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Thread: I just had a preventable "you stupid moron" moment ....

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I just had a preventable "you stupid moron" moment ....

    I just had a preventable "you stupid moron" moment ....

    I traded into a 2001 or so vintage Singer 3810. ( I know it's not vintage, but the moral of the story applies to vintage machines too. ) It is of course a plastic covered aluminum bodied, plastic geared machine, but it sews really nice.
    The spool pin was broken off so I took the machine's plastic cover off then printed out the parts book and owners manual from the Singer site. So far so good.
    Went to the LSMG today and low and behold he had the parts. Yipppeeee! Got home and put it back together very carefully. No screws left over, nothing out of alinement. It even ran.
    Threaded it up, put in a bobbin and pulled up the thread, so far so good.

    Then when I started to sew ..... BANG!!!!! Scared the peewaddins out of me. I had one heck of time getting the machine jam that resulted cleared.

    I had put the bobbin carrier, which is plastic, in just a hair off and it didn't lock. When I stared to sew it rotated around and the needle caught it and snapped off. The bobbin carrier was tilted and the whole shebang jammed.

    I got it cleared and replaced the bobbin carrier correctly, threaded it up, and the thread snarled up. Over and over and over I undid snarled up wads of thread. I had the bobbin carrier out a dozen times. Other than the preexisting broken corner* and the new needle mark just made there was no obvious damage or problems with it. My frustration level was increasing 10 fold and I dropped a bunch of things. After picking them up I sat back and just stared at the machine. Thinking all sorts of bad things about it.
    Then my eyes fell upon the thread take up lever. It's down inside the machine body and you can't really see if it's threaded or not. It was threaded before the jam, but now? I leaned in and looked real close, then picked up the thread from the spool end and slowly pulled it out. Nope, the thread was not through the take up lever. NUTS!!
    I re-threaded the machine from top to bottom and all was well again.

    The moral of this story is: If your machine was sewing properly and suddenly isn't sewing properly, RE-THREAD IT from the spool down. I felt like a total stupid moron.

    Now my worries is that I may have thrown it out of time with that jam. I sure hope not. It sews straight and ZZ and some of the fancy stitches, so I'm hoping for the best.

    * The bobbin carrier has been miss-seated before and the same kind of jam has broken the hook on the right corner off.
    My LSMG has a new one, but it was $15.00 and I didn't have that much today. It will be replaced soon.

    Don't forget ..... when in doubt, RE-THREAD IT.

    Joe

  2. #2
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    That's what I do when the machine just isn't sewing right. Most times, it works!!

  3. #3
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advise. Sorry you had such a bad day. Hope it sews really good for you now.

  4. #4
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    It's okay, Joe....we've all had them and some of the ones we've had have been WAY worse!
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  5. #5
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    In addition....I just finished working on my friend's modern Brother. It was obviously a tension problem, but one I hadn't seen before. The bobbin thread was pulling to the top, but we had loops on the bottom.
    I tightened the bobbin tension and cleaned the tension disks. No more pulling the bobbin thread to the top, but still had weird stitches and loops. Then I noticed the thread she had on the machine. The 50 cent stuff you buy at the box store. No consistency to the thickness of the thread, and really linty. Pulled it, replaced it with Superior, rewound the bobbin, and VIOLA! Decent stitches...not the quality of the old vintage girls, but decent. Lesson. Don't use cheap thread... you don't have to use the most expensive stuff, but that 50 cent stuff is worthless.

    The best part of the story is that she had taken this machine in to be serviced because of the problem. The guy gave her a price of $119, plus parts as needed. He then offered to sell her a Riccar for much less than the service cost....probably a 70's or early 80's model. She bought it and thought she'd sell the Brother on Craig's List with the understanding that it would need service. It no longer needs serviced...so she'll get the Riccar for free and have a MUCH better machine!
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Same thing with really old thread....I mean, REALLY OLD, like from the 1970s. I had a box of old thread from my DH's mom's stuff, and I tried sewing with several different colors....not good!! Most of it was really kinda brittle and wouldn't lay into the fabric well. So I test sewed a bunch of it and had to throw most of it away. some of it felt so stiff I didn't want to put it in the bobbin.

  7. #7
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    LOL, "really old thread....I mean, REALLY OLD, like from the 1970s." To me that's just not new thread any more. We've got some from the 50s that we've acquired in "grab bag" lots on GW that sews just fine.
    Most of it is American made Coats & Clarks, or Clarks or Coats.
    My wife commented that the way it's stored has a lot to do with how the thread lasts.

    We don't use it for anything important, but ..... we do use the C&C Size 50 thread to set the tensions on the old Singers. In the manual I have for the 66-16 it says to use Size 50 thread to set the tension. And it works too.
    So even if we don't use it for anything important, keep it around for that.

    Joe

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    So true. I love my Janome Horizon, but sometimes the thread mysteriously disappears from the take up lever. Gremlins I guess. It is in there and then it isn't. That has caused me to cuss a little ,a few times. Don't know how it gets out. Just one of life's little mysteries.
    Donna Quilts
    We help the wounded soldiers.

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    Good for you Charlee. We used to get some in for charity quilt donations. Cuss, cuss, cuss. Free is not good.
    You are absolutely right. Cheap thread can lead to downtime and trips to repair even. A point well made.
    Donna Quilts
    We help the wounded soldiers.

  10. #10
    Senior Member captlynhall's Avatar
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    Glad to get the pointer about simply re-threading when a problem shows up. I tend to look for the most complicated reason instead of starting with the simplest. Thanks a bunch.

  11. #11
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I'm finding out that some machines are much more sensitive to threads than others too.
    This new Singer caused me no end of trouble this afternoon. It was most likely something I did, but at this point I don't know what.
    The thread wadded up in the bobbin area and my wife had to dig it out with tweezers. Some pieces were the thick C&C jeans top thread and the rest was the thread I've been using the last couple days.
    All I was doing was trying to make a button hole.

    I'm pretty sure much of the problem is the damaged bobbin carrier too. Next week I'll have to order one in.

    Joe

  12. #12
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    You did better than I'm doing. I've got the Touch & Sew 639 here trying to get it to sew. It thinks it's chain stitching when it's not supposed to be. I'm on my way to a manual to see how to set it for chain stitching so I can be sure nothing is on that shouldn't be. I only want it to straight stitch.

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    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    I do buy old thread but for decoration purposes. I have empty glass gallon jars filled with spools and spools of older thread and I will continue to buy wooden spools of thread because I have a Two-Spools that needs those wooden spools. DDs dislike the decorations but I get many comments from friends and company about them. Moral: Keep thse older spools and put them to use as decorations.
    I meant to behave......but there were too many other options

  14. #14
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this. It makes me feel not so alone in my sewing room when things go whacko. I had a very similar experience a few days ago with my 40 year old Bernina 830. I broke a needle somehow and after I replaced it there were lots of snarls and thread breaks. Eventually I noticed the bobbin tension screw was loose and fixed that, but still it was not making proper stitches. I could type a long list of things I tried, including trying to use a Diamond Deb nail file to remove the nick in the needle plate that happened when the needle broke. I finally noticed the thread had jumped out of the take up lever. Hitting myself in the head because on that machine it's right out in full view and probably the easiest and most logical thing to check. My excuse is it never happened to do that before. Lame, I know.

    The odd thing is that I also use my mom's Elna 62C that's a little older than the Bernina. On it, the thread goes through a hole on the take up lever and can't jump out, but the last guide above the needle on the Elna is designed such that the thread hops out of it with the slightest provocation. The corresponding guide on the Bernina is very effective. Wouldn't it be handy if everything was interchangeable and we could put them together so they each had the best features?

    Oh, and of course I was sewing a 10-minute block at the time of my Bernina fiasco. Guess how long that one took!

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    I never grow tired of reading this type of stuff....hours of joy to me...thanks to all who contribute!

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    Super Member ArizonaKAT's Avatar
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    I just "fixed" my friend's singer she hasn't used in years because the bobbin keep jumbling up. . . She had the bobbin in backwards. She thinks I'm a genius.

  17. #17
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Yep....sometimes overthinking it is what mucks us around. Love this kind of thread....you always learn something and shared experience makes me feel somewhat less of an idiot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArizonaKAT View Post
    I just "fixed" my friend's singer she hasn't used in years because the bobbin keep jumbling up. . . She had the bobbin in backwards. She thinks I'm a genius.

    I have done that ...the silliest things are wrong...read that as operator error...and I clean, fidgit, etc for a while..then I TEST things out...and then bang...I find the problem.....of course I knew the problem 33 seconds into the machine..but why make them feel dumb..hehehhe

  19. #19
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    I don't remember who said on this board but 99% of the machine's problems are the carbon based unit sitting in front of it. I am sew guilty of being the problem quite frequently.
    Chris
    I meant to behave......but there were too many other options

  20. #20
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    Remember to redo the bobbin, too, when the machine is acting up.

  21. #21
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    I have to add another head-smacking mishap, to the list. The other day I was just sewing away on my old Kenmore, when all of a sudden, my top thread stopped feeding. Of course the first thing I did, was clip the thread (at the fabric), manually reel it in and re-thread the machine . . . only the thread stuck again, before I could thread the needle. NO WAY did I thread it incorrectly (I can thread that machine, in my sleep). ARRRRRGH!!! After a few deep breaths, I started to reel in the thread again . . . and happened to notice the spool . . . which had the thread caught in that little notch, at the top. <sigh>

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