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Forum > Sergers, Coverstitch and Blindhemmers > Singer serger 14J334 Two weird behaviours ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Singer serger 14J334 Two weird behaviours
diagnosing Singer serger problems
maladresse
maladresse  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/3/13 9:26 AM

I've been encountering some weird behaviours while trying out my sister's Singer 14J334 serger. She can't help me with it because she, herself, has used little (though she had lessons from the dealer, she can't get it to run as well as the dealer did). I'm an utter newbie to serging.

Weirdness 1) I have to turn the upper looper tension dial to 0 for a thinnish woven and almost to 0 for both a thin and a thick knit, while the lower looper tension has to be 8 or 8.5, in order to get the looper stitches to meet at the edge of the fabric. Even then, the lower looper thread sometimes gets tugged a bit over the edge.

Does that mean that something's wrong with the tension dial for the upper looper? Or the dial for the lower looper?

Weirdness 2) The two needle dials are also very different in their settings. The left needle is 8.5, and the right needle is a shade below 4. I altered the needle tensions after I balanced the looper tensions.

a) Is the difference in the thread tensions caused by the weird tension settings for the loopers?

b) The needle stitches are not parallel in any of the three fabrics I tested (a thinnish woven cotton, a very thin, flimsy jersey, and very thick ponte). I've tightened the screws on the needles as much as I can. I cannot tell if only the left needle stitch is wandering, or whether they're both wandering. But neither line of stitching looks straight, or true, or whatever the term is.

Is the wobbliness due to the difference in either the needle tensions or the looper tensions? What else could be making the needle stitches wobble?

Thanks.

Marie367
Marie367
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In reply to maladresse <<


Date: 3/3/13 11:41 AM

I don't have this serger but for thinner materials I leave my tensions as they are and lighten the foot pressure and the differential feed. Is 0 on this machine really 0 tension? You need some tension on all the loopers and needles and that might be why you are having problems. On my machine, if the stitches are off the material the lower looper needs tightened not loosened. Of course, I might be wrong because it might be all different on your machine. Maybe someone who has this serger will chime in .

maladresse
maladresse  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/3/13 1:06 PM

I started with all the tension disks at 4 and went through a procedure of raising the lower looper tension, then lowering the upper looper tension, and so on and so on again and again, until I got to 8.5 or so on the lower looper and zero on the upper looper. But that got the looper threads to sit at the edge (most of the time). But that setting then began to pull the left-hand needle thread, which is why I had to increase _its_ tension.

I'll try changing the presser foot pressure when I get a moment to go back to the machine. Thank you very much for the suggestion!. :-)

maladresse
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Date: 3/3/13 4:50 PM

The pressure foot tension had been at 5, the highest setting. I tried running the flimsy jersey on a lower presser foot setting, and the looper problem only got worse.

I tried changing the stitich length from 3 to 2.5, and the looper problem got worse.

The next thing to try is to use different thread (that's only to solve the problem of the lower thread still occasionally appearing over the top of the edge). I got the serger thread at the local fabric/sewing chain store (there are no other sources within 10 km), and I think it's rubbish. It's fluffy! Feh!

I'll also look for different/new needles. My sister's still using the Singer serger sharps (2022) that the machine came with.

I'm going to try cleaning out the tension disks.

I must say, the manual for the machine is not extremely helpful.

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 3/3/13 5:11 PM

It could be the serger needs professional help...couch time at the Singer dealer.

Get an estimate first. It may be better if your sister did a trade-in for a serger that works better than this one.

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

missthreads
missthreads
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Date: 3/3/13 5:38 PM

I totally agree with PattiAnn. This almost sounds like a ''lemon.''

I was going to suggest taking out the needles and all the threads and taking a can of air and blowing out your tension disks and all around your cutting knifes.

Is there any place that you add oil to this machine? If so, add one drop of oil to it at each spot. But it doesn't sound like oil is the problem. But since your cleaning everything it certaintly won't hurt.
Please let us know what you find out. I'm curious to know.......

------
This is me with 2 of my 4 GK's.

sew2006
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sew2006
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In reply to maladresse <<


Date: 3/5/13 3:43 PM

Try testing the machine on 2 pieces of cotton fabric. Thread the machine with the same colors as your guides so that it's easy to see how/where each thread forms within the stitch. What's the cutting width set at? If the thread is hanging off the edge increase the width to a higher number. If you're still stuck take a picture of front and back of stitch and most here.

------
Janome10001, Babylock ESG3, Brother ULT 2001, White 634D serger, Pfaff 1472, Singer featherweight, Singer 14T957Dc, Bernina FunLock 009DCC coverlock, Brother PQ1500S, Janome CP900.

maladresse
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Date: 3/5/13 5:42 PM

Oh, the weirdness continues.....

Marie367 asked whether 0 really was 0 tension. I set all the dials to 0, then I pulled the knobs off. Each set of wheels could be loosened further! So, no, 0 wasn't 0. BUT there still continued to be problems. Yikes!

I switched the two looper threads (I had put 4 different colours on the machine), and the problem of wildly unbalanced looper threads continued, but on the opposite sides of the fabric! The thread that I couldn't loosen enough on the upper looper was now on the lower looper, and I couldn't loosen it enough! They're all the same brand! Bought at the same time!

So I moved the looper threads to the needle positions and vice versa. The difference wasn't as extreme, but the threads continued in their pattern of one being looser and the other being tighter, no matter which needle they were threaded in. But the looper threads, once I got them largely balanced, still played the game of wobbling over the edge, and the needle threads still continued to wander.

I went downtown to the little area of fabric and notions shops, in Toronto's erstwhile garment district, to find better serger thread. No joy. No one sold any serger thread better than the cheapo fluffy stuff I got at The Big Chain. But I got some new needles.

I went back to another of The Big Chain's stores and found a tiny display of outrageously expensive Guterman serger thread and bought four of the small, pricey cones (4 different colours).

The stitches are now a lot better, and the differences are nowhere near as great as before, but the looper stitches are still rather lax. Even at the widest setting, they tend not to fit snugly along the edge. On the 4-stitch settings, the needle stitch lines still wobble (or maybe just the left one does), but a 3-thread stitch gives a straight line on the needle stitch. Sometimes the needle stitch wobbles in the same places that the looper threads do, and what makes them do that is a mystery.

I guess the looper tension mechanisms, and possibly more, still need attention.
It'll be several days before I get around to that, alas.

If I can organize the serger, the camera, and the computer, and if I can figure out how to post photos, I'll take photos.

sew2006
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sew2006
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In reply to maladresse <<


Date: 3/5/13 7:11 PM

Are you sure that the thread is in the tension disks properly? From what I remember of the 14J334 serger it has dials that stick out. The thread needs to pass between the metal disks, always thread with pressure foot up and floss back and forth to make sure thread is seated as far into tension dial as it needs. With pressure foot down you should feel tension on your thread, same amount on all 4 threads. This machine comes with 2 stitch fingers, make sure it's inserted into machine and use the wider of the two.

------
Janome10001, Babylock ESG3, Brother ULT 2001, White 634D serger, Pfaff 1472, Singer featherweight, Singer 14T957Dc, Bernina FunLock 009DCC coverlock, Brother PQ1500S, Janome CP900.

beauturbo
beauturbo
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In reply to maladresse <<


Date: 3/6/13 0:43 AM

Are you sure your sister did not run some pins though the knives or manage to knick them, in class even before you got the machine? The reason I ask that, is if your knives are dull or has a actual rough notch on it, since they have to cut the fabric, right before the needles even get into the fabric, maybe that would/could really make it "look like" your needle threads were wavering sometimes in some places. Because I think the actual spacing of thread between your two needles has to stay the same, and can't even change. Something else could change right there and then though, like the fabric suddenly getting jerked over sideways by a dull knife trying to cut through it even possibly.

If an extra spare top knife was included in with the machine, this might not be a bad time to switch it out, and see if it made any difference or not. Or if you have long fingernails, maybe you could just even carefully run one across the knife blades and see if you can feel a snag there on the metal. I think you could probably feel a pin notch there that way, but if they were just dull instead, maybe not. I would not want to do it with my fingers at all though, as I would not want to get cut.

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