February 2014 Service Tip of the Month

As a person who sews, you hear all the time about machines being “out of time.”  That’s fine, and sometimes it’s even correct, but what does it mean, and what are the symptoms?

Machine timing refers to the relationship of feed dogs, needle position, and hook position, and the correct relationship of those things to each other.

First of all; feed timing.  You can check this yourself, by turning your handwheel slowly in the forward direction and watching the feed dogs and needle interact.  The feed dogs should move below the top surface of the needle plate just before the needle gets down to the needle plate.  If it’s not right, the symptoms are needle breakage and/or thread breakage.  The machine will be trying to feed fabric when the needle is in the fabric, and that just won’t work!

More commonly, the timing error is the relationship of the needle position and the hook.  That’s harder for you to see, but the symptoms are easy to see!

They are an inability to bring up the bobbin thread, skipping stitches, especially on a wide zig-zag, and just plain bad stitch formation.

One thing you can check yourself in this area, is make sure your needle is in the needle clamp all the way.  If it’s not up snugly where it’s supposed to be, you’ll see missed stitches.  That might save you a trip to the shop.

If you need service in the above situations, you’ll have to bring your machine in for us to repair.  Timing is always checked as part of a regular service, so that may be the best course of action if you need service in the first place.

If you don’t need service, but have timing issues, it’s usually a one hour repair charge.  That can happen if you had someone service your machine, and the timing was done incorrectly.  Unfortunately, that sometimes happens.  Because these are things that are meant to be adjusted, sometimes the adjustment can slip, especially if the machine was jammed when it was running.

At any rate, if you think this is your problem, we’ll take care of it for you. ---  Boone