Help with ??tension??

Old 08-07-2019, 11:27 AM
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Default Help with ??tension??

I have several old singers that I have taken apart and cleaned. Now they all seem to have the same problem. I'm getting bird's nests on the back. I got one of the tension testers for the bobbin to make sure I had the lower tension adjusted correctly. No matter what I do, I keep getting bird's nests. Since this is happening with all my machines, I'm assuming I've got the same problem with all of them (Me). Now, I'm having the same problem with my Brother, which is not a vintage machine (but is one of the cheap ones). I do hold the threads when I begin sewing so it is not that. In fact, I can sew several inches before I start to have problems. My stitches look like the top tension is too loose, or the bottom too tight, but no amount of adjusting seems to help. If any of you have suggestions I would love to hear them. I've pretty much quit sewing because I'm so frustrated.

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 08-07-2019 at 11:29 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:36 AM
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I know this sounds crazy but are you sure you have the bobbin spinning in the right direction? When I had that problem with my 15-91 and my FW, that was the problem. For some reason I didn't think it mattered but when I read the books and went slower it was one thing that seemed to matter.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by quiltingcandy View Post
I know this sounds crazy but are you sure you have the bobbin spinning in the right direction? When I had that problem with my 15-91 and my FW, that was the problem. For some reason I didn't think it mattered but when I read the books and went slower it was one thing that seemed to matter.
Yep, made sure that was correct and that partially solved the problem. Checked all threading, changed threads and needles and still having problems. I don't have as bad a problem when piecing, so the thickness of the quilt is part of the problem, but I should be able to fix that by adjusting the top tension. Nothing seems to totally solve the problem. I've already ruined one quilt because I thought I had the problem fixed and did a bit of quilting only to find the problem reasserted itself and it was too knotted to take out without ruining the backing fabric.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:17 PM
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Have you checked to see if the pin from the presser foot lever to the backside of the tension assembly is moving?
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:10 PM
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are you sure the top thread is threaded correctly? mine usually does this when the thread has jumped out of the "take up" lever (I think that is what it is called)
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:35 PM
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Just a thought . . .I have had this happen on a machine my friend rarely used. We changed the needle and thought. That helped for a while. Then birds nests being attacked by snakes. As I looked over her manual and realized we were using the wrong bobbin type. We had to go buy some bobbins and that cleared up the problem completely.
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:43 PM
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It could be your thread. I hope you aren't using polyester thread. I worked on 2 machines 3 weeks ago for a lady and she was using it and when I put my cotton on it ran just wonderful. I'm just giving a suggestion. I also worked on one and it wouldn't use the bobbin she had. I looked hard in my bobbins and put one in that had just One hole in it and the machine came right along and sewed.

Last edited by barny; 08-07-2019 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:00 PM
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Putting needles in the "not right" direction also will cause this.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:34 PM
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I hate to keep talking, but, the tension tester I've never heard of. I looked it up and it was for Longarm quilting. Every old machine has different tensions for each one. I have a hard time sometimes getting my tension right. I wouldn't do much to the bobbin. I've been told if we are adjusting the bobbin, just turn the screw very little.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:25 AM
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I wonder if your bobbins are wound too tight or too loose? I've had issues with tension with poorly wound bobbins in my (not vintage) machine. Now I tend to go a bit more slowly when winding.
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