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  • Japanese zig-zag deluxe - stitch length/presser foot issues

    Old 12-26-2012, 01:20 PM
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    Default Japanese zig-zag deluxe - stitch length/presser foot issues

    (edit: I realized after posting that I probably should have put this in the vintage machine shop thread - apologies for not posting in the right place!)

    I have this beautiful old machine that I'm trying to get running, and I'm hoping someone might be able to give me some advice. I've cleaned up old machines before but never done any actual repairs, though I'm willing to have a go if I need to.

    It's a Macy's badged Japanese deluxe zig-zag, model 139 according to the plate on the front (I have a model 139 manual, and it's just slightly different but seems to be basically the same machine -- the top plate is different though with an extra spool pin, different thread guide and an extra oil hole). It seems to have been really well maintained and looks like it had been carefully cleaned and oiled after its last use. I cleaned it but there wasn't really even much cleaning to do, a very little bit of lint here and there and some old gummy oil around the shuttle race area that I cleaned up, and I oiled everything.

    It has two problems that I think are probably related -- the stitch length adjuster doesn't seem to actually adjust the stitch length in any meaningful way, and the fabric meanders around under the presser foot while sewing. I oiled the stitch adjuster mechanism, and I watched while turning the dial and it seems to move freely. When I turn the adjuster dial, the feed dogs shift position. But with the dial set on 1 I'm getting so many stitches to the inch that I lost count, and with it set on 5 I'm getting somewhere around 16-18 stitches per inch.

    I made sure the machine was set to sew and not darn with the buttons on the bottom right, and I've messed around with the pressure adjustment cap up top. It was initially set halfway down. I pushed it all the way down (I'm testing on a medium-light fabric) and that helped some, but not much. I'm getting a somewhat longer stitch length, but the fabric still moves pretty freely from side to side under the presser foot. The machine is really clean, but I double checked around the feed dogs and there's no lint. When I press the darn button, the feed dogs drop down about level with the throat plate, and when I press sew they come back up (this isn't a feature I've ever used much on any machine, so I'm not sure how dramatic a change it's supposed to be, but they don't come up super far). They don't feel worn down to where that would be the issue, I don't think. I'm out of ideas and have struck out searching for what I might try next.

    Any advice would be much appreciated! Below are some photos of the machine:

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]384128[/ATTACH]

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]384129[/ATTACH]

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]384130[/ATTACH]
    Attached Thumbnails 2012-12-26-macyzz01.jpg   2012-12-26-macyzz02.jpg   2012-12-26-macyzz03.jpg  

    Last edited by daisywreath; 12-26-2012 at 01:32 PM.
    daisywreath is offline  
    Old 12-26-2012, 03:23 PM
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    Pretty!!!!
    I had the same problem with stitch length on my Atlas. I was advised to try heat and Tri-Flow. I did set it in front of the space heater for a few weeks, but did not use Tri-Flow at all.

    Good luck!
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    Old 12-26-2012, 03:38 PM
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    daisywreath,

    Welcome to the Quilting Board Forum.

    This is the vintage machine section, you can post the questions here or on the other section.

    First you really need to get some Tri-Flow oil. I used to say "oil is oil is oil" but since working with sewing machines and using the Tri-Flow and regular sewing machine oil side by side and seeing just how much better the Tri-Flow is, that's all I use now.

    Feed dogs / pressure foot problem:

    First raise the machine up on it's hinges like you did in your second picture. Push the feed dog buttons up and down and watch what moves. Oil all of it thoroughly. On the left side is the plunger that moves in and out of the feed dog mechanism, that must be free to move completely back and forth. That little plunger is tapered on the left side and that is what controls the position of the feed dogs. Tri-Flow them thoroughly.
    After lubing them move them up and down and up and down and up and down until they are free.

    Next, turn the hand wheel until the feed dogs are lowered below the needle plate. Then lower the presser foot. If there is any clearance between the foot and the needle plate the fabric will slip as the feed dogs drop during their movement cycle.
    If there is any clearance then the pressure foot shaft should be adjusted.

    Stitch regulator knob:

    Remove the top of the machine. Look down inside as you turn the knob through it's movement right to left. That is a very complicated mechanism. It's connected to the ZZ and pattern controls. Everything must be free to move. So, if it moves, OIL IT, OIL IT, OIL IT. And as you oil it, keep turning it through its right to left movement and watching to see what moves.

    Heat won't hurt it either, but Tri-Flow will work wonders in that machine.

    Joe
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    Old 12-26-2012, 04:52 PM
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    Oh, and the J- C 27 and J- A 13 indicates your machine was made by the KOYO Machine Industries in Japan.

    Joe
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    Old 12-27-2012, 03:44 AM
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    key word: GUMMY. If you found gummy one place you can bet there is gummy in those knobs. Like Joe said - Triflow and wait. Heat - but not melt the plastic type heat. If you try to turn the knobs when they are gummy they will turn on the shaft then you have to fix the knob and shaft problem. So don't force the knobs to turn. Getting the Triflow into the places would be the hard part. I take off cover plates, hand wheel, anything in the way of the inside of the machine. Then I oil anything that remotely might potentially ever possibly move... Then the hard part. WAIT. Oil it again. Wait. Maybe put it near some heat. Gently try it - do over. Some people use Liquid wrench - it WILL melt any plastic parts. (ask me how I know)
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    Old 12-27-2012, 01:40 PM
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    Joe, went looking for tri-flow oil and found different ones, is there one in particular I need to order, as up here closest store is 60 miles away.
    Thanks,
    Carol
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    Old 12-27-2012, 02:30 PM
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    I order it from sew-classic - you might find it at a bicycle shop
    http://shop.sew-classic.com/Tri-Flow...il-TF21010.htm
    this stuff works great
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    Old 12-27-2012, 03:22 PM
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    Sew-Classic is the probably the easiest source of it. The bycycle shop next to my LSMG sells it in the bigger bottle. I'm about due to buy more.

    Joe
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    Old 12-27-2012, 04:46 PM
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    Thank you all so much for your advice! I found a bottle of Tri Flow at a local bike shop today, and after dinner I'll be sitting down to work on the machine. I'll report back after and let you know how it goes--fingers crossed!
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    Old 12-27-2012, 06:21 PM
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    Thanks Miriam, I went to thier site and ordered two bottles, as shipping was the same, and I can use it on all my machines. Appreciate the information Have a great week.
    Carol
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