Question about Kenmore 15516 Mechanical Sewing Machine

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Jammed thread. It's happened about five times already, three last night. I have never made anything with the machine (or any) but I know that's not supposed to do that! I've threaded the machine and I'm ready to stitch. The bobbin thread comes up and the directions tell me to pull the "tail" to the side, so I do. I work the foot pedal and about three stitches later it stops. I open the shuttle race cover and pull the bobbin case out, behind it is a huge mess of tangled thread. I cut away a tangled thread and try to thread the machine again and when I start it up again it gets tangled. I have to be doing something wrong, any idea on what it is?

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  • Rave-Panduh Sep 09, 2008

    I'm sure it should have worked but I really think it only made it worse. I'll try again tomorrow.



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To address my needle thread tangling (horribly) in the bobbin compartment, I rethreaded the bobbin. I cleaned the bobbin and the feeder feet, I changed the bobbin and the thread. I changed the tension on the needle thread and the bobbin thread. NO FIX! Then, I changed the needle - the problem was fixed instantly. I sewed awhile and then put the original needle back in. No problem. I think perhaps that the problem is being caused by the needle getting out of alignment somehow during sewing. If you are having the same issue, try it. It can't hurt!

Posted on Sep 15, 2008


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Machine just locked up, no obvious thread/needle issues, can't find answers in function on, Help! Someone said take bottom off and look for thread? Only used it a few times, but out of...

Can you turn the hand wheel at all ? If not, something is jammed tight somewhere.

Have you removed the bobbin from the bobbin case and cleaned thoroughly around it, removing all lint, dust, loose thread bits ?

If that does not help, can you try taking apart the shuttle assembly, which the bobbin fits into ?

Sometimes you may get thread wound around in these parts and it causes a jam. Please, observe how the parts of the shuttle assembly fit together so you know how to put it back together. There may be a small lever or pair of levers that must be moved to allow the parts to be pulled out. There aren't many, usually two or three pieces.

It's very useful to snap pics.. of it the way it looks before you touch it, and then each step as you take it apart, so you have a guide to putting it back.

It's also possible a gear is jammed. Most machines allow you to remove the upper casing and bottom casing. You'd have to take out some screws to do this. If anything is jammed between gears that you can see, remove it carefully. If you have to use a tool to pull out something jammed, take care not to damage the gear teeth, as that's a big repair job and often not worth the expense compared to buying another machine, sadly.

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