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iowa

trouble with singer 281

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When I was using it last it was running like a champ until I slightly bent the needle going through several layers of cordura.

Had to get new needles and now it'll work ok for an inch to six at a very slow pace but as soon as it picks up any speed it frays and breaks the top thread.

Any suggestions on what I might have screwed up?

Keith

''Always do sober what you said you would do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.'' - Ernest Hemingway

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This sounds like a silly question but since I've pulled this stunt, I'll ask - Is the needle in backwards?


iowa

When I was using it last it was running like a champ until I slightly bent the needle going through several layers of cordura.

Had to get new needles and now it'll work ok for an inch to six at a very slow pace but as soon as it picks up any speed it frays and breaks the top thread.

Any suggestions on what I might have screwed up?

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It's in as shown in the manual, all the way up with the long grove on the left [opposite the clamping screw].

The new needles don't have a flat side on the shank like the one that was in it when we got it.

I just compared the original with the new [special order for this machine and size wanted]. The old needle is only slightly bent at the tip and has a flat side on the shank but only a short groove on the left.

The new ones have the long groove like what is shown in the manual. They also look to be about 1/16'' shorter.

Keith

''Always do sober what you said you would do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.'' - Ernest Hemingway

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You may want to check your timing/needle bar height.

If the needle bar slips (up) when the needle was jammed , the kerf of the needle will be below the hook. The result is thread shredding as there is no space between the needle and hook for the thread loop to form. Kind of the same result as putting a needle in backwards.

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Apparently I need some education on sewing machines.

I don't know what a short scarf is.

What I know is that it worked great until I bent the needle.

Should I take to a repair shop? That's a real pain with the oil bath and the size of it.

Keith

''Always do sober what you said you would do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.'' - Ernest Hemingway

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I have no idea what kind of services are available in your area but many of the repair guys are mobile.


iowa

Apparently I need some education on sewing machines.

I don't know what a short scarf is.

What I know is that it worked great until I bent the needle.

Should I take to a repair shop? That's a real pain with the oil bath and the size of it.

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chuteshack

check the hook for burrs



My money is on this one. If the needle was deflected, then there is a high chance that there was a strike on the hook and it doesn't take much at all to start shredding thread.
"I may be a dirty pirate hooker...but I'm not about to go stand on the corner." iluvtofly
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***Apparently I need some education on sewing machines.

I don't know what a short scarf is.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Scarf is another word for groove.
Most sewing machine needles have a long scarf/groove just above the hole. This horizontal scarf/groove allows the hook to catch the thread.

The long scarf is on the opposite side - away from the hook. The long scarf allows the thread to slide through the fabric with a minimum of friction.

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Quote

The new needles don't have a flat side on the shank like the one that was in it when we got it.

I just compared the original with the new [special order for this machine and size wanted]. The old needle is only slightly bent at the tip and has a flat side on the shank but only a short groove on the left.

The new ones have the long groove like what is shown in the manual. They also look to be about 1/16'' shorter.



The cause of the problem and the answer to it are both right here. The flat sided needle that was working in it should not work. They are 15x1 domestic machine needles like your mother's machine uses. You can get them at Walmart.

Someone has set the machine to work with them by changing the needlebar height and then re-timing the hook. If you do that you can make the machine sew, but not properly because the feed timing can't be adjusted and it all needs to work together.

Because a longer that normal needle was used the feed dogs started moving the fabric before the needle was out of the material. That's why the tip got bent. If you just sew thin material you can get away with it. But when you go to sew thick items the needle will either enter too soon or leave too late.

You need to get the service manual and learn to reset it. You start with the needle bar height, then the hook timing. After that your 281 will be the high speed shirt factory machine it was designed to be. Not that great for rigging work, but something good for you to learn on.


Ken

Here is link to the manual you need

http://www.parts.singerco.com/IPsvcManuals/281-1_3_21.pdf
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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