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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Singer L-500 owners ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Singer L-500 owners
Took machine in for repair
Butter Bean
Butter Bean
Advanced Beginner
TX USA
Member since 11/2/11
Posts: 169
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Date: 4/17/13 9:44 AM

I took my machine in for repair for increasing tension problems and because my mute button stopped working. My button holes and satin stitches looked like they were being sewn upside down and whenever I tried to move the needle position to the left the tension would go out horribly.

The service guy said that my tension was way off and that he fixed that so now my button holes stitch and satin stitches stitch out right. ( I brought him samples of everything it was doing wrong.) He said he got the mute button to work for now but all he did was have me talk him through the steps in my manual over the phone. That 's what I did at home and it would work then not work. (I should have left my manual there) He said that if it continues not to work to bring it back in they may have to replace some board in it he said there are 3 different ones in this machine.

He has no idea why my tension goes out out when I move the needle to the left. He agreed that the tension was indeed horrible then he stated that this machine is really only designed to sew to the right and center positions. I don't agree with him because in my Singer manual it states under features that it has 90 needle positions which I assume some will be to the left. Am I wrong thinking like this? So then Singer marketing is basically saying it can do something that it really isn't designed to do?

My questions to all you Singer L-500 owners is can your machine stay in tension when the needle is moved over to left?

The tension gets worse the farther to the left you go. He said he doesn't know how to resolve the problem without goofing up the tension he already fixed for the buttonholes. So he's basically telling me he cannot fix this and that I shouldn't move the needle to the left to sew. Should I accept this response?

So I just want to know if anyone else has this issue because I may contact Singer directly. If all you other owners have the same issue then I will leave it alone, if not I think it should work the way everyone else's does and I will let Singer know.

So please let me know. I would really appreciate some replies.

Butter Bean
-- Edited on 4/17/13 9:45 AM --
-- Edited on 4/17/13 9:48 AM --
-- Edited on 4/17/13 9:55 AM --

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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OH USA
Member since 12/3/06
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thumbsup 3 members like this.
Date: 4/17/13 11:06 AM

Those 90 positions are spread out over many options, straight, ZZ, decorative and left to right.

However, the issue is - they guy can't fix it.

Contact Singer.

------
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

Maia B
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Maia B  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
IL USA
Member since 10/27/10
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Date: 4/17/13 4:22 PM

Patti, my Quest Plus, very similar, has 81 needle positions, you can sew a straight stitch in all 81 positions.

It's at my mom's, so I can't test the tension in the left positions. I doubt I've ever used the left-most positions, I'm always going right.

Sorry for your machine troubles, Butter Bean.

------
🌸 Plenty of machines, mostly Berninas 🌸

Butter Bean
Butter Bean
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TX USA
Member since 11/2/11
Posts: 169
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In reply to PattiAnnJ <<


Date: 4/17/13 8:10 PM

PattiAnnJ and Maia B - Thank you for your replies. I first noticed the problem when doing a flat felled seam and used a flat felling foot and moved the needle towards the left to make my stitching equal distance from the stitching on the right side. (not even all the way over).
They still have my machine and I brought them my manual today because he wanted to see it. So we'll see, if he can't resolve it I will contact Singer and see what they will do. I just wondered if anyone else noticed this problem with their machines that's all, so I can let Singer know if others have also had this problem.

Miss Fairchild
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Miss Fairchild  Friend of PR
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USA
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 4/18/13 11:48 PM

I don't have this machine, but a thought occurred to me when you brought it up. It sounds to me like the feed dogs on the left side aren't grabbing the fabric. Maybe they are bent or are lacking teeth?

------
"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine

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sew2006
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sew2006
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ON CANADA
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In reply to Butter Bean <<


Date: 4/19/13 1:18 AM

A properly functioning sewing machine should hold the tension no matter where the needle position is. In order to create decorative stitches the needle will be towards the left at some point in the stitch formation. Is he a Singer tech? I wanted to double chech, but it took me all of 2 seconds to download a free PDF instruction book off the Singer website.
-- Edited on 4/19/13 1:30 AM --

------
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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Date: 4/19/13 5:12 AM

Just because you don't like the stitch and it's pulling some bobbin thread to the top, when only needle all the way over to some side, I don't think that maybe has to always mean anything wrong with a thread tension device probably. Top or bottom. Might even just mean your thread because of the position of the needle, is in a bit different of a place and maybe even catching on something it does not cross or pass over, just the same as if/when needle was more in the middle. Like maybe even a rough spot on your hook or maybe on a plastic bobbin case. Or if you really think it's tugging up the bobbin thread, maybe top thread catching on something like part of a machine or a thread guide above the needle? I don't sew on a Singer L-500 at all though. If I had one and it did that though, I think I might switch out or smooth off my bobbin case, and also make sure no rough places elsewhere too.

If I was really sure it was my bottom thread coming to the top of the fabric right then and it was only a thread tension kind of thing instead, then to me, that would mean my top thread was too tight, or my bottom thread just too loose, and just only right then. Since it would be too much trouble for me to tighten the bottom thread only when stitching straight stitch over on the side like that, it would be much easier for me to to right then, only loosen my top tension instead, just temporary and then put it back otherwise later. That might do something good.
-- Edited on 4/19/13 5:27 AM --

Pj3g
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Pj3g  Friend of PR
Intermediate
WI USA
Member since 2/14/11
Posts: 632
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In reply to Butter Bean <<


Date: 4/19/13 12:04 PM

Hi Butterbean,
I have been doing an incredible amount of sewing these last several months. Most of it I do on my L-500 so we are definitely a bonded pair. She sews amazing.

First, just to clarify PattiAnn's comment about 90 needles positions, the machine is a 9mm wide with a longer harp and has 90 needle positions for the straight stitch only. Yes, other stitches like ZZ or decos utilize those positions during the stitching but you can't move those stitches over to the left or right. You can only move your fabric as those stitches are always centered. So because the needle is in a constant needle change position while stitching ZZ or deco's, tension issues on the far right or left (perfect stitches) are rectifying themselves and everything looks perfect.

From following the boards on PR I find Beauturbo to be a wealth of knowledge. I agree with her about moving the needle position might also make it necessary to change thread tension. And then a long time ago I read something about the longer the distance the thread has to travel between spool and needle the more problems can arise like tension or breakage. So the L-500 does have the longer harp and the far left or far right (9mm apart) needle position is quite far from center which means for a straight stitch--tweaking might be required.

I had time to check out your question on my machine this morning and now I really agree with Beauturbo. Tweaking the tension was necessary for the far left (0 setting) needle position for the straight stitch. It was not necessary for the far right (0 setting). For the far left position I had to bump up my needle thread tension 2 full numbers to get the underside to look perfect. Just to clarify again, the tension increases by 0.5 increments--I increased the tension 2.0 more than my normal setting.

Having told you my settings does not mean the exact settings would be the same for you. Every machine can be different--even the same makes and models.

So there is something like Beauturbo said that is very true in that far left needle position that causes a change in thread tension and is probably because the thread has to swing so far over to the left. In the far right position the thread is carried beneath where it is coming from above so that probably has something to do with why it doesn't need adjusting then.







------
Thank you Lord for my Mother who taught me the joy of sewing, for my Father who encouraged my sewing, for the talent You gave me to sew, and for all the special people in my life to sew for.

Butter Bean
Butter Bean
Advanced Beginner
TX USA
Member since 11/2/11
Posts: 169
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In reply to Pj3g <<


Date: 4/19/13 1:45 PM

I agree with everything you and Beauturbo have said but I have adjusted the tension and it doesn't get better I have even had it all the way up to 8. Anyway the shop still has it. They are a Viking/ Husqvarna dealer authorized to work on Singers. The Singer dealer is too far for me to go.

He wanted to see my manual I brought it to him yesterday. So I am waiting to hear from them.

I appreciate it your comments a lot. I just wanted to know if anyone else was having trouble like this.

Maybe a thread stand positioned more to the left of the machine would help? I mean in line with the thread guide thats on top of the machine?

You guys are So Great !! Thanks for testing this out on your machine Pj3g and Beauturbo for the info. He might tell me the same thing when I pick it up, but I don't know if he doesn't I can try what you guys have suggested and maybe it will work since He told me yesterday my tension was completely out of wack and he fixed that. Butter Bean

Pj3g
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Pj3g  Friend of PR
Intermediate
WI USA
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Posts: 632
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Date: 4/19/13 1:53 PM

Butter Bean, remember back when you got your L-500 I was trying to help you get your bobbin thread tension set so you could use the machines default needle tension settings? Which on a 2.5 straight stitch is a 4.0 needle thread tension setting.

My default tension settings on most of my other stitches seemed fine but using the default for straight stitch required alot of fiddling with the bobbin tension screw and putting it back in and out.......over and over. At that time I felt bound and determined to use the default setting though.

Then one day I had an epiphany.......

For 30 plus years I sewed on my mechanical Kenmore which had a dial for adjusting tension. I tweaked the tension all the time depending on fabric, thread, etc. And the bobbin tension screw I tweaked too. Now on my computerized Singer Superb, it also has a dial for adjusting tension which I tweak often. The LCD screen suggests tension settings but I most always have it set on the low end of their suggestions or lower. The Superb sews flawlessly and I love it and I get it out for the quick sewing projects. Remember-I don't have a sewing room. The L-500 is the one I have really been using most for many months and I still love it so much. Yet, it bugged me that I had to work hard (messing with the bobbin screw) in order to use the default needle thread tension for the straight stitch. Why???

So my epiphany was....changing tensions of either bobbin or needle thread is part of sewing--always has been--always will be. It's something I have done all my life!!! I have no fear of it!!! So why did I think I had to tweak and tweak ONLY my bobbin screw on my L-500 in order to use the default straight stitch tension setting????

And the answer is because it's a computerized push button instead of a dial!!!! Sewers everywhere (me included) turn our dials and yet I didn't want to push a button! And that's silly because the push button is so exact compared to a dial. And I know part of the pain of the push button is because if you change stitch length the machine goes back to the default setting....and then you have to push the tension buttons again. This just goes to show you that as wonderful as technology is, sometimes it's overkill. Turning a tension dial is easy and quick and doesn't change till you change it. Pushing a button takes longer but is more accurate--because if you use the machine enough and know the precise setting for a stitch you're good.

I think it's because I've used my L-500 so much that I know what tension is best for straight stitches which are what we all use most. And I remember that changing stitch length changes the tension back to default. So on my machine Butterbean, I always set my needle tension 2.0 higher than whatever the default setting is and I get a perfect stitch. So for a stitch length of 2.5 the default tension is 4.0 Well I set the tension to 6.0 and the stitch is great. When I did the far right needle position test for you those are the same settings that worked. With needle position set to far left I had to raise the needle thread tension to 8.0 to get a good stitch under the fabric.

I hope this helps you Butterbean!

------
Thank you Lord for my Mother who taught me the joy of sewing, for my Father who encouraged my sewing, for the talent You gave me to sew, and for all the special people in my life to sew for.

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