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Thread: Need Help! Two problems

  1. #1
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    Need Help! Two problems

    I got an Atlas today. It didn't have a belt, so I bought one and installed it easily and cleaned it up (it was a m-e-s-s and looks so pretty now!). I ran some fabric through, and I can't figure out how to make the stitches bigger. It makes pretty itty bitty stitches.

    Second problem is that the motor will run for a few seconds, then stop. I don't think it's an electrical issue (the cords look good).

    I'm wondering if it's even worth messing with. I can get a refund for the machine, but not the belt or the hour I spent cleaning her!!

    I'd attach pics, but she looks just like this one http://stitchnerd.wordpress.com/2011...hine-a-review/
    You can have any design you want. As long as it's loops!

  2. #2
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    I'm not sure exactly what you're asking, so if I appear to be talking down to you, please don't take it that way - I just want to make sure that you have all the info you need. That thumbscrew sticking out of the silver-colored plate on the front of the pillar should unscrew counter-clockwise so that you can move it up or down. Move it to where the stitches are the largest they'll go. (In that era, 6 is probably the biggest stitch you could usually get - 6 stitches per inch) To keep the stitch length from jiggling out of position, screw it down clockwise at that setting and see if the machine is now making the longer stitches. Count the number of stitches in one inch of seam. It should be 6, if you have the machine set at six.

    If that didn't make any difference, or if it did make a difference, but you're only getting a little bit longer stitches, my guess is that something that's driving the feed dogs is stuck - probably with old gunky oil or something. Bathe all the moving parts inside the pillar and on the underside of the machine with TriFlow or regular sewing machine oil and run the machine at full speed until the feed dogs are loosened up and making the stitches as big as you have the machine set to make.

    OR until the motor starts smoking, which leads to the second half of your question - what's wrong with the motor?

    The intermittent operation could be caused by a broken foot control, a bad connection anywhere in the wiring, stuck bearings in the motor, worn brushes in the motor, etc.

    That Atlas is definitely worth saving and if the paint on yours is as good as the one shown on stitchnerd, I would put the money and effort into getting it refurbished. Replacing brushes and re-wiring foot controls is easy-peasy. Jenny at sew-classic.com is the bomb - she's got everything you need. Do you have a manual for the machine? I think I saw one online, but if there's not a free version floating around, I'm sure Linda at Relics will have one. And there are lots of people here to help you, too.

  3. #3
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Lets see ..............
    Features:

    All Metal Gears
    Side Loading Bobbin
    Reverse Stitch Lever
    Built-in Front Beam Light
    Telescopic Spool Pin (Top)
    1.2 Amp Motor
    Pretty Milkshake, Mid-Century Pink Color
    Low Shank Foot
    Drop Feed Knob
    Self-Adjusting Automatic Bobbin Winder

    And your wondering if it's worth keeping and fixing????????????

    Ummmm, yes it is.

    OK, the stitches are probably because the stitch control knob on the pillar is locked in place. Turn the knob to release the stitch control lock and adjust it.
    It also wouldn't hurt to oil the snot out of it. Tri-Flow works wonders ........ I think I've heard that before.

    As for the motor running only a few minutes at a time, there's more to it than just the wires. The foot controller is a resistance unit. If something's wrong in it the resistance can build and that will shut off the machine. Check it. Check the motor internally.

    Is it worth keeping ............. If you don't want it, send it to me I'll adopt it.

    Joe

  4. #4
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    I would recommend replacing whatever it's got for a foot control with one of the Deluxe Electronic foot controls that Jenny sells - no heat build-up to worry about, much easier on the feet than those old heavy duty spring-loaded ones.

    She sells a wiring service cheap if you buy the foot control, safety catch and wires . $1.69 and she'll put them all together for you.

  5. #5
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    Ok, ok... I've done as much as I'm comfortable with doing. Here's what I've found out:

    I removed the screw that changes the stitch length and put it back together. I've oiled everything I can. I cleaned out the bobbin area and feed dog area.

    I did figure out that the motor will run just fine as long as I don't put the pedal all the way down. So I have let it run and run to try to loosen things up.

    She makes the most beautiful tiny stitches!!

    She cleaned up very nicely. The only (other) complaint I have is that my bobbin didn't wind evenly. That's not a big deal, because I can wind her bobbins on another machine. Her decals are in very good condition and she even came with her original (stinky) box and foot pedal!!
    You can have any design you want. As long as it's loops!

  6. #6
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    Here's some pictures I took before I started cleaning her up (the first two) and then another pic in all her glory!
    Attached Images Attached Images


    You can have any design you want. As long as it's loops!

  7. #7
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    If you play with the bobbin winder you can get it adjusted to wind evenly. Loosen this screw and the button slides side to side. You might have to fiddle with it to find the right spot.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Okay, when you turn that thumbscrew in the middle of the silver plate - does it make the pointer go to different numbers, 0-5? It looks like 5 will be your longest stitch - unless this is a zig zag machine and that is the stitch width selector. If that's the case, though, it should be making zig-zag stitches. Try getting that indicator all the way to the 5 and see if that gives you a long stitch.

    You should be able to turn that thumbscrew by hand, without removing that screw in the center. All the way left to unlock the lever and all the way right to lock it down. Maybe you have to push the lever on the left all the way down to F (Forward, I'm assuming) to get the biggest stitch forward, and the same for R? (Reverse) Maybe pushing that lever is what moves the little triangular indicator toward the numbers 0-5? It's kind of Greek to me, because I've only dealt with Singers and Kenmores.

    If that doesn't give you a better stitch length, just keep bathing the innards with TriFlow or sewing machine oil and letting the machine run.

    The feed dogs might not be coming up high enough to push the fabric as far as you want it to, but lots of times, that kind of thing breaks free with good oilings and use.
    Last edited by thepolyparrot; 12-01-2012 at 04:51 PM.

  9. #9
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    Oh ok! Thanks for the bobbin-winder adjustment info! I didn't know that! I had to adjust tension on the machine and the bobbin.. of course I'd have to mess with it there too!!

    It doesn't change stitches no matter if it's set on 0 or on 5 (or anywhere in between!) I can't figure out how to get to the innards, except through the bottom, but nothing seems really stuck or hung or stiff. I have the feed dogs up as high as they will go, and it's straight stitch only.


    Thank you for your help. I'm really enjoying playing with it and learning about it.
    You can have any design you want. As long as it's loops!

  10. #10
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AshleyR View Post
    Oh ok! Thanks for the bobbin-winder adjustment info! I didn't know that! I had to adjust tension on the machine and the bobbin.. of course I'd have to mess with it there too!!

    It doesn't change stitches no matter if it's set on 0 or on 5 (or anywhere in between!) I can't figure out how to get to the innards, except through the bottom, but nothing seems really stuck or hung or stiff. I have the feed dogs up as high as they will go, and it's straight stitch only.


    Thank you for your help. I'm really enjoying playing with it and learning about it.
    In general, you can get to the innards through the bottom, through a hole in the back, through the hole with the lever and if you take off the balance wheel you can some times get access depending on the machine. You are looking for anything in the area of the stitch control lever that remotely moves - put a drop of Tri-flow oil on it. There can be wrench a like thingy in there - put a drop of oil between there and the square thingy. You will also need to oil the bottom of the machine - anything that moves. Move the balance wheel so you can see what moves. If it moves oil it. It isn't the dried on oil that you can see that you need to worry about - its that micro sized dried oil between the moving parts you need to be worried about.
    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
    Junior Member JMCDA's Avatar
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    (((sigh))) I'd be keeping that baby just to look at even if I couldn't get her to sew longer stitches - she is gorgeous! You have all the information you need from the experts here on the board, just keep fiddling and holler for help any time you need it - everyone always has the machines best interest at heart and will help you out.

    J

  12. #12
    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
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    I've wanted one of those pink Atlas machines ever since I first saw a photo of one. So I'm jealous.
    Something somewhere is stuck, probably with old, dried up oil. I suggest getting some Kroil and oiling everything that looks like it may ever have moved, and put a lamp over it for some warmth. Not a heat lamp; a regular one with old fashioned incandescent bulb will work fine. Repeat until something moves.
    Stephanie in Mena

  13. #13
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    A PINK Atlas, I want one! Thanks for the link to Stitchnerd's (aka Sonia) blog. I read it to the very end. I gleaned from it 4 JA numbers that were Brother factories, JA-1, JA-107, JC-15, JC-18.

    If all of the heat and oiling does not fix your stitch length problem you might consider removing the stitch dial lever, unscrewing the plate (don't remove it entirely) and shooting some oil and heat inside on the lever regulator thingy. Remember to take lots of pics of the removal process.
    Last edited by Caroline S; 12-02-2012 at 07:31 AM.
    Sweet Caroline

  14. #14
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    K9Dancer, I tried to send you a private message, but the board tells me you've exceeded your message quota, so I'm posting it here:

    Hello there,

    I just wanted you to know that two years later, your kindness still warms my heart. I was newish to the board and you offered to send me a Secret Santa package. I declined the lovely offer because I think other people are in more need than I am, but I kept the thought with me - that there are still generous and loving people in the world.

    It does my heart good to see your name pop up and "Mena, AR" - I still "live" in the world of Lum & Abner with my old radio shows.

    Anyway, I saw you on a thread today and thought I would say it "out loud," so to speak - that your little act of kindness is still with me.

    Happy Advent! Merry Christmas!
    Elizabeth

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