Serger tension issues

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Hi I am new to the group, so forgive me as I'm learning the ins n outs of t
his group.
First I suppose I should introduce myself?? :) My name is Heidi, I have 4 c
hildren, I'm a SAHM----and I'm building a new sewing business. www.facebook
.com/theseoldblues, and www.etsy.com/shop/theseoldblues

Anyhoo---my troubles:
I have a Kenmore serger Model #38516655100.
My tensions were acting kinda funky. I adjusted and realized one of my thre
ads was MUCH tighter than it should be and it was on a 3----so I loosened i
t. then was sewing again and everything went haywire. SUDDENLY I HAD NO TEN
SION, zip zero, zilch....on ANY of the 4 threads. I opened up the top of th
e machine. I can see that the knobs themselves are still working, they twis
t and turn, and the springs inside appear to be working- tightening and loo
sening as you turn the knob. BUT the discs do not get closer together when  
I turn the dial all the way up to 9. This is on ALL 4 dials. The dials do n
ot appear to be connected in anyway, how is it possible that each of these  
4 dials broke at the same second? I'm so confused. Help please!

Update: Hubby and I opened up and took apart one of the tension dials....ev
erything in it is turning the way it is supposed to....of course once we to
ok it apart we couldn't get it exactly back together anyway...so that's a n
ew problem. I can't find a diagram anywhere that shows how to put the tensi
oners back together.....anyone know where I can find one?

On the sears website this is the only diagram I can find: http://c.searspar
tsdirect.com/lis_png/PLDM/P0105196-00010.png

this shows the tensions, number 2,3,4,5----
It will not give me a diagram for the actual tension dials...:(  

Also---the tensions are different part numbers??? They are all the same! Bu
t also 3 of them are priced at 16.49, and one is 16.99----very strange....I
f I cant find a schematic for the assembly then I will have to order them..
..I'm trying to find out if the pat is the entire assembly or just a piece.
...

ANY HELP ON ANY OF MY QUESTIONS HERE WOULD BE HELPFUL! Thanks!!!
-Heidi

Re: Serger tension issues



Hi I am new to the group, so forgive me as I'm learning the ins n outs of  
this group.
First I suppose I should introduce myself?? :) My name is Heidi, I have 4  
children, I'm a SAHM----and I'm building a new sewing business.  
www.facebook.com/theseoldblues, and www.etsy.com/shop/theseoldblues

Anyhoo---my troubles:
I have a Kenmore serger Model #38516655100.
My tensions were acting kinda funky. I adjusted and realized one of my  
threads was MUCH tighter than it should be and it was on a 3----so I  
loosened it. then was sewing again and everything went haywire. SUDDENLY I  
HAD NO TENSION, zip zero, zilch....on ANY of the 4 threads. I opened up the  
top of the machine. I can see that the knobs themselves are still working,  
they twist and turn, and the springs inside appear to be working- tightening  
and loosening as you turn the knob. BUT the discs do not get closer together  
when I turn the dial all the way up to 9. This is on ALL 4 dials. The dials  
do not appear to be connected in anyway, how is it possible that each of  
these 4 dials broke at the same second? I'm so confused. Help please!

Update: Hubby and I opened up and took apart one of the tension  
dials....everything in it is turning the way it is supposed to....of course  
once we took it apart we couldn't get it exactly back together anyway...so  
that's a new problem. I can't find a diagram anywhere that shows how to put  
the tensioners back together.....anyone know where I can find one?

On the sears website this is the only diagram I can find:  
http://c.searspartsdirect.com/lis_png/PLDM/P0105196-00010.png

this shows the tensions, number 2,3,4,5----
It will not give me a diagram for the actual tension dials...:(

Also---the tensions are different part numbers??? They are all the same! But  
also 3 of them are priced at 16.49, and one is 16.99----very strange....If I  
cant find a schematic for the assembly then I will have to order them....I'm  
trying to find out if the pat is the entire assembly or just a piece....

ANY HELP ON ANY OF MY QUESTIONS HERE WOULD BE HELPFUL! Thanks!!!
-Heidi
HUGE mistake disassembling the tension assembly.
Now you must seek the help of a professional repair person.
More than likely the initial problem was user error, something not threaded  
correctly. When the presser foot is up all the tension disks open so the  
thread will lay inside the disks when threading it.

--  
Ron Anderson A1 Sewing Machine
18 Dingman Rd Sand Lake, NY 12153
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Serger tension issues


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Heidi,
Welcome and when you get your problem solved be sure to stay with us.  
Following up on Ron's suggestion
First: let me say that Ron will never steer you wrong He gives out tons  
of free advice here and if he thinks you can fix it yourself he tells  
you what to do.
Second: You live in Harwich MA. I suggest you call Murray Fabrics in  
Orleans and ask them If they do repairs there. I know they did have a  
store in Hyannis, but I'm not  sure if it's still there. They are good  
people to deal with I shop there when I'm on the Cape.
HTH
Juno

Re: Serger tension issues
Well thank you to both of you. I appreciate your responses. While I accept  
Ron's advice I am quite versed with the insides of my sewing machines and I
 am not afraid to go inside them myself. I am not the first person to take  
 the tension assembly apart nor will I be the last.  
I can accept honest criticism, but I am slightly offended that you (Ron) te
lls me I made a MISTAKE and MUST seek professional help. My husband is a me
chanic of just about everything and has no problem fixing items like this.  
If we could just find the schematic we would be just fine. I am quite mecha
nical myself. I have been taking apart and repairing my own machines for ye
ars. I do not appreciate you not giving me the benefit of the doubt. I have
 an old machine that tells me exactly what measurements I need for timing a
nd it has EVERY schematic I need for every part of the machine. All the new
er machines come with basic diagrams, and they won't tell you what the fact
ory settings are for timing, nor will they give you the proper schematics.  
Why would they since they can make money on it? Sears was pushing me to buy
 the part before I finished my second sentence.

I came to this site seeking help on fixing the machine myself, not to be cr
iticized about how I was wrong. I am self taught in Everything I do and I l
ove it. I love the mechanical ends of things. So I am learning, yes, and th
at's fine. I am perfectly happy to fix it myself. You will have to excuse m
e if this sounds rude. I am not trying to be at all. I am looking for help  
in doing this on my own. I ask not to be belittled and sent to a profession
al repair shop.  

Yes, Murray's is right down the street from me and I frequent the shop. :)  
Yes they have a person who comes in to service the machines, but they charg
e an arm and a leg. Honestly I'd rather pay the $16 and just buy a whole ne
w assembly if I cannot put it back together, but right now I am still quite
 confident I can manage. I was just looking for a little more help.

-Heidi

On Wednesday, June 26, 2013 2:27:48 PM UTC-4, Junob @teranews.com wrote:
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Re: Serger tension issues
On 6/26/2013 3:04 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
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Ron's advice I am quite versed with the insides of my sewing machines and I am
not afraid to go inside them myself. I am not the first person to take  the
tension assembly apart nor will I be the last.
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me I made a MISTAKE and MUST seek professional help. My husband is a mechanic of
just about everything and has no problem fixing items like this. If we could
just find the schematic we would be just fine. I am quite mechanical myself. I
have been taking apart and repairing my own machines for years. I do not
appreciate you not giving me the benefit of the doubt. I have an old machine
that tells me exactly what measurements I need for timing and it has EVERY
schematic I need for every part of the machine. All the newer machines come with
basic diagrams, and they won't tell you what the factory settings are for
timing, nor will they give you the proper schematics. Why would they since they
can make money on it? Sears was pushing me to buy the part before I finished my
second sentence.
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criticized about how I was wrong. I am self taught in Everything I do and I love
it. I love the mechanical ends of things. So I am learning, yes, and that's
fine. I am perfectly happy to fix it myself. You will have to excuse me if this
sounds rude. I am not trying to be at all. I am looking for help in doing this
on my own. I ask not to be belittled and sent to a professional repair shop.
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they have a person who comes in to service the machines, but they charge an arm
and a leg. Honestly I'd rather pay the $16 and just buy a whole new assembly if
I cannot put it back together, but right now I am still quite confident I can
manage. I was just looking for a little more help.
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You are unable to fix it, asked for advice and don't like what you are  
hearing You refuse to pay to get the job done. I just wonder how you  
feel when someone says in all honesty that they can make dresses for  
children, for a lot less than $55.00 or $60.00 that you charge for you  
dresses if only someone would give them the pattern.
As I said before, Ron gives out free advice on how to fix things,all the  
time. He's not looking to make a cent off of you.
Perhaps you should take a good look at your  "I can do anything myself"  
attitude and  give it a good airing.
Juno

Re: Serger tension issues

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<snip attitude>
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Agreed!  We all know too well that people's attitude is often "You  
charge HOW MUCH FOR THAT??  Well I could do it myself for less."  I  
thought Ron's reply was polite and helpful, considering the OP's,  
"...I opened up and took apart one of the tension dials....everything  
in it is turning the way it is supposed to....of course once we took  
it apart we couldn't get it exactly back together anyway......"  .

Sheesh.  With Ron's advice, I now know better all the places my  
machines need regular lubrication and how to take apart, clean and  
adjust the tension on my Singer 401As.  


Re: Serger tension issues

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Forgot to add:  "Thanks, Ron!"  ;-)
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Re: Serger tension issues
Didn't you guys hear me say that I wasn't trying to be rude?? It was clearl
y stated that I wasn't trying to sound that way. You are all misunderstandi
ng me. It was not ungrateful.  
I understand what he was trying to say, but telling me I made a mistake and
 now go to a pro was not helpful. Isn't that what we are all here for? Help
ing and not criticizing me for actually wanting to do something myself? I h
ave already said that I LIKE TO do things myself. Shame on me for wanting t
o learn something new, and being interested in how things work.  


On Wednesday, June 26, 2013 5:54:24 PM UTC-4, BEI Design wrote:
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Re: Serger tension issues
m
On 6/26/2013 8:55 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
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stated that I wasn't trying to sound that way. You are all misunderstanding me.
It was not ungrateful.
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now go to a pro was not helpful. Isn't that what we are all here for? Helping
and not criticizing me for actually wanting to do something myself? I have
already said that I LIKE TO do things myself. Shame on me for wanting to learn
something new, and being interested in how things work.
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OK,I accept that you weren't trying to be rude. I also accept that old  
machines gave you the schematics and more information on timing and that  
new  machines don't New anything is not that way, whether we like it or  
not I.
  When I was a kid my dad who was also a mechanic, use to tell me if  
your going to take something apart you're unfamiliar with, make a map as  
you disassemble so you know just how to put it back together and Keep  
doing that way until you are so familiar with what you're doing, you can  
do it without thinking about it. He always finished it with if you can't  
do it that way, don't expect me to get you out of your predicament  
without some kind of payment.
You took it apart, you didn't have a clue as to how to put it together  
and now you're stuck. You want to learn how to do things fine, but don't  
get mad when you didn't  get the outcome you wanted or the advice you  
were hoping for. That's called learn from your mistakes.

Re: Serger tension issues
Thanks and I understand that. In general I do make notes of how things go b
ack together. This isn't the first time I've taken apart a tension assembly
, so I'm not completely unfamiliar.
And I didn't explain the full story.... Hubby took it apart. So I didn't ac
tually see how the puzzle pieces all fit together. I wasn't going to disass
emble it because I know how much of a bitch they are to get back together.  
He put it back together twice and I showed him where it wasn't working. He  
didn't line them up right, so "0" is not zero...it's more like "3"  
He was frustrated with it because it's not his thing normally.  

If I could go back in time I wouldn't have let him take it apart. lol.

Because it has already been taken apart there will be no harm done in me ta
king it apart again now. I do have 3 more to compare it to and I an see how
 they go back together it's just getting everything to line up right. I jus
t won't let hubby touch it this time. He's a good mechanic....but not for m
y sewing machines...

Thanks again for all your help. And sorry for everything getting all messed
 up in here. It wasn't my intent to cause trouble. I just don't like being  
criticized for trying to do things myself. I really really like doing thing
s myself....It's not an attitude like you think. If I'm over my head I know
 when to give in to the pros. I'm not TOO proud in that way if you know wha
t I mean.:)

-Heidi


On Wednesday, June 26, 2013 9:44:52 PM UTC-4, Junob @teranews.com wrote:
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early stated that I wasn't trying to sound that way. You are all misunderst
anding me. It was not ungrateful.
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 and now go to a pro was not helpful. Isn't that what we are all here for?  
Helping and not criticizing me for actually wanting to do something myself?
 I have already said that I LIKE TO do things myself. Shame on me for wanti
ng to learn something new, and being interested in how things work.
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Re: Serger tension issues
Now I'll repeat my original invitation to stay with us. Let us know how  
you do with your repair.
We are a good group and like to get new  people. We are also  
international in scope.
If you have an answer to a problem someone posts, give us your input. If  
you have a sewing question, ask. We go from  rank amateur to professional
And, tell your Husband to keep his hands off your power tools and that  
you'll keep you hands off of his.
Juno

On 6/26/2013 10:00 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
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together. This isn't the first time I've taken apart a tension assembly, so I'm
not completely unfamiliar.
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actually see how the puzzle pieces all fit together. I wasn't going to
disassemble it because I know how much of a bitch they are to get back together.
He put it back together twice and I showed him where it wasn't working. He
didn't line them up right, so "0" is not zero...it's more like "3"
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taking it apart again now. I do have 3 more to compare it to and I an see how
they go back together it's just getting everything to line up right. I just
won't let hubby touch it this time. He's a good mechanic....but not for my
sewing machines...
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in here. It wasn't my intent to cause trouble. I just don't like being
criticized for trying to do things myself. I really really like doing things
myself....It's not an attitude like you think. If I'm over my head I know when
to give in to the pros. I'm not TOO proud in that way if you know what I mean.:)
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Re: Serger tension issues
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Snort!  



Re: Serger tension issues
LOL, Thanks Juno. I will keep you all posted! I will have time this afterno
on to see how much damage was done. ;)



On Wednesday, June 26, 2013 10:18:23 PM UTC-4, Junob @teranews.com wrote:
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go back together. This isn't the first time I've taken apart a tension asse
mbly, so I'm not completely unfamiliar.
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t actually see how the puzzle pieces all fit together. I wasn't going to di
sassemble it because I know how much of a bitch they are to get back togeth
er. He put it back together twice and I showed him where it wasn't working.
 He didn't line them up right, so "0" is not zero...it's more like "3"
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e taking it apart again now. I do have 3 more to compare it to and I an see
 how they go back together it's just getting everything to line up right. I
 just won't let hubby touch it this time. He's a good mechanic....but not f
or my sewing machines...
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ssed up in here. It wasn't my intent to cause trouble. I just don't like be
ing criticized for trying to do things myself. I really really like doing t
hings myself....It's not an attitude like you think. If I'm over my head I  
know when to give in to the pros. I'm not TOO proud in that way if you know
 what I mean.:)
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Re: Serger tension issues
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com top-posted:
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You mean like this:

https://www.facebook.com/TheseOldBlues
These Old Blues
Yesterday near Harwich, MA
So after spending HOURS scouring the internet for tension assembly  
diagrams----and then an hours and a half on chat with sears part  
direct I have concluded that A- it is a scam and they won't give you  
the schematics because they want you to be forced to purchase parts or  
bring in the machine for service. B- that the sears parts people are  
either COMPLETE idiots or it's all computer generated bull  
messages----and C--well, never mind I think A and B sums up my  
frustration for the morning.




Re: Serger tension issues
Yes exactly like that.  

I was venting about people at Sears. I posted that on my page yesterday morning
BEFORE I even looked on this group to chat with people. So I don't see how that
is relevant to the situation.

And I have already apologized for the way I came across yesterday. It wasn't
meant to come across as that way.

-Heidi

Thursday, June 27, 2013 1:04:32 PM UTC-4, Margurite wrote:
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Re: Serger tension issues

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Sears parts people are customer service reps. If it does not show up on  
their screen they have no clue.
You have 3 other tensions in the machine as you mentioned. They all go  
together the same way. The hard part is the adjusting as they ALL have  
different settings that is why they all have different part numbers.
This is why I recommended an experienced technician. Not easy to do on a  
serger.

--  
Ron Anderson A1 Sewing Machine
18 Dingman Rd Sand Lake, NY 12153
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Serger tension issues
Thanks Juno!

And Thanks Ron!

So Now update!

I PUT THE dial back together and have everything lined up the way it is sup
posed to. Zero is zero and 9 is 9! It took me three tries and lots of compa
rison to the others but I got it.:)

Thanks to Ron for the tip about the presser foot----I didn't realize that w
hen it is up the tension dials ALL open....I don't know why I never realize
d that  before. But that helped because that is why "all" stopped working.  
I knew there was a problem at least with the first tension dial before us e
ven taking it apart because it hadn't been working properly for days. It wa
s either too tight or too loose for the setting and it really just needed a
 good cleaning. There was probably thread lint or dust nestled inside.
There is a little dial and I marked inside there where the part goes back t
ogether in case this ever happens again.  

I kinda want to take them all apart now to clean them---but I think I'll wa
it on that till I have a good day for maintenance. I have a few orders to f
inish!

And IF this ever happens again---I won't let hubby touch it because I WILL  
mark how it comes apart, and then put it back together. lol
Also I am still quite confused as to why my hubby didn't take note of how i
t came apart----He always cusses at people who take both their brakes (CAR)
 apart and then can't figure out how to put them back together. He always s
ays one take one apart at a time so you can look at the other for reference
 on how it goes back together. Thanks hubby. I suppose at least he didn't t
ake them all apart. :)




On Thursday, June 27, 2013 3:59:15 PM UTC-4, Ron Anderson wrote:
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n't  
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Re: Serger tension issues
On 27/06/2013 21:12, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
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supposed to. Zero is zero and 9 is 9! It took me three tries and lots of
comparison to the others but I got it.:)
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it is up the tension dials ALL open....I don't know why I never realized that
before. But that helped because that is why "all" stopped working. I knew there
was a problem at least with the first tension dial before us even taking it
apart because it hadn't been working properly for days. It was either too tight
or too loose for the setting and it really just needed a good cleaning. There
was probably thread lint or dust nestled inside.
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came apart----He always cusses at people who take both their brakes (CAR) apart
and then can't figure out how to put them back together. He always says one take
one apart at a time so you can look at the other for reference on how it goes
back together. Thanks hubby. I suppose at least he didn't take them all apart.
:)
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My first port of call when I have tension issues on any of my machines,  
from hand cranks to sergers, is the microfiber lens cloth!  I release  
the tension (on MOST machines lifting the presser foot does this, but  
not on my Brother serger.  Does on the Bernina, not the Bro!), and then  
I 'floss' between the disks with the cloth.  Nine times out of ten this  
will clear it.

The one time I didn't clear the problem on the Husqvarna Lily 550, she  
went in the shop and it took the Old Sewing Machine Guy FOUR HOURS to  
find and remove the tiniest scrap of thread you never did see!

On my older mechanical machines, I'll happily dismantle and clean the  
tension mechanisms and reassemble them.  On the fancy electronic jobs  
and the sergers, and the Bernina 1005 (where the tension disks are  
thoroughly buried), I'm happy to hand them over to the chaps in  
Tunbridge Wells!

On any new-to-me dismantling job, I take pics as I go so I have a record  
of what each stage looked like before I did the next layer of  
archeology.  Gotta love my digital camera!

--  
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Serger tension issues
On 6/27/2013 1:04 PM, Margurite wrote:
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Does  anyone recall Margurite posting here before, or is  she a troll?
I think it was a low blow to post Heidi's Facebook rant.
She apologized and I think it  should end there. Why continue an  
argument. I read that Facebook posting when Heidi put up her first post  
  and knew it was sheer frustration.
Juno

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