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Screw won't Secure Machine Needle


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Hi there - The tiny screw that secures the machine needle will no longer tighten - it just turns and turns, This has happened before and I replaced the screw and it solved the problem. I am now waiting for a new screw to arrive. 

Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this problem? It's strange that it has happened twice now (and frustrating!) - I'm just wondering if its the actual metal threads inside the hole that the screw goes into that may be damaged and not the actual screw its self?

Any advice welcome!


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You can go to your local hardware store, and purchase a 4-20 screw with an allen wrench head.  The allen wrench head screw should be shorter than a normal head screw.  You will need a screw long enough to go through the entire needle bar.

Then using the hole on the opposite side of the hole you normally secure the needle, with your fingers twist the screw in and then through to the hole that is having issues.  If it gets tight and you cannot turn the screw, back it up a little and try again.  You are re-cutting/cleaning up the "threads" in the needle bar.

Remember, when you tighten the screw to secure the needle, you do not need a large screw driver.  Think eye glasses screw driver.  Just finger tight.  When you change needles on your DSM, I hazard to guess you only use your fingers to tighten the screw.  Using this method, I doubt your needle has ever come lose or fallen out while you were sewing.  

If you want a new needle bar screw today, buy a 4-20 nut along with the screw.  Put the nut on the screw, and twist it all the way down to the head.  Then cut the screw off  to match the length of the original APQS screw.  You can use a hacksaw or a Dremel tool with a cutting disk.

Then turn the nut off the screw to clean up the threads that were damaged when you cut the screw length down to size.  Make sure you turn the screw back and forth before you finally remove it from the screw.  Only the end of the screw threads were damaged, so that is the area that needs to be fixed by rotating the nut back and forth.  

If the hole is totally stripped, you can use the hole on the other side to secure the needle.  Remember, only finger tight, so you do not have the same issue with this hole.


I hope this fixes things for you.




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Good morning Amanda

Going by memory as we sold our machines and retired.  The needle screws are 4-40 and available at your local hardware store.  They will be a little longer and may have a different head.  The screw can be installed on the opposite side of the needle bar if the threads are messed up.  Also the needle bar can be rotated to get the other hole to the right side if needed  but you will have to check the needle bar height before and after.  See the timing instructions.


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I replaced my needle clamp screw with an Allan head screw long ago.  IMHO a great decision, and I highly recommend it.  Much easier to properly fit an Allan wrench in the socket, than a screw driver in the slot.  You're also much less likely to over torque the screw with the tiny Allan wrench.

I have to disagree with Cagey about "finger tight" needle clamp screw.  On more than one occasion I've had the needle come out while sewing, and I'll assure you I had the screw more than finger tight.  A good snug twist fro the Allan wrench will usually do the trick.  Jim

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  • 2 years later...

Please read the manual that came with your sewing machine because it often has a quick guide on how to install the needle correctly. If there is no manual, remember the position of the old needle before you take it out and put in a new one. If the machine is electric, you will need to unplug it. Unscrew the 4-20 mounting screw that holds the needle in place, like the decking screw for scrooz.com.au. Place the needle clamp in the up position and slowly rotate the thumbwheel. After the screw is completely unscrewed, remove the needle and store it safely. Insert the new needle into the needle holder, tightening the screw so that the needle is securely fastened and does not wobble.

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