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The needle won't pick up bobbin thread on mu Elna Air Electronic SU

The needle won't pickup the bobbin thread

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  • Elna Master
  • 1,129 Answers

Has this just started after a jam up? As it's usually a symptom of timing being out.
However first check needle is in right way, flat shank to the back and threading is correct including the take up lever.
If no joy then mechanic service time

Posted on Mar 09, 2015

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: bobbin threading

You may have put the timing out, however, try this before you despair too much......

Ensure the presser foot is firm enough for the fabric you are using and that it will not just pull through easily by hand with the foot and feeddogs together (as the needle ascends), or things will not proceed, and you will be stitching in the same spot.

Generally a setting of 3 seems to work for general purposes, but if you are using very light or very heavy fabric, a sample is always a good idea before you start in earnest....also match the needle to the work for best results.

Ensure that all is clean and free of lint jams....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 consistant diameter with good thread, and less compensating to be done by your tension plates and less thread breaks !

If you want any more help with this, just post back here, or, drop a line through the "Contact Us" page at www.bargainbox.com.au

Posted on Feb 24, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Elna SU missing stiches and breaking thread

it sounds like the needle hook timing is out. You need to get the needle in the lowest position and measure the gap from the needle to the hook point on the bobbin shuttle. It should be 1/4". You will need to remove the foot and foot plate to be able to see. I use a 1/4" drill bit as a gauge. If you need to adjust it, you will need to remove the free arm cover to the right of the foot and loosen the 2 allen head screws that hold the drive gear. Adjust the gap, tighten the screws and retry. Usually if the needle catches the thread to early, it will make a bad stitch and the upper thread will break. If it catches to late, it will make thread loops and the machine will skip stitches. Good luck, these are a good machine and worth fixing. Phil

Posted on Nov 13, 2008

  • 4 Answers

SOURCE: singer quantum sewing machine won't pick up bobbin thread

Try changing your needle

Posted on Dec 13, 2008

  • 136 Answers

SOURCE: will not pick up bobbin thread

Unusual for this machine. Check to be sure the needle is inserted with the flat side to the back of the machine. If it is, remove the needle plate, bobbin and bobbin case. Turn the hand wheel slowly toward you and see if the point of the hook is above or below the eye of the needle when the hook point is aligned behind the needle. If the eye is above the point of the hook the machine is out of time and best taken to qualified technician.

Posted on Jul 04, 2009

Tally Girl
  • 1129 Answers

SOURCE: Elna Carine Electronic Sewing Machine

You should be able to buy a manual online but it may be a cd or image pdf file. Try www.sewingpartsonline.com or www.sewusa.com. If they don't have the Carina but have the Air Electronic SU, model 68 then this will be almost the same. Main difference is the Carina has the needle up/down button.
9_28_2011_11_21_33_pm.jpg

Here is threading up images to get you started.


9_28_2011_11_24_41_pm.jpg

Posted on Sep 28, 2011

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The tension dial is on the front of the machine right above the needle. The higher the number, the tighter the tension is applied to the top thread. HINT: When threading the top thread, ALWAYS RAISE the presser foot throughout the entire threading process. This allows the thread to seat completely in the tension disk. Tension is correct when the top and bobbin threads meet in the middle of the fabric.

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you should try these needle called the organ needle they have 10 pcs. HAx1 130/705H 15x1 size 100/16 these needles are longer and strong . Maybe the one you have is too short

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I had a zigzag problem with Elna SU Electronic Air, which I fixed with your solution, but some of the unfreeze liquid had gone down the bobbin winder hole and now the outer wheel on the right side wil


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removing the top panel is a bit tricky because you've got the handle there too, two screws unscrew it, then you need to manouvere the cover upwards and left to get it out of the bobbin feed part then tip it to the back of the machine to give you a view of the inners. You might want to subscribe to the Yahoo group called "Elna Heirlooms" as there's probably a prior thread on this there, lots of Swiss Elna owners who service their own machines, very useful place to visit.

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try cleaning under the needle plate & in bobbin area for loose threads or lint
try using a new needle--make sure the needle is inserted correctly in the needle holder
try rethreading the machine top & bobbin
if you try all these suggestions & the machine still won't pick up the bobbin thread then it's possible that the machine is out of time & would have to be retimed at a sewing machine shop

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Please describe the type of bobbin you have. Is it held inside of a removable metal casing? Or is it a dropin type? Is the sewing machine what is known as a "freearm" which you can put a sleeve or trouserleg over or is it a flatbed type? When I know this I can help you further.(I used to sell sewing machines).

Jun 11, 2009 | Elna Sewing Machines

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Elna SU missing stiches and breaking thread


it sounds like the needle hook timing is out. You need to get the needle in the lowest position and measure the gap from the needle to the hook point on the bobbin shuttle. It should be 1/4". You will need to remove the foot and foot plate to be able to see. I use a 1/4" drill bit as a gauge. If you need to adjust it, you will need to remove the free arm cover to the right of the foot and loosen the 2 allen head screws that hold the drive gear. Adjust the gap, tighten the screws and retry. Usually if the needle catches the thread to early, it will make a bad stitch and the upper thread will break. If it catches to late, it will make thread loops and the machine will skip stitches. Good luck, these are a good machine and worth fixing. Phil

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Elna Carine Electronic Sewing Machine


You should be able to buy a manual online but it may be a cd or image pdf file. Try www.sewingpartsonline.com or www.sewusa.com. If they don't have the Carina but have the Air Electronic SU, model 68 then this will be almost the same. Main difference is the Carina has the needle up/down button.
9_28_2011_11_21_33_pm.jpg

Here is threading up images to get you started.


9_28_2011_11_24_41_pm.jpg

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10_6_2011_6_36_08_am.jpg


Now thread up the top thread by taking the top thread from the spool, through the tension discs, across to the eyelet on top, down to the check spring, back up to the take up lever, then down to the needle catching the thread into the two thread guides enroute.
See this image.
10_6_2011_6_43_20_am.jpg

Now thread through the needle front to back, hold the top thread, close the bobbin cover leaving the tail sticking out the top, lower the needle down by turning the flywheel towards you through one cycle and pull the top thread, drawing the bobbin thread up to the top of the needle plate with it. Pull both threads under the pressure foot to the back and your ready to go. Remember, top tension should be on 5 and bottom tension should be on the red 1, don't change it. Brush out the bobbin holder assembly each time you use this machine and add one drop of oil into the middle of the bobbin holder, there may be a red dot or just the indenation. Run the machine for 30 seconds after oiling without thread, slowly to spread the oil through the bobbin mechanism. Standard 130/704H needles, change regularly (6 hours of sewing) and pick right sized needle and type point for the work you are sewing. Good luck with your SU. If you wanted to join, there is a Yahoo group called "Elna Heirlooms" for fellow Swiss Elna owners.

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