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Another top thread shredding issue


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I have shredding... and it makes me want to put an axe thru my sweet baby machine.....

I've read all the recent posts on this and have tried changing my bobbin case..I haven't hit a ruler, did NOTHING but changed threads to a different color of the same thread...(Rainbows, use it 99% of the time)... Limped thru the last quilt... thought it was my needle, I had changed it when it first started and thought it wasn't high enough... but no.... new quilt... same issue...shredding by the needle...AAARRRRRGGGGGHH!!!!!

I've rethreaded, changed the thread path in the duck bills, emery corded everything for burrs... looked at the hook and it's passing right below the middle of the scarf.... changed bobbin cases... sigh

It's my 3rd cone of Rainbows... I was using it just fine two quilts before...

3 quilts before I did have a white on white backing and have had dust like I was quilting outside.. I've cleaned out every thing.

Hep me please!

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Tracye,

 

Check the needle plate hole for a scratch or burr. Remove the front screw from the needle plate, and then loosen the back screw. Rotate the plate around to the side of the machine and tighten the back screw up again. This holds the needle plate like a vice.

 

Next, grab a piece of thread and drop it into the needle hole. Slide it all around the hole, putting pressure on the thread from underneath as well as on top. Pretend you're flossing your teeth. If you find a burr then polish it out with your emery cloth.

 

While you have the needle plate out of the way put a drop or two of oil between the hook assembly and the bobbin basket to be sure they're clean. (That won't cause the shredding issue typically, but since you had the white on white fabric it will help to ensure nothing's embedded between those two parts.)

 

It is possible to get a bad cone or two of thread, or even hit a bad spot on the thread. Have you tried lubricating it with Sewer's Aid? If it's as dry in Oklahoma as it is in Iowa right now, then the static build up that Rainbows thread creates can cause a problem too. You may notice that the thread tends to cling to the side of the machine if static is present. Wipe the machine on the thread path side with a dryer sheet. That excess static cling can mess with your thread path and increase the stress on the thread, increasing shredding.

 

Shredding is caused mainly by burrs, slight timing issues, thread issues or tension issues. Work to eliminate the variables one by one. You've switched cones of thread, so except for the static thing, you've elimated a "bad cone" as the culprit. (But if you have a different type of thread available, such as So Fine, put it in and try it. If it shreds too, then you know you're looking at something mechanical and not thread-specific.)

 

You've checked thoroughly for burrs. The needle plate is one place that often gets missed in that process of checking. Here are a couple more...check each pigtail thread guide. Grab the thread above and below the guide and slide it all around the inner circle of the guide, checking for any notches or burrs. On the hook assembly, check the portion of the hook that looks like the "thumb of a mitten" when you rotate the fly wheel by hand. Your needle passes down into the hook in this area, and a scratch or burr inside there will catch the top thread. Check the hook retaining finger itself, right around the tip. Your top thread passes between that and the hook assembly, so any little rough spot will cause an issue.

 

If you still get the shredding, then move on to tension. Abandon whatever place you were at with tension settings for a moment, and loosen everything WAY up. That includes the bobbin as well as the top. Loosen the bobbin until it drops to the floor, and back the top tension off until you get loose, ugly stitches on top. Then start tightening the top tension, 1/4 to 1/2 turn each time while doing some test sewing. Keep going until your stitches look decent again on top, and then check the back side for any pokies. Sometimes starting from the "loose-sloppy" side of tension will help you re-set it for the existing conditions (dry air, coarse batting, etc.) rather than trying to struggle with tiny changes from where it had been working so well.

 

(OOPS, I see you posted more info as I was typing that the top is loose and bubbly....amend my statement above and loosen your BOBBIN tension too, and then start tightening again.)

 

Take the needle from a different package if you haven't already. It's possible to get a bad batch of needles.

 

Revisit the timing on the machine, (watch this video) and check for "hook shaft collar play." This play develops over time as the hook shaft collar rubs on the bushing on the gearbox. With enough wear and tear, the bushing wears down enough to create a slight air space. When that happens, your hook assembly can move ever so slightly forward and backward, which could cause the tip of the hook to pierce the thread loop behind the needle instead of grabbing the entire loop. THAT will cause shredding. I've attached a document to help you check for that.

 

Let us know how it's going!

Hook Shaft Collar adjustment .pdf

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Okay, I'm running... not perfect but have a border and sashing done w/only 3 breaks... the sashing no breaks...I was able to loosen the top and not get bubbles...

 

I had no play in my hook shaft, or burrs that I could find, but when I dropped oil in from the top and then rubbed some thread in there a wad of something (lint?) from under the hook thumb thingy... I thought that was it but still had breaks so I changed the needle again...

 

One thing it does that I don't remember it doing before is that when I start out and am taking a few stitches w/the one stitch button it sounds/feels snaggy going up and down in any direction but backwards... Backwards makes no sound and is smooth...

 

Does this sound like I still might have a burr somewhere I haven't found? I buffed out the needle plate and realized that my needle is not centered in the hole... :huh: Guess it's always been that way...lol

 

Thank you so much for you quick response earlier Dawn! You are a life saver!

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Tracye,

 

Glad you're making progress and are at least able to quilt! 

 

If you're noticing a small "catching" when you're using the needle up/down, then it's possible that the needle is rubbing on the hook assembly in that up/down cycle. (The hook IS supposed to touch the needle and slightly deflect it, so that part is normal.) However, when you push the machine away from yourself, then the needle bends forward slightly (and that pulls its tip away from the hook so it won't rub as much).  

 

You didn't mention, but are your needles perhaps titanium (gold colored)? If so, they flex much differently from the standard steel ones, and that can impact the needle - hook relationship. So can having the needle not quite "square" in the needle bar. When you insert it into the needle bar, make sure the eye of the needle points directly toward you, or slightly to the LEFT if you tweak it at all. If it's tweaked too far left or right, then the hump on the back of the needle near the eye will catch on the hook tip as it travels up and down.

 

Even though you didn't hit a ruler or anything, it would be worth the time to double-check your needle depth in the bobbin area. I know I sent you a link on the timing video, but I've attached the printed timing instructions because they have photographs to which you can compare your needle depth.

 

Also, we haven't discussed the "check spring" which is the little U-shaped wire next to the tension disks. Double-check that the wire isn't rubbing on the side of the machine. When you pull thread through the eye of the needle toward the throat of the machine, the wire should come down to about 9:00, and then rebound to a resting spot of about 11:00 when you release the thread. If it is erratic, then it can tug at your top thread and cause the back pressure that would make it shred or break. Also double-check that the 3-hole guide (I think you called it a duck-bill) still points down to 8:00.

 

Hang in there!

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LOL... I wondered if I was just not seeing the instructions! Thank you they were very helpful...My timing appears to be right on... I still have occasional shredding...I've done all the steps suggested. The only thing that seems to help is to bath the thread in sewers aid (6 lines down the cone...not a LITERAL bath :) ) I'm running... So for that I'm happy. Thank you! I don't know how to function when my baby machine isn't perfect! :wacko:

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This happened to me and I had a burr on the spinny thing in the bobbin case right in the of the 'v' part. In the instructions Amy sent, they had a diagram pointing to the exact place I had a problem. Like you, I also hadn't remembered a broken a needle or hit a ruler. I still dont know what caused it. I got some of that superfine sandpaper & sanded it smooth, then all my troubles just disappeared.

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Hi Tracey.

Full disclosure...I am the last person you should be getting advice from.

But....

Here's a pic of the place I had the burr.

Apparently, the spinny thing has a name...it's the hook assembly.

In my world, it's the spinny thing, though.

I used 320 (i think) sandpaper and it worked like a charm.

8490073590_6a4e0b741a.jpg

image by quiltymeg, on Flickr

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update: If what I did is wrong, I don't wanna be right... :P

 

So I've been working on this problem since my last post and think I just now, today, have it figured out..

 

I think I actually had TWO problems, top and hook....

 

I did find a rough spot on the "thumb" in the hook, in the U part... I sanded it smooth but still had problems with shredding..I sanded and buffed every piece of hook assembly I could get to w/out taking it out... I cried to Amy on the phone for ... well... IDK but she stayed after 5pm one night to keep me from putting an axe through the machine...

 

I've thought I had it figured out more times than I can count because I would be able to quilt for a few feet and not have an issue and I'd be all prepared to come and tell you what I did and then WHAM....ISSUES!!!!!

 

I stopped having skipped stitches and knots underneath after hook sanding... (I was also running Bottom Line in the bobbin when I  usually use only Maxi Loc and I could not for the life of me get the bobbin tension to read any looser on my Towa no matter how much I loosened it up... The screw was about to fall out!) But even after the skipping stopped the top thread would NOT stop shredding in front of the needle..

 

When I would pull the "break" down I would see that the shredding seemed to start around the upper pigtail... I replaced BOTH pigtails and removed an extra guide I had on my needle bar..I was then able to get through the quilt that's been on there for the two weeks I've been struggling with this and honestly thought I had it whipped...

 

This morning I loaded the next quilt and could not even get my top line stitched for the breaking/shredding... I was in tears...Considering what my new occupation would be and informed my kids to prepare to go to daycare cause I was not going to be working from home anymore... It was a dark hour :rolleyes:

 

As I stared at the thread (Rainbows, what I run 99.9% of the time and I will not change. Both my customers and I are addicted to it) and it was smooth and unharmed/twisted properly until the upper pigtail... well... actually it started to "untwist" right above it... after the up/down thingy (tensioner arm?... wait I'll go look it up) TAKE UP LEVER :D ... After the take up lever it started looking rough... I'd buffed the inside of it out w/a small piece of emery cord but I ran a piece of thread through it again anyway... There was no "catching" but it didn't glide as buttery smooth as it did every other place it rubbed...

 

So I got out a really fat piece of emery cord, that barely fit through the hole, and buffed the living crap out of it... :unsure:

 

I've done a whole pass of Feeling Groovy panto and the only breaks were when the bobbin ran out, and the stitches look good...

 

I am cautiously optimistic... I would be jumping for joy but I did that this morning before I loaded the current quilt... so.. I'm just kinda "bouncing" for joy... If you don't hear from me assume I'm still a quilter... :P

 

Thank you so much for your help and ideas and for making me feel like I wasn't completely alone in the dark world... (also during this time we've had a blizzard ((30 inches of snow in 5 days)), 19 hrs of no power, threat of no water and current boil alert, and no school for the kids for 8 weekdays in a row, all of which added to the stress of taking a machine apart..lol) but I survived, the machine is axe free, and there is still tequila left in the bottle... well.. the NEW bottle... :lol:

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Oh wow... I just ordered everything ELSE on the side of the machine AND a new bobbin case... I didn't know about the lever!!! I'll call them Monday...Thanks for suggesting it... but... uh.. is it hard (hardware-y hard) to change? Cause that just scares me... I already stripped the screw that holds in the hook finger.. NOW I know to use ice to loosen a screw... but didn't.. My "hardware jane" cousin is going to come down w/a dremmel tool and cut a new slot in it so I can get it out...I ordered replacement screws btw.. :rolleyes:

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Tracye,

 

Replacing the take up lever is quite a bit more involved and is rarely if ever done "in the field". If you've buffed the bajeebers (technical term) out of the eye in the take up lever, that's all that will typically be required. Replacing the take up lever even rarely is one of those parts we replace when a machine is home getting a spa treatment.

 

Just give Amy a shout on Monday if you want to visit more about that. Great job of troubleshooting the problem, and for hanging in there with us so diligently!

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Update: If what I did is wrong, I don't wanna be right... :P

 

So I've been working on this problem since my last post and think I just now, today, have it figured out..

 

I think I actually had TWO problems, top and hook....

 

I did find a rough spot on the "thumb" in the hook, in the U part... I sanded it smooth but still had problems with shredding..I sanded and buffed every piece of hook assembly I could get to w/out taking it out... I cried to Amy on the phone for ... well... IDK but she stayed after 5pm one night to keep me from putting an axe through the machine...

 

I've thought I had it figured out more times than I can count because I would be able to quilt for a few feet and not have an issue and I'd be all prepared to come and tell you what I did and then WHAM....ISSUES!!!!!

 

I stopped having skipped stitches and knots underneath after hook sanding... (I was also running Bottom Line in the bobbin when I  usually use only Maxi Loc and I could not for the life of me get the bobbin tension to read any looser on my Towa no matter how much I loosened it up... The screw was about to fall out!) But even after the skipping stopped the top thread would NOT stop shredding in front of the needle..

 

When I would pull the "break" down I would see that the shredding seemed to start around the upper pigtail... I replaced BOTH pigtails and removed an extra guide I had on my needle bar..I was then able to get through the quilt that's been on there for the two weeks I've been struggling with this and honestly thought I had it whipped...

 

This morning I loaded the next quilt and could not even get my top line stitched for the breaking/shredding... I was in tears...Considering what my new occupation would be and informed my kids to prepare to go to daycare cause I was not going to be working from home anymore... It was a dark hour :rolleyes:

 

As I stared at the thread (Rainbows, what I run 99.9% of the time and I will not change. Both my customers and I are addicted to it) and it was smooth and unharmed/twisted properly until the upper pigtail... well... actually it started to "untwist" right above it... after the up/down thingy (tensioner arm?... wait I'll go look it up) TAKE UP LEVER :D ... After the take up lever it started looking rough... I'd buffed the inside of it out w/a small piece of emery cord but I ran a piece of thread through it again anyway... There was no "catching" but it didn't glide as buttery smooth as it did every other place it rubbed...

 

So I got out a really fat piece of emery cord, that barely fit through the hole, and buffed the living crap out of it... :unsure:

 

I've done a whole pass of Feeling Groovy panto and the only breaks were when the bobbin ran out, and the stitches look good...

 

I am cautiously optimistic... I would be jumping for joy but I did that this morning before I loaded the current quilt... so.. I'm just kinda "bouncing" for joy... If you don't hear from me assume I'm still a quilter... :P

 

Thank you so much for your help and ideas and for making me feel like I wasn't completely alone in the dark world... (also during this time we've had a blizzard ((30 inches of snow in 5 days)), 19 hrs of no power, threat of no water and current boil alert, and no school for the kids for 8 weekdays in a row, all of which added to the stress of taking a machine apart..lol) but I survived, the machine is axe free, and there is still tequila left in the bottle... well.. the NEW bottle... :lol:

Lol Tracye, just reading your post makes me tired.  I can't imagine all that happening is so short a time.  It is a pure miracle that you still have your sanity!  I am very happy for you that things are looking up. Summer will be here soon and you can put that tequila on ice and take it out to the deck to drink.  The dang snow will be a distant memory then!  And the kids will be playing OUTSIDE! LOL

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Exactly right Chris!!!!! :D

 

I'm going to call Amy Monday and find out if the take up lever was replaced when it had it's spa treatment 2 yrs ago... If not then it's lasted 4.5 yrs running almost only Rainbows and just now had it's first problem...If it was replaced that gives me a good timeline as well...It has worked about 10X harder the last 2 yrs than it did the first...So it was seriously due to have it's first hissy-fit...

 

Thank YOU for staying with it for ME DAWN!!!! OMG you were a lifesaver being on here and answering the bat signal after hours and on weekends... I SO appreciate you!

 

I'm pleased to report I got through a twin sized panto today and not one break, except when I didn't know my bobbin had run out... I think I can unclench my neck muscles now... :P

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