The Sewing Place

Sewing Machine Tension issue

Tim Sr

Sewing Machine Tension issue
« on: January 12, 2020, 08:47:20 AM »
I have come across something that does not make any sense to me, that is "if" the machine is working "properly"... I think. Maybe this is what I should be expecting though, yet is only on this machine and not my other one. I have to preclude this with it may be an issue yet what ever magic is at play here I am happy with this outcome.
This is my Husqvarna 120, and it does not matter if I use cotton or poly thread, lightweight or heavy. I am getting a nice stitch as far as tension goes, (see photo) but I thought that if I adjusted teh tension, it would change the balance of the top to bottom threads causing one to be pulled more to the opposite side. I put red thread in the top and black in the bobbin for this test, then changed the tension dial from 0 up to 10, 5.5 is the factory dot recommended setting. The result is the same no matter what the setting is. I get the same balance between stitches at 0 or at 3 or 5.5 or 10. No change. I compared the result to the Brother machine, and the Brother does change as expected, getting a pull through from one side to the other, dependent on the tension dial what side. If top tension is high then the lower thread is pulled into the top and vice a versa.
The Husq 120 has an issue then I believe, yet gives a great stitch. I am not ready to fix something that works just to have the give and take unless it becomes a problem. So I am asking the experts to offer their thoughts and opinions here. I can not say comparing the 120 to the Brother is apples to apples, as the 120 is not computerized, the Brother is.
Thank you in advance
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Tim
Sew it up, Rip it out, Sew it up, Rip it out, Sew it up...check the pattern..Rip it out!

Efemera

Re: Sewing Machine Tension issue
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 09:09:25 AM »
The balance is not right..the top tension is too tight...the only other thing you might try is tightening the bobbin tension.

Bodgeitandscarper

Re: Sewing Machine Tension issue
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2020, 09:18:52 AM »
The top row of stitching, is that with black in the bobbin and red in the top thread?  And the bottom row the same?
If so, then it does show a real difference in the thread balance, with the top one showing the red (top??) thread being loose, and the bottom picture showing the red thread as tight.

StitchinTime

Re: Sewing Machine Tension issue
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2020, 09:55:45 AM »
What type of fabric were the samples stitched on and was it single or double thickness? It s a bit difficult to tell from the magnification of the photos. A single layer of thin fabric can be too thin to hide the “loop” of thread.

When you were changing the tension on the Husqvarna, did you lift the pressure foot between each change to “reset” the tension disks so to speak?

Celia

Re: Sewing Machine Tension issue
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2020, 10:09:44 AM »
It looks like the tension disks are stuck in one position this may be because the springs that hold them need cleaning or replacing, a quick service should be able to sort that out for you.

Tim Sr

Re: Sewing Machine Tension issue
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2020, 17:38:41 PM »
Ohh good THANK YOU!
@Efemera  yes I am and have pondered this idea, but I be a bit o'fear yet messin with that little thing. I may try that though. I am not sure why I am so hesitant to change the bobbin tension, it is funny since I would take the whole machine apart with no reservations if needed. I did  a google for bobbin tension, and ManSewing shows a nice way to test the bobbin tension, by holding the thread and try to lift the bobbin with the thread. It should lift and with a little yo-yo like motion drop down again. This bobbin does that with a very light yo-yo test. It will begin to drop if I raise it up higher, and stops if there is no movement. I would have to describe this as if it is floating in air, and any movement causes it to change.

@Bodgeitandscarper   Yes The black is in the bobbin and the red is the upper thread. I should have left the pictures separated rather than combine them. The top image in the picture is the back side of the fabric and the bottom one is the top side. I also should have said that the image represents all of the tensions chosen

@StitchinTime  I am using some scraps from a bed sheet, 200 thread count 60% cotton, 40% poly. I did this with a single layer and I did not think about the loop hiding between. I need to re-run this test using 2 and 3 layers each. I also need to do the raise the foot between the changes.

@Celia  I am thinking this being stuck as the issue. I did try feeling the tension on the thread as I pulled it through the tension plates with the presser foot down, and as I pulled the thread through I ran through the dial 0-10 and I could feel a change from one end of the dial to the other.

I am learning, and beginning to see some things I should be watching for. I will run this test again but I will use separate scraps for each tension tried. I will run both 2 layers and 3 layers for comparison.
I did clean everything before running the test, using dental floss through the tension plates and through the thread path.
I would imagine the springs on the tensions plates are tired and need replacing. I am just amazed that if this is the case I am seeing worse problems...yet.
I will post new images better identified after re-doing the test.
Thank you again for the input and getting me on the right track here.

Tim
« Last Edit: January 12, 2020, 23:36:07 PM by Tim Sr »
Sew it up, Rip it out, Sew it up, Rip it out, Sew it up...check the pattern..Rip it out!

Tim Sr

Re: Sewing Machine Tension issue
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 03:24:43 AM »
Update to the issue.
I did another cleaning and found the small hair spring behind the body where you can almost not see this, filthy! so cleaned this with Denatured alcohol and a syringe. It helped but, the problem is not resolved. @Celia as you stated the tension discs might be stuck in one position. Yes! Sort of. The little spring does control the plates for small variations, I spoke to the Husqvarna shop near here, had a good chat with the technician/owner and he knew of this problem with the 120's. Again the cost of repair will exceed value, and price of a new machine. The good news was he has and sold me both springs, spare set of pressure plates and a set of belts, and I will have these in a week'ish. He thinks he has a bobbin case as well, and will throw that in if so. He did say that the bobbin case could be the whole issue as well.
For teh age of the machine, it will get the new parts, I can do the $$$ labor and see this machine back to tip top shape. "Determination"

Tim
Sew it up, Rip it out, Sew it up, Rip it out, Sew it up...check the pattern..Rip it out!

jintie

Re: Sewing Machine Tension issue
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2020, 07:26:17 AM »
Tim, I used bright nail varnish on the bobbin to mark the current position of the screw, before I turned it. Then I could turn it back if the adjustment didn't work.

Greybird

Re: Sewing Machine Tension issue
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2020, 08:59:20 AM »
Glad you were able to get the parts to fix your machine @Tim Sr . If the part had been available to fix my 190 when it died I would be happily using it still. Well worth the effort.

Celia

Re: Sewing Machine Tension issue
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2020, 09:27:26 AM »
Good to hear this Tim, I have worked on a few old Husqvarnas and they are great machines, you are lucky to get the parts