Question about Brother LS-1217 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

Brother LS-1217 Bottom thread keeps looping. I have read your previous posted answer and it did not help. I have also adjusted the tensions and that did not work either.

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  • shaelynn83 Apr 29, 2008

    Same deal here..... bottom thread loops around the bobbin casing and breaks, leaving big loose loops on the bottom of the stitch.

  • Carrie Beasinger Sep 20, 2013

    You need to adjust the tension on the bobbin case. There's a tiny screw at the top. Adjust it until your bobbin will hold its own weight when held by thread. I had this issue too. The manual never even once mentions that there is a tensioner on the bobbin case...

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  • Brother Master
  • 1,388 Answers

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....

Brother LS-1217 - 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 Jun 09, 2008

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1 Answer

Need to know what the knobs are for


Are you sure that it's a Singer LS-1217? I can't find any model with 1217 on the Singer site.

The Brother LS-1217 manual is available here: http://welcome.solutions.brother.com/bsc/public/eu/eu_ot/en/doc/manual_top.html?reg=eu&c=eu_ot&lang=en&prod=hf_ls1217euk . The direct link to the English version of the manual is http://download.brother.com/welcome/doch000000/ls12171217b13171417ug01enesfrpt.pdf . There are only a few knobs on most machines. On the front near the needle is the Needle Thread Tension knob. If you use contrasting colors (different top, bobbin and fabric colors), you might see a straight stitch where the top thread is visible on the bottom of the fabric for example. Adjust the tension to get both the top and bobbin threads meeting in the middle of the fabric layers. (Increase the needle thread tension - rotate to a higher number but go in 0.5 increments.)

Then you have near the motor area the stitch width and length knobs. The width is only for zigzag stitches. A long stitch length is good for a temporary seam (like basting in a zipper or hem) before you finish that area. However, the width and length should be adjusted depending on the fabric. A fine fabric needs a smaller stitch, usually. The knob on the right side of the machine is the balance wheel (or hand wheel). This adjusts the needle height so that you can have the needle out of the way while changing the bobbin, for example.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells
(I use the Singer Sewing Book as a reference for tension issues.)

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Or you could use it for target practice and just go buy another machine.

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1 Answer

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Hello smallflame,

The looping on the underside of the fabric is due to the tension on the upper threading being to low. Try setting the tension dial to a higher setting. If this does not help, make sure that you are using the correct needle for the fabric you are stitching on. If the problem persists you should try rethreading the upper fabric.

Thanks,

Pat

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1 Answer

I have a Brother LS-1217. The tension will not adjust. I have re-threaded this several times, checked the bobbin and needle. Is this something I could fix and/or is it worth having repaired?


You should be able to fix this. IF it is the top thread on your fabric that is screwy you need to adjust the bobbin tension.
If it is the bottom thread you have a problem with your upper tension. Blow out the upper tension assembly using canned air, the tension discs may be dirty

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1 Answer

Why would I have big loops on the bottom side of my fabric and the bobin is a straight line


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The needle drags the thread down and then starts back up causing a loop at the eye which a shuttle goes through and acrries the upper thread over the bobbin. The upper thread then drags the bobbing thread up.

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