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.
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.
Can you see that this one was broken off on the left end?
I ‘borrowed’ the shuttle driver spring off of this old Brother sewing machine I am scrapping out.
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?
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.
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.
In this photo, the bobbin and bobbin case have been put back in the machine.
This sewing machine still skipped stitches. 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.
No more skipped stitches!
I ordered 100 new Schmetz needles.
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!