problem with the bernina 950

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Halfway through working today  the Bernina 950 has stopped picking up  
the bobbin thread. I changed thread for some decorative work and when I  
switched back to the cone of white it bunched up the thread underneath.  
this is not unusual with this machine and is usually cured with a de-fluff.
I have cleaned her out, given her a drop of 3 in one oil, changed the  
needle and the thread cone but still no joy. Any ideas? I have emailed  
the company who sold it to me in May but as they have gone home for the  
evening I thought I would ask you all while I wait for a reply
Claire in Montreal FRANCE

Re: problem with the bernina 950
Claire, I believe I sent you a couple of other ideas, mostly involving needle and thread mismatch.  However, I just reread and
was struck by your mention of 3-in-1 oil, which, in my experience, goes sticky after a bit and will gum up a machine badly.
Can you get plain old sewing machine oil?


Re: problem with the bernina 950

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I concur and can provide the correct oil if needed. albeit shipping to  
France will be expensive., Surely there must be a local sewing machine shop  
that sells lily white sewing machine oil

Ron Anderson A1 Sewing Machine
18 Dingman Rd Sand Lake, NY 12153
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Re: problem with the bernina 950
Le 10/08/2013 16:12, Ron Anderson a écrit :
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I didn't get any other messages Kay but not to worry.
I will have to take the 950 to my service guy. I have had a very hectic  
week with many markets both day and night ones and orders, last market  
for 3 days tomorrow so on Monday I can have a lie in!

I will have to wait until Tuesday to call and see if he is in his shop  
or on holiday. I think the timing is out, that's what the bernina  
service chap on the phone thinks and as he's in the UK and I am in  
France I can't get him to come out!!!.

I hadn't realised 3 in 1 was  a problem I have to admit I have always  
used that. The machines do get a regular service so I suppose it hasn't  
had time to get sticky and cause too many problems as they get a proper  
clean when they get serviced.
I will get some proper sewing machine oil when I take the 950 into the  
shop. I will keep you updated.

Meanwhile I have pressed the 1030 back into service, I now know I have  
become used to the 950 despite only having it for a few months as the  
1030 seems slow I am grinding my teeth willing it to go faster, hey ho  
just what we get used to I guess.

Claire in Montreal FRANCE

Re: problem with the bernina 950
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Loops on the bottom of fabric sounds more like an upper tension problem or  
a mismatch between thread size and needle size issue to me, not a timing  
problem.  If you want to explore this a little further, there are some good
diagrams here:
Home machines like these are usually timed with a size 80/12 needle, so that's  
what I'd use for comparison purposes.  Though I will happily retime an old black Singer  
or similar machine, I leave timing on the new ones to the pros.

If you were a newbie, I'd be urging you to rethread the machine with the presser foot
up so the thread could get in the upper tension.  (BTW, I don't recall if I ever  
mentioned the photos I took here;
-- you know all that sort of basic stuff, but it's handy to know about the photos when  
you've got a newbie trying to tighten bobbin  tensions because there's loops  
on the bottom of the fabric.)

Here's some more stuff on needle/thread mismatches and "tension headaches": and in my experience, almost any symptom other than  
sparks and fires in a sewing machine can sometimes be fixed with a new needle. (Ron, I'm so glad you've kept that series

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It's not quite as bad as some other oils... but not good.  I once was given a Singer 15-91  
that I cleaned up and sent on to a local shelter for their clients to use.  That poor thing  
had been oiled for about 5 years with extra virgin olive oil "because it's so pure"!.  Poor  
machine stunk from the sticky, polymerized oil and was just about frozen, but I gradually  
got it all cleaned up,  Sewing machine oil is a light mineral oil that's designed to
evaporate (over long periods of time) without leaving a sticky residue like 3 in 1 and similar.
It's also less likely to stain fabrics irretrievably.  The other "oil" I hate to  
see used on sewing machines is WD-40.  Though it has some lubricating ability at first (well, so  
does water!), it quickly evaporates and the machine goes dry and wears badly or freezes.  
It's a solvent, not a lubricant.

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I know what you mean.  I switched back to my Viking 350 because I had some specialty feet I
wanted to use.  Even flat out it felt like a slug compared to my Juki.


Re: problem with the bernina 950
Le 11/08/2013 04:01, Kay Lancaster a écrit :
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Yes the looping I  cured quite quickly , it was when I had cured the  
lopping that it decided to stop picking up the bottom thread!!! Oh joy.
If you want to explore this a little further, there are some good
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I will take the 950 to my service guy I'm not confident for timing. As  
everyone around here shuts on a Monday I will have to wait until Tuesday  
to call and see if he is available or away on holiday (Oh please be here)
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Good info ,thank you for that I am hoping for sometime to read through  
everything today. last week really was relentless.
Monday;  I had a client coming over to order a dress for her daughter,  
they come every summer from Holland on their holiday. By the end of the  
appointment she had ordered 2 dresses , 3 cushion covers and a dress for  
herself, for Friday as they are only here for one week this year! Monday  
of course was the day that 950 went bad while I was trying to finish  
some reversible aprons for the stall, also on Monday I had 2 mobile home  
rentals arriving so had to make beds.
Tuesday; another mobile home rental so clean and change everything, plus  
finish aprons and set up night market (luckily in our local town so not  
far to drive) Had a good night at the night market, got home early at  
midnight as there was a thunderstorm, sold lots, great, now short of  
stock for the stall! Oh heck.
Wednesday; 6 am  off to regular weekday market for the morning and again  
had good sales sold the last small reversible aprons, grit teeth and  
think of the ones  have out on exhibition, oh well, sew all afternoon  
make 2 girls dresses for Dutch lady and cut out her dress.
Thursday; 1st thing the woman running the exhibition calls to say she's  
running short of stock for both statues and clothes. Rush off to  
Bordeaux, 4 hour round trip to do the walk through for No1 sons  student  
apartment back at 3pm, at 4pm my Dutch lady comes for 1st fitting  
several alterations needed as we are using a pattern she loves and we  
have used before but this time it's a  woven not a jersey! Got to re-cut  
the top , bother. Husband goes off to a weekend of markets at 7pm I eat  
and start sewing until 11pm , fall into bed.
Friday; up at 6.15 2 hours in the workshop with statues, send  both sons  
off to exhibition with the stock for both stalls. Finish cushion covers  
and Pink dress for Dutch lady, fingers crossed it fits now. Go back to  
sewing aprons as I have none left myself in the smallest size. Manage to  
make 5. Dutch family come by everything is fine , wave them off keep  
sewing. Good thing the boys can cook.
Saturday; off to the usual morning market, sales are good horray!  home  
at 3pm eat , clean mobile-homes from people who left on Friday for  
people coming today. Cutting it fine this time. Take clothes stock out  
of car restock car with 2nd hand stuff as Sundays market is statues and  
2nd hand stuff so no point trying to sell my clothes, too much  
competition from 2nd hand children's clothes. Mum comes round for a cup  
of tea, breathe.
Sunday all day market, sales are good, fall into bed what a week.

This week should be easier only 2 markets and some sewing for them. DH  
due back home today hope he's not to tiered. Got to clean and change the  
2 mobile-homes but I know the people won't arrive until 5pm so I have  
some breathing space .
I'm glad not every week is like that. I will keep you updated on the 950.

Claire in Montreal FRANCE

Re: problem with the bernina 950
Claire in France wrote:
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Whew.  I mowed the lawn and took a nap today...



Re: problem with the bernina 950
Le 05/08/2013 17:52, Claire in France a écrit :
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I have to wait until the 28th to take the machine in for fixing , in the  
meantime back to aprons on the 1030 the expo rang again they had a run  
on aprons, now where's that extra day in the week I ordered?

Claire in Montreal FRANCE

Re: problem with the bernina 950
I like to wear the bib aprons that will cover me when I am chopping  
vegetables and pouring liquids.  I make mine with pockets on the front to  
help me when I am cleaning and need to take something to another room.  They  
really save my clothes from getting so dirty!  Glad your aprons are selling  
so well!
Barbara in SC

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