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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Brother pc420 tension not working ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Brother pc420 tension not working
tension issues
juliewiens
juliewiens
Member since 9/15/13
Posts: 3
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Date: 10/10/13 1:03 AM

My new Brother 420 arrived today. I set up the bobbin and did a basic stitch (using the installed needle and multi-purpose thread) and the upper thread is lying on top of the fabric. I adjusted the upper tension and no go. I tried regular cotton fabric and I tried thicker fabric. No matter what I did nothing improved the stitch. If i put the upper thread tension to 0 there is a tiny improvement, but certainly not something that can be used for sewing. Any ideas on what is wrong or what I might be doing wrong? Also, when you use the thread cutters, does it always leave the lower thread below the plate so you have to pull it up every time? Thanks.

bestgrammy
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bestgrammy
OR USA
Member since 8/29/06
Posts: 3531
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In reply to juliewiens <<


Date: 10/10/13 3:37 AM

Sorry this is happening with a brand new sewing machine.
Don't have a good answer...just first thought is the upper threading isn't threaded quite right. Not making any blame towards you...just maybe it has a guide or turn not used to since just got it today.

The puzzling thing is that setting the upper tension to 0 shouldn't have even made a tiny improvement...since the problem is that the upper thread is lying on top of the fabric...setting the tension to 0 should have made it worse.

The other PC-420 owners will chime in soon and hope you get to sew soon.

Carrie-Jane
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Carrie-Jane
Intermediate
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 12/9/06
Posts: 1148
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Date: 10/10/13 4:07 AM

The answers probably yes but have you tried a new needle? The one in the machine may have been damaged in transit.

Check the bobbin is in correctly and re thread the top carefully.
On one new machine I ended up winding a second bobbin as for some reason I hadn't wound the first one correctly and it affected the tension. It took me a couple of goes to get the hang of my new machine. I even changed which way the top spool was sitting in the machine as the diagram showed it a specific way.

On my Janome the thread cutter does leave the bobbin thread below. I just sew away and its okay. Thread cutters built in are new to me, but I guess they are designed to work that way.

Hope you sort it all out soon.

------
My machines; Bernina 135S, Elna 2300, Bernina Serger 800DL.
http://fenullapolkadot.blogspot.com

juliewiens
juliewiens
Member since 9/15/13
Posts: 3
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Date: 10/10/13 10:11 AM

Good morning. It was definitely user error. I could have sworn I had it threaded right, but I re-threaded it this morning and it seems fine. I did have to adjust the upper tension a little for the cotton fabric, but it seems fine now. I also remember that the new machines don't have to have the lower thread pulled up after using the thread cutter. So again, user error. Thanks for your replies!

Mufffet
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Mufffet  Friend of PR
Intermediate
VT USA
Member since 8/14/05
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In reply to juliewiens <<
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Date: 10/10/13 10:22 AM

You may want to get that lower thread up though. It will be a good preventative if you always do that no matter what they tell you. I have a couple machines the supposedly do not need me to get up the lower thread, but doing that insures you will not see nests! ;)

Enjoy your 420 and let us know how it does for you - it is a really enticing machine! Love all the features and the excellent reviews. :)

------
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

karen149
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karen149  Friend of PR
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CA USA
Member since 3/4/05
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Date: 10/10/13 11:32 AM

Did you thread the machine with the presser foot up?

GrandmaNewt
GrandmaNewt
Intermediate
NV
Member since 6/5/10
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In reply to juliewiens <<
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Date: 10/10/13 12:10 PM

When you thread the brother pc420 - the presser foot MUST be up. If you thread it with the foot down, the thread does not pass through the tension disks.

Yes, when you use the thread cutter, the bobbin thread stays below the plate. You do not have to pull the thread up, just start sewing your next seam. You also do not have to pull the bobbin thread up when you first thread the machine, just thread the bobbin so that the thread cuts at the end of the track you pull the thread through and you are ready to go.

bestgrammy
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bestgrammy
OR USA
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Posts: 3531
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In reply to juliewiens <<


Date: 10/10/13 3:41 PM

Very glad all is well now. Got to love a new sewing machine...exciting to learn all its novelties.

Besides when threading the upper thread..another time it must be up is when winding a bobbin. If the presser foot is down...the bobbin winder spindle may not spin.

Your Brother sm may sew well with most any brand of home machine needle...but it should ONLY use Brother SA156 bobbins. Using the wrong brand of bobbins or the wrong Brother class bobbin will at the least cause sewing problems and at the worst could damage your sm.

IMHO...Brother's thread path for bobbin winding is a little difficult...specifically getting the thread "hooked" on the bobbin winder thread guide then around the tension disks counter clockwise...not so easy when I tried it myself...I actually got a bit flustered with it...and it took me several tries to get it right.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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OH USA
Member since 12/3/06
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Date: 10/10/13 4:30 PM

Didn't you get a manual with the machine?

I have found that no matter how experienced one is at using a sewing machine, it is much easier to sit down at the machine at start at the very beginning of the manual. As you read, apply. Step by step. No skipping or going just by the pictures. This does not take as long as down time, ripping and re sewing and other frustrations.

------
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

Carrie-Jane
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Carrie-Jane
Intermediate
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 12/9/06
Posts: 1148
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In reply to juliewiens <<
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Date: 10/10/13 5:40 PM

Glad it's all sorted out and your up and running. Many times your situation has happened to me. I've left it overnight or gone off to make a hot drink, come back later and it's worked.

Quite often I have thought life is trying to teach me some patience!

------
My machines; Bernina 135S, Elna 2300, Bernina Serger 800DL.
http://fenullapolkadot.blogspot.com

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