Longarm Maintenance Tip

While quilting on my longarm the other day I noticed my machine wanted to pull to one side when I was pulling it toward me on occasion. I also heard a scraping noise when I pushed the machine back to clip threads. So I pulled the machine into the parking position and started checking things out.

First thing I did was to clean the tracks and check the wheels for lint build up but that was fine. So I pulled the machine back and forth a few times to see what position it was in when the scraping sound was heard. Putting my ear close to the machine I could tell where the sound was coming from.

The culprit is pictured below! The bracket holding the magnet for the channel lock evidently loosened up enough to drag the magnet on the machine frame. Looking closely I could even see where it was dragging.

A quick fix with my hex wrench to reposition the bracket and we're back in business!

When we moved to our new house, we set up the machine in the basement. Unfortunately the floor isn't level and we didn't get the machine table perfectly level either. I think this caused enough vibration when the machine was running to loosen things up a bit. DH recently leveled the table for me and the vibration has stopped. So that may be another tip - if your machine seems to be vibrating more than normal, check to see if your table is level.
Another tip: Check the hopping foot from time to time to make sure it is secure. I broke a needle the other day while quilting with a ruler. The pressure of the ruler against the hopping foot made the foot move to the side and the needle came down and hit the rim of the hopping foot before I could push the stop button! Needle parts flying at your face is not something you want! The incident also threw the timing out as well as jammed the needle bar up into the sewing head. I had to get DH to help me reset that. The set screw was so tight from the bar being jammed up that he had to loosen a few other screws in order to reposition it. Luckily I still have the older steel needle bar so it wasn't bent.

I'm heading out to MQS tomorrow so my poor machine will get a break from me picking on it. I'm signing up for a maintenance class so hopefully I'll be able to avoid some problems in the future.


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