The Sewing Place

Machine Talk => Overlockers & Coverstitchers => Topic started by: RunsWivScissors on November 13, 2019, 13:27:37 PM

Title: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: RunsWivScissors on November 13, 2019, 13:27:37 PM
My overlocker stopped cutting, right in the middle of a project, at first I thought maybe the blades needed changing, but that didn`t fix it & when looking at the blade action, I am pretty sure that it is not right.

Shouldn't the upper blade pass over the lower one, like a pair of scissors? My upper blade is perfectly in-line with the lower one, so it stops when it reaches it & the top of the upper blade seems to stick up, but if I move it down the machine can't work at all, because the blade won't go down passed the top of the lower blade.  :S

Here are some pics of how it looks, I would appreciate if anyone could post some pics of theirs so that I can see what is wrong with mine. Thanks

https://imgur.com/a/HHFjM9K
Title: Re: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: Ohsewsimple on November 13, 2019, 16:11:42 PM
if the top blade is actually in line with the lower one, so hitting it rather than going down the side like a pair of scissors, id say you've done something to put something out of alignment and it might need looking at.  Difficult to say without really seeing the actual machine.
Title: Re: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: RunsWivScissors on November 13, 2019, 18:12:48 PM
Yes, that is how it looked to me too, though I am not sure how it could have got so far out of alignment, it was working perfectly fine & apart from running over a pin earlier in the day, nothing else happened to it.

I would like to see how the blades are supposed to look, when the upper one is at its lowest position, then I can try to figure out how it got to where it is now.  :S
Title: Re: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: Ohsewsimple on November 13, 2019, 19:18:50 PM
If you’ve run over a pin that could do it.  It needs going in somewhere to be put right.  It's a skilled job to set the knives properly.
Title: Re: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: RunsWivScissors on November 14, 2019, 07:18:59 AM
Success - I fixed it!!!  *happy dancing around the room*

Thankyou @Ohsewsimple When you said that it was possible that running over the pin had caused it, you gave me an idea - If the upper blade had hit the pin & it did not break it, (the pin was undamaged, which was why I had dismissed it), then the blade could not have gone down below the top of the lower blade, so the force from the machine's motor would have had to have gone somewhere else & the only place that could be, would be the arm that the upper blade is attached to, which goes into the motor. So I took a chance & forced the arm down a bit, it is clearly not designed to be moved & took a lot of pushing to get it to even drop slightly, but it would appear that was just enough, because after that I reset the upper blade (so that it did not stick out at the top) & it now overlaps the lower blade & stays overlapped even at its highest position & what's more IT WORKS!!!  I really appreciate your help & I am so happy that it is working again.  :D

Have a great day!
Title: Re: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: wrenkins on November 14, 2019, 08:19:24 AM
Good news @RunsWivScissors but keep a close eye on it in case it does needs fine tuning.

Now that you're here have a cuppa and chat in the cafe.  :drink: :cake: :)
Title: Re: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: Ohsewsimple on November 14, 2019, 10:40:06 AM
Oh that’s good @RunsWivScissors but as @wrenkins says, keep an eye on it.  If you’ve hit a pin there may be some damage to the blade and it might start chewing the fabric.  Put pins in parallel to the edge you’re sewing and remove well before you get to the blades.  Alternatively learn to sew without pins.  :).
Title: Re: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: Elnnina on November 14, 2019, 12:13:08 PM
I went on a couple of overlocking courses about 16 years ago now, and we were encouraged not to use pins at all when overlocking as the damage they can cause is enormous and very expensive.  So if your fabric will not stay together when overlocking why not run a line of tacking down away from where the overlocking stitches are going and this should hold your fabric together, and then it is easy to pull the tacking thread out when finished.  Let's face it a lot of our machinery is expensive, and some much more than others, so it really pays to look after our machinery and if it means not using pins, then that is the way to go.  Apart from the expense of having an overlocker repaired/serviced you could find that this will be away for a few weeks and then that can stall your sewing.
Title: Re: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: RunsWivScissors on November 14, 2019, 12:16:30 PM
Oh that’s good @RunsWivScissors but as @wrenkins says, keep an eye on it.  If you’ve hit a pin there may be some damage to the blade and it might start chewing the fabric.  Put pins in parallel to the edge you’re sewing and remove well before you get to the blades.  Alternatively learn to sew without pins.  :).

The blades should be ok as I changed them when it first stopped cutting, which was when I realised that was not the problem. Very good advice about pins though,  I actually have a rule never to use them with the overlocker at all, but I was switching back n forth between the sewing machine & overlocker & one slipped by me - I wasn't even looking out for them, because it shouldn't have been there, I won't make that mistake again - Famous last words hehe  :D
Title: Re: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: RunsWivScissors on November 14, 2019, 12:32:55 PM
I went on a couple of overlocking courses about 16 years ago now, and we were encouraged not to use pins at all when overlocking as the damage they can cause is enormous and very expensive.  So if your fabric will not stay together when overlocking why not run a line of tacking down away from where the overlocking stitches are going and this should hold your fabric together, and then it is easy to pull the tacking thread out when finished.  Let's face it a lot of our machinery is expensive, and some much more than others, so it really pays to look after our machinery and if it means not using pins, then that is the way to go.  Apart from the expense of having an overlocker repaired/serviced you could find that this will be away for a few weeks and then that can stall your sewing.

So very true,  I was getting seriously depressed that this was going to turn into a huge saga, I cannot begin to describe just how happy I was to see it work again, I was very lucky indeed!  :D

It does go to show though, even with a no-pin rule, things can still happen. There was a bang when the blade hit it & then the pin fell out, but everything seemed ok for a while after that, which is why I didn`t make the connection. All I can think is that the impact shifted things out of alignment and then it gradually shifted more and more as I carried on using it, until it just stopped cutting altogether.... That could have been a very costly pin!
Title: Re: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: Helen M on November 14, 2019, 13:31:54 PM
I'm a great believer (probably regarded as old fashioned, but so what !) in tacking. You can concentrate on the stitch rather than having more than half an eye looking to see if the fabric was staying put!
Title: Re: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: Elnnina on November 14, 2019, 14:59:28 PM
Helen M I am with you on tacking everything, okay some people may think this is a waste of time, but it isn't, and when you cut out your pattern pieces mostly they are on double fabric so they are exactly the same size, so when sewn together they should still be the same size, but sometimes the feed dog and the machine foot do not always marry up properly, so tacking solves this problem, and is essential when sewing plaids.
Title: Re: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: Vezelay on November 14, 2019, 16:34:26 PM
Unless it's easy to sew without pins I'll often machine baste in the seam allowance first.

My own sewing-over-a-pin episode resulted in a costly trip to Waterford for  a new blade. Easy to leave a pin in by accident though - I've had a few near misses.
Title: Re: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: Helen M on November 14, 2019, 19:37:04 PM
Unless it's easy to sew without pins I'll often machine baste in the seam allowance first.

@Vezelay  I've read about machine basting numerous times but can never quite figure it out. How do you do it? My machine is a Janome mechanical one with no special basting stitch, which I believe some have.
Title: Re: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: Ohsewsimple on November 14, 2019, 19:59:52 PM
@Vezelay  I've read about machine basting numerous times but can never quite figure it out. How do you do it? My machine is a Janome mechanical one with no special basting stitch, which I believe some have.

@Helen M lengthen your stitch and lower the tension right down.  Easy to rip the thread out afterwards. 
Don’t forget to put the tension back after.  :)
Title: Re: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: Vezelay on November 14, 2019, 22:41:20 PM
@Helen M like Ohsewsimple, I use the longest stitch. I don't loosen the tension though because I'd probably forget to reset it after  :|. I don't backstitch but I tend to use a similar colour thread to the overlocker and generally don't bother to remove it afterward as it's trapped in the overlocker seam. I machine baste my jersey garments a lot, especially sleeves, as then I can overlock with confidence!
Title: Re: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: Helen M on November 14, 2019, 23:15:58 PM
Thank you @Ohsewsimple easy and logical I'll give it a try!

That's a good idea for the overlocker too @Vezelay. The one I use is a 3 thread only machine so I seam then trim, but I have recently acquired a 4 thread one but prefer the old 30 year old one. I always like to try the garment before cutting away any excess.
Title: Re: Help needed with Overlocker blades
Post by: Ohsewsimple on November 15, 2019, 14:38:21 PM
@Helen M like Ohsewsimple, I use the longest stitch. I don't loosen the tension though because I'd probably forget to reset it after 

Hahaha.  Ok I wasn’t going to own up but yep, been there done that!   That’s why I thought it important to point it out.  ;)