Re: general up-keep and maintenance for activia 140?
Clean, clean, clean the bobbin race area, oil the designated oiling spots (if there are any), and change the needle for each new project (or 6 hours of sewing). I'm not a Bernina user but have sold another swiss brand and in our training the need to clean and CHANGE THE NEEDLE was stressed heavily. Many users will leave the needle in place until it breaks, sewing through thick and thin, knits and wovens. And there is always going to be lint building up in the bobbin race area which will eventually "felt" up into a wad if left. Simple cleaning is lifting the needle plate, (or opening the front flap if front loading), removing the bobbin case, and brushing around the whole area carefully with a small soft bristled brush. Then oiling (with quality light machine oil), running gently for a few seconds unthreaded, then reassembling. Also wipe down the exterior of the machine with a damp cloth and clean between the tension disks by sliding a single layer of fabric into them.
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Tale the metal case out that holds the bottom reel, there should be a tension adjustment screw, use a small screwdriver or thin knife, turn it anticlockwise, should loosen the thread, this should sort it. Clean out all the bits of thread of course.
These are lovely machines when properly looked-after and the usual advice applies - make sure you test the machine thoroughly before buying. I always test by threading different colours top and bottom to check the stitch formation - the top and bottom colours should remain top and bottom although a little bit of top underneath is not unacceptable. When you sew-off, make sure you check on a close full-width satin-stitch - the machine should be able to produce a good close zig-zag with 0.2mm stitch length and full 5.5mm width, without pulling th fabric through (you should never pull the fabric anyway, of course). Check thepattern balance by sewing-off a round buttonhole with a No1 foot - the circle should be perfect. You can also check balance using pattern number 437 (this is the pattern the factory uses) - the centre of the pattern should be exactly on the top of the triangular section. Make sure you check that the auto buttonhole functions properly with the 3A buttonhole foot. If the stitch formation is inconsistent or the machine is a bit noisy, check whether its been cleaned by looking under the stitch plate and take out the bobbin case and hook/shuttle - dont be afraid to give the hook race a drop of oil - this usually quietens a machine that's not been adequately cleaned/oiled, but if its still noisy, be a bit careful. Make sure sensors such as the upper thread sensor is working by just cutting the upper thread whilst sewing-off. If the machine fails to detect thread breakage and is a bit noisy, there might be a minor issue with the sensor and it may have been disabled. I've not generally found any major issues with this range of machines, but be aware that the main boards are extremely expensive to replace if there is a problem with any of the interfaces, so check, check, check as much as you can before buying. Lastly, I have seen a small number of these machines that appear to have a minor problem that they occasionally 're-boot' themselves - if this happens whilst you're testing - avoid - it can be an expensive repair on a machine that is no longer under warranty. Mechanics are rarely a problem with these machines, but ask to see evidence of routine maintenance service - a machine that's 5 years old should have had at least a couple of proper services and more if used very regularly.
Good Luck with your purchase and I hope it turns-out to be a 'good-un' !
It's easy! Start from the thread holder at the top and go left - hook it under the hook which is behind the round disc that the bobbin winds around, then forward down thru the tension, then under the straight metal bit that's below and slightly to the left of the tension, then up into the hook (slide it behind and then slide forward into the hook), then back down and flip it into the small hook (which is just under the 'straight metal bit' mentioned above) and thru the needle! :-) Hope that helps. The machine might be an oldie but it's a goodie! cheers Lynda
Is the Activa a lower end machine? It sounds like it might simply need a service. The only time I have experieneced a machine refusing to sew when was it was gummed up with old oil and seized. Check all points of electricity when the cables plug in. It might sound obvious, but I've been caught out before :)
Please do not oil anything with WD40, it is an alcohol based cleaner hense why it's flammable. No where on the container will it say anything about lubricating, it will merely dry out your machine. We use it, but only to clean metal parts... we then clean it off and let it evaporate for a day before applying oil.
There are two key points I suggest customers can do themselves to help lengthen the life of their machine. One is your hook and the other is the needle bar... Hook - Open your bobbin door, removee the bobbin case/bobbin. On the upper left corner there is a small latch, push in the latch and your shuttle race ring will fall down forward. You can now remove your stainless steel hook. You need to keep this hook clean and the lip it fits back into clean and void of lint and debris. On the back of this hook or the "lip" that the hook fits back into apply a small amount of hook/sewing machine oil. Needle Bar - Open up your head cover, the needle and needle bar clamp is attached to a long stainless steel rod that travels vertically inside your head. All sewing machines have a needle bar that looks like this. This bar travels thru two brackets attached to the frame of the machine. Rotate your handwheel and clean the needle bar well of debris. Rotate the handwheel so that the needlebar is in it's highest point and apply a small amount of oil to the upper and lower bracket of the frame, rotate the handwheel so the needlebar slides back down and therefore lubricating it and the inside of the brackets. Hook oil or sewing machine oil is relatively inexpensive from all quilt, sewing machine, repair shops. Be sure to take your machine in a minimum of every three years for proper cleaning and lubricating of all the other parts (This is of course for average home sewing machine use 8hours a week)
More than likely the machine is okay but when you do the embroidery the presser foot is not all the way down and it has no tension. The other possibility is that the thread is not in the take up lever all the way or is slipping out. sewman7
I will quit being lazy and find my manuel today...... i thought I could save time and look online. No such luck. If you have an email address I will send of fax or mail to you. I feel bad for everyone looking for it. So I will check in a few days to see if you still need it.