Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Fixing My Sewing Machine

Fixing the bobbin pin drive mechanism of my (yes, my, not my wife's) brother sewing machine

Difficulty Level (Easy, Medium, Hard, Insane):

The final stage of my Backyard Sun Shade Pergola project required me to sew the shade cloth to size which wouldn't have been a problem except for somehow my sewing machine stopped working. For those that don't know how to use a sewing machine, there are two places where the thread goes:

1. At the top on the actual spool
2. At the bottom in the bobbin

So when I wanted to transfer some of the uv-resistant thread to the bobbin, I put it on the bobbin pin, engaged the machine and although I could hear the machine spinning, the actual bobbin didn't spin.

After some investigation I found that somehow (and this is really weird), the rubber wheel that made a connection with the drive gear seemed to have melted off. I know it didn't actually melt because the machine never got hot enough. It almost looked like the rubber of the wheel was dissolved and dripped down into the machine. It was very sticky and gooey, kind of like asphalt. Because of that, it wasn't making proper contact with the drive wheel anymore and prevented me from filling up the bobbin with the thread I needed to sew the shade cloth.

The trickiest part was to find all the screws that held the two halves of the machine together, take those apart and then remove the drive wheel.

Once I had the bobbin pin out, I found a rubber seal/gasket that fit from one of my multi-purpose gasket kits, slipped it onto the bobbin pin and put it all back together.

After the two halves were separated
The bobbin pin from the top
The rubber wheel that somehow dissolved or melted
A close-up of the bobbin pin rubber wheel
Once the bobbin pin was removed
The rubber washer I put on the bobbin pin
A close-up of the new rubber "wheel"
Once the bobbin pin was installed again
Sewing the shade cloth for my backyard sun shade (link at top)
Close-up of the sun shade being sewn

Philips screwdriver
Flat-head screwdriver
Needle nose pliers

1 rubber gasket


1.5 hrs

Not sure, but probably at least $100 bucks

Works like a charm and the shade cloth is now all done


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