Question about Riccar R552

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I have a riccar 808 E I get loops on the bottom.

I get loose stitches on the bottom of the fabric.

I am NOT a seamstress and am stressing OUT! please help

Jana

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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....

I have a riccar 808 E I get loops on the bottom. - 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 Jan 04, 2009

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  • Expert
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You are probably getting this problem because the upper tension is too loose or the lower tension(the bobbin case tension) is too tight or there is a problem with the upper tension assembly. Do a tension assembly test.
Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} Tension assembly test. To do this test. Pull the thread through the tension assembly and test it to make sure the tension is working correctly.
(To do this test, adjust your tension setting to normal or medium or 5 or something in the middle. Raise the presser foot and pull the thread through the tension. It should pull easily!! Lower the presser foot and pull the thread. It should pull noticeably harder.)
If it doesn’t work this way then you probably have a piece of thread or lint stuck inside the tension discs. To remove it, turn the tension to 0 zero and raise the presser foot.Using a small screwdriver, open the space between the discs and spray with canned or compressed air. The stuff should come out. Do the tension test again to make sure you got everything and then try sewing again after you set the tension at 5.
If it still gives you loose stitches on the bottom, tighten the upper tension as high as necessary to eliminate the loops. If they can be removed in this manner, then using a small screwdriver, loosen the screw on the bobbin case to lower the tension and then reduce the upper tension.
If none of this works,you have a timing problem or there is a burr or sharp spot on the hook and it will need to be seen by a technician.
sewman7

Posted on Jan 03, 2009

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Make sure you are using a new needle and that the needle/thread/fabric are compatible.

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If the top thread is still looping under the fabric, then the upper tension is too loose.

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My stitches are to loose


Generally loose stitches often means you forgot to lower the presser foot. It's really easy to forget when you are sewing thicker fabrics.

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I have a singer 7258 that I can not get the tension to loosen up on. The top stitch is straight across and adjusting dial doesn't help.


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Adjust the tension

Load your sewing machine with one color on top, threaded through the needle. Load the second color thread into the bobbin and thread.


Fold the scrap fabric in half, and sew a straight stitch at least 2 inches long. Look closely at the seam. If you see loops of the bottom color thread on top of the fabric, proceed to Step 3. If you see loops of the top color thread on the bottom of the fabric, proceed to step 4.


Loosen the top tension. Since the top tension is so tight, it is pulling the bottom thread up through the fabric. Loosen the top tension by turning the numbered knob on the front of the sewing machine counterclockwise by one number.


Tighten the top tension. Since the top tension is too loose, the bottom thread is pulling the top thread down through the fabric. Tighten the top tension by turning the numbered knob on the front of the sewing machine clockwise by one number.


Sew a straight stitch 3 inches in length. Check the stitching. It is perfect if the threads meet in the middle, and you can only see the top thread on top and the bottom thread on bottom. If it still needs adjusting, go back to step 2 to repeat the needed steps.


Using two different colored threads makes it easier for you to see which thread is being pulled.

Always use proper precautions when working with electrical machines.

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How do i adjust the loose thread on top? Using the 3 thread stitch the top loop is loose and bulging over edge instead of smooth with rest of stitches. Setting is set to recommended setting but is still...


I always adjust my overlocker stitch in several ways. I start test serging with the blade set right out to the right so that it "fills" the stitching. I'll set all the thread dials to the middle setting, ie. 5. Then I test serge, and check the stitch formation. If the needle is looping underneath, then I'll tighten it "A LITTLE". If the looper threads are lying off the cut edge of the fabric, then I'll dial both the top and bottom looper numbers up a little to make those threads tighter.

Each fabric behaves differently depending on its "hand" so the right stitch settings do vary, ie. organza is different to heavy weight cotton or denim. So if my inital setting is then "bunching" up the fabric within the stitching, I will then lower the numbers for the top and bottom looper to release the thread some. And if the fabric is very soft and light and still bunches up, then I will move the blade over to the left some, cutting a narrower edge within the overlocking so the threads lie better.

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I have thin cotton fabric and I can't get the tension right so the top 7 bottom stitches are the same. I am not a great seamstress but I can sew a straight line. What to do?


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You'll need to have the pressure foot down when you tighten the tension. Tighten it a little, sew a practice seam, check to see what the stitch looks like. Tighten it a little more, sew, check, etc etc--until both top and bottom look the same--you shouldn't see much (if any) of the bobbin thread color on top of the fabric or the top thread color on the underside.

Let me know how this works for you, ok?


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3 Answers

BOTTOM STITCH IS ALWAYS LOOSE


If the top stitch is loose, then you need to tighten the bobbin tension: if the bottom stitch is loose, tighten the top tension. Hope this helps. It could also be the size needle and thread you are using for a particular fabric. Different fabrics require different notions.

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Machine not sewing


Make sure you have threaded the machine from right to left, it sounds like the needle thread is trapped under the lower looper thread and cannot form a stitch.........start the threading over from scratch like this:

  1. Lower Looper
  2. Upper Looper
  3. Left Needle
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Is there a diagram for how to thread on the inside of the door ?

Follow that slowly and carefully to make sure you have not missed any thread guides on the way, as each one needs to be followed through to ensure correct tension and thread progression.

If you are certain that all threaded correctly, did you have a fabric jam and pulled it loose ? If so, the timing may well be affected.

Post an update and we'll get this right.

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