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Stuck Stop Motion Knob
I Fixed It! Yay!
aliann1  Friend of PR
Colorado USA
Member since 12/8/07
Posts: 286
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Date: 1/19/12 11:06 PM

A while back, I bought a Janome L344 from someone on Craigslist. I love this little pink machine, but the stop motion knob was stuck from the day I bought it, so I was never able to wind a bobbin on it without the needle going up and down. I've tried to turn it counterclockwise many times with my hand as this is how you disengage the needle so that only the bobbin winder operates, but I could never get it to budge.

I didn't really want to spend the money to take it in for service, so I Googled the issue and got some ideas. Here are the steps I took:

1. Unscrew the small screw in the knob and remove it completely.
2. Cover the stop motion knob with a towel or thick fabric doubled or even quadrupled (to prevent damage in next step).
3. Place a wrench with a head big enough to accommodate the stop motion knob over the towel (so the wrench isn't actually in direct contact with the knob), hold the handwheel stationary and turn the stop motion knob counterclockwise (backwards) using the wrench until it moves.
4. Continue to turn the knob counterclockwise until it is completely unscrewed and remove it from the machine (you can do this with your hand after the knob has been loosened using the wrench).
5. Note how the washer is positioned and mentally note this then remove it (you'll want to know how to put it back together).
6. Use a paper towel moistened with sewing machine oil to wipe down the washer.
7. Use Q-Tips moistened with sewing machine oil to "clean" the screw threads on the knob and on the machine.
8. Apply Triflow Synthetic Grease using a toothpick to the threads on the machine and on the stop motion knob.
9. Reinstall the washer.
10. Screw the stop motion knob back onto the machine.
11. Reinsert the screw in the stop motion knob and tighten it.
12. Enjoy winding bobbins without the needle going up and down!

The whole process took me about 20 minutes.

What also helped me figure this out was that I have another machine that uses this same design that started having the same issue. In that case, I was able to remove the small screw and unscrew the stop motion knob using just my hand instead of having to use a wrench. Once I saw the "innards" and understood how it worked, it made sense, so I Googled the issue for some ideas.

I wanted to post this as I think this is a common issue and I hope it helps someone else.
-- Edited on 1/19/12 11:22 PM --
-- Edited on 1/20/12 8:28 PM --

Al Johnson
Al Johnson
Minnesota USA
Member since 2/17/07
Posts: 1523
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.

Date: 1/20/12 8:55 AM

Confirms again what I've been finding my whole life of fixing mechanical things. The majority of problems are caused by dirt and lack of lubrication, and can usually be fixed by cleaning and lubricating.

Good job on figuring this out and fixing it yourself. Saved a service call!

A sewing machine is just a welder for textiles.

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