I think my thread injector needs service
Well there's a couple issues im dealing with that are holding up my project progress.
The thread injector im using (singer 6160) which has seen light use and is about a year old, is having issues with well for lack of better term, birdsnests forming behind the fabric and causes the machine to jam up and clog down in the bobbin area. I'll have to lift the lock and rotate the wheel back and forth to free the mess from down below. This usually happens more towards the beginning of the stitch, usually once i've got things going it's ok. I've replaced needles on it, and it helps some, but it still does it more than I think it should.
Another issue with the machine is that when im starting out putting the bobbin back in the machine and wheeling it through to pull the bottom thread up, my needle will take several attempts to catch. It's like the needle goes down, doesn't catch and the needle comes back up.
Lastly if I open up the bottom compartment where the bobbin sits, there are two feet that rotate in and out to lock everything in place. I notice that one of these feet are a little loose and the screws cannot be tightened further.
Given the problems, is it something I'm doing wrong? Does the machine need service? Where should I look to get it serviced and how much should I expect to spend?
I'm by no means a thread injector mechanic, so someone else who has done more work on their machine than I have may have better suggestions than I do. That being said...
Things I do when I have machine issues:
1. Clean the machine of any fuzz or stray threads that can cause a misfeed.
2. Adjust thread tension. This can cause rat nesting on the bobbin side of the material and loose stitches.
3. Check the thread between spool and needle. Misfeeding the thread and skipping a single guide thingie (that's the technical term - no?) can really gum up the works.
4. If all else fails, check my manual (not likely) or Google my issue (most likely) to see if there's something I've missed.
I have no clue about your foot issue and I've never had to fiddle with them. But if you've exhausted all other possibilities and you think the foot is the culprit and you can't do any more adjustments, to the shop it must go! However with the machine being fairly new and seeing little use I hope that it's something you can fix on your own.
When I took my big heavy 1950's Necchi in, after it stopped holding stitches, it cost me right around $90.00 for cleaning, oiling, and general maintenance. If you end up needing your machine serviced, look for sewing machine repair shops in your area. You may find a fabric store in your area has repair services or an independent shop that also does something like vacuum repair. The shop I use repairs both sewing machines and vacuums.
Good luck to you!
Changing the needle can help. Make sure it is installed properly though. Follow the manual. Make sure your using the right thread, too thick can cause problems. Adjust the tension till the stitches are even, both top and bottom, this takes some time and scrap material (old clothing) Generally using only the top tension will work. If the bobbin tension has been messed with for different thread then it may take some time to get right.
Timing and needle to bobbin clearance is critical in the "thread pick-up" issue. Unless your really handy, leave it the pros.
Starting out..pull 4-6 inches of thread from the needle and the bobbin, and guide them under the foot, slide fabric in place and lower foot. The foot will hold the thread while starting and usually aid the start up procedure. Place a short reverse stitch near the start can also aid in anchoring the thread. Then go forward as usual. Start slow, then increase speed as you go.
Switch out the thread and rewind a new bobbin (making sure the bobbin is wound correctly and tight) Then restring everything, again making sure you follow the manual. Try it on some new scraps of material. Also try some different material. If your problem still exists, time for repair.
Being a computerized model, I'd recommend your local service shop. Most new machines carry a 25 yr warranty (this model does, depending on where you purchased it..used vs new, craigslist, etc.). If you bought this machine new, have it repaired or replaced under warranty. Most repair shops charge $50-$100 just to look at the machine. And this machine sells for $109 at walmart.
Birds nest messes around the bobbin case can be caused by several different things, mostly they are 'user error'
- bobbin wound wrong, a lot of people don't think about the bobbin thread needing tension on it when it's being wound so they skip running the thread through the tension notch.
- bobbin being inserted wrong - backwards and upside down are all possible depending on the machine.
- upper thread threading not done properly - using ALL the tension points.
- needle in backwards or improperly inserted. Make sure it's all the way home in it's insertion slot and that it's facing the right way.
- someone playing with the tension adjustment, either the operator or someone being 'helpful'...
I just checked several sites for reviews on this machine and while there were a few 5 star 'love the machine' the majority of the reviews mentioned the same problem you are having. Apparently the side loading bobbin style has built in problems. Also, several people report that the top thread literally bounces out of at least one of the tension points all by itself.
If you can talk yourself into a credit for returning the machine, get the credit and buy a used machine from a reputable dealer rather than something else that's cheap from a big box store. You'll thank yourself in the end - sewing/using a thread injector is supposed to be fun not stressful!!