Friday, July 6, 2012

Kenmore 1451

Someone told me there was a Kenmore at our local Goodwill, so Louie went down, checked it out, and brought it home last night for The Sewing Machine Project.

1451 001

1451 002

I immediately started cleaning it up, oiling it, and de-linting it…all things I do before I ever plug an adopted sewing machine in. When I finally plugged it in, and started to sew on it, it made a loud clicking noise, and it was skipping stitches.

I discovered that the shuttle driver spring was broken off on one end, and the machine skipped stitches.

This is a drawing of what a shuttle driver spring should look like.

driver spring

Can you see that this one was broken off on the left end?

shuttle spring 002

I ‘borrowed’ the shuttle driver spring off of this old Brother sewing machine I am scrapping out.

shuttle spring 003

I know this is hard to see, but the shuttle driver spring from the Brother is attached to this Kenmore shuttle driver. Can you see the bent end on the right hand side?

shuttle spring 008

This is a shuttle race ring, and race. The race sits in there on the other side of the shuttle driver. The shuttle driver spring holds the race in there so it isn’t sloppy, but it also allows thread to pass in between the driver and the race. The ring sits on the outside and holds it all together. This photo was borrowed from the Bonanza auction site.


I know it is hard to see, but the race is sitting next to the shuttle driver on the right side of this photo.

bobbin area 003

In this photo, the ring has been added, holding the race in place, so it doesn’t fall back out. I know this photo is dark, but there are two black ‘clips’ that hold the ring in place.

bobbin area 004

In this photo, the bobbin and bobbin case have been put back in the machine.

bobbin area 001

This sewing machine still skipped stitches. Sad smile I thought the problem was much bigger than what I was capable of fixing.

I read the manual, I loosened the top tension, I made sure the presser bar was down tight, I changed the needle, I put new thread on the top and in the bobbin, and it still skipped. I put in another new needle, I searched the internet and found the same answers that the book told me, so I searched some more…..until I found the answer!

I have been using some Organ needles that I ordered on eBay. I have been using them on all the machines I have adopted and fixed, and they have worked well. The advice I got was from a gal (wish I had marked where I found that info) who had been fighting the same fight as I have been. She said to put in a Schmetz needle.

I did.

It worked!!!!

No more skipped stitches!

I ordered 100 new Schmetz needles. Smile

Kenmore 1451 001

I learned a lot working on this machine! I learned about the shuttle driver spring, and how to replace it. That fixed the loud clicking noise. I learned about skipped stitches and I learned that some machines just like better needles. I thought Organ needles were good, but apparently, not as good as Schmetz.


I can’t believe the amount of time I spent trying to figure out what was wrong with this machine. In the end, it wasn’t the machine, but the needle. 

Schmetz, you got my vote!



Have a wonderful weekend, and stay cool!


Designer Jules said...

That looks JUST like the sewing machine you helped me buy on Craigslist. I have been sewing on it tonight and LOVE IT! I am still having problems with my old singer and it was time to take it to the shop. We will see what they say.

Suzan said...

Good job getting to the root of the problem! I always use Schmetz needles but I did recently get a Klasse' needle as a little gift in a purchase I made from Nancy's Notions. I hear that they are also a good needle.

Tamera said...

What a COOL graphic! Now I understand how my machine works. Where did you get it?

waggonswest said...

Reading your blog is giving me a much better understanding of my sewing machine(s). I really appreciate it. The graphic is fantastic. It is the clearest representation of how it works that I have seen. Thanks for sharing.

Elizabeth said...

Michelle! Good job! I learned A Lot from this post...... I almost always use Schmetz needles. Ray White recommends them. Now I know more about the shuttle, race and springs in Kenmores. Now , how do I get the smocking stitch on my Kenmore 1814 to look like it is supposed to? There is some sort of adjustment. Or more oil and heat...

Elizabeth said...

Me again....

I think the little graphic is wrong, technically. I believe that the hook picks up the loose end of the thread and carries it around the shuttle to catch the bobbin thread. What do you think?

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

I can watch the graphic for hours. I still don't quite get it, exactly, but it helps. =)

We haven't gone riding much this summer, either. =(

Brandi said...

I really appreciate all of the helpful information on your blog. I am pretty new to sewing, but I enjoy it and I love completing a few projects here and there. Thanks for sharing and have a great week!


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