Question about Janome L-344 Mechanical Sewing Machine

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Have A bernina Activa 125 S. Removed Hook Race, put back in, beleive it is in properly but now machine does not make a stitch. It has a big long stretech of thread and gets caught in bobbin.

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Hi
you ended chat session and you dint rate it please rate it....here some suggestionMost likely cause is lint in and around bobbin area. 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 
projects). 

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.

BOBBIN TENSION:
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. 

TOP LOADER:
Drop-in Bobbin case will look similar to this image with the tension screw in the middle of the metalwork....

Have A bernina Activa 125 - 4c76dc1.jpg ...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 !

FRONT LOADER:
....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 
back properly.
165ca5c.jpg FINISHING UP
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 !?!?!)

OTHER ISSUES:
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 !
 
 

www.bargainbox.com.au 

Posted on Dec 08, 2008

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1 Answer

My bernina activa 130 wont sew


Fit a new needle, clean and oil the hook race, whether-or-not your manual says it doesn't need it and check that you have some tension on the thread coming out of the bobbin case and top tension unit. Are you threading the top thread with the foot up or down ? You should always thread the machine with the foot up to ensure the thread goes through the tension unit properly.

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Why won't my Bernina Activa 140 sew the blind hem stitch?


Are you absolutley sure you're not getting a problem with stitch formation on, for example, wide zig-zag. Check again, using a different colour top and bottom and make sure that the stitch is being formed properly with only the top colour on top and bottom colour on the bottom. It sounds as though the bottom loop is not being picked-up by the hook properly. Make sure you've thoroughly cleaned-out any fluff under the stitch-plate and remove the hook/shuttle and give the hook race a good clean and give it a single drop of oil, even if you've got the lightweight part-plastic hook/shuttle fitted.

Nov 19, 2011 | Bernina Activa 140

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Bernina 130. The upper needle is working but it does not seem to be abLe to catch the bottom thread. Had this machine for 12 years so I know how to put the bobbin in. Any ideas?


Firstly, I assume you've cleaned-out under the stitch-plate and after removing the bobbin, have removed the hook/shuttle, cleaned the hook race and given the hook race a drop of oil. Whilst you've got the hook/shuttle out, just check that the point is not damaged. Also, if you've got the lightweight hook/shuttle often fitted to these machines (it's black plastic with a metal outer/point), make sure there's no needle damage to the plastic - sometimes this can catch the thread as the hook rotates, preventing the loop from being picked-up. After doing that, check if you can sew straight stitch with the needle in centre, fully left and fully right. If it works in one location but not the others, there could be a number of issues such as timing/synchronisation or possibly the needle bar is offset front-to-back so that there's too large a spacing between the needle and hook.

Nov 13, 2011 | Bernina Activa 130

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I am trying to put back together my Bernina Activa 130 after it arrived in the mail. The hook fell out in shipping, and now I think I am missing some pieces. I am trying to figure out what else is suppose...


The only parts that should be able to 'fall out' during shipping are the bobbin case and hook/shuttle, assuming the bobbin case was fitted in the first-place. If your machine arrived with the bobbin door open and the round black plastic hook retainer dropped down out of the hook race (on its hinge), the hook can be replaced quite simply and the hook retainer clicked back into position to retain it - you might find it easier to tip the machine back slightly when putting the hook back. If the hook retainer is still in position, just press the flat metal spring on the left of the 'U'-shaped metal retainer and the hook retainer will pop forward allowing you to put the hook in andclose back up. Make sure it clicks back into position. Does this help ???

Sep 20, 2011 | Bernina Activa 130

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My Activa 130 makes a clacking sound when I sew. It is 10 years old. What do you think is wrong? Can I repair this or do I need to take it to be serviced?


I would take it to a Bernina repairman, nice machine and well worth getting it serviced by a qualified technician.

I presume that you've tried the obvious things like a new needle and checking the bobbin case is in correctly.

Sep 03, 2011 | Bernina Activa 130

1 Answer

I have a Bernina Activa 140. The threaded needle is not catching the bobbin thread. What should the needle height be from the plate?


The needle height is best checked by rotating the handwheel until the needle goes down through the stitch-plate (Make sure you're using a zig-zag stitch plate and not a straight stitch plate) and just starts to come back up again. Stop there. Gently push the needle bar to the right until the needle is at its furthest-most travel right (next to the right-hand edge of the needle slot). Tip the machine backwards slightly and drop the bobbin door; take the bobbin out. Open the hook/shuttle retainer, but leave the hook/shuttle in the hook race. The point of the hook/shuttle should be somewhere near the top, just below the stitch plate. Slowly rotate the handwheel until the point of the hook/shuttle passes just behind the needle; The point on the hook/shuttle should be just above the thread hole in the needle - if-so, the needle is at the right height, assuming the machine is properly synchronised. If its at the wrong height, you would need to have the needle-bar mechanism adjusted to put it right (relatively simple) - you cant just try and fudge it by adjusting the needle height using the needle securing screw. If you need help with re-setting the needle bar to get the right height, I can help, but you really need to be sure that the machine is properly synchronised first, so this may not be the total solution. Hope this helps.

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How to oil? Where do you put oil?


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Should the machine have some oil? Where? It is a Bernina Activa 130


The Activa range is fitted with a light-weight part-plastic hook/shuttle that Bernina claims does not require oiling. However, this does not mean it shouldn't be regularly cleaned and I'd recommend that it is also lightly oiled at the same time. Remove the bobbin case, press the metal lever to the top left of the bobbin door and the black plastic hook/shuttle retainer should pop open so that the hook/shuttle can be removed, or it will just drop out anyway. Use a cotton bud to firmly clean around the inside edge of the hook race (the round piece that the hook/shuttle sits in. Give the whole thing a good clean to make sure any surface grime/fluff is removed. Put a small drop of oil on the running surface of the hook race - the recessed groove around the inside edge, before replacing the hook/shuttle and holding in place by pressing the hook/shuttle retainer back until the securing lever clicks back into place. Rotate the handwheel once to distribute the oil and off you go. Dont overoil but do this regularly and your machine will run much quieter and produce a consistent stitch formation.

Jul 07, 2011 | Bernina Activa 130

3 Answers

Operating manual


I also have a Bernina Activa 125 w/o a manual. (is it contagious?)!
I figured it out by experimenting:
Use a #3 foot
Hit the "0" to make a buttonhole
On the LED you can see the left vertical blinking
Start stitching your first line, stop when you want
Now press the reverse pad
Start stitching
It will stitch in reverse w/ a straight stitch only
This provides you with a "guide line" next to your first one
When you stop at the end, push the reverse pad
Start stitching
It will make 2 small zig zags and then automatically make the end of the hole (wide)
Then it starts moving up your guide line in a mini zig zag
Stop at the end, then push the reverse pad, it will make the wide end of the hole.
Viola

Now a keyhole end ... haven't tried it yet, but I think this is the other one the Activa 125 makes

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