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Thread: It's "NATIONAL CLEAN THE BOBBIN AREA DAY" nah just do it anyway...

  1. #1
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    It's "NATIONAL CLEAN THE BOBBIN AREA DAY" nah just do it anyway...

    Ok. So. What brought this on? I just picked up 3 machines I won on Goodwill Auction. I usually give them a once over when I get them. Each machine had impacted feed dogs and the bobbin area full of thick link. One machine had the bobbin area apart - I sucked in a deep breath until I found all the pieces. Well, that isn't going to happen to you now is it. You aren't going to send a perfectly good machine to Goodwill just because you don't know how to clean the gunk out before the machine quits. NOPE not any more. Here is the secret way to do it. (Well it isn't a secret - all you have to do is look in the manual...) OH and before we go any farther you must - YOU MUST pledge to go clean your bobbin area and feed dogs before reading any more on this computer... if you just laughed and spewed coffee all over the key board you can clean it up later. This is IMPORTANT. Now finish reading an GO I said GO clean that bobbin area. After that you are allowed to brag about it on here. Yes please post that you did it. At least clean one of your machines... The one you used last. I already did. Just for you. Here goes. Oh and it takes LESS than 5 minutes.

    1) UNPLUG THE MACHINE um most of you knew that - if you have a treadle machine you can skip this step - just be careful to keep away from the treadle ok?
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    2) POSITION THE MACHINE SO THAT YOU CAN ACCESS THE BOBBIN EASILY. This is the hard part - some of these machines are HEAVY. (HINT: The bobbin is usually somewhere under the machine.)
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    Terrible Warning - I'm not done yet do not post unless you already cleaned your bobbin area.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  2. #2
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    3) OPEN UP THE LATCHES THAT HOLD THE BOBBIN AREA TOGETHER. This is the scary part. The bobbin case, bobbin and the 'thing' will fall out. Guaranteed. Well mine did.
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    NOTE: Here is how it should look after everything has been evacuated. Now this can vary from one model to another consult your manual for best results.
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    and these are the pieces you removed - right?
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    Terrible Warning - I'm not done yet do not post unless you already cleaned your bobbin area.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  3. #3
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    4) NOW CLEAN OUT THE LINT. Nothing hard so far right? I use an old cleaned out mascara brush - it fits in the tight places and does a good job.

    OK THAT WAS IT.

    RE-ASSEMBLE IT!
    IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME YOU MIGHT NEED TO STAND THE MACHINE ON THE BALANCE WHEEL END.
    1) PUT THE 'THING' BACK. IT'S THAT LITTLE THING WITH THE SPINDLE THE BOBBIN RIDES ON. SEE PHOTO OR OWNERS MANUAL.
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    Hang on to it and then
    2) PUT THE OUTER 'THINGY' BACK IN PLACE - BUMP SIDE GOES OUT. You can experiment but believe me the bump side goes OUT.
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    Terrible Warning - I'm not done yet do not post unless you already cleaned your bobbin area.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  4. #4
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    IT SHOULD SET FLUSH WITH THOSE LITTLE WING THINGS. FLIP THEM BACK IN PLACE AND TIGHTEN DOWN.
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    NOW LOAD YOUR BOBBIN.
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    The thread should pull through it's case counter clockwise.
    Always put the needle up all the way before you try to put the bobbin in. You knew all this. Now go clean your bobbin area and feed dogs. Be sure to let everybody know when you get done! No cheating. Get off that chair and go do it now before you forget.









    GO DO IT NOW!!!
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  5. #5
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    Good reminder. I do mine every other bobbin.
    Another reminder is change the needle out every 8-ish hours. I've heard people with 25 year old machines say why should they, it still sews. Cars with no tires will still go down the road, but...

  6. #6
    Senior Member cmrenno's Avatar
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    While you are going to all this trouble I would recomend a drop of oil on the "race" (the area behind where you took the parts out to clean.) It can't hurt anything and it makes the machine run so nice and smooth!

  7. #7
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Clean the feed dog area while you have it all out. If you take off the throat plate it is a little easier but you don't need a tutorial for that. Oil is a good idea too.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  8. #8
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Miriam,

    This is a wonderful technical sheet. But do I really have to do all my machines? Couldn't I just do the ones I use the most? I don't do the Bernina or the serger, those are my wife's.

    Joe

  9. #9
    Senior Member ljfox's Avatar
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    I appreciate how you used the technical terms for all the parts.

  10. #10
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j miller View Post
    miriam,

    this is a wonderful technical sheet. But do i really have to do all my machines? Couldn't i just do the ones i use the most? I don't do the bernina or the serger, those are my wife's.

    Joe

    especially you, Joe

    Last edited by miriam; 07-17-2012 at 04:03 PM.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  11. #11
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljfox View Post
    I appreciate how you used the technical terms for all the parts.
    Well, now everybody knows what a thingy is.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  12. #12
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KalamaQuilts View Post
    Good reminder. I do mine every other bobbin.
    Another reminder is change the needle out every 8-ish hours. I've heard people with 25 year old machines say why should they, it still sews. Cars with no tires will still go down the road, but...
    Yeah, well, from what I've seen if we could get people to do it once in a year it would be a hefty start. Your machines will probably last for ever. Won't be seeing any of yours at Goodwill. Some of those other people will send it there instead of cleaning it.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  13. #13
    Senior Member melinda1962's Avatar
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    I didn't know it was this week, Miriam. I already did 4 machines and got some gunk!! out of the feed dog area of one machine. It sews fine now, and is a cute little 158 Kenmore. It's bigger brother was a little linty, but not too bad. The one that was the worst was my Pfaff 230, because I gotten so caught up in playing with it, that I had never finished cleaning it. I guess it is such a good machine, it could work, gunky or not. I have fmq-ed a lot of quilts with it, and the fur had built up for sure. I did one machine that was given to me by my husband's aunt, that had been bought from the salesman at the garment factory that she worked at 30 years ago. It is unbadged, even the cam box is unbadged. She thinks it is a New Home/Janome, but the company has never heard of it. I saw a white on shopgoodwill that looks similar, but not dice in the search there either. I will post a picture on the main board to see if anybody can tell me what it is.
    Melinda

  14. #14
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Not every machine will have a bobbin area that matches this machine. BUT there are a lot like this. AND it doesn't hurt to be reminded... It is a good idea to look in the machine's manual for best results.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

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    I'm so proud of myself: I already did this today!!!! (Only I cheated, didn't do all the ones I NEED to, just the ones I've been floorboarding the last couple of weeks....)
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

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    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Done! I only did the 301 that does most of my quilting. It was pretty furry as I just finished a quilt with a soft cotton batting. I usually clean and oil my machine as soon as I finish a project, but I have houseguests so I didn't this time. AnnieRose appreciates your reminder.

  17. #17
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    The FW and the 301 will be a bit different. Take a picture first. When you take the throat plate off, be sure to put it back with the little finger in the slot or it won't work.
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    Yes, it is full of lint.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  18. #18
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    especially you, Joe

    Awwww Miriam, it'll take me all day ........................... whine, snivel, pout.

    Joe

  19. #19
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    In all seriousness I do them as needed. Earlier this year I did my wife's Bernina for the first time in its life. It's a 930 made in the mid 80s. I've seen lint but this thing was packed inside. Wife was appalled at what was inside. Many of our machines haven't been used much in a while so they don't have anything in to need cleaned out. Others get used off and on and clean them as I go. Still others seem to get dirtier faster than the norm so they get cleaned every time their used.

    But at over ...... um 30+ machines I really don't have the time to dig out all of them and clean the bobbin areas. Some of them are quite burried.

    Joe

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    ​Every time I start a project, I clean my machine and put in a new needle. Even if I was to forget, my Bernina would remind me.

  21. #21
    Super Member BoJangles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    The FW and the 301 will be a bit different. Take a picture first. When you take the throat plate off, be sure to put it back with the little finger in the slot or it won't work.
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    Yes, it is full of lint.
    Miriam, love the photos! Now you need to do the same thing to some of the 'other' type bobbin assemblies - show and tell!

    Nancy

  22. #22
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Awwww Miriam, it'll take me all day ........................... whine, snivel, pout.

    Joe
    Come on Joe. You are sounding like you have to mow the lawn. How about doing one a day. If you take little bites off a big cookie it will soon be gone.
    Sweet Caroline

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    yes Joe you need to do all your machines.

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    I had done it already to my newest machine on Monday. I bought a Singer 221K knowing that I'd have to work with the bobbin area. The finger was to the left of where it was supposed to be and just swinging back and forth. I took the little screw out and couldn't figure out how to get the parts apart or how to get it fixed until I went on line and found a picture of just what to do to fix it. In the mean time, I used a pair of tweezers to get out all of the thread that was under the parts there in the area. Got it all fixed and even had to adjust the tension on the presser foot to get it to hold the fabric. That was the first time I ever had to adjust the pf tension. Not like fixing and rehabing a 'boat anchor' but a start!
    Great tutorial, Miriam. You need to do one on some of the other types of machines too.

  25. #25
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janis View Post
    I had done it already to my newest machine on Monday. I bought a Singer 221K knowing that I'd have to work with the bobbin area. The finger was to the left of where it was supposed to be and just swinging back and forth. I took the little screw out and couldn't figure out how to get the parts apart or how to get it fixed until I went on line and found a picture of just what to do to fix it. In the mean time, I used a pair of tweezers to get out all of the thread that was under the parts there in the area. Got it all fixed and even had to adjust the tension on the presser foot to get it to hold the fabric. That was the first time I ever had to adjust the pf tension. Not like fixing and rehabing a 'boat anchor' but a start!
    Great tutorial, Miriam. You need to do one on some of the other types of machines too.
    Usually that info is in the owner's manual. There are a lot of machines just like that. BTW it was a really junky Japanese 15 - some rust and very beat up. It is rust you see in there. BUT there are lots of bobbins just like that in various makes. I should do something on drop in bobbins. They are done a bit different. The Singer 66, 99 and 201s and their ilk are drop in bobbin, a bit different are the slant-o-matics with a drop in, the European machines are all different. My Consew is just like that Japanese 15 but it is over sized. Janis gave a very good description of how to do the FW or the 301. I had a Janome for a while (the nose stuck out so far - hurt my neck to sew...) it was a drop in bobbin and can dis-assemble to clean out. Some of those newer machine probably should be done even more often than the older more forgiving machines. Some machines don't have any room for the lint to fall off... if it does fall off it goes into the works real bad. Might be a good idea to pull out lint every time you change the bobbin. It is a good idea to take a picture or consult your manual if you have doubts. Just be sure to clean out the lint. It seems to be the biggest reason I find machines for sale - they just need to be cleaned and they will run so much better.

    One time I was at a friend's house and she showed me her beautiful Bernina. It had to cost a fortune. Anyway I looked at it and I could see lint - tons of it. So I took out the screws or what ever it was holding it in. Pulled out the thingy and the thing and pulled out a boat load of lint. I thought that lady was going to have heart failure. Then she wanted to know how to get it back together. I said I figured it would go about like it came out and I messed with it a bit and got it back together. Meanwhile she was frantically looking in her manual... the info was there. It will only go back one way and work. Those FWs and 301s are another story. They will go back but unless that notch thing is in line it won't work. Like Janis says it will twiddle around and not sew. Once you have done it you will wonder why you don't do it like some say, every day or every bobbin change.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

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