A question which we are often asked, in the shop, is “what do you do when you service a machine?” of something similar and sometimes, “How long does it take?” too. This is a very interesting question and not exactly a simple one to answer as the exact procedure varies from one machine to another. The short answer is probably, “Whatever is necessary.”.
JANOME MEMORYCRAFT 6600P DISMANTLED FOR SERVICING
Anyway, to elaborate on this, in case anyone is actually interested, I have thought about it and I shall try to give an account of all the things which may be part of a service that I would do on a machine which finds its way onto my work bench.
BEHIND THE FACEPLATE OF THE 6600P BEFORE & AFTER CLEANING
First of all I would need to find out if there is any specific fault with the machine, hopefully the customer has given some clue (e.g. It’s skipping stitches, it’s making a peculiar noise etc.) which has been written on the docket although it isn’t essential. I will still go on to thread up the machine and try stitching with it. This will tell me quite a lot about its working condition and any special attention it might need, even if it is actually worth proceeding with the job, or if there will be any extra cost or parts needed. If this is the case we would contact the customer before to get approval to go ahead.
REASSEMBLED WITH TEST PIECE STITCHED &READY TO GO
It is now time to begin dismantling the machines casing and/or covers to gain access to the working parts of the mechanism and to examine them to ascertain whether any of them are worn or damaged and therefore need replacement. When this has been done it will be time to proceed with the actual servicing of the machine.
THE ROTARY HOOK AREA OF A SINGER 201K BEFORE DISMANTLING & CLEANING
Obviously different engineers will have their own method but I, personally start dismantling the hook (Shuttle) and bobbin area. The shuttle/rotary hook will be thoroughly cleaned and examined for any defects. This will be polished and restored to remove any marks, notches etc. If its condition is too poor to be restored when it would have to be replaced.
Next I turn to the feed mechanism. Once again this is thoroughly cleaned and examined, before being lubricated and adjusted as needed. Anything which is either broken or worn out would, of course, need to be replaced.
BOTTOM ASSEMBLY OF THE 201K READY TO START WORK
I then move on to the lower shafts and other assemblies in the lower part of the machine. This is an area where a great of debris tends to accumulate, including fluff and fibres from fabrics and threads, old oil and grease and even broken needles, pins and glitter from metallic fabrics. I even find the odd insect or spider, or even mice. Usually dead! All this needs to be removed. An important part of servicing any machine consists of cleaning out old lubrication and dirt, before re-lubricating WITH THE CORRECT LUBRICANTS.
Next comes the top shaft assembly. This will be examined for faults and cleaned, adjusted as necessary, adjusted and then correctly lubricated. The ‘cam-stack’ assembly and attached mechanisms are included in this section. This section of the machine can be quite complicated, especially in certain models, and access to parts of it may be difficult. Therefore quite a bit of time may be taken in servicing it. Following on from this would come the ‘stop-motion assembly, the motor and belt(s) and the bobbin winder. These would, of course, be cleaned, adjusted and lubricated, and any worn out parts replaced as needed.
SINGER 201K FINISHED & STITCHED OUT
Next on the list comes the tension unit, which will be dismantled as necessary so that it can be examined for faults and wear. Sewing threads are amazingly abrasive and can wear grooves in tension parts, particularly if they run continuously in one position. This is less likely to occur in the better quality machines but is possible in any model. Any damaged parts can usually be restored, if the damage has not got too bad, but if it has been left too long replacement would be needed. The assembly will be reassembled and adjusted but this is a part of the machine which is not normally lubricated in any way. The thread and any oil/grease should never be brought together. However in some cases there are certain parts of the unit which must be lubricated whilst others must never be. The engineer will know!
The last main part of the machine which requires attention is the needle and cloth presser mechanisms. This includes the needle bar and its driver and sing assemblies, and the presser bar etc. (on machines with dual feed – e.g. Pfaff IDT, Janome Accufeed etc. – this will be included in this area). This part of the machine can be really messy. I have sometimes found about half a reel of thread wrapped around this mechanism and there can also be a lot of fluff and dirt. All of this needs to be removed, which can involve quite a bit of dismantling. Attention to lubrication of this area is of considerable importance. It is essential that there is sufficient, as this area is subject to considerable wear, however if too much is applied it can easily get on the work. If the machine’s timings are out of adjustment this is when I would set them.
JOHN LEWIS BRAND JANOME STRIPPED DOWN
Now it is time to reassemble the casing of the machine,make sure the plug is properly wired, make sure the correct rated fuse is fitted and carry out the Electrical Safety Test (usually called the PAT test).
SHUTTLE HOOK AREA OF THE JOHN LEWIS MACHINE BEFORE MY MINISTRATIONS
I would then wind a bobbin, fit a new needle and thread it (with good quality thread, of course) and test the machine with a range of its stitches. Any final minor adjustments will be made, if necessary to ensure correct stitching, the machine wiped over and the docket made out.
JOHN LEWIS MACHINE READY FOR THE COVERS TO GO BACK ON
I should point out that this is a general description of what a service entails. The order which in these procedures are carried out can be slightly different from one machine to another owing to differences in construction.
THE SINGER 201K BACK IN IT’S CASE READY FOR THE CUSTOMER TO TAKE HOME
It is probably obvious from this description that all this takes quite a while, about three hours or so, but it is worth it as the machine will work better for it and, if it is serviced regularly, it will also last longer.