We had a Janome overlocker in for repair and service the other day. It was a Janome 134D. The customer mentioned that one of the faults was a tendency to snap two of the four threads, when she was producing 4 thread overlocking.
All repairs are booked in to our computer system. After this we attach a repair note to each machine that includes our checklist. We started off by stripping and cleaning this Janome overlocker. This involves removing most of the outer covers and then blowing away all the collected fluff, lint and threads etc. We use a high pressure compressor to make sure we reach every part of this Janome overlockers mechanisms.
This means we get a good look at all the internal mechanisms of this Janome Overlocker. No point just messing around with tensions if there is a problem inside the overlocker.
Of course, some people get a little sensitive if they see their sewing machine or overlocker full of fluff or lint. We take a different view. We like to see sewing machines & overlockers full of the signs of hard work. To us, it just confirms that the owner has been using their machine a lot and hopefully got their money’s worth.
This Janome overlocker certainly shows the signs of some hard work over the years. But like most Janomes, a good service will see it back on the owners sewing table before too long.
Looks like a lot of red thread and lint has built up in this Janome overlocker repair. Maybe the owner was overlocking red bridal dresses, or red evening-wear. Red riding Hoods outfit for a local theatre production? Who knows?
We turned a bay in our workshop into an area to use our compressor and buffing/grinding wheel. You can’t beat a good compressor to remove every last trace of fluff and lint build up. It would take forever using a small brush, and even then you can’t reach every nook and cranny.
One of the most important parts to check on any overlocker are the knives. Nearly every overlocker has two cutting knives. The bottom knife is fixed and doesn’t move up or down. The top knife does move up and down against the bottom knife to cut through the fabric as you overlock it.
Sewing over pins and thick seams will eventually take its toll on an overlocker knife, leaving it with a rough and pitted edge. These Janome knives are still in good condition. No pitting or burring is evident and they still make a nice sharp cut.
Another important component of any overlocker is the drive belt. You can see, despite our bright photo, that this Janome drive belt is taking everything in it’s stride. You should also note that this Janome drive belt is quite a sturdy type of chap with a good set of teeth. No signs of fraying or burning or any loose or missing teeth. We check the belt tension and just make a slight adjustment to take up a little excess slack.
Now that we have cleaned things up inside this Janome overlocker and we’ve checked the main shafts for signs of play or wear, it’s time for a little lubrication. A good quality, superfine sewing machine oil will do wonders, a little like adding miracle grow to the garden plants!
We leave the overlocker at one side of the workbench for any excess oil to drain away. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the mast. Most overlockers have some form of telescopic mast to hold the threads. Overtime the mast may develop a kink or even snap after too much rough handling. This can also be the cause of broken spool pegs. A fair few of the sewing machines & overlockers that come to us from schools & colleges have this form of damage. In this case, the mast is in good order and all that’s required is a bit of cleaning and a touch of lubrication.
Overlockers usually have two loopers. These loopers help to form the ‘stitch’ and their position in relation to each other, and the needles, is very important. There is only a small gap between the loopers when they meet and just as small a gap between them and the needles. It is possible to damage or even break an overlocker looper with over heavy use or lack of service. Happily, in this case both these Janome loopers are in good condition.
Another vital component of any overlocker is the needleplate and its stitch forming pin or pins. This Janome needleplate is still quite smooth and shows no signs of chips or rough edges where the needles may have taken a bite. Also, the stitch forming pin isn’t broken. If the stitch forming pin breaks or snaps, it will have an adverse effect on your stitching. Always check your ‘pin’ if your overlock stitching is looking a bit off form.
As well as the few points we’ve highlighted, our service/repair checklist includes 46 settings and tests to ensure we check and reset everything. This must be why so many people like to use Bambers to service and repair their precious equipment.We always fit a new set of needles every time we service or repair a sewing machine or overlocker. No point in all that work and then leaving the customers old, bent, cheap, unsuitable needles in. We like to use Schmetz needles because they are a top quality needle that will always produce good results.
At this point we have a good look at the foot control and cable. This Janome foot control shows no sign of any damage or wear and tear. The hinge pins, top cover and base cover aren’t cracked or broken. Inside, the rheostat shows no sign of burning or loose carbon discs. All the contacts are good and the cable or lead has no splits or breaks.
After replacing all the covers and resetting the tensions and check spring, it’s time for this Janome overlocker to be test sewn. We try the overlocking on a various fabrics from a mdium weight calico, to a heavyweight denim and finally a very ligh chiffon. A few more adjustments and this overlocker is almost ready. All that’s left to do is apply a final clean and polish and we are done.