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Old kenmore machine

I need a place where I can get my machine cleaned up - I have not used it for some time. I also would like to find instructions on how to use the various stitches in my machine.

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Posted on Sep 24, 2009

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Page 94 of the manual:

Kenmore 385 16221 Owner Manual Table Of Contents

FWIW, it is important to keep your machine clean and oiled for it to operate properly. Use ONLY good quality sewing machine oil and apply ONLY 1-2 drops every place indicated, approximately every 40 hours of sewing time.

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Has it been oiled lately? If not, it could be seized. Old oil turns to glue and then varnish unless it is regularly maintained. Make sure to use only fresh, good quality sewing machine oil or liquid Tri Flow Synthetic Lube. Slowly rock the hand wheel and apply a couple drops every place where metal rubs against metal--no oil on belts, rubber, synthetic parts! If it is still resistant, direct hot air from a handheld hairdryer into the internal mechanism and repeat the process until things are loosened and moving smoothly again.

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Sears carries many manuals for Kenmore. That's probably the best place to check--unfortunately, they generally are not free.

The sewing machine could probably use a good cleaning and oiling. These old (but great!) mechanicals need 1-2 drops of fresh, good quality sewing machine oil (Tri-Flow Synthetic Oil works great!) every place that metal rubs against metal. NO oil on plastic, nylon, rubber, or belts!!! Simply open the machine's top, left side, and free arm cover (if not a free arm, you'll need to access the underneath of the machine). Gently hand rotate the handwheel toward you and apply a couple drops every place metal rubs metal. Don't forget the lever & dial mechanisms too. Probably, in your case, the bobbin winder mechanism (do NOT oil the rubber tire!). Then you can apply hot air from a handheld hairdryer into the mechanism to help free it up.

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Jun 23, 2016 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Have a Kenmore 1357. Was working perfectly until I began sewing satin ruffle onto fleece. Seems to siege. Needle won't even try to go into material. Just goes to top of presser foot and stops.


Is it a mechanical machine (not computerized)? Did you oil the internal metal parts that rub against other metal parts? With an older mechanical machine, frequently the old oil turns to goo and sticks things rather than lubricates. Use only fresh good quality sewing machine oil. Hand rotate the wheel and place 2 drops of oil every place metal rubs metal (including the bobbin area). To help loosen things, direct hot air from a handheld hairdryer into the interior of the machine.

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2 Answers

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1 Answer

My Sears Kenmore 158.14002 won't zigzag. All the setting are correct.


Have you cleaned and oiled it recently? If it is mechanical (NOT computerized), it needs to be cleaned and oiled regularly to keep it working properly. In your case, the needle bar movement is probably stuck. Consult the owner's manual in the Maintenance section, use only good quality sewing machine oil (fresh, not old stale oil), apply 1-2 drops each place indicated in the instructions. To speed things up, you can direct hot air from a handheld hairdryer into the area.

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1 Answer

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When you push the empty bobbin over to engage the winding mechanism, do you hear it click into place, or maybe feel it click into place ? I am wondering if perhaps it's not quite engaged and that's why it won't wind. How old is the machine ?

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Those books are long since out of print. Try contacting sewing machine stores who stock old instruction books. Many shops do this. Or try eBay.
http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=instruction+book+kenmore+sewing&_sacat=0&_trksid=p3286.m270.l1313&_odkw=instruction+book+sears+kenmore+sewing&_osacat=0

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