Sunday, February 21, 2010

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks.

Paul sent me this comment and I wanted to share it with you. I did not know this. See you can teach an old dog new tricks.

I work in a sewing repair shop and I see that many people never remove the bobbin case to remove the lint. After a while a felt pad builds up under the bobbin case and under the feed dogs. Amazingly, some of the felt pads have so much lint, and have been compacted so much, they are just like a piece of felt.

And yes, this lint and lack of oiling can cause your machine to make noises when sewing, cause your stitches to not look as nice, and taken to an extreme, cause the premature failure and even death of your machine. The sewing machine motor has to work harder and harder to sew with all that lint, and the newer computerized sewing machines will give more power to the motor to compensate for the slowdown from all the lint. So it's also bad for your electric bill if you sew alot, because the wattage of your machine can easily double as the motor tries to compensate to drive the mechanism with all that lint.

How many of you know that lint would effect your electric bill?

Until next time,

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  1. Great advice again Charlie, of course many of us are encouraged not to remove the parts other than that in the manual, which does not include stripping the machine down as in the last picture. I have to say Bernina does encourage the removal of the bobbin casing to clean. I can't comment on other manufacturers. I would recommend that quilters actually read the manual over and above the basics of how to make the machine sew! It's surprising what you can learn.

  2. I have made it a habit (and a good one, I think!) to completely clean my sewing machine between each quilt. I take out the bobbin AND the bobbin case to clean underneath. I'll do the same halfway through a quilt if it's a very large quilt. I also completely clean my sewing room when I finish a quilt, including wiping down counters, sweeping, etc. There's nothing nicer than starting with a fresh, clean room and machine when I begin a new quilt!

  3. Link can be very bad. Besides gumming up your machine, it can also "gum up" your dryer if you don't clean the filter. Raising the power bill is not nearly as bad as burning down the house.

    Those are some disgusting pictures. ha ha.

  4. WOW...that's a lot a lint..... Mine has never been quite that bad..

    I clean my machine every day... Oil when required and change the needle after 8-10 hours of sewing...

    You have given all of us a reminder to take care of our expensive machines.

  5. Charlie...I showed this post to my tech (my husband) and he couldn't believe it...but then every time he cleans a bad machine he can't believe it. Why spend hundreds sometimes thousands on a machine and not take care of it...

  6. The first thing I do when my machine isn't stitching right is change the needle and rethread. And I often take the lint brush to the bobbin case area, but I'm not sure if I'm getting a build up. Sewing machines used to be so easy to take apart to clean, and now they are all sealed up!

  7. I ran quilting retreats for 12 years and as co-ordinator was often the go-to girl for the machines that didn't work. I quickly included in my yearly packing list, a sharp tweezer, an oil container with a telescoping metal applicator and a really good lint broom, a bright light and a screwdriver set. I too was apalled at the amount of crap I found by taking off a faceplate and taking out the bobbin case. Also amazing was the difference that oil could make. Do it ladies and forced air cans just force the lint into packs and don't necessarily do the job as well as a little broom/brush and a little oil :)


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