Question about Janome MB4 Four Needle Embroidery Machine

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How do I fix my MB4 that has locked after thread caught around bobbin. There must still be hidden thread, how can I fix please, regards Pam

I have taken the cover plate off bobbin, pulled the thread out I could see, air sprayed and brushed, turned machine on and off, still unable to unlock

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  • 271 Answers

IF THE GEARS ARE PLASTIC, THE LOCKING MAY HAVE CAUSED THE GEARS TO JUMP A TOOTH AND THREW THE TIMING OF THE MACHINE OFF. IT MAY NEED TO BE SERVICED.

Posted on Nov 20, 2014

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Janome Memory Craft 9500 Troubleshooting

The solution that I found last night was the thread tension. I have never touched the dial, only had it set on 'auto." When I started playing with it, I realized the top thread should be really easy to pull through the machine and it wasn't. I started turning the dial (to 3 or 4) and the thread slid through the machine perfectly. No more birds nest! I really thought it was bobbin initially because of the horrible sound it was making.

Posted on Jun 05, 2008

bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: Thread gathering under and around the bobbin/plate

Most likely cause is lint in and around bobbin area. 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....

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 30, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: The top thread gets caught in the shuttle hook and

I am having same problem

Posted on Sep 27, 2009

  • 109 Answers

SOURCE: The top thread on my Janome 300E is getting caught

If your thread is getting caught underneath it's usually the UPPER thread is threaded wrong or not correctly through the tension discs. This can also happen if you're using Sticky Back stabilizer. Make sure you have a new needle in case there's a burr on the old one which can also cause this problem.

Posted on Aug 23, 2010

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: I have a Janome MB4 and have had so many problems

Hi!
I was having the same problem(s) and I loosened the tension on the bobbin case and switched to prewound paper bobbins and everything sews beautifully.
Hope that helps!
-Donna Jo

Posted on Sep 08, 2010

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1 Answer

The machine is locked up. I've tried checking for thread behind the bobbin case, but cannot get the bobbin case to move.


Check your owner's manual troubleshooting section.

Assuming the machine is jammed with thread:

Try removing all the thread, remove the needle, the presser foot and the needleplate (if it is removable). If there is a thread tangle in the bobbin area, try to snip the thread loops and gently pull with tweezers or needlenose pliers. The best thing would be to get the bobbin case out of the machine. Once the bobbin case is out, the thread should be pretty easy to remove.

...

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try changing the needle
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Jan 09, 2013 | Janome Sewist 625e

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it would be a good idea to have the machine checked to see if
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Dec 20, 2012 | Janome Sewing Machines

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found the problem and unfortunately it is not something that i can fix and will have to take it to the repair shop on monday. The thread spring for that needle is broken and flopping around a little bit more than it should. From what i have been able to find on the web the up and down motion of the thread spring is used to sense if the thread is actually being pulled through the machine. this is how it detects if either the top thread or bobbin thread is broken. top thread not advancing and pulling the thread so that the thread spring goes up and down indicates one of the two is busted. Had a lot of responses to this on another forum with one person even sending pictures of what to look for and apparently this is a very common problem if the thread is not properly put through the eyelet of the thread spring and gets caught in the wire wrap of the thread spring. It just pulls it and breaks it. getting old and the eye sight is fading so just bought a lighted magnifying glass lamp to stop me from hurting my sweet little machine. So if you have one needle that is constantly giving you a false thread break indication this is where to look

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have you tried to adjust your stich pattern and slowed down your feed rate also doublecheck the bobin to ensure that it is installed fully in the casing and is not warped at all ok?
regards mike

Aug 18, 2009 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

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Needles keep breaking & bobbing wont feed thru


First try taking your bobbin case right out of the machine (not sure if this model has a top loading or front loading bobbin, but your manual will help you here) and floss out the tension slot with a piece of strong thread. Don't use waxed dental floss, but non-waxed would work okay. (The bobbin case is the piece that the bobbin sits in.) Look around while you have the machine open and remove any fluff and thread you can see - TURN MACHINE OFF BEFORE DOING THIS! Replace bobbin case. Replace bobbin and make sure it "clicks" into the tension slot.

Then unthread the top of the machine, clean the tension disks by passing a folded dollar bill (or any paper money, depends on what country you are in) through the disks in the direction you thread the machine. Do this several times. Re-thread making sure you follow the correct thread path.

Make sure the needle plate is on firmly.

If after all that it still won't work, I'm sorry to say that it sounds like you have a misaligned needle bar. This commonly happens after you have a major thread snaffoo and needle breakage. The needle gets caught in the thread knot, pulls to the side and breaks but if it gets seriously caught it can pull the needle bar out of place. You cannot put the needle bar back in place yourself - it's a job for the workshop. Don't sew on your machine until it is fixed. The noise you are hearing is likely to be the needle striking against the needle plate or even the bobbin. Your timing will probably need re-setting too and this needs to be done by a qualified technician.

If you really need to sew before you can get your machine into the workshop, and if you can move the needle position on your machine by pressing a "sideways" button of some sort, you could try to get the needle in the centre yourself using this feature. This will not help if it is the timing that is the major problem.
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You probably are in need of a new bobbin case they are plastic and oif you have broken a needle lately it may have gouged the case and the top thread is getting caught and bunching up underneath. Visit www.stevessewandvac.com you can contact them and have a bobbin case sent to you.

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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!

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