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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Needles breaking ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Needles breaking
JTink
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JTink
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Date: 12/22/12 8:56 AM

I have a Kenmore 18221. Have had it for about 5 years. I really like this machine, sturdy without being overly heavy and has sewn through every kind of thickness(except belt loops on jeans).

I've been making fleece quillos for Christmas this year. I got through the first two with no problem. The third one ... I broke 9 needles! Yep, 9 needles. I tried every size. They all broke and I was not sewing over anything overly thick when the breakage occured. After a lot of cussin' and fussin', I finally came to the conclusion: It could be the machine and not the fabric.

I have a Kenmore 16221, never out of the box(until yesterday). I set it up and started sewing on pillow number 4. I was amazed at how solid, quiet and smooth the machine was sewing(like my 18221 use to be). I have almost finished the 4th quillo and haven't had the first needle breakage. I'm taking the 18221 into have it serviced after Christmas. I hadn't realized how much louder it has gotten over time. I had it serviced in the summer. So, if any of you are having needled issues and have tried everything under the sun, needle-wise, it could be the machine.

One thing I'm wondering...I've been making jeans and have an awful time stitching the beltloops on (by machine). I break a lot of needles due to the thickness. Does anyone have a "secret" on how to stitch the belt loops on with out breaking the needle? I've used a Jean-A-magig and it doesn't help either.

Michelle T

Michelle T
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 12/22/12 10:44 AM

Are there scratches on the bobbin cover? I am wondering if something has got a bit bent?

My old Kenmore has a plastic bobbin cover and it has a bunch of nicks in it. about 15 years ago it started to break needles and when I looked at the bobbin cover it was nicked.

I took it into be repaired and it has been as good as new ever since.

Glad you had a back up machine to turn to.

------
Proud parent of a Dwight International School Honour Roll Student

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 12/22/12 12:13 PM

I have never broken a needle unless I was force-feeding the fabric.

Hump jumper, jean a ma jig or just a folded up piece of scrap fabric will help lift the presser foot just enough for the machine to retain tension and the fabric to continue to feed through without any manual tugging.


-- Edited on 12/22/12 12:14 PM --

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

JTink
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JTink
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In reply to Michelle T <<


Date: 12/22/12 1:52 PM

Michelle, yes there are some "chunks" all around the plate opening where the needle picks up the bobbin thread. They have been there for a while and I think a lot of it came from trying to attach the belt loops and go through real thick material, bending the needle and it hitting the metal plate.

PattiAnn, I agree that forcing(pushing or pulling) could bend the needle, but with the fleece it wasn't necessary to do either. I broke needles just stitching through a double layer. Should not have been happening. I think it might have gotten "twisted" as I rounded a corner and it hit against multiple layers. The machine might have been working up to this. It could have been off just a hair and this was enough to push it over the edge, so to speak. The quillo is a great looking item, but very bulky to work with.

Got the last quillo done on the "new" machine, without a hitch.

tgm and Kittys
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In reply to JTink <<


Date: 12/22/12 4:17 PM

I had to take Kenmore 24 stitch in last year & the feed dogs got out of alignment from thick sewing..... needles & feet broke . The SMG told me to also use heavy duty not standard size 80 or 90 like I usually do. ...... I did not see the problem but once SMG got the sm he said he could see right away what happened.
Maybe this is what is going on with your Kenmore. ....??? The Kenmore 24 stitch is a couple generation back of your sm but works similiar & is drop in bobbin. .....

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Finally a whole week above zero! Whoo hoo! ~smile~
2 shots in DH eye down, 1 more to go. We hope the tumor is shrinking.
God is with us no matter what ...+


tgm and Kittys
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In reply to JTink <<


Date: 12/22/12 4:17 PM

oops double posted here...
-- Edited on 12/22/12 4:18 PM --

------
Finally a whole week above zero! Whoo hoo! ~smile~
2 shots in DH eye down, 1 more to go. We hope the tumor is shrinking.
God is with us no matter what ...+


Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
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In reply to JTink <<


Date: 12/22/12 8:48 PM

I have a 18221 too and love it. Very solid machine. I am thinking something is out of line too. I don't know what to tell you about the jean problem. That might have been it. I have an old Kenmore (30+) and if I have anything heavy duty, I get it out. So, my solution may not be helpful at all-get a vintage machine I hope it is not an expensive fix and so glad you got the 16221 (sometimes I think I should have bought it).

quathy
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quathy  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/23/12 1:01 AM

my advice for belt loops is to press them heavily before sewing - (some suggest to hammer them down but I think that makes the fabric too dense), and use silicon lubricant on the needle.

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/23/12 6:03 AM

When I first got that jeans jig I wasn't sure how it worked.
It is supposed to level off your presser foot. When you put the belt loop under, look from the side to see if your presser foot tilted any. Make it level for the best results.
Here's another way. Fold over large scraps of the same denim until the same height as the loops on the bands. If your machine can't sew a large flat thick piece then it won't do the loops well either.
If the needle (100-110 or topstitch) can, then your machine has the power to handle the loop. You may have to turn the fly wheel by hand to help. That's OK. It tells you the problem is is the tilted presser foot.

------
sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

JTink
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JTink
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Date: 12/23/12 8:20 AM

Kitty, Funny you should mention the feed dogs. When I got the "new" 16221 out of the box, I noticed how sharp and pronounced the feed dogs were, compared to the 18221. Maybe I've just worn the poor thing out

Quathy, I have heard of smashing thick stuff down with a hammer. I'll have to give it a try.

Sandi, I've tried putting on the loops(especially the center back)by just turning the handwheel, but it's still like I'm putting the needle into stone. I really don't need the belt loops, I wear "over blouses", but the belt loops complete the jeans look

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