Question about Kenmore 15218 Mechanical Sewing Machine

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Our Kenmore 385 is not working.  When the needle drops down in to shuttle it gets caught on one of the sharp edges and the thread gets tangled jamming the feeding.  Can you help? Thanks, Kerrie Yarnes

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  • kerrie_yarne Dec 16, 2008

    thanks, but the needle attachment is good.  The needle goes down and as it comes up it gets caught on the pointy end of the shuttle.  Mom is so upset because we are working on Christmas gifts and was right in the middle of it!!

  • coryannk2 Dec 25, 2008

    I have checked the dog feet and made sure the bobbin is wound right. However my thread keeps getting caught. And won't allow the neddle to move. I have tried to adjust the tension but nothing is working

  • Anonymous Jan 18, 2009

    The shuttle on my 385 is loose and works itself out of place breaking the needle.

  • Anonymous Jan 18, 2009

    The shuttle on my 385 is loose and works itself out of place during operation bring everything to an abrupt stop. The needle breaks off and I must take everything apart to remove material.

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There's some pretty old grease in these machines, and with oxidation, the grease tends to slow down the movement of parts.  My first suggestion would be to take the gray bottom off the machine, take the white cover over the free arm off the machine, and hit the linkage down here with lots of patient hair dryer time. I just "fixed" a 385 which would not go into reverse.  Reverse is driven by a spring, the button actually allows the spring to reposition a cam on the main shaft.  The old grease kept the spring from moving the cam.

Posted on Jan 04, 2009

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Sounds like the needle atachement is bent

Posted on Dec 16, 2008

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1 Answer

Kenmore 385. 15343600


Remove bobbin, presser foot, needle. Tip machine back on towel gently. Unscrew plate--don't lose screws! Do not service in presence of children and curious pets. Put foot pedal next to you on tabletop. Use Zoom Sewing Machine oil. Any part MOVING that are NOT gears get one drop oil. Any DRY ONLY gears get dab of Singer sewing machine lubricant. Replace screws. Secure screws. Open left front compartment & one drop oil @ top of needle bar. Open race shuttle (where bobbin case fits in). One-half drop oil of on oscillating hook (bottom left - hand corner...smear that oil around! Insert NEW needle all way UP in needle bar groove, flat needle shank toward back. Turn handwheel towards you and raise. Raise presser foot so that threading locates all tension slots a's you pull thread TAUT from spool to each tension slot and left to right through silver, metal take-up lever, and down to tension bracket, pass needle, then pull 6" thread towards you and thread from FRONT to BACK of needle. Place bobbin into case and "thread" it. Set presser foot on DOWN position. Turn handwh towards you, dipping needle into needle plate. Make loop with bobbin thread, pull towards you. Place a good 7" underneath presser foot (both threads). Let machine RUN on 24" scrap to distrubute oil/lube. That's it! Jimmy

Apr 05, 2012 | Sewing Machines

2 Answers

I am sewing scout badges on a uniform and when I sew there is a bunch of needle thread bunched up on the bottom (the top looks fine). And the needle thread gets all caught up around the bobbin.


Clean out the bobbin area if there are any thread tangles there.

Refer to the maintenance section of the manual - see the configuration of the bobbin case and shuttle race? The bobbin case as an extending arm and the race a notch. When inserting the bobbin case into the shuttle, turn the handwheel so the needle is at it's highest position. Then lift the lever on the back of the bobbin case and insert the cast into the shuttle, arm pointing straight up toward the bed of the sewing machine.

Now thread the machine with the presser foot up - always - and see if the tangling stops.

When you forget to lift the presser foot before threading the machine, the tension control does not open to capture the thread. Then when you begin to sew, the top thread has no tension, and the bobbin thread, which does have tension, pulls the top thread to the bottom in messy loops.

Jun 25, 2011 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

1 Answer

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:
  1. This area must be kept free of dust, lint and occasional tangled thread. Raise the needle bar to its highest point and remove the bobbin case.
  2. Push levers of shuttle race aside and lift shuttle race cover and shuttle out.
  3. Clean the shuttle race with a small brush.
  4. Put a drop of oil on the center pin of the shuttle and shuttle race.

Jan 25, 2010 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Thread jamming under fabric


bobbins in backwards
flip it over

Dec 18, 2009 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

1 Answer

The machine keeps locking up. i have cleaned the bobbin and hook area. there was not much lint


if your machine has a front loading bobbin case, remove it and then remove the shuttle which the bobbin case fits into. most often there is thread or lint caught in the shuttle race preventing the shuttle from turning (it only needs a tiny piece of thread).

if you have done this check any gear meshing to ensure no lint or thread has been caught in the teeth of the gears.

if the machine sews ok and locks up after a few stitches then it sounds like needle threading or tension causing the problem. re-thread the machine and ensure there is sufficient needle thread tension to bend the needle a little when presser foot is down and thread is pulled through needle.

goodluck,

scott.

Jul 28, 2009 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Need online manual


If you are having problems with the thread on the underside of the fabric, that is usually the upper tension. Check to make sure that it is threaded correctly. If so, make sure that the thread is inside the tension disc and that there are no pieces of thread caught in the tension. If it is threaded and there are no thread caught up in the tension assembly, adjust your tension dial to a slightly higher number. Do this until you get a good stitch.

Feb 09, 2009 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Thread breaks


Hi!

Check to see if the lower thread be tangled. Also, the bobbin could be threaded improperly in the shuttle hook. Rethread the bobbin in the shuttle hook.
How to detangle a thread---

  • When a machine stops operation due to tangled thread, do not turn the pulley by force.
    If the pulley is turned by force then, lower thread might not be picked up correctly and stitches might not be formed correctly.

  • If threads get tangled, remove a needle plate and cut the tangled threads by scissors or cutter.
  • Do rate the solution if you find it helpful & useful.

    Thanks
    Rylee

    Jan 30, 2009 | Husqvarna Viking 1

    1 Answer

    Jammed thread.


    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!

    Sep 08, 2008 | Kenmore 15516 Mechanical Sewing Machine

    1 Answer

    Kenmore 385 timing answers


    the needle/ hook timing is achieved when the needle is in the lowest position and just starting to come up and the shuttle hook is at or close to the needle eye
    there is a clamp on the vertical shaft the the needle is attached to so loosing of the clamp and moving the needle arm up or down to achieve that desired position is required
    retension the clamp
    if you machine is belt driven between the needle operation and the shuttle operation and it keeps altering timing it is possible that that belt needs replacing as the tooth sections of the belt may be worn off and jumping the teeth of the drive sprockets
    it may be advisable to find another repair and get quotes first now that you have some idea of how it works

    Jun 07, 2017 | Sewing Machines

    3 Answers

    Kenmore 385. 11607 needle jams into shuttle or shuttle race


    I had the same problem with cleaning and jamming and this might sound silly, but when you're in the middle of trying to fix it remember to look up see that it is threaded up top. I did everything the pp's suggested and when they didn't work I realized the top thread wasn't still threaded around the tension thing anymore. After rethreading it, it worked fine. But I DID reduce the amount of thread on the bobbin at the same time as Drazil suggested.

    Dec 17, 2007 | Kenmore Drop-In Bobbin 505S-21BH...

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