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Message Board > Sewing Techniques and Tips > If you are having tension problems, ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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If you are having tension problems,
gramma b
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gramma b
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Date: 7/15/13 5:44 PM

I troubleshooted all the obvious things--needles, thread brand,
tension adjustments hi and low, then checked the bobbins--horizontal clear ones ones I purchased in several stores, and those ordered online for my brand.
I discovered that some were just slightly less diameter and slightly less in height fitting into the bobbin case, allowing the thread to sneak out and gum up things. I have to go thru every one by fitting in the bobbin case, as you can't tell by any markings.
Especially with parts/notions made overseas and plastics now, it's something to watch.
-- Edited on 7/15/13 5:51 PM --

DonnaH
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DonnaH
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Date: 7/15/13 5:47 PM

Last Dec, I thought I was having tension issues, and just needed to oil the machine.

Or it could be that the fabric needs stabilization?

bestgrammy
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bestgrammy
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In reply to gramma b <<


Date: 7/15/13 7:44 PM

Thank you for the warning about poorly fitting bobbins.

There are reviews about poorly fitting and badly made bobbins purchased from Amazon and ebay that were suppose to be new brand name bobbins but were used generic ones.

Bobbins whether metal or plastic get warm during sewing and expand...then cool off and shrink when not sewing. They can do this many times but eventually will "wear" out of shape.

What brother sewing machines do you have?


-- Edited on 7/15/13 7:46 PM --

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/16/13 4:28 PM

Amazon really has taken a downhill trend since the the 90's. Used to be quality but in the past 3 yrs it seems they are shipping me less quality items. Not a substitution in product but in packaging, perhaps seconds or discounted, cheaply made ones. I have ordered things 6 weeks apart and get two different packaging with similiar but not identical things. Electronics are older serial numbers or versions.
Just makes me leary of ordering antyhing that I am looking for that needs to be quality. I only order if I know a cheaply made version will work.

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

bestgrammy
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In reply to gramma b <<


Date: 7/19/13 4:55 PM

Quote: gramma b
...just slightly less diameter and slightly less in height fitting into the bobbin case, allowing the thread to sneak out and gum up things.

Concerning the bobbins that are too small...maybe Brother SA155 model bobbins were purchased and your sm(s) needs Brother SA156 which are 1/8 " deeper (higher).

Check the links below to see which bobbin is listed for your Brother sm(s) model #s.

Brother SA 155 Plastic Bobbins

Brother SA 156 Plastic Bobbins
gramma b
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Date: 7/19/13 6:38 PM

Thanks!
I have a 70's Pacesetter XL 703 and added a garage-sale (never used estate one for $18!) VX-940 for more stitches, has the old LED display. But I never could find the year on that one, both still going strong. Good old metal Japanese-made.

I did order bobbins from Brother, a mistake to pick up extra JA plastic ones I guess, tho it said 155. I will take out the older machine and compare bobbin cases now, nothing in that book about parts numbers.
-- Edited on 7/19/13 6:44 PM --

bestgrammy
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Date: 7/19/13 6:55 PM

You're welcome.

Did you mean SA instead of JA?

SA 155 is the # for the smaller bobbin 3/8" deep (high).

SA 156 is the # for the larger bobbin 1/2" deep (high). Just 1/8" difference but maybe that is the size needed.

Too bad the manual doesn't state a parts #.


bestgrammy
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Date: 7/19/13 7:20 PM

Found a free online manual for VX-940. Also no model/style # for its bobbins.

Manual VX-940

beauturbo
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Date: 7/19/13 8:58 PM

I agree a bobbin that is a bit off can be a real stinker. I actually do one more thing too, when they are new and before even using one, when it's still empty, I roll it on a table top, and if instead of rolling perfectly even, it wobbles along, I just choose to even toss it in the trash right then and unused. Some are better for that than others, but I still do it with all of them.

I might do it later too, farther along it's life span even, as if it's a plastic bobbin, as just sort of depending what kind of thread I wind on it, and how fast I really might choose to do that, and how tightly wound I want it, sometimes after a while you can get some miss shaping going on by just even that too. Probably the thicker and smoother the plastic is and the more "weighty" it feels the less likely, but not always.

The other stinker thing can be if full of thread, if you got a crack developing in the center cut out of it, it is really hard to see that sometimes with a bunch of thread wound over it, but it can really foul you up sewing wise too. One time I checked everything a ton of times when I was not getting stitches I liked, and only when I pulled all the thread off the stinker bobbin, could I even see that crack starting down it's center hole there, and it did make a big sewing difference though.
-- Edited on 7/19/13 9:02 PM --

gramma b
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Date: 7/20/13 7:30 AM

I meant I got extras at JoAnn's on the regular notions wall.
Does anyone even supply older metal bobbins anymore?

Luckily the manual came with the VX, maybe there was another
sheet for parts. There are some of these on E-Bay if anyone is interested in picking up a well-made metal mechanical.

One of our helpful techie men here said he even threads the bobbin
backwards sometimes, pulling the thread out towards you instead of away from you, and it works on some machines!
-- Edited on 7/20/13 7:40 AM --

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