Tension

Old 03-01-2018, 03:24 PM
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Default Tension

I have a Elgin 2468, which is an odd duck. It's high shank, thread left to right. My T&S died, so I took this one to school. I had not messed with it since I bought it, but needed a "portable" machine.

Something happened and the bobbin case got messed up. (15 class bobbin set up.) I finally figured out how to put it back together. I think the bobbin tension needs to be adjusted because when you sew with it, it almost gathers the fabric. Changing the upper tension doesn't help. The kids are making 9 patches, so they are only sewing 5 inches at a time. So, you can just pull it and it will straighten out.

Does that sound like the bobbin tension? The manual says to tighten or loosen the screw only if necessary.

bkay
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Old 03-01-2018, 05:04 PM
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Do you have another 15 class bobbin case in a working machine? There is a 'test' to put the bobbin in the case and give it a little jerk. It is supposed to drop a little bit. (google - "bobbin tension drop test" ) I've not had a great deal of luck with that method. The bobbin goes flying out of the case. Maybe just pull on thread and see when it starts to unwind. I was thinking Archaic Arcane had another method involving coins. Maybe https://archaicarcane.com/tear-it-do...e-maintenance/ or https://archaicarcane.com/bobbin-along-bobbin-tension/ would help.

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Old 03-01-2018, 05:14 PM
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I usually don't hesistate to adjust bobbin tension on a 15 bobbin case. On most machine you need to do something going from top stitch to sew-all weight threads. Have you done the drop test with the thread you are using? I think that's the general way about it on Japanese zigzaggers as well.

Like you, the first thing I'm thinking is tension, but inspect threading too. Is something misbehaving in the race-hook area? Thread caught in a burr some where? It can in theory have something to do with presser foot tension and feed dogs, but it's usually caused by issues that's solved by cleaning and oiling. I tend to go by feel on presser foot tension, and don't have any exact way about it. Quilting cotton doesn't require much, sort of medium setting. I turn it tighter for things like flat felled seams on heavy demin and duck.
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Old 03-01-2018, 05:45 PM
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If you decide to adjust the bobbin case, I would suggest doing it over a magnetic sheet, or in plastic bag. It doesn't take much to undo the tiny screw to come all the way out and who knows where.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
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Old 03-01-2018, 08:01 PM
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If you do adjust the bobbin case tension, turn it just 1/4 turn at a time. The bunching issue could also be the presser foot pressure is too high.

Cari
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:41 AM
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I had the same problem with a Viking 6430 I purchased on eBay. Tried a few things, finally decided to check the bobbin tension. The Viking has a very detailed manual and it only took a slight adjustment to the bobbin case to fix the bobbin tension. The top tension was also very easy to adjust, there are two red dots to align, once I aligned those as described in the manual. She sews a beautiful seam. We are best friends now. Just be patient and don't over adjust too much at a time.
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Old 03-02-2018, 05:18 PM
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I agree with Cari and Aurora: I do the drop test and see what happens. Then 1/4 turn at a time. With the non-15 bobbin cases, I just do a slight tug on the thread to get a feel for how hard the tension spring resists my tug. Again, 1/4 turn at a time of the tension screw.

John Thomas in NC
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Old 03-02-2018, 06:06 PM
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Here's a link to how we do it at the shop. http://shesasewingmachinemechanic.bl...o-balance.html
Be sure you're using good thread.
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Old 03-02-2018, 06:09 PM
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Thanks, Cari. I had not thought of that.

Unfortunately, I did not sew with the machine before I took it over there. It sewed well when I bought it, so I just hoped that it would work and I could figure it out. (I probably have too much going right now.)

I'll go early Wednesday and see if I can get it to behave. Right now, I'm down to the old MW machine and the Elgin. The MW sews so fast, the kids are afraid they will mess up their stuff. Unfortunately they love the T&S and are totally comfortable with it. I need to get it fixed. Hopefully I'll have time Sunday.

Thanks for your help and suggestions.

bkay
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