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Pfaff 6120 tipmatic

I cannot get tension adjusted correctly. Top looks good, but underside is loose. Have tried adjusting bobbin screw many times, besides changing top #. Getting very frustrated. Have also cleaned and oiled.

Posted by Anonymous on

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: tension adjustment

PLEASE REMEMBER: Oiling is not a panacea for anything when it comes to sewing !!!!

If you are using a standard tension of 4 or 5 and this problem has developed over time, the most likely cause is lint deposited between the tension disks....... or in the bobbin case, or both. To be using Tension at 7 or more is not normal, generally aim for 4 or 5 !

Raise the presser foot and with a length of scrap fabric, use an action like flossing your teeth to get between the 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: 

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....

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 Nov 16, 2008

  • 97 Answers

SOURCE: thread or bobbin tension

Thread tension. Beware of adjusting the bobbin screw. Pfaffs maintain their tensions just fine without adjusting the bobbin tension, unless you're using some crazy thick or fine thread. If you must change your bobbin tension, you would be well-advised to buy an extra bobbin case, because re-calibrating your tensions after changing them can be less than fun.

Increase your top tension, and your looping should cease. I normally keep my tension around 4.5. Also make sure you're using a good quality thread, and that there's nothing in the upper tension assemblies. Sometimes a tiny piece of debris can keep the top tension from applying enough tension, so turning the machine off and blowing some canned air in there can help as well.

Good luck,

-R

Posted on Mar 11, 2009

Mongo32
  • 111 Answers

SOURCE: Can't get thread tension right on my Euro-Pro 7130

the top seam is actually the bobbin thread. dots on the underside means that the top tension is too tight. you may have a piece of thread or something gummy caught between the upper tension disks.

Posted on Jun 11, 2009

  • 96 Answers

SOURCE: My bobbin thread keeps getting tangled and

there is a screw on the side of the bobbin case, which needs to be turned to the left or counter clockwise to loosen the tension and also change the needle because a burr on the end will cause problems with bobbin thread

Posted on Dec 13, 2009

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I am having trouble with

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Posted on Mar 12, 2010

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2 Answers

How do I adjust the tension on the bobbin. My stitches are too loose.


Your objective is to have the top and bobbin tension equal. Once you have set the bobbin tension you will adjust the top tension until the knot is in the center of the fabric. A good starting point for the top tension is four.
I've attached a guide to help you set your tension.
25726431-zby1ycmzruqr3f4ib2ahu5rp-3-0.jpg

25726431-zby1ycmzruqr3f4ib2ahu5rp-3-2.jpg

Jun 02, 2015 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

How to adjust the tension disks on my Pfaff sewing machine?


Make sure your bobbin is the right size. If it is too high it won't turn freely. Also, make sure you drop the bobbin in so it rotates clockwise. The tension must adjusted by hanging the bobbin from your hand and bob it up and down gently. It should move about one inch downward once adjusted properly. The hole in your plate should be checked to ensure the center where the thread dispenses is smooth. Use a finger nail file to smoothen if needed. Now, adjust the top tension to four. You may need to adjust just slightly. Just remember when you remove the bobbin assembly to put a drop of oil on the race. (Many forget this). When you rotate the handwheel towards you the bottom thread should come up. If this doesn't happen then you will need to have adjustments made.

Jul 31, 2014 | PfaFF Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Pfaff 4.0 quilt expression pulling bobbin thread up to top of fabric help.


try a new needle
rethread the machine top & bobbin
try adjusting the top tension just a touch to see if that helps
clean under the needle plate & in the bobbin area for loose threads
or lint
make sure the bobbin is wound correctly & inserted into the bobbin
case correctly

Jun 04, 2012 | Pfaff Creative 4.0 Sewing Machnie

1 Answer

How do you adjust the tension on a Bernina 180


There are two tension adjustments, which should be done with a proper set of weight gauges - top and bottom thread tension should be carefully balanced to get the best stitch formation. It is best that you assume the top tension is correct and adjust the bobbin tension to match. Load the bobbin with thread of one colour and put a spool of the same thread but a different colour on the top. Thread-up the machine, load the bobbin and sew-off a satin-stitch on max width zig-zag. In this configuration, there should be a very small 'bead' of the top thread showing along each side of the satin-stitch on the underside of the material. If there's excessive top showing, the bobbin tension is too high and if none, the bobbin tension is too low. To adjust the tension, remove the bobbin case and you will see a spring around the edge with two screws through it. One of the screws holds the spring in place and the other adjusts the tension - this is furthest from the edge of the spring and is in a small 'cup' in the spring itself. To reduce tension, turn the screw VERY SLIGHTLY anticlockwise and to increase it turn it clockwise. Make very slight adjustments and re-check sewing-off the satin-stitch every time until you get the required thin line of top showing down each side of the stitch on the underside. Ideally this should be done with Mettler Metrosene thread, but as we're just balancing against the top tension, it shouldn't matter too much provided you use a good thread top and bottom.

Jan 27, 2012 | Bernina Artista 180

2 Answers

My bobin thread gets tangled and loose


have you checked the tension? In the older machines you could adjust the thread tension by tightening the screw on the side of the bobin case. With alot of the newer machines you have to lift out the bobbin and then lift out the casing to adjust the screw on the underside of the casing.

Oct 28, 2010 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

The top stitch on my machine doesn't seem like it is correct. It seems like it isn't going deep enough into the fabric and hooking well w/ the bottom thread. It almost looks like one long stitch all the...


Hi. I think I know what you mean--the top thread looks like it's just laying across the fabric, right? This is because either the top tension is too tight or the bobbin tension is too loose. (Either condition will look the same.) Try it with a different color thread in the bobbin, you can easily see the bobbin thread cross the top thread on top of your fabric. Here's what to do:
  1. since you should hardly ever need to adjust the bobbin thread, we'll start with the top thread.
  2. Make sure you thread the machine with the pressure foot UP (opens the tension disks) but adjust the tension with the pressure foot DOWN (closes them so they will adjust). Use a size 12 or 14 needle and good-quality thread (it does make a huge difference!)
  3. With different color thread on top and in the bobbin, stitch an inch or so and check the stitch.
  4. Slightly loosen the top tension (move the dial so the numbers go lower). Don't move it a lot, just a little bit.
  5. Stitch again and check. Repeat this process, stitching, checking, and gradually adjusting the tension dial until you don't see any of the bobbin thread on the top (or very, very little) and don't see any of the top thread on the underside (or very, very little).
  6. IF this doesn't get the balance adjusted, then you'll have to play with the bobbin tension. (But generally, once this is set, you shouldn't have to mess with it again.)
  7. There is a tiny screw on the bobbin carrier that tightens or loosens a very small metal strip (where the thread exits the carrier). To tighten the bobbin tension, screw this just a tiny bit to the right. (Turn it to the right to loosen the screw, to the left to tighten it.) Again, just make a small adjustment each time and recheck your stitches.
Few things about sewing are more frustrating than stitches that aren't balanced!

Sure hope this helps!


Robbie

Apr 22, 2010 | Brother XR7700

1 Answer

When I try to use the embrodiery unit the thread bunches up on the underside of the material--it is very loose. Any ideas on what is wrong?


The tension on the bobbin (under the deck) needs to be right. When you load the bobbin, try and pull out the thread a little. It should be firm. You should have to pull a bit to get thread out. If not, the tensioner on the bobbin is set wrong or has backed off (Or you loaded the bobbin wrong) Don't use the bypass slot!
There is one screw on the side of the bobbin holder, where the thread is pulled through when you load the bobbin. This screw can be adjusted to control the tension. See pfaff page on bobbins

Apr 21, 2010 | PfaFF Creative 7570

1 Answer

Pfaff varimatic 6091 sew a rag quilt with jean and flannel,I can't get my tension right it seems to be funny on the bottom stitch,where shoulf the top tension be set at 4 1/2 ,when do I adjust the bobbin...


Hi! The bobbin tension rarely needs to be adjusted. First, make sure you're using the appropriate size needle and thread for your fabric (I'd probably use either a 'denim' needle or a universal size 14) and also that the upper thread and bobbin are threaded absolutely correctly. These can throw off the tension! Also, take the time to clean out the bobbin area. That can throw your stitch off also.

If the stitch on the bottom is loose, so that you see the top threads, then the top tension is too loose. If the top stitch is too loose and you see the bobbin threads on top, then the top tension is too tight.

It helps to thread the machine with different color thread on top and in the bobbin, and then stitch an inch or so on the same type of fabric as you're using in your quilt. Check the stitch. If you need to adjust the top tension, make sure the pressure foot is down! Adjust a little, stitch a few inches, and check again. Repeat until you don't see any (or very little) bobbin thread on the top or top thread on the bottom.

If you go through all these steps, and the bobbin thread is still loose (and you've tightened up the top tension), then there is a tiny little screw on the side of the bobbin case that you can use to adjust the bobbin tension. Turn the screw just a little bit (less than a quarter turn), stitch, check, etc. Once the bobbin tension is set, you shouldn't ever have to change it.

Let me know if this helps, ok?

Happy sewing!




Feb 10, 2010 | PfaFF Sewing Machines

2 Answers

Can't get thread tension right on my Euro-Pro 7130


the top seam is actually the bobbin thread. dots on the underside means that the top tension is too tight. you may have a piece of thread or something gummy caught between the upper tension disks.

Jun 08, 2009 | Euro-Pro Deluxe 7130 Mechanical Sewing...

1 Answer

Thread or bobbin tension


Thread tension. Beware of adjusting the bobbin screw. Pfaffs maintain their tensions just fine without adjusting the bobbin tension, unless you're using some crazy thick or fine thread. If you must change your bobbin tension, you would be well-advised to buy an extra bobbin case, because re-calibrating your tensions after changing them can be less than fun.

Increase your top tension, and your looping should cease. I normally keep my tension around 4.5. Also make sure you're using a good quality thread, and that there's nothing in the upper tension assemblies. Sometimes a tiny piece of debris can keep the top tension from applying enough tension, so turning the machine off and blowing some canned air in there can help as well.

Good luck,

-R

Mar 10, 2009 | PfaFF Creative 7570

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