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Topic: machine problem; zig zag bends needle  (Read 622 times)
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steiconi
« on: August 24, 2008 06:32:38 PM »

Hi all,
my machine straight stitches OK (but slower than it should), but it hasn't been making a nice zig zag.  The other day I zig zagged in slow motion, and saw that the needle was bending as it pulled out of the fabric.  It's like the needle unit is moving from side to center in a lower position than it ought to.

any ideas on causes/fixes?
thanks,
Lee
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Ambimom
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2008 06:36:48 AM »

Not knowing what kind of machine it is, it sounds like your tension is off.  Have you consulted your manual? Try loosening the needle tension dial.  It also could be that your thread is catching somewhere. Make sure it's threaded properly in the tension discs.

It also might be that the needle size is too small for either the fabric or the thread. If you're sewing with a size 8 needle and what you are sewing needs a 12 or 14, it will bend like that.

There are lots of possible causes.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008 06:47:02 AM by Ambimom » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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steiconi
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2008 11:33:08 AM »

Thanks, Ambimom,
It's an older Kenmore (somewhere between "retro" and "vintage"), the needle is actually heavier than it should be for what I was stitching (a 14 for light cotton), and the zig zag problem has persisted through several thread changes and a couple of thorough cleanings and oilings.
 
Adjusting the top tension didn't help, neither did adjusting the bobbin tension.  None of the troubleshooting items in my manual addressed this problem, but I checked all the "fixes" anyway.

Sigh.  Maybe it's time to retire ol' paint...

Lee

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Ambimom
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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2008 01:07:23 PM »

 Angry Sorry to hear that, but here's hoping that you can find a reliable sewing machine mechanic.  They are all too rare to find these days but they do exist.  [Psst....when you find one, let me know okay?]  Kenmores last forever, so I've been told.  It would be a shame to lose a faithful friend.  The newer machines just don't have the quality -- and the quality machines (e.g. Bernina) cost as much as a small country. 

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steiconi
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2012 02:44:10 PM »

I actually fixed this problem!  Got a book out of the library and...RESET THE TIMING!
It wasn't nearly as hard as I always thought. 
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