Question about Kenmore 15516 Mechanical Sewing Machine

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Thread snagging on shuttle

...I believe that is the name of the pices that the thread is snagging on - see pics below - the first shows the underside of the garment once snagged bunch of thread is removed from the assembly. The next pics (in reverse order) shoe the thread snagged up in the assembly, then as I take the assembly apart to remove the "birds nest" of thread that has built up. It's like the bottom stich is not leaving the assembly, but gets snagged (as does every stich to follow) please assist if you can!

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  • chefneil Oct 24, 2008

    Yes - it is a problem w/ the needle thread tension - but I had to temporarily "solve" this issue by wrapping the thread around the bobbin-winding thread tensioner (atop the machine, which you loop the thread around from the original thread spool to the bobbin when winding the bobbin) - this is just a fix to finish the job I am on, but longer-term - it seems the needle-thread tensioner has stopped working (and I would further guess that many other posts for the same issue are also a result of this) A previous post mentioned "cleaning" the tensioner out - tried this, but still seems like no dice....(still doesn't work) and I found nothing "stuck" in there - could "cheap thread" have damaged the tensioner? So - any suggestions short of diassembling the whole machine or taking to a repair shop (@ $40/hour + parts! yikes!) Thanks so much again, MissFlossie & FixYa!



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Maybe I sticking my nose where it doesn't belong but this looks like a simple threading problem. Be sure that the thread is in the TAKE-UP lever. There are four thead guide the thread must pass through. From the spool through the first thread guide at #1 than straight down to #2 than up to #3 throught the take-up lever and straight down to the left of the needle and throught hte neele form fornt ot back.

If the thread is not in that take-up lever the machine will not have any top tension (or be regulated) it will flood the machine with thread and wrap around that bobbin.

Also, be sure have you presser foot int he up position while threading this way the thread will surely pass through the tension disks, Set your top tension at 4, use good quality thread (get rid of the dual duty or all purpose) All of these steps will ensure a perfect balanced stitch.


Posted on Nov 06, 2008

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My first guess is a tension problem, my second guess is you could be using cheap thread. Sewing machines don't like cheap thread. But check out your tension first.

Posted on Oct 24, 2008

  • MissFlossie Oct 25, 2008

    ah, it looks like you'll have to take it to a repairman. but if you're using cheap cotton, don't. it's not worth it.



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1. Replace needle
2. Get good thread. One without fuzz. Usually embroidery thread is better quality.
3. Adjust the bobbin carefully. I've enclosed a guide how to do this.
4. Thread the top while the pressure is up. While threading the machine give tugs to check for snags. If there are any snags you must fix them first.
5. Check the needle to ensure it is installed the right direction. Thread the needle.
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I need to know how to clean and oil the machine

From the Sears Kenmore manual:
Using a small brush, remove the lint that accumulates in the shuttle area and around the feed dogs.
To Clean the Shuttle Area:
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  2. Push levers of shuttle race aside and lift shuttle race cover and shuttle out.
  3. Clean the shuttle race with a small brush.
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