Thursday, June 15, 2017

Feeling Brave!

Sewing machine tension issues can be so frustrating!  My Juki has been having some really random tension issues over the past few months.  When I had it serviced back in November it seemed better for a while, but it seems like I've been having problems more and more lately.  For example, when I was sewing a bunch of strips the tension was absolutely fine for 5 of them, then on the 6th I would start seeing loose stitches on the bottom.  I was also having trouble quilting, especially with heavier weight threads, even using Aurifil 40 wt thread was giving me quite a lot of issues.

This really came to a head last week while I was trying to finish my quilt for Island Batik's fall line that I needed to get mailed out - luckily I was able to finish my quilt.  I decided it was time to solve this problem and started doing some research to see if I could figure out what was causing this issue.  I had a gut feeling that it had to do with my tension discs.  I was nervous about taking this part of my machine apart, but after watching a Sharon Schamber video on You-Tube I decided that I could do it, and went for it!

I really wish I would have thought to take some pictures as I worked on it, but the task was actually very straight forward.  Instead of removing the entire tension assembly, I just unscrewed the tension dial all the way, then removed each piece one at a time and cleaned them as I went.  When I got to the outer disc I found a small spot of something that was rough and tacky in one area.  I used a cleaning cloth and rubbed it off, and when I took off the other disc I found a similar spot on it.  I also found some debris wrapped around the spindle.

After replacing the discs, spring and tension dial, I reset my tension and did some trial sewing with some of the most temperamental thread I've been using and it worked great!  I was excited to try some more quilting today, so started working on a custom quilt that is due to be sent out soon.  So far, so good!  I'm using my favorite Aurifil 50 wt thread on the top and the bobbin, and my quilting was truly care free.  Despite quilting over many seams and in every direction I had no skipped stitches and only one break.  I used 2 bobbins worth of thread, and had zero tension issues.  I sure hope this continues!

I know that not everyone feels confident in taking such drastic measures with their sewing machines, but I was in a pinch and unable to take my machine to be serviced so I felt it was worth a try.  There are a lot of resources on the internet to guide you through many basic repairs, so I would advise that with caution it can be worthwhile to do your research and try this if you think you may have debris that is interfering with your tension.  I'm just relieved to be quilting without any issues now - will let you know if it continues!


teachpany said...

Yay for risking and succeeding in the repair. I can't do this with my electronic machine, the Viking Sapphire 850, but can do it with my vintage machines. I've tried it on one, and it was fairly easy, but need to get a new spring, so I put it back without the repair. Soon, I hope. Great quilt!

Angie said...

Great job!! So cool you were able to fix it yourself!! Have a wonderful day!!