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darryl
01-06-2014, 11:24 PM
I've had this machine for years now, but never used it. Now I want to. I mostly have figured out how to 'string' it, and it actually sewed a couple of times, but things aren't right. The needle is touching one side of the hole in the foot as it goes downwards, but does seem to go pretty close to centered where it enters the hole in the 'deck'. The needle looks pretty close to straight, and both posts in the machine look straight. Obviously something is off slightly, so I'm going to blame the needle. I will attempt to bend it slightly so it clears the hole in the foot. As it is, it's also destroying the thread because it's pinching and wiping it against the side of the hole.

What are my chances of bending the needle without breaking it? That's my first fear, as I don't have a replacement needle and am not sure if I can get one. I don't know how generic they are, if at all.

I also am not sure about which way to thread the needle. There's a flat on one side of the needle just above the hole- should the thread come in from that side, or the other? Does it matter?

There's an adjustment on the top of the machine, not labeled, and when I turn it a pin in a slot on the side of the head goes up and down, maybe 1/2 inch in total. Anybody know what that might be for? I can't see any effect from turning it.

There is no threading schematic on the machine, but if I follow the thread through the guides and the variable friction thing, it looks right.

The only 'selection' you get to do on this basic machine is for the length of each stitch. That works. I think my basic problem is that the needle doesn't come down totally centered through the foot, and that may be critical.

I'm really just looking for some guidance here. The only sewing I've done has been by hand, usually with a pig-sticker of a needle and string instead of thread.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v136/heinrich/borletti_zps7e2ae76b.jpg

darryl
01-06-2014, 11:41 PM
I had a good look at all that- it's clean, all the parts look good, nothing binding-

Black Forest
01-07-2014, 01:47 AM
Are you sure the foot is not misaligned or bent? Post a picture of the machine and maybe one of us can tell you exactly how to thread the machine. Take a picture from the top looking down on it to show your tension rolls.

I doubt you will be able to bend a needle. What is the diameter of the needle you are using?

darryl
01-07-2014, 03:05 AM
Ok, an update- the needle is a 90/14 for what that means. It came on the machine so I'd assume it's the right one, at least for typical thread. The foot assy doesn't look bent- nothing does. The adjustment knob I asked about is a foot pressure adjustment. That sort of popped into my head, and I confirmed that by adjusting and lifting on the foot. I figure threading is correct- the slots and guides are in just the right spots for the thread path, and it sews correctly before the thread breaks. It might make 3 inches, or it might make 1/2 inch- then the thread breaks.

I have a couple of clues- there is only one spot where tension is applied, a pair of spring loaded discs, and it's intermittent. It seems like the tension suddenly increases for no reason. It does have a tension release when you lift the foot, and that's working, but I think the thread is getting tight where it wraps around the shaft holding the discs- maybe there's a bit of a groove worn into it there, or the thread is not consistent. I'll look in the morning. Backing off the tension adjustment helps, BUT- the position of the foot is wrong. I think there needs to be a spacer placed to move the foot to the left.

You can see where the dogs come up to move the cloth forward, and they are not centered under the foot. Looking at this another way, the wear marks on the foot where the dogs touch it are offset to one side. I realize that the dogs should never touch the foot, only pinch the cloth between, but you can see where there's been metal on metal- off to one side. If I centered the foot over the dogs, the hole in the foot would coincide perfectly where the needle comes down. As it is, the needle drags the thread down one side of the gap, which abrades the thread, which then gets harder to get through the needle, which makes everything worse, then the thread breaks. I had the tension a little high to help compensate for this, so it just compounded the problem.

It probably didn't help that I was testing with some heavy duty denim. I can see that being hard on the thread that was on the machine. It looks pretty hairy, and it wouldn't take much for it to back up rather than go through the hole- then you have a blob of thread that won't go through anything and the remaining strands break.

This looks to be a rugged machine. All I need it to do is work properly, which I think I can achieve. I'll muck with it again tomorrow.

The Artful Bodger
01-07-2014, 03:26 AM
Are you sure the foot belongs to the machine?

Also, re the thread through the needle. Look underneath and try to understand how it works, most machines I have messed with (about 3 in total!) operate by looping the loose thread around the bobbin carrier and if the thread is going through the needle the wrong way it will loop around the point of the needle.

Black Forest
01-07-2014, 03:36 AM
Maybe you have the wrong foot on the machine. The thread should run along the grove in the needle down to the hole in the needle. It also depends on the orientation of the needle. If the scarf is facing the wrong way the thread will break. The scarf is the grove in the needle or the flat on the needle. On all machines that I have used the thread goes through the needle from left to right.

bruto
01-07-2014, 10:28 AM
I'm not familiar with the particular machine, but have fussed with other sewing machines for a long time.

First of all, if it's at all possible to get a new needle or needles, I'd start there. Bending a needle is very difficult to do right, and it's often much more critical than you'd think.

As others have said, make sure the needle is right way around, so that the thread comes down through the groove, and out the non grooved side.

The machine looks pretty standard as far as basic configuration goes. I note that Borletti and New Home seem to have something in common, and most of those machines resemble older off-patent Singers in general operation and principle.

On most machines with standard bobbins, there is also a specific direction in which the bobbin unwinds. When the thread exists from the case, one direction will pull the thread straighter off the bobbin. This is the direction you do not want. It's a little hard to state clearly, but make sure that of the two bobbin orientations possible, you choose the one that produces the greatest angle of change when it unwinds. the machine will probably sew either way, but will be subtly worse, or inconsistent, if the bobbin unreels the wrong way around.

The thread tension is supposed to be intermittent, so that it can feed the thread, and then hold it against a matching tension in the bobbin case when it loops and the needle rises. It can seem pretty tight when you check it by hand. It's hard to know exactly whether it's right without sewing. A good sewing machine should be able to sew a stitch properly centered (i.e. with the loop not visible on either top or bottom) even on a piece of thick paper or a file card. I usual test machines with paper first, because you can clearly see the stitches. Remember that if the top tension seems good and is more or less centered, but the sewing is poor, you can change the bottom tension. The bottom tension is more sensitive to slight variations in the thread, though, which is why you use the easily accessed top for fine adjustment.

As for the foot, I'm still guessing the foot is wrong or something is bent, but if the centering of the hole in the foot is the only problem you're encountering, then one alternative might be simply to file out the hole in the foot so the needle clears it. After all, zig zag machines will straight stitch just fine with a wide hole in the foot. Depending on what resources are available in your area, it might not be a bad idea to find a shop somewhere that sells and services sewing machines. Take your model number with you, and they may have some reference that tells you what foot, bobbin style number, etc. your machine is supposed to take. Bobbins vary slightly in numerous ways, and again although the machine may sew in some degree with the wrong bobbin, it will not work its best. Many machines take parts that look identical but are not. I think (guessing here) that some early Singer patents expired long ago, and almost every machine there is became based on them, but they changed dimensions in subtle ways.

KJ1I
01-07-2014, 11:05 AM
On all machines that I have used the thread goes through the needle from left to right.

On this side of the water, the thread in all my machines goes through the needle front to back. As to the needle, the 90/14 is only part of the equation. It specifies the size/diameter/whatever of the needle in European/American dimensions. Higher is heavier, thicker, intended for heavier, thicker fabrics. There is a second designator for needles that defines the length, head style, etc. such as 130/705H, 16/257, 135x17, DBxK5, and many, many others.

And as Black Forest said, the thread goes along the groove. And I also think you have a problem with the foot.

KJ1I
01-07-2014, 11:50 AM
You might try contacting / joining

http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/borlettivigorelli/info

to get info on the correct needle. The group moderator owns a BCD1002.

Once you get the correct needle designator, try

http://www.wawak.com/products/category.cfm/cid/1085/Needles/

I use them a lot for notions and supplies. Excellent prices and fast shipping (and very reasonable shipping cost - $4.89 < $100, free over $100)

lynnl
01-07-2014, 01:05 PM
If the hook timing gets out of sync that can cause interference between hook and needle. But if you can plainly see the needle rubbing something else, that's probably not your issue.

Bob Fisher
01-07-2014, 01:50 PM
Slide the plate off to be able to see the hook.operate the machine by hand and watch the thread where it enters the needle. As the needle begins to withdraw a loop should form and the hook can engage the loop. Needles are cheap and sized for the thread in use. Never saw one that didn't thread left to right, does'nt mean there are none.Bob.

darryl
01-07-2014, 04:49 PM
Funny thing is, it will sew either way I thread the needle, but it doesn't go very far before it breaks the thread. From all appearances, it should be threaded from the left- that's where the groove in the needle is, and that looks like the right orientation for the needle, ie with its flat to the right. It looks like most of the problem is because the foot is too far to the right. That's a simple fix, so I'll space it over a tad and try again. It may not be the right foot, but the length and general orientation is right. And it may be the right part, but just missing a spring washer or something that would give it the proper position.

As far as the tension, I understand about centering the loop so it's not visible on either side of the cloth. I discovered that while I was messing with it. The bottom tension doesn't seem to be adjustable- at least where the thread exits the bobbin holder under a springy metal leaf, there's no means of adjusting that.

I'm pretty sure I've got a handle on it now, thanks for all the advice.

KJ1I
01-07-2014, 05:58 PM
The bottom tension doesn't seem to be adjustable- at least where the thread exits the bobbin holder under a springy metal leaf, there's no means of adjusting that.

There should be a small screw attached to the "springy metal leaf". It is used to adjust the bobbin tension. Set it so that if you pull about 6" of thread out and let the bobbin hang, it doesn't unwind. If you give the thread a very gentle bounce, the bobbin should then slide down about 6". Then the top thread is adjusted based on the fabric/thread combination.

jdunmyer
01-07-2014, 07:55 PM
ntermittent. It seems like the tension suddenly increases for no reason. It does have a tension release when you lift the foot, and that's working, but I think the thread is getting tight where it wraps around the shaft holding the discs- maybe there's a bit of a groove worn into it there, or the thread is not consistent.


Are you sure the thread is supposed to wrap around the shaft and not simply pass between the tension disks?

darryl
01-07-2014, 08:56 PM
The way the guide slots are, there's only one way to pass the thread through the tension discs. I checked to see if there's any grooving on the shaft, and there isn't- a bit of polishing, that's it. I might look at how the spring is placed in there- it should be sort of self-centering. I'll also look at all the guide holes- there should be no sharp edges or grooves.

I'm about to change to a different thread, which is smoother and stronger, and which I'd be using in various projects. I'm not about to start making dresses and skirts, shirts, aprons- I'll be fixing pockets on my shop coat, and things like that. The color won't matter, and I have enough of this to last me. Once I get the machine set up for it, I should be good to go.

I have another roll of what I've been calling thread- it probably is, but it's heavier than the usual threads. I don't know if the machine can handle it, but I think that if I can thread it through the needle, it should be ok. If I can work with this stuff, I won't run out of thread until 2045 :)

KJ1I
01-07-2014, 09:13 PM
I have another roll of what I've been calling thread- it probably is, but it's heavier than the usual threads. I don't know if the machine can handle it, but I think that if I can thread it through the needle, it should be ok.

Maybe yes and maybe no. The needle needs to be sized to the thread as well as the fabric. Even if the thread goes through the eye of the needle, if the needle is too small, one of two things will happen: the thread will catch and grab, then break, or the eye will wear excessively and the needle will break.

And as others have said, don't try to straighten a bent needle. Its just not worth it.

cameron
01-08-2014, 12:17 AM
Take the needle out of the machine, thread it with the heavy thread and check if the thread lies easily into the groove of the needle. If it doesn't, you probably need a larger needle.

darryl
01-08-2014, 12:49 AM
Where else can you get a support group like this- it's the best!

So- an update: I shimmed the foot over, and now the needle goes right down the center of the hole. In my infinite wisdom (not) I changed to the heavier thread at the same time. As you guys have alluded to, it doesn't work- just makes a mess of the thread. I got about two inches of stitching out of it, but only with the needle threaded from the wrong side. I should have tested it with the original thread after moving the foot over, but I didn't. The thread does not lay in the groove very well, so even though it doesn't look much thicker, it probably is too thick. I'll go back to the original thread and try that again.

In the meantime, both the belt and the roller tire for the bobbin winder have broken- nothing I've done, just age. What a pain this is becoming :(

darryl
01-08-2014, 02:32 AM
Another update- ready for this? The spindle that carries the needle was in backwards! I'm surprised at this because the machine came from an Italian tailor who also repaired and sold these machines for a living. My sister got it from him and I inherited it when she passed. I had assumed that she used it, but it never would have worked for her like this.

I turned the spindle 180 degrees, put the needle in the way it looks like it should go, (groove to the right in this case), checked the position of the foot- removed the shim as it doesn't need it now that the spindle is in right. It sews!

Maybe unusual, but the thread goes in the right side of the needle on this machine. When I turned the spindle around, I had to guess at the height to clamp it at, since there's no mechanical provision to force it to the correct height. I used the end of the discoloration on the exposed part as a guide to where it should retract to. Maybe I got it right, maybe it's close enough, but it's working.

My clue came from the pictures I found on the net. All showed the needle clamp facing inwards, to the right. I guess I thought that it was correct as it was, figuring that this maybe was an earlier model and this is how it was supposed to be.

All through the testing, the thread from the bobbin never tangled or got screwed up. I did find the screw that adjusts tension on the bobbin- now I can play with that if need be. Maybe I'll try the heavier thread again now that the machine is working properly-

Yup, there she goes- I have a working machine! Thank you gents for bearing with me on this. Maybe I will start making aprons- shop aprons, that is!:)

Black Forest
01-08-2014, 03:27 AM
Another update- ready for this? The spindle that carries the needle was in backwards! I'm surprised at this because the machine came from an Italian tailor who also repaired and sold these machines for a living. My sister got it from him and I inherited it when she passed. I had assumed that she used it, but it never would have worked for her like this.

I turned the spindle 180 degrees, put the needle in the way it looks like it should go, (groove to the right in this case), checked the position of the foot- removed the shim as it doesn't need it now that the spindle is in right. It sews!

Maybe unusual, but the thread goes in the right side of the needle on this machine. When I turned the spindle around, I had to guess at the height to clamp it at, since there's no mechanical provision to force it to the correct height. I used the end of the discoloration on the exposed part as a guide to where it should retract to. Maybe I got it right, maybe it's close enough, but it's working.

My clue came from the pictures I found on the net. All showed the needle clamp facing inwards, to the right. I guess I thought that it was correct as it was, figuring that this maybe was an earlier model and this is how it was supposed to be.

All through the testing, the thread from the bobbin never tangled or got screwed up. I did find the screw that adjusts tension on the bobbin- now I can play with that if need be. Maybe I'll try the heavier thread again now that the machine is working properly-

Yup, there she goes- I have a working machine! Thank you gents for bearing with me on this. Maybe I will start making aprons- shop aprons, that is!:)

That's great Darryl! Now I think as a little thank you to all of us that tried to help, you should sew us all some thong underwear with our initials embroidered on the front! BF for me.:cool:

darryl
01-08-2014, 04:40 AM
Would you like that in asbestos cloth or rubberized fabric? :)

jdunmyer
01-08-2014, 08:55 AM
Darryl,
Be very careful about adjusting the tension on the bobbin holder. IIRC, the instructions that I read many years ago said that there is seldom a need to adjust that tension, do all of your adjusting on the top mechanism.

Watch your stitches to see if the tension is correct: the "crossover" between top and bottom threads should be in the center of your material, not on top or on bottom.

bruto
01-08-2014, 10:46 AM
Darryl,
Be very careful about adjusting the tension on the bobbin holder. IIRC, the instructions that I read many years ago said that there is seldom a need to adjust that tension, do all of your adjusting on the top mechanism.

Watch your stitches to see if the tension is correct: the "crossover" between top and bottom threads should be in the center of your material, not on top or on bottom.As I think I mentioned earlier, the best way I've found to get this right is to sew on an index card. Put the stitch length long so it doesn't shred the card, and it should sew nicely, with all centering due to the machine setting, and not to luck or fabric drag.

darryl
01-08-2014, 08:00 PM
I actually backed off the screw about 1/4 turn to suit the slightly thicker thread. Seems to work- both sides show just a single thread on the surface, no loops.