|Peter in NYC
Member since 6/9/09
Date: 12/29/09 2:58 PM
I'm ready to throw my serger overboard. It's a Huskylock 535D I bought used on eBay last summer. It's about 20 years old I believe.
I was able to download the manual (which I have found absolutely worthless), but I did manage -- after about 3 days' work -- to thread it correctly and have it working perfectly for a short period this summer.
Then one day I tried to run a thick seam through it and the knife got stuck in the jeans seam and I had to break the threads to get the seam out. Since then I have been unable to get the machine threaded successfully.
I THINK I am following the directions, but what I cannot figure out -- and I've tried -- is how the underlooper, the overlooper, and the needle thread are supposed to interact. I've tried removing the face plate just to get a better view to no avail. What makes matters worse is that the needle is next to impossible to thread without going blind.
Mechanically it's great -- quiet and strong -- but if I can't thread the thing, it's useless.
This is mainly a vent, so thanks for listening (er, reading).
Are new sergers, like the popular Brother 1034D, much better? I've heard newer sergers are easier to thread and I know many come with instructional DVDs.
Should I throw this one overboard and try a new model?
-- Edited on 12/29/09 3:00 PM --
-- Edited on 12/29/09 4:24 PM --
You'll be in stitches at malepatternboldness.com!
Member since 6/23/09
Date: 12/29/09 3:12 PM
I had this serger for years (bought it new), and it was always a pain to thread. For some reason it got harder to thread recently, and just gave up. The lower looper is the hard part, and it has to be just perfect, or it wont sew. I bought a new serger, and am so happy that I did. I spend way more time sewing now, and I change my thread to match what I am doing more now since it is so much easier. I still have the serger for when I need a backup.
Member since 8/29/02
Skill: Advanced Beginner
Date: 12/29/09 3:16 PM
I have a Janome 204D, I think, and I have the same problem sometimes--usually I can get it threaded in seconds, but occasionally it takes me 45 minutes with nothing seeming to work. Finally, after making various sacrifices to the serger gods, I grab the manual, follow the pictures step by step, and it works. I cannot figure out what it is that I do differently, but that's always what I need to do. So no help here, just an I hear ya!
Member since 8/14/08
1 member likes this.
Date: 12/29/09 3:22 PM
Peter - I have felt that pain - in fact over 20 yrs of that pain. Two words for you: Babylock Imagine
I know they are spendy. I was able to find one on Craigslist for $600 and no matter what you pay, it is worth it to finally have peace and fun with serging. There is a price to be paid for mental health - lol. Read the reviews of Babylock Imagine to see for yourself. 99% are very pleased with their serger. I couldn't find any other serger that had such a good satisfaction rate.
Member since 4/8/08
Date: 12/29/09 3:26 PM
I have a Janome 634D and have had it for a number of years -- works like a charm and I have never regretted the purchase.
The 634D has a mechanism that allows you to lift the first lower looper thread guide and it moves the usually hard to reach 2nd and 3rd lower looper thread guides into a very easily reachable position. Makes threading a breeze.
I often change threads by the "tie-on" method which takes less than 2 minutes to do.
When I have to thread the serger from scratch I can definitely do it in less than 5 minutes.
Absolutely love this feature of my serger.
Since this is the first serger I ever owned and the only other one I have is a Kenmore with all the same features of my Janome (it's basically the Kenmore equivalent of the Janome I have), I can't fathom the thought of having to take upwards of 15 minutes to thread my serger.
Sorry Peter I don't know anything about the machine you have.
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"
Stash Tally: net +38.5 yds (2014)
2015 Stash Tally: 106.5 yds out/122.875 yds in (net +16.375 yds)
2016 Stash Busting:
0.0 yds sewn (as of 01/03/16)
0.0 yds purchased (as of 01/03/16)
Member since 9/29/05
Date: 12/29/09 3:29 PM
Have you tried lugging it to your local Viking dealer to have them assist you??
I also second homejewel's response.
That is going to be my next serger...but right now I CAN get my Simplicity serger threaded properly. Drat it all!
The single most important discovery made by a group of women? The Empty Tomb!
Member since 12/3/05
Date: 12/29/09 3:31 PM
Peter, I understand the modern sergers are much easier to thread. The 1034d is a great low cost option and you can sometimes find a good deal on these. If you decide to splurge, I agree with homejewel's suggestion that you look for a used Babylock Imagine or Imagine Wave. This might be a good time to find one of these since the Imagines were very recently discontinued and replaced by the almost identical Babylock Enlightens. Some people might be trading up.
No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.
Member since 5/28/06
In reply to Peter in NYC
1 member likes this.
Date: 12/29/09 3:33 PM
When you thread, do you have your presser foot up? Do you have your tensions set to zero? Make sure your threads are seated between the tension disks really well.
I used to own a Bernina 2500DCET, a once TOL Juki-made-for-Bernina overlock and coverstitch machine. There were so many features going on in that machine that troubleshooting it was a nightmare. But there were three things I really liked about it: 1) the easy threading, 2) the awesome power of the knife, and 3) its piercing power.
So I scaled down to the Juki 654DE from the Pearl series. I think, the Pearl series in the Juki line of sergers has the easy-to-thread lower looper. It still has the awesome knife and piercing power that the 2500DCET had but without the cost. The presser foot lifter is located behind the presser foot, not on the right side of the machine. The Juki 654DE presser foot lever feels more stable (for lack of a better term) to me, and the tension knobs more sensitive.
There are more thread guides for the upper and lower looper threads and the needle threads to pass through, and I believe, that these thread guides creates more tension. I actually like that. I think, these thread paths make for more an "automatic" tension. Let's just say that I don't see the need to adjust the tensions above or below 4.
I also couldn't justify spending a couple of thousand on an easy threading system, like the jet air.
I purchased the Juki 654DE for $399, SVD's factory service price. Though their website said a FS model was available, they actually didn't have one at the time, so I got a brand new one for the FS price. Score! Still, if you can find a Juki 654DE at $399 or below, I say, go for it. The current price of $499 is a bit high however perfect this overlocker may be.
Busy, busy sewing my fabric stash!
Member since 5/15/05
In reply to Peter in NYC
Date: 12/29/09 3:58 PM
Since you had it threaded and working correctly for a brief period last summer, I'll bet that when you ran the jeans through it & had to break the threads to get the jeans out something got bent or broken, maybe the stitch finger is bent?
I just bought a new Baby Lock Enlighten, but my other serger that I have used for 5 or 6 years is a used Bernina 2000. Once I bent the stitch finger and it wouldn't serge correctly until I took it in for service and they replaced the bent part. If I remember correctly it was not too expensive to have repaired. I also remember thinking that I was threading it incorrectly for the longest time until I just got pissed and took it in to have my Bernina dealer show me how to do it. It was at that point they showed me the bent stitch finger thingy.
I agree with everyone else who has said that the new sergers are so much easier to use than the old ones, but your problem might not be all that serious.
Member since 8/24/02
Date: 12/29/09 4:01 PM
Don't panic! I had the same problem with my serger. I remember that I first didn't pull the threads into the tension discs correctly so the tension was wacky. And even now, five years later, I still struggle with which thread goes on top when I am thread (upper looper v underlooper).