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Jamome RX 18S - feed dog problem

Hi there,

I have an Janome sewing machine which is about 8 years old. It has been sewing fine all these years in fact it has not been used very frequently only for simple tasks like some pant hemming and the like.

Last time I was using it I had a problem with my feed dogs - I couldn't get them to go back up. This is where my problem gets a bit tricky because this happened about a year ago and the details about what actually caused the problem in the first place are now a bit foggy. The machine has been sitting now for almost a year.

Today I took off the needle plate and cleaned that area. I also opened up the bottom to have a look. I think this problem will be easily fixable except I am not sure how it is supposed to look in there. I am thinking there might be a piece missing or something that just isn't catching properly.

Any ideas? Any leads on where to go for a diagram of the inner workings of my machine? Like I said it looks like a simple repair, but I am not sure what I am doing. Obviously I don't want to make the situation any worse than it already is.

Thanks for any help you may have to offer...

Posted by on

  • E_bee Jun 11, 2008

    Thanks for your comments!
    It is definitely not the lever I have tried that to no avail. I think you might be onto something with the feed rod though, but the problem is I am not sure what it is supposed to look like eg. what parts I have and what might be missing. There is nothing rattling around in there or loose that I can see. Something might have come loose or fallen off I just don't know what that something might be.
    Any other suggestions would be great.
    Thanks again!



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Janome feed dogs do not go back up until the handwheel has turned one complete revolution. Put the lever in the correct position and rotate the handwheel to see if they will rise. If not, they may be gummy from lack of use. This means the oil in your machine has turned into a sticky mess which doesn't allow the feed dogs to rise. If this is the case, you need to spray the lower parts with ammonia and water, let it sit for awhile , then work them up and down by hand until they are free again.

Posted on Jun 11, 2008


Yay! That did it!!! I did not know about the handwheel solution. Thank you so much!

Posted on Jun 17, 2008

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Firstly, some machines can disengage the claws with a lever - possibly inside an end cover near them, or near other controls.
If not, then have a look inside when rotating the end handle slowly. There should be a feed rod that moves the mechanism.

Check the linkages for any connections that may be loose. It can be as simple as a loose grubscrew, or circlip that's fallen off - Check for any bits in the base!

If they seem fine, look at the main drive of this operating rod - and make sure it is getting drive. It could be a loose drivewheel.

Posted on Jun 11, 2008

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I need instructions for timing a singer 1036 we replaced the gears under the feed dogs and now we need to know how to time the maching. Can you help?
thanks Shirlene Jones

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SOURCE: janome e1 error

The erreor message relates to the motor sensing that it is working unusually hard.........the extra strain will have a physical cause, generally in the hook and bobbin region.......something blocking or slowing things down, so.......
Remove needleplate and bobbin case.
You will probably find an accumulation of lint in and around this area, also possibly in the feeddog channels.
Use a small brush and vacuum with crevice tool to remove the lint and wipe the hookrace with a tissue moistened with methylated (denatured) spirit to remove any dirt deposits.
Also check that the bobbin case is not damaged on the top surface by needle strikes or on the underside rim by the hook gouging as it spins.
If damage is present but mild, you can use very fine emery paper to smooth surface, if more severe, replace the bobbin case. Don't forget to change needles regularly too.
Best of ......

Posted on Nov 21, 2008

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SOURCE: stitch is very loppy underneath fabric

Hi, you shouldn't need to change the tension on your machine. But it's always a good idea to make sure it is set correctly. Look in your manual for the recommended tension setting, and make sure that is where your tension is set. If you don't have a manual, the default tension setting for most machines is between 4 and 6.

If you are suddenly getting loops when you sew your seams, it is usually caused by one of three simple problems. The most common is that your machine is not threaded properly.

But, when your sewing machine suddenly goes "wonky" - try these step

  1. Raise your presser foot and rethread your machine. Always remember to raise the presser foot when you thread your machine! When you raise your presser foot, the tension dials are released; when you lower the presser foot, the tension dials close around your thread. If you happened to leave your presser foot up when you finished sewing yesterday, the thread could have slipped out of the tension dials, so when you started sewing today, you got loops. And, sometimes, your sewing thread can shift out of position along the thread path and you can't see it. Trust me on this - I often need to rethread while I'm sewing, and I have an expensive machine! If your machine is new to you, it is always a good idea to refer to your manual the first few times you thread up - it is really easy to miss little things, even for advanced sewers.
  2. If you are still getting loops after rethreading your machine, remove your bobbin and reinsert it. Make sure you know which way your bobbin need to be inserted. After you re-insert your bobbin, sew another sample seam. If you are still getting loops...rewind your bobbin (you can put your bobbin where you normally put your sewing thread and wind the bobbin thread onto a new bobbin). Never wind more than one color on a single bobbin. When you look at the thread in the bobbin, it should be straight a tight. Yesterday, I wound a bobbin, and the thread was kind of wavy and loose. Don't know why, but it happens.
  3. Change your needle.
  4. Check your manual - most manuals have troubleshooting tips in the last chapter. If you don't have a manual for your machine, search on google. You might be able to find one online.
  5. If your machine is new, try calling the manufacturer or check their web site. They might have troubleshooting techniques specific to your machine.
If this doesn't help, please write again and describe your problem in more detail. Did you buy a used machine? Do you have your manual? Did you start a new project or continue working on the project you started when the machine was working correctly? Hope this helps! Ginny

Posted on Jan 31, 2009

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SOURCE: Sewing hems on pants without stitch showing

you want to use a blind stitch. Refer to your manual and it should give you details on how to set the machine for that stitch.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009

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If you have the owner's manual for your Janome Decor Excel 5018 sewing machine, then you can find the diagram naming the parts of the sewing machine (page 2, English text) and showing part #22, the drop feed lever. This is the lever which controls the feed dog.

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