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Tension problems.


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Oh great longarm gurus...please help me...

I'm having my top thread breaking.

It's breaking while the needle is in the down position.

I've not had any episodes...broken needles or anything like that.

I've rethreaded.

Cleaned bobbin case and under that thingy.


Double checked with my TOWA.

Loosened sandwich.

What am I missing?


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if it breaks consistently at a certain place, check for burrs - little rough spots along your hook assembly or on the hole in the needle plate.  I take a pin and slowly go along the edges, looking for anywhere the thread can catch.  You don't have to break a needle to create a burr - just a temporary flex of the needle will do it.  Check your pigtails as well.  If you find a burr, you need to buff it out with something like emory cord.  For the pigtails, you can turn them 180 and a different part of the pigtail will be exposed rather than the part with the burr.



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There  must  be a burr somewhere in there, have you looked at the bottom of your needle plate?, checked your bobbin for a burr, also checked everywhere on the bobbin assembly?  If you can't feel anything with your nail or try flossing a bit of floss through the bobbin assembly to see if anything catches or comes out...my last guess would be to change the thread and needle again (maybe a bad case of needles?) and loosen up the tension again?  If all else fails - I would call APQS and they can walk through anything else you may have missed....I hate when this happens and I just can't find it-super frustrating!

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Thanks for the ideas everybody.

I'm limping thru the quilt on the frame.

It's super frustrating.

It's a twin with a loose meander, super easy.

I'm going turtle slow and still getting a break on every pass.

When I get this puppy off, I'll get the sandpaper out and start sanding.

And, if that doesn't work, I'll call tomorrow.

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I spent this morning running threads all around the edges that could possibly touch the thread.

I found it slightly catching around the hole in the needle plate when I held the thread just right.

(I think it's the needle plate, it's that hole that the needle goes into)

I sanded it and am hoping my troubles will be over.

Praingy to the Quilty Gods for mercy.....

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Good luck and fingers crossed!  :ph34r:


How is the thread you're using? If it can easily be snapped with a firm tug it's too weak or old and needs to be tossed. 

Also, as Lyn shared above, check your hook retaining finger to be sure it's only in far enough to stop the rotation of the assembly. If it's in too far it'll snap your thread as it comes around.

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My first question when thread breaking is the issue is:  "what kind of thread are you using?"  Not all thread works well for long arming.  Like Linda asked, how strong is it?  If the thread is new, and is something you've used without issue in the past, then look for a mechanical problem.  If not, suspect the thread.  I hate thread breaking!  As a result, I use YLI Longarm Professional almost exclusively.  It's strong and doesn't produce much lint.  Weak and lint producing threads are a problem, so I avoid them.  I abandoned a project with Glide thread last week because it broke on me after about 2 feet of stitching.  Used YLI without incident for the rest of the job.


Meg, if you found a burr in the needle hole, you've probably found the culprit.  Good luck.  Jim

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