Originally Posted by ErickSaint
If I leave a little slack in the thread it will hook sometimes, other times it would barely catch or fray the thread, twist it, never worked properly.
Now all this is with the needle seated all the way up into the carrier, as per the instructions in the manual. It appeared that the needle needs to come a bit lower. To test this I just seated the needle a bit shy of all the way in. It picked up the thread and carried it around every time. But I'm guessing for proper operation it needs to be seated all the way.
Which begs the question, how do I lower that just a touch so that both the thread and needle are in the proper places? The book doesn't touch on this at all.
The needle being used to test this is the needle that was in the machine from all those years ago, so guessing that it was the proper needle and something just went out of whack over time.
EDIT: I was slow typing; you have most of the answers already!
A couple of things before you adjust anything:
-Check that you do indeed have the correct size needle in the machine- I saw a chart online somewhere with the dimensions of different needle types. I recall that your machine is a White Rotary type? You'll need new needles of various gauges anyway. I put a new needle in the machine often - a small burr or hook (which you can feel with a fingernail, usually) or other needle problem will cause lots of grief.
-Is the needle inserted correctly into the needle bar? On your machine, I think the flat should be facing right - toward the bobbin.
-Is the machine properly threaded? Again, I think that your machine needs the thread to go from left to right through the eye....but you should check with your manual.
If all those things are OK, then you probably need to adjust the 'needle bar height'. There are videos (the one I found was pretty shaky...) on YouTube for 'adjusting needle bar'.
This link has some pretty clear info:
I don't know if you have a service manual for your machine yet, but obviously that would be the place to go.
I'd definitely check the needle bar height before messing with the hook timing
You are making good progress!