Question about Sewing Machines

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When sewing the machine seems to jam/stick. I have wondered if it needs oiling but do not have the manual to know where I can oil. My machine is a Cooper. Up until now when the machine jammed I was able to get it working again by turning the hand wheel backwards.

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  • Sewing Machines Master
  • 1,122 Answers

I can't find anything online for this brand. It is always best to refer to a manual if you can get one as there is a lot of variation in machines but cleaning is important so I'll make general suggestions. However, if your machine is jamming up it sounds like it would benefit from a full service from a local sewing machine mechanic to sort any major issues - there may be points inside that need grease or gears failing/gummed up. The mechanic could also could give you a quick rundown on the ongoing mainenance you should give it.

You could refer to, Debbie gives good machine tips and maintenance guidelines.

Also, only turn the flywheel towards you.

As a general guide here are some suggestions.

Firstly remove the pressure foot and needle. If your machine has a top loading bobbin, then remove the bobbin and look at the bobbin holder. Brush out this area and remove any visible lint or dust with a small brush or a clean piece of waste cloth. Is there a centre depression/hole? Add a drop of oil here.

If your machine is a front loading design with a removable bobbin case, then you can remove the bobbin and bobbin case, and clean the rotary hook (take photos with your digital camera as you go if you have never done this before so you can put it back together again correctly). If you go to Youtube and search for cleaning a sewing machine there are quite a few videos of different machines and how to maintain them.

Manually rotate the flywheel towards you a couple of times and look at the rotary hook movement, can you see pieces of metal moving over each other? add a drop of oil to any of these points that you can access and manually move the flywheel again to move the oil through the works.

Lower the needle and wipe the needle bar with your cloth to remove dust/lint. Now give it a smear of oil with a clean piece of cloth and rub this down the needle bar a bit.

Are there any holes on the sewing case top or free arm area marked red? These would be oiling points too. Give them a drop.

Turn the tension dial to zero and clean between the tension discs with the selvage edge of a clean piece of cotton fabric, saw back and forwards to clean. Thread will shed fibres and dye particles, plus dust from the environment will all build up in the discs if not cleaned out regularly. (don't forget to put the dial back to the original setting when you are done).

I would add that some people suggest using canned air to clean - I would not suggest this, as you can blow the lint further inside the machine. Best thing is a small brush as supplied with your machine, just buy another in a year or two when the bristles go all bent from use.

And use good quality clear sewing machine oil, not some 3in1 or general purpose household oil.

Wipe the outside case over with a microfibre cloth to remove any dust or debris, clean around the thread spool holders too, dust/fibres will settle here as well.

Always cover your machine when not in use, sew it a slip cover if you don't have anything with it for this purpose. And if you store it away for a period, then you want it to be kept dry so don't store in a damp spot.

Clean regularly as the lint build up will absorb any oil present out of the moving parts making things even worse.

Posted on Apr 16, 2011

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How do I fix......White 1510. Sewed 2 straight lines, no issues. Now needle won't come down. I checked the stop motion knob, seems what?

Is your White a mechanical machine (NOT computerized)? If so, it may need a good cleaning and oiling.

If your machine is a mechanical, be sure that you are cleaning and oiling on a regular basis. If not, the old oil turns to goo and sticks things together.

Use ONLY fresh good quality sewing machine oil (not 3-in-1, WD-40, cooking oil, or the old oil from grandma's sewing basket). Follow the instructions in the manual. If you want to do a thorough job, open the top and free arm cover. Slowly hand rotate the handwheel and apply 1-2 drops of oil every place that metal rubs on metal. Do NOT oil rubber, plastic parts, or belts. Don't forget the moving parts in the bobbin area and the needlebar since that's where you are having problems. Be sure to apply a drop on the shuttle race every time you begin a new project. Oiling according to the instruction manual should be done every 40 hours of sewing time. If in storage, oil every six months. I try to do a complete oiling of my machine (as explained above) every six months to keep it operating well.

To help loosen it up, you can direct hot air from a handheld hairdryer into the internal mechanics of the machine. Alternate the heat with oil until the machine is working smoothly again.


Dec 13, 2015 | Sewing Machines

2 Answers

A Whitesuperlock? 2000 serger I got the tensions to work but really need to know where to put oil as it has been sitting 5 yrs so I am sure she would like some nice new oil.....

Search the internet for:
Manufacturer + Model + the word "Manual"

Well, here is a PDF you can download:

From the instructions, it doesn't need a lot of oiling, but it does say (page 8) to apply oil periodically to put 1-2 drops of oil on all metal moving parts.

Use ONLY fresh, good quality oil made for your machine. The oil you have is probably 5 yrs old and has turned dark. If so, throw it out and buy a new bottle. Apply only a couple of drops of oil in each spot according to the instructions. Oil collects dirt and lint, so if you use too much, your serger will be more difficult to clean when debris sticks to the excess oil. Clean and oil your serger frequently to keep it running well. When you become familiar with the sound of your machine, you will recognize when it starts to make more noise than usual and know that it needs some TLC.


Oct 31, 2015 | White Sewing Superlock 2000 ATS Mechanical...

1 Answer

I inhereted a bernina ferreit in cabinet need instruction manual

I believe you probably have a Bernina Favorit. A Favorit is an early mechanical Bernina sewing machine and, to Bernina vintage lovers, is a keeper. Favorits are the flat-bed version, not the free-arm version, but is a wonderful machine nonetheless. If you search the internet using:

Brand +
Model +
the word "Manual"

(ie Bernina 640 Manual)

you might have some luck finding a manual.

Or, you can join the Yahoo BerninaThirtySomethings group
Yahoo Groups, where older manuals are available in the Files section. In addition, you will have access to a wonderful resource of Bernina users/lovers including conversations on using, maintaining, repairing, and assorted other advice about your older Bernina.

The first thing you should probably do is pick up a good quality sewing machine oil (Bernina oil for CB Hook is recommended--however, never use 3-in-1, WD-40, cooking oil, or the old oil can that you might find in the machine's accessory box). Consult the owner's manual in the Maintenance section to clean and oil your machine. If the machine has not been used in several years, the motor may sound like it is straining to move the mechanical parts. Most likely, the old oil has dried out and is sticking things together. Do not force the motor to move things without first cleaning and oiling the machine.

Remove the top cover and swing open the cover on the left side where the lightbulb is located. Gently hand rotate the handwheel and while watching the moving metal parts, apply ONLY one-two drops of oil every place that metal rubs against metal. (Sometimes the oil ports are marked with red paint as a guide, but some machines are not marked.) Use only 1-2 drops at a time. Do NOT over-oil as too much oil can be as damaging as no oil. Gently move all the levers and dials and oil those moving parts as well. Do NOT oil the white plastic gears, the belt, or the large round metal cams (which your machine may or may not have). Then, tilt your machine back and remove the bobbin & bobbincase and with a soft brush, remove any lint, dust. Then while hand-rotating the handwheel and moving the levers and knobs, apply oil to the moving parts under the machine. The feed dogs are usually a problem so be sure to test the feed dog knob. If anything seems to be sticky, resistant to movement, you can also direct hot air from a handheld hairdryer into the interior mechanism to help loosen things. Be sure to place a drop of oil on the bobbin hook in the bobbin area (the manual should show this).

If there is anything that is still sticky, then a few more drops of oil and the handheld hairdryer should be employed until things are moving well again.

A Bernina is a great machine for the sewing enthusiast, but only if it is maintained and cared for regularly. Cleaning and oiling should be performed approximately every 8-12 hours of constant sewing, or every time a bobbin is emptied, or at least every six months if not in frequent use.


Aug 30, 2015 | Bernina Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Where do you oil the Janome 9102D serger?

Did your receive oil in your accessories if so then you need to oil your machine but if you did not then you probably need t let a dealer oil it some machines don't need oiling. I would check your manual or your nearest sewing machine dealer.

Jul 05, 2014 | Janome Harmony 9102D Mechanical Sewing...

2 Answers

Sewing machine wheel won't turn, motor whirrs also the wheel seems to be jammed, it cannot be turned either clockwise or anticlockwise

Make sure your bobbin winder is not engaged. Ten check to see if you have thread stuck in the bobbin race area. That's where I would look first.

Sep 12, 2013 | Bernina Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Sewing machine keeps jamming, inable to turn hand wheel or sew

Generally, unable to turn the hand wheel can mean that:
1) there is thread or lint jammed in the bobbin area and it needs to be cleaned out. If you take anything apart, very carefully lay the parts out in a row the way they came off and don't let anything knock them out of order. If there is an up or a down, remember which way it was in there. Cell phone photos generally work well for this, or a digital camera that can do close up if possible.
2) the machine has been sitting a long time, stored in a damp place, under adverse conditions, etc. and may have got crud or old oil gummed up in the internals so it won't move.

This, always supposing that the machine has not been dropped and the main shaft bent.

If cleaning the bobbin area does not work, and oiling where your manual indicates ONLY with sewing machine oil does not work, then you may have to take it in to a sew and vac repair.

Get Singer brand sewing machine oil (walmart, joanns or michaels, hobbylobby), or sewing machine oil from a sew and vac repair or sewing dealer. Do not use anything else on it unless you do your research and know what a sewing machine needs. You can make it worse with the wrong chemicals.

Sep 04, 2011 | Euro-Pro 9025 Computerized Sewing Machine

4 Answers

How often should it be oiled?

sewing machine oil is a very light oil so it does not hang around very long. if you are a heavy user of the machine it is best to oil it every month or so. if when it is stored for a long period it should be oil then too. there are one or 2 bits that need some light greasing too. some 3-1 oil is good for the job and do all the moving parts lightly and not too much oil as it will mark your clothes. hope this helps.

May 02, 2011 | Janome Jem Silver 662 Mechanical Sewing...

1 Answer

Do i need to oil my singer confidence sewing machine? And if I do, where do I oil it? Thanks

I too am wondering the same thing, nowhere in the manual does it say anything about oiling it but you have to somewhere other than the bobbin race. Strange they forgot to put this in the manual

Feb 05, 2011 | Singer Confidence 7463 Computerized Sewing...

1 Answer

I have a Janome Sewist 525 and I love it, I've had for about 3 years and never had any problems. I have a question though. I have the manual that came with it and nowhere in the entire manual does it say...

some machine are self oiling, when they are run & they parts get warm to hot then the oil come out of the parts & it's self oil.
contact a janome dealer & ask if your model is self oiling

Nov 17, 2010 | Janome Sewist 525S Mechanical Sewing...

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