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  1. #1
    Senior Member Frost's Avatar
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    Breaking thread on my thread injector?

    I found some really nice, though fairly heavy water proof fabric at Walmart I want to use for my down UQ. It's a very tight weave, and weighs about 3.5Oz/sq yd.

    Regardless of how I set my tension or stitch length, the bobbin thread either makes a rat nest, or breaks entirely. Do I just need heavier thread, or am I messing something up with my settings?

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  2. #2
    Senior Member uncle_ray_ray's Avatar
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    You never mention the type of thread you're using.Have you checked your bobbin tension also?
    Try some of this:
    http://www.diygearsupply.com/cgi-bin/shelf.cgi?numb=46

  3. #3
    Senior Member Frost's Avatar
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    It's pretty average looking polyester thread. It's always the bobbin that breaks, regardless of the tension setting on the upper thread. I don't think my machine has adjustable bobbin tension.

    I'm on my phone now, I'll check out the link you posted when I get home tonight.

    If - if he stood! Enough of ifs!
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  4. #4
    Boothill's Avatar
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    is the machine threaded correctly?

    boot
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  5. #5
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    I had this problem once. I consulted my manual and for some reason I thought thread went thru needle Right to left, Its left to right in manual. Duh it had been a while!

  6. #6
    Lost_Biker's Avatar
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  7. #7
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    A rat's nest on the bottom indicates a problem with the top tension.

    That said... the bobbin thread may break if it is not wound or threaded correctly. The bobbin _tension_ is likely not the problem. Four things can cause the bobbin thread to break independent of the top thread. 1) the bobbin is not threaded correctly and the bobbin unwinds the wrong way. Check the manual and make sure you are following the proper threading pattern. 2) The thread is being cut as it comes out of the bobbin case. There is a leaf spring that controls the bobbin tension. After a lot of use that spring can develop some sharp edges which, if not threaded exactly right can cut the thread. The break will consistent occur at or near the bobbin casing. 3) While winding the bobbin it winds unevenly and the layers of bobbin thread overlap and get caught up much like the dreaded "bird's nest" in an open face spinning fishing reel. The bobbin thread will be difficult if not impossible to pull out by hand. Wind the bobbin at a slower speed and make sure the speed stays consistent as it winds. 4) Make sure the bobbin is the correct one for the machine and is not damaged. Bobbins can sometimes acquire nicks that will catch and break the thread. A bobbin which does not fit correctly will not feed correctly particularly if it does not spin properly as it is used.
    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. #8
    Senior Member Frost's Avatar
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    I think I've got it sort of figured out. It seems to have been a 'perfect storm' of many small problems.

    Firstly, I don't think my needle was really heavy enough for this fabric. I went with a larger needle, and things immediately improved, a little.

    Secondly, I think my top thread and bobbin thread were different thread. Same color, similar thickness, but the bobbin thread appears to be somewhat weaker. I switched to a heavier thread, and made sure both bobbin and top were the same, and things improved a little more.

    Third, I think my bobbin was wound a little loosely, or perhaps was overlapping as Rev said. It would pay out smoothly for a few inches, then get very tough, then get easier again. I rewound the bobbin and things improved yet more.

    It's still not quite perfect, I'm getting occasional 'hiccups' where I'll get a loop of slack in the bobbin thread every few inches of stitching, but it's working much better than before. I'll tinker a bit more tomorrow and see if I can get the last of the kinks worked out.

    Thanks guys!

    If - if he stood! Enough of ifs!
    He knew a path that wanted walking
    He knew a spring that wanted drinking
    A thought that wanted further thinking.
    A love that wanted re-renewing

    "A Lone Striker" Robert Frost

  9. #9
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frost View Post
    but it's working much better than before. I'll tinker a bit more tomorrow and see if I can get the last of the kinks worked out.
    If the slack loop is on the bottom of the fabric then the problem is with the top thread. This is kind of hard to wrap your mind around until you get the hang of how the machine works. The needle pushes the top thread way down under where the lock stitch is made. Then the "take up arm" (that thing that goes up and down but not quite in sync with the needle) pulls the loop back up and tightens the stitch. If that doesn't work right the loop is not pulled up porperly and stays loose under the fabric. Follow?

    If this happens only occasionally then there is a hiccup in the top thread tensioning system. This can be cause by missing a twist or turn in the threading. Make sure the machine is threaded properly. Don't just look at it. Unthread it back to the spool and thread it up again. If that does not work you have a messed up tensioning system. Do a good careful cleaning of the visible parts of the machine. Brush it out well with a small soft brush. DO NOT use canned air. That can blow dust and gunk deep into the machine where it will take a major overhaul to clean it out. Raise the presser foot and brush out the tensioning disks if you can find them. More modern machines hide them under the cover to protect them from dust and air borne crud. DO NOT oil the tensioning disks. If a good cleaning does not work then you will need to have the system checked for corrosion and wear. Those tensioning disks can get channels worn into them from the thread travel and that will screw up the system like nothing else.
    This was the problem I was having with my machine. I got it professionally cleaned and polished and the problem completely went away.

    Hope this helps.
    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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