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Hi Everyone,  I haven't used my Millie since about March (been a busy year for everything except quilting).  I've finally got some time, and a few quilts that need finishing. I cleaned and oiled it, and changed the needle.  I was getting loops above and below.  After I checked the thread path and fiddled with the tension some, the stitches seem to be ok but I have noticed that my check spring doesn't move when the machine is running. The spring is closer to 10:00 with the spring hook closer to 9:00, and it just stays in that configuration running or not.  Since the stitches seem to be ok,  I'm going to attempt to make it through the quilt I have loaded, but I know this is something that I can't ignore. Does this mean I need to change the check spring or the tension assembly?  For a brief history, I got the machine in 2012 from a friend of mine who kept up with maintenance.  She only quilted for herself and didn't do a lot of quilts per year and I only do about 4 or so quilts a year (and that might be overestimating...).  I've had it serviced by Dave Jones about every other year (since I don't use it a lot, that is what he suggested).  Thanks so much once again for your help. 

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I will ask a questions to hopefully help you fix your situation.  Make sure you correctly threaded your machine; https://www.apqs.com/how-to-thread-your-apqs-longarm-quilting-machine-2/  4 minutes 15 second specifically.

With the needle up and the top thread just pulled out sitting on top the quilt sandwich or the machine, is your check spring at the 10 to 11 o'clock position?

When you pull the tail of the top thread (threaded from the spool through the needle eye correctly) does the check spring lower to approximately 9 o'clock position?

If the thread check spring is not moving, you may have to take off the tension disks to ensure it is installed correctly.  The spring has to move to keep a good tension in my opinion.  If it is not moving, I do not see how the slack is taken up as the take up lever moves up and down with the needle movement.  I cannot find  video of how to replace or take apart the tension disk.  

Concerning maintenance of you machine, read the following thread being sure to read Dawn's posts carefully.  http://forum.apqs.com/topic/41856-customer-service/?tab=comments#comment-543527

If you cannot figure it out or someone else cannot steer you in the proper direction, call APQS on Monday.  They should have you up and running in no time.  Best of luck to you.

Cagey

 

 


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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Hi Nigel and Cagey,  Attached is a pic of my set up.  I watched the video and I am threaded properly. I did see that the spring did not move like it did in the video. I tried to attach a video of my machine stitching, but can't get it to attach.  This is what it looks like. The spring barely moves when I stitch.  I'm guessing that I need to replace the check spring?  or is it the whole assembly?  Thank you for your help!  It is most appreciated.1712.JPG.c98ad925c571d3906a4270ed5e8a0e64.JPG

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Again, when you pull on the thread after it goes through the needle, does the spring lower to the 9 o'clock position?  If not, try removing the tension disk nut and disks to be sure the check spring is not being pinched by the disks or something behind it.  It cannot hurt trying that before you replace the spring.

Cagey

 


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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No, it doesn't move at all from that spot.  That's a good idea to check that way.  I will do that.  Thank you.  I have to say, I haven't needed to do a lot of things to my machine, it just goes when I power it on lol.  this will be a first for me taking something apart.  lol I'm a little nervous.  Thanks again!

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Just use your phone or tablet to take lots of pictures or even video tape when you loosen the tension nut and start taking it apart.  That way you can put it back together in the proper order.  Be sure to hold the nut that you rotate to tighten a loosen the tension, as there is a small spring that you can see behind it that will push it off the threaded post.  It is not going to go flying off feet away, but I wanted to be sure you were ready for it to push off from the threaded post.  

Something probably just got stuck in there and is binding the tension spring.  It is only about 5 parts, and it is not that hard to put together.  I am sure your tension will be much better once the spring can move freely.  It is another thing to add to your checklist of things to look for when you thread your machine each time.  

Here are a few old thread discussing changing the spring.  http://forum.apqs.com/topic/25582-tension-spring-replacement-worried/

http://forum.apqs.com/topic/40337-check-spring/?tab=comments#comment-529691  I have to wonder why APQS just does not have a video like Gammill does?

Also, here is a link to the actual part so you can see the sides, and discover what parts you will expect to hold in your hand. http://shop.apqs.com/Tension-Control-Complete-Assembly_p_78.html  The check spring itself; http://shop.apqs.com/Tension-Control-Check-Spring_p_77.html

You will do just fine taking it apart and putting it back together.  If you have problems, just let the forum folks know, and I am sure someone can help you out, or give APQS a call.  

Cagey


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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I loosened the whole assembly held on to it and barely pulled it away from the machine, them screwed it back in tight. Flip the spring with your finger and see if it snaps back or moves.  It is possible for the spring to get too close between the machine and the tension assembly and get pinched too tight.  Carol

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Melissa:  If you haven't solved this issue yet, my guess is that the check spring is either broken, or out of place (more likely broken).  Remove the tension assembly (there's a set screw at the back of the sewing head that holds the entire assembly in place) and examine it.  There is a small "tail" at the inside end of the take up spring.  It should rest in a slot in the body of the tension assembly.  I think it's broken off, or out of place.  If so buy yourself a new one, take the assembly apart replace the spring, and reassemble.  You can adjust the strength of the spring by turning it before you clamp it down.  Good luck.  Jim

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Melissa

 Before you take anything apart.  Push the spring down with your finger, does it snap back?  If so there is nothing wrong there.  I reread your original post and you mentioned adjusting tension, if you have the tension backed way off that spring won’t deflect much if at all when pulling the thread through it.  Try tightening about half a turn and see what happens.

Fyi the purpose of that spring is to take the slack out of the thread when the needle is out of the fabric so the thread doesn’t get tangled around the needle.  It actually doesn’t have much if any effect on the tension.

Nigel


Brenda Wells - Green Millie
Nigel Wells - Ultimate 1 with |Intellistitch & IQ

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Nigel;

15 minutes ago, RunningThreads said:

Fyi the purpose of that spring is to take the slack out of the thread when the needle is out of the fabric so the thread doesn’t get tangled around the needle.

Great information.  You learn something new every day.  Thank you for sharing.

Cagey


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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Thank you Cagey, Nigel, Jim and Carol for your help. I will definitely order a new check spring just in case. Nigel, yes it springs right back when I push it down. I'm wondering if it just needs to be turned a bit. It looks to me like it is about an "hour" off in position. 9:00 instead of 10. Longarm Daylight Savings maybe? lol. Jim, I will give that a look. I just got the correct Allen wrench to be able to loosen the screw. I haven't been able to do much other than take the tension knob and disks off and look. It didn't seem to be hung up on anything or pinched as Carol suggested. Hmmm maybe the tension is too loose. I can try tightening the top and bottom and see what that does. Great idea to take pictures Cagey! Lol might lessen my nervousness a bit. We've been without power for the past two days. We got a generator and then the furnace is acting up. Always something to get in the way of quilting. Once normalcy is restored, I'll give it another look. Thanks to you all for your help. I truly appreciate it!

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Melissa;

I can understand the no power issue.  Five days without power after Irma.  I foresee a much larger generator in our future, so an air conditioner can be run through the oppressive heat after a hurricane.  Best of luck to you.

Cagey


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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I think it is fixed!! Oh my gosh I'm so excited! I finally got to the hardware store for the 5/64 Allen wrench. I just loosened the set screw, pulled the whole assembly out of the machine, turned it so the  bottom of the little hook was at 10:00 and the straight part at 11:00 (sprung ahead an hour....lol) and when I pull the thread, the spring moves!!! So excited!! haven't powered up the machine yet. We got power back this evening but husband has other stuff plugged in where my machine usually plugs in. I'll have to try it out tomorrow night for a bit if I can squeeze it in. Thanks everyone for your help! Lol I didn't wreck it! what a relief. Now I'll have to wait until a week from Friday to really play with it as I'm going out of town to visit my Quilty buddies for some sewing and lots of laughing.

Cagey, I would have to have the generator run AC. Lol I absolutely melt in the heat (and....apparently  get cranky according to husby lol). I'd rather be cold. You can always put more on, but you can only take so much off lol.  Thanks again for your help!! 

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Melissa:  Your check spring apparently isn't broken.  It might not be as strong as needed, but you can adjust it's tension.  If you find that it still doesn't take up the thread the way it needs to be, remove the assembly and tighten the spring tension.  To do that you need to loosen the set screw on the assembly itself (not the screw that holds it in the sewing head) and rotate the assembly against the spring (clockwise), and then re-tighten the the screw.  Now put the assembly back in the machine.  I've done this on my machines on several occasions as the tension has either slipped, or the spring weakened.  Jim

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