Adjusting the timing of an industrial sewing machine

My wife has an industrial sewing machine used for quilt making. Over the last few days it has started to act up. Last night and tonight I have been working on the machine adjusting the timing rather than doing any of my own project work. Not complaining just explaining.

One thing I will say is that sewing machines are bloody marvelous. The exquisite mechanical linkages, gears, and manipulators are ingenious. But also very finicky. Having to get the thread tension, and timing of the needle and hook just right is a pain. You have to remove an access panel and then loosen three screws to adjust the timing of the hook. The hook needs to pass through the scarf of the needle by just a few thousands of an inch and in a narrow angular range. And when you tighten the screws, it changes the position. Very frustrating. Too close and it “pings”. Too far and the thread gets mangled. Get to work on it more tomorrow. What joy!

What I don;t get to do is play with the new Sparkfun parts that came today as well as the PicKit-3 that came from Digikey yesterday. Perhaps I will get time on Sunday.

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2 Responses to Adjusting the timing of an industrial sewing machine

  1. Kathryn Munn says:

    Hi Skye,
    I also sew on an industrial machine! Love it! My problem is I have just moved house, and my beautiful old machine and she’s gone out of timing by quite a lot from what I can see. I only have limited mechanical understanding of these things and live in a rural town, so don’t have access to a sewing machine mechanic. Is it possible for you to post a photo of what correct timing looks like, with the needle down, on your wife’s machine so I can learn how to do this myself? That would be absolutely fabulous, and would get me out of a real bind! Thank you! It’s just I’m a really visual person!!

    • Skye Sweeney says:

      The way to time a machine will be different for every type. My wife’s machine is an A1 long arm quilting machine (has a very deep throat). I have no pictures and trying to get pictures would be very difficult as I have a hard enough time contorting my own body to see the needle and bobbin case.

      The only thing I can offer is that the finger on the hook needs to just barely clear (by the thickness of a piece of rice paper) the kerf in the needle at about the 1/3rd point from the pointy end. This is often done by loosening the set screws on the hook assembly and rotating it on the drive shaft as well as moving it in and out.

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