years "haste makes waste."

    Ron

  6. #6
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    The first purple high lighted area says to take out the set screws. Read what I wrote:
    The spindles are held in by set screws or they screw into the socket.
    and
    Usually they come right out if you take out the set screw on the side or top somewhere...


    This machine was tampered with by EGOR and his hammer and screwdriver. My message is this:
    LOOK FOR SET SCREWS! YOU DO NOT NEED FORCE TO REMOVE A TENSION
    Last edited by miriam; 07-17-2013 at 01:26 PM.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  7. #7
    Super Member kiffie2413's Avatar
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    I just have to say a big THANKS, for sharing your in this case "knowledge after the fact" with us "newbies to vintage machines people who say things that others may deem 'laughable or silly' when we really are asking a sincere question". I am enjoying learning about vintage machines, I have such great memories of spending lazy summer days with my grandma and great-grandma sewing away on their vintage Singers.
    K
    Last edited by kiffie2413; 07-17-2013 at 01:46 PM.
    Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest~Mark Twain

  8. #8
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I KNEW before I started that there were set screws. Egor did not get the memo. I did not realize Egor had 'worked' on that machine.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    ALSO NOTE:
    It should NEVER be necessary to remove that socket with a hammer and screw driver or a drill.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Vridar's Avatar
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    Sorry. Misunderstood. Should have known you knew what you were doing. Us newbies aren't so lucky. I thank you for you knowledge.
    Ron in NW MO

  11. #11
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Ron, It is ok. Some times I assume I was clear enough - but it should be clear by now. The tension should slide right out if the set screws are released. My socket crumbled when I was taking them out. Someone really did a number on that socket before I ever got my hands on it. They must have bashed the whole thing right into the machine to get it that stuck, too. I do hope another one will fit in the hole. I have some donor machines so something might work out for me.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  12. #12
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    Thanks Miriam.. I was a really horrible day, and I needed a laugh.. Sorry it was at your expense... Glad you got part of the problem solved..

  13. #13
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Some times I have to just laugh about it or I would be so mad it isn't funny. I've never seen one like it. I just have this image of someone's husband with a big honkin' hammer and a big screwdriver and he's hitting the socket to get it loose and it keeps breaking and going in farther. I'm surprised he gave up on it. I bet he wanted to beat that machine to a pulp. It was a good thing that one was cheap. I think other wise it might just be a good machine. I can't remember what it is called. It's just some Japanese zig zag machine. It should be a decent machine when it is done.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  14. #14
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Maybe somebody knows how to get all those metal shavings out of the nose area? They do not stick to a magnet. I do not want to use the hose. Egor would though - Egor is a genius....
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  15. #15
    Senior Member grant15clone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    Maybe somebody knows how to get all those metal shavings out of the nose area? They do not stick to a magnet. I do not want to use the hose. Egor would though - Egor is a genius....
    You could try this. Set up your vacuum hose in the area and use a can of compressed air for cleaning off a keyboard to knock it loose. Q-Tips also pick up that stuff.
    ~G~

  16. #16
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    Poor Mariam! I do appreciate your sense of humor and hear the frustration behind it. It could have easily been me!

    The last tensioner I took apart needed a better spring and I couldn't find one. I carefully recoiled the problem spring, and it took three days of off and on trying to get the tensioner back together. Now I take them apart only as a last resort.

    This does give me an idea, though. We have universal thread cones that will work on most any machine. Why couldn't there be a tensioner that fit over or near the bad tensioner and could be used instead? If someone could manufacture those, they could make a lot of money. Another idea would be for a company to make a universal replacement tensioner.

    I would use a vacuum cleaner with a small, long attachment. I wouldn't go for compressed air or I might have more frustration if a piece of metal got forced in somewhere. Or you could put some masking tape, rolled up like a lint roller, on the bottom of a straw or slender piece of wood or something and put it down there to pick up metal.

  17. #17
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    It worries me that I don't remember this what this machine looks like at all. I don't remember if I ever put it back together...
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  18. #18
    Super Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    I’ve had one or two of those old Japanese machines that had tension assemblies like you described. The barrel of the tension assembly is some kind of “pot-metal” that seems to swell into the casting hole of the head, like a mushroom. The metal quality is so poor, that the part that I could get hold of to remove it crumbled easily. I’m not sure what conditions the machine has to go through for that tension barrel to mushroom like that. Heat? Humidity?

    I’ve had to chisel them out and install a new tension assembly.

    CD in Oklahoma
    "I sew, I sew, so it's off to work I go!!!"
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  19. #19
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    One of the pleasures of living here on the wet side of WA is you get familiar with all sorts of rot and corrosion. I've seen that swollen, crumbly pot metal before, just not on a sewing machine(yet). Usually near the coast. Salt air might be good for the lungs but it wreaks havoc on everything else.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  20. #20
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    Rodney, I live over by the coast and it wreaked havoc with me too! Although I haven't found it on a sewing machine yet either. Having said that it will probably pop up with in the week.

    I thought this thread was very interesting, thank you M
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

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