Question about PfaFF Sewing Machines

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My Pfaff 1222 will not sew; the needle moves up and down in the same hole. What does it need to fix this problem?

The machine was sewing well. Then it started sewing smaller in length stitches and eventually the needle moved in and out of the same hole and would not advance. It's probably a broken or cracked part but I don't know which one. Would love some help with this. Thanks

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  • R.A. Ellis
    R.A. Ellis May 06, 2017

    I still believe that it is probably not a broken part. If the part were broken it would work and then not work at all. Believe it or not, an older mechanical machine requires thorough oiling every 8 hours of use. Given that your machine was last worked on in 2014, it could very well be an oil issue. As far as I know, Ken's is no longer in service. As a matter of fact, there have been postings that people have sent their sewing machines for repair and have never received them in return and are unable to contact anyone about getting their machines (fixed or not). The reference to "wheel" sticking is only one symptom of seizure from old oil. There are many parts that will fail from oil seizure, including feed dogs, needle bar, the selector levers/dials, etc. The feed dogs do require frequent oiling and are very susceptible to seizure. Most mechanical machines will have at least one oil port specifically for the feed dogs.

  • Kathy
    Kathy May 06, 2017

    You state in your directions to “Oil one or two drops in every oil hole (see your manual) and also every place where metal rubs on metal.” My manual for the Pfaff 1222 states to only oil the rotary hook with a drop of oil. I easily do this every 8 hours of sewing or less. I also keep the lint brushed out of the hook area and take off the throat plate to get the lint under there. Where else do you think the machine should be oiled? I would have to take the machine partly apart to get to some areas.

    The hand wheel on my machine is not tight at all. The Stopmatic mechanism works perfectly. The machine’s motor hums along nicely and fast with no hesitation or no unusual noise. The only thing that seems not to work is whatever mechanism is responsible for feeding the fabric along as you sew. This machine sewed for 37 years (I am the original owner and bought it in 1977) before I sent it to Kenn to be fixed. Much of what was wrong was caused by inexperienced people trying to fix things. I knew this myself because on a couple of occasions when I tried to get it fixed locally, it came back to me in worse shape. The Stopmatic mechanism had quit working (which didn’t prevent it from sewing) and I had been told by the local Pfaff shop (now out of business) that it absolutely could never be fixed by anybody. Kenn fixed it. I am sorry to hear that people have had trouble getting their machines back from him. I can only say that there may be unknown circumstances involved. He might have suffered a stroke; he might have died; he might have been in a debilitating accident, and his family (if he has any) may not know how to contact the owners. He always seemed to me to be a very honest guy, but who knows?

    Anyway, I do think any machine is more likely to have trouble as it ages – just like humans. You may be correct that all it needs is oil and cleaning. I don’t think I am knowledgeable enough to know how to do the through cleaning and restorative work that a good sewing machine mechanic could do. I can try oiling it in a few places that you suggest, but I really have my doubts that this would cure the problem and I don’t want to make things worse. I just wish I knew someone else that was knowledgeable about these machines who I could trust to fix it. I have considered buying another one - eBay has them consistently listed for sale – but I would eventually get into the same situation I’m in now with needing service and none being available. Has anyone posted a recommendation for a good mechanic who knows old Pfaff machines? There used to be a fellow about 50 miles from my home who worked on them, but the last I heard he had cancer and was no longer doing it. Sigh.... One last thought – do you think it would do me any good to talk to your resident technical support person? I don’t have a smart phone; would this person be willing to talk other than through the smart phone app? Thanks




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More than likely, the machine is seizing due to old oil that has dried out--probably affecting the movement of the feed dogs. As a mechanical machine, it needs frequent oiling and cleaning to keep it operating smoothly. Most older machines, like this, are set aside or abandoned for this very reason. If only their owners knew there is a very simple solution. They can be rejuvenated with some elbow grease, "good" sewing machine oil, and heat. Below is the method I've used to find a second life for several older machines:
Wheel on right side that controls the needle up and down is very tight...
Your machine may be purring again in no time!

FWIW--your machine is popular and well-worth spending a little time and money to make her hum again:
Thread Pfaff 1222 Vs New Machine


Posted on May 02, 2017

Testimonial: "R.A. Ellis: I couldn't find a way to answer you directly - hope you see this. First of all, the wheel on the right side of my machine is NOT tight. In June of 2014, my Pfaff 2111 was completely re-conditioned by Kenn Thompson of He took it apart, cleaned it, oiled everything, added a few "new" parts and generally put it in excellent working order, fixing things that I had been told could definitely not be fixed. I have been using it fairly consistently ever since without any issues. This is why I think there is a broken or cracked gear that made it SUDDENLY stop sewing perfectly and start sewing stitches smaller and smaller in length and after a minute start sewing in the same hole. I'd bet my last dollar it doesn't need extensive cleaning again this soon. I was hoping to be able to send the machine back to Kenn but it looks like he is no longer doing repairs. His web site is up for sale and the email I sent to him bounced back. I am heart broken because I love this machine and I can't find anyone else that does work on these older machines, particularly the Pfaff 2111. Kenn was very reliable and extremely reasonable. Given that, my next hope was finding someone who knows sewing machines who could possibly diagnose what part or parts could cause this issue. There is a person where I live who has been working on sewing machines for 50-60 years who told me he couldn't work on mine because a) he couldn't get parts, and b) he couldn't get repair schematics. If I could find the right part and find a repair manual, maybe I could talk him into fixing my machine. In other words, do the leg work. Kenn also has several old YouTube videos still available that might help too. So, do you or others know what might POSSIBLY cause the problem I'm having? I feel pretty sure it's not a cleaning/oiling problem but rather a gear or the like that is cracked or broken from age, probably a plastic or nylon part. Thanks for any help you can offer"


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