Question about Brother XL-3510 Mechanical Sewing Machine
I HAVE A BRAND NEW BROTHER PROJECT RUNWAY 297 STITCH MACHINE. IT WORKED FINE. I WAS MAKING A SAMPLER OF ALL THE STITCHES, WHEN THE THREAD KNOTTED UP & I COULDN'T GET THE FABRIC OUT (IT WAS PULLED UNDERNEATH). I REMOVED THE PLATE & LIFTED THE "KNOT" OF THREAD OUT WITH TWEASERS. I NOW NOTICE THAT THE FEED DOGS ARE LOWERED & WON'T COME UP. THE FEED DOG LEAVER ON BACK OF MACHINE DOESN'T WORK. IS THIS SOMETHING I CAN FIX?? I REALLY, REALLY HOPE SO. I HAVE TIMELY PROJECTS LINED UP TO FINISH BEFORE NEICE'S WEDDING IN 3 WEEKS. IF I HAVE TO RETURN THE MACHINE, IT WILL CREATE A HARDSHIP. PLEASE HELP! THANKS & GOD BLESS.
You will need to use a size 18 needle or even better a size 18 top stitch needle. It has a larger eye.Tighten the tension to about an 8 and try it. You may have to lengthen the stitch length to make it sew satisfactorily.. If it won't work on 8 go to 9 and if it still won't work, wrap the thread around the bobbin winder guide (on the left top of the machine) for more tension. It is very hard to sew heavy duty thread on a household machine.
Posted on Jul 08, 2008
If you are using a standard top tension of 4 or 5 and this problem has developed over time, the most likely cause is lint deposited between the tension disks....... if the top tension is loose, or in the tension spring of the bobbin case if the bottom tension is having troubles. In either case you need to remove the lint......
Raise the presser foot and with a length of scrap fabric, use an action like flossing your teeth to get between the top tension disks......in extreme cases a probe (old needle) may be used very gently to remove thread and lint, but be VERY careful not to scratch the polished surfaces.
I have also written a tutorial on tension balance which may be of further assistance, particularly for bobbin tension issues:
Please TRY the solution BEFORE giving your considered rating.
Ensure that all is clean and free of lint and jams, this is the most likely cause....now for tension troubleshooting .......
This solution is for tension problems...if you cannot form any sort of stitch, the issue is quite different, so please let me know if you need a different problem solved.....
It is quite long, but just work through each section in order.
The "knotting up" can reveal a lot. If you have loose threads on one side or the other, the tension on the opposite side will be the culprit.
QUICK SUMMARY FIRST:
Ensure sharp new needle,
Thread guides and Bobbin are Clean & Clear of lint
Set Top Tesion to 4 ....then....
Balance Bobbin to suit.
TOP THREAD TENSION:
If the looping threads are on the underside as you sew, it is the top tension. Top tension ought to be between 4 & 6 (this variation to allow for the different weights of fabric in your
IS YOUR NEEDLE SHARP ?
If you are using a needle that has seen quite a deal of work, or you suspect it may be blunt, change it for a new one !
TOP TENSION & GUIDES:
Make sure that when you thread the machine the presser foot is up so the thread goes between the discs and not to one side, top tension between 4 and 6, and that you have threaded through all the guides, including the last one, usually on the needle arm, just above the needle clamp.
It may be there is lint trapped between the discs, this will keep them slightly apart and reduce the actual tension, sometimes dramatically.
If tensions appear correct, and the thread is definitely in the channel between the discs, but still too loose and looping, try raising presser foot and remove your thread.
Now, with a 2" (50mm) wide strip piece of fabric 8 - 10" (20 - 25cm) moistened with methylated or denatured spirit, gently insert the fabric strip and clean between the discs with
a see saw / to and fro action.
In the worst cases, gentle use of a needle to pick & remove the jam may be necessary, but be very gentle and make sure the tension is set at Zero and the presser foot is raised, (to
disengage tension plates).... do not gouge or score the plates, they need a polished surface to work correctly.
Far less common, but if the loose threads are on the top, it is bobbin tension that is loose, it too may have lint in the spring and be giving a "false" tension.
I would not recommend fiddling with bobbin tension without good reason, it may end up with missing small screws and spring pieces, however, you can take the needle plate off to clean
the hook race area (where bobbin case sits)
...this is just good housekeeping, my wife does this every time she replaces the bobbin....
just take it out and clean the bobbin case and the fixed metal hook race with a small brush to remove lint. If there is a significant amount of lint, use a vacuum and small brush to get the worst.
Then wipe all this area with a cloth or cotton bud (Q tip) moistened (not soaked) with methylated spirit, especially if there appears to be fine dirty deposits....oil and lint combine to conspire against you.
If it seems likely that you ......really ....do .....actually .....need .....to adjust the bobbin case, first check there is no lint trapped in the metal spring where the thread is tensioned.
Drop-in Bobbin case will look similar to this image with the tension screw in the middle of the metalwork....
...the other screw at one end is holding it all together, so beware....it is not a tragedy to undo the whole lot and clean it, but very gingerly and lay the bits out in sequence and orientation, or you risk tearing your hair out !
....this is a bobbin case from a front loading machine and works in a very similar fashion to the top loader with drop in bobbin, again, if you dismantle it, take care so you can put it all
GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT:
When you are certain there's no trapped lint in top tension or bobbin, set the top tension to 4 and the bobbin tension to a point where you just begin to feel resistance.
Try using good quality thread of contrasting colours so you can more easily spot the changes.
Set your zigzag to one width less than maximum (eg. 5 of 6 ...or... 4 of 5 etc) and sew a sample for a few inches and check the result.... adjust the bobbin tension screw very little at
a time, perhaps 1/16 of a turn.
You may find you are playing with this balance for some little while and if you are putting the needleplate on and off each time begin to think it cannot be correct to do this.....BUT....it is,
and eventually, you do get a "feel" for the correct tension and then it happens quite quickly.....as a user you won't be doing it very often unless there is lint built up (or are there small hands at work around the house !?!?!)
If you live near the ocean as we do, salt air can play havoc with metalwork inside and out, so to help minimise this, keep a few small packets of dessicant (silica gel) in your machine
case....no case ? then make some sort of cover !
Same applies in any damp or humid environment, keep your machine dry and dust free.
Budget for a proper full service every couple of years (more often if heavily used) and if you don't use your machine for a few years, be aware that old oil will dry out and combining with
dust and form a "clag" like glue (another reason for some sort of cover, even a teatowel !)
FINALLY, A WORD ON THREAD:
If it is worth spending the time, energy and money on making something that you would like to give lasting enjoyment......use quality thread, .......it may seem to cost a little more at the
time, but the results, ease of use and added longevity will be worth the extra, and as a bonus, your tension troubles may be fewer and further between, because there is a more consistent diameter with good thread, and less compensating to be done by your tension plates and less thread breaks !
Posted on Dec 11, 2008
hello, I had the exact same problem and could not find the solution until i took my machine to my sewing sensei and i solved my tedious problem. It was actually not a tension problem at all but a threading problem. Make sure you have threaded your bobbin correctly and that when you pull on the bobbin thread that the bobbin turns the right way. (mine must spin anti clockwise to work) Make sure that when you pull up the bobbin thread using the needle that it is not over the feed dogs connective bar but under it. A big problem when the thread gets caught around the bobbin case wheel is that the thread is looped around the feed dogs once and that causes the thread to get caught around the bobbin wheel. In conclusion, thread the bobbin correctly and read over your instruction book before spending the money to get it fixe in s shop.
Posted on Mar 31, 2009
SOURCE: When i start to sew
There has to be a problem in your threading or your needle. You may have the needle inserted backwards, flat side has to face rear or the needle is bent. Totally unthread your machine and make sure that there are no tangles and that it feeding the right way. Watch how they show your for threading and winding the bobbin, plus threading the bobbin. Good luck, but I truly think it is in your threading.
Posted on Sep 25, 2010
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