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  1. #21
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    jred,
    make sure that everything is proper on the thread (going thru the right spots etc, and make sure the bobbin is right.
    Sometimes something will come unhooked from its place.
    It looks to me like the tension on the bobbin is loose (if everything is laced correctly).
    A bobbin should just hold itself and the bobbin case, when suspended by the thread exiting the bobbin case. Tighten the small adjustment screw on the bobbin case till it barely suspends itself. And rethread the whole machine, making sure everything is correct. Once the bobbin tension is correct, then you can usually just adjust the top tension.

    did you switch threads from your test samples?
    Different threads will run at different tensions. Adjust accordingly.
    Practice on scraps of the same material, if possible, to make sure everything is working right.


    edit: I did not see what side you were refering to in the photos, my bad. Still sound advice tho, make sure everything threaded right...
    Pedro got it.
    Last edited by gargoyle; 08-08-2010 at 14:35.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    And make sure you have a sharp need of the right size.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

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  3. #23
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Make sure the machine is threaded correctly. That is almost certainly a top thread tension problem. +1 on leaving the bobbin tension alone. If raising the top thread tension higher does not solve the problem then you most likely have a problem that will need a mechanic to solve. It may be the whole machine needs to be completely cleaned.. to the point of maybe sand blasting. (No not really but it would need a very deep internal cleaning.)
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  4. #24
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    I don't know why people freak out about adjusting bobbin tension. I adjusted mine as a newbie, and adjust it every time I put in new thread. Sometimes I check the adjustment when I get problems that nothing else fixes...it's worked a couple times.

    Adjusting the bobbin is SIMPLE.
    - After you remove the bobbin from the machine, you should be able to hold it by the thread like a yo-yo...it should just hang there at the same height.
    - Give a very slight bounce, and the bobbin should barely slide down the thread and come to a stop.

    If the bobbin keeps sliding down, tighten the screw until it behaves. If it doesn't slide down, loosen the screw until it behaves.

    Simple.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
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    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  5. #25
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jeff View Post
    I don't know why people freak out about adjusting bobbin tension. ...it's worked a couple times.

    You've nailed it right there for me. It worked a couple of times. What I find most people do is to muck around with the top tension and the bobbin tension at the same time compunding any problems that might be easier to track down. Adjusting the bobbin is easy. Yes it is and no you won't do any major damage to the machine. But in as much as the bobbin tension is usually the least likely thing to cause the problem why suggest that newbies go mucking around with it. It just helps figure out what the issue is if things are done only one step at a time. IMO leave it alone until everything else is worked out. Because it is likely the least of the causes.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  6. #26
    Senior Member WV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    It may be the whole machine needs to be completely cleaned.
    I once had some lint caught where the needle approaches the bobbin, under the plate, and it wrought havoc with the tension. Clean the area around the bobbin case thoroughly. Then change the needle. Then try it and adjust the top tension. (I assume you've read the manual by now and are threading the machine correctly.) Then either (1) get help from a repair person, or (2) adjust the bobbin tension. As JustJeff says, it's not as big a deal as some think, but it's more likely that something else is the problem.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WV View Post
    I once had some lint caught where the needle approaches the bobbin, under the plate, and it wrought havoc with the tension.
    You are correct. I neglected to elaborate... a surface cleaning is part of making sure the machine is properly threaded. Thanks for the clarification.

    Edit: To further elaborate on the internal cleaning issue... I was having problems with my machine and no amount of tinkering would get it to work right. I tried everything. It was overdue for a service appointment anyway so I took in to the shop. It turns out the major problem was the tension plates (internal to the machine) and other parts critical to the operation of the machine had become encrusted with lint and normal corrosion and needed to be buffed and polished. No way could I have done that by myself. The machine works like a champ now... back to its old super self.

    Simple surface cleaning is important and will resolve a lot of issues. But over use and time the innards get all clogged up with household dust, fabric lint, dog hair, and various other things you wouldn't think could get in there. Normal use wears tracks into the tension plates which need to be buffed out. Tension springs need adjusting and buffing. It doesn't hurt to have the machine professionally serviced every so often. I recommend it.
    Last edited by Ramblinrev; 08-08-2010 at 15:50. Reason: added information
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  8. #28
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    You've nailed it right there for me. It worked a couple of times.
    Well, I haven't had a whole lot of problems...

    Much better to recommend taking it straight to the mechanic. When I have a problem, I usually skip trying the simple things before jumping straight to the expensive ones. Just playing...but seriously, I've never seen any posts about someone messing up anything by adjusting the bobbin tension, but I've heard of it solving problems.

    YMMV - everybody's gotta do what works for them.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
    - Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB

    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  9. #29
    Senior Member
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    OK

    I've played around with all the top tension settings, it gets better, it gets worse, not consistently. The neatest stitching has the top thread taught, with the bottom thread pulling up through the holes. It seems to do fine on single thickness, and double thickness, but not triple thickness.

    I'm not sure what needle is in it, although it appears to be in good condition, sharp & straight. I'm using "general purpose" thread from wally world.
    This is a machine that was given to me, and I know it sat for a few years without being used. I'll give it a thorough surface cleaning & check the bobbin tension & try again. I probably ought to get a new, smaller needle. If all that fails, I'll probably just get a new machine. It's just an older Brother tabletop, a new Brother is much less than $100 at wally world, and I can't imagine professional service being much less than that. Professionals are expensive

  10. #30
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    if the bottom thread is being pulled up then the top tension is too high. Try lowering that. At this point the triple layer should not be a problem. Did you put a new needle in it or is that the one that sat for a while?
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

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