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Elna Sewing Machine Repair
This fabulous Elna Stella Air Electronic is next on our list for service and repair. It hasn’t had an awful lot of use and looks to have been very well cared for – it’s usually the case with these ‘baby’ Elna’s. Even the old Elna Lotus is still sought after by eager sewing enthusiasts who hunger for something old, stylish and classy.

Elna Stell Repair
First job, as usual, is to strip the Elna of it’s covers and give it a good blow out with the compressor. Years of accumulated fluff, lint and thread is blown away in an instant.
Now we can see what we’re looking at!

Elna sewing machine gear
One of the parts that sometimes wears out on an Elna sewing machine, is the shuttle drive gear. Although this one is slightly dirty, none of the teeth are damaged or twisted, which is good news.
You can also see the feeder cam to the right of the gear. Again, a little bit of dirt but no damage or wear.

Elna bobbincase
This Elna bobbincase is a little bit dirty with a small collection of lint around it’s position finger and tension. You can never really see the whole picture though, until you take the bobbincase apart and have a good look.

Elna spoolcase

So, time for a bit of stripping. You can now see this Elna spoolcase in all it’s glory. More importantly, we can give all the components a good clean and make sure none of the tension springs are bent or damaged.
A common problem on all sewing machines is a build up of lint within the tension mechanism. Stripping the tension unit  is standard procedure whenever we service any sewing machine.

This Elna bobbincase has got a slight build up of rust on the position finger plate. A rub with some fine, oily emery paper and then a turn on the buffing wheel usually does the trick with this kind of problem. Rust is quite often caused by leaving your sewing machine in a damp environment. A conservatory with no heating can quite often be the culprit. Also, some of the flame retardent chemicals used on soft furnishing fabric can have a detrimental effect on raceways.

Elna balance wheel

Next step is to strip down and remove the balance wheel, another part of a sewing machine that collects dirt and loose threads. Quite often when we strip a sewing machines balance wheel we find yards and yards of thread, or even hair. Always be careful when winding a bobbin. Look out for loose ends of thread and girls with long hair should tie it back  – or wear a hat!

Elna balance wheel
The underside of this Elna balance wheel is lined with teeth. The drive belt is a toothed belt. The two fit together to provide a very smooth and positive drive. Another great feature of the Elna Stella sewing machine.  Anyway, all teeth are present and correct – ‘no fillings required this time’.

Elna Stella circuit panel
When we book in a repair, we take all the customers contact details and a list of any faults. One of the faults our customer mentioned with her trusty Elna Stella was an intermittent power supply. Her Elna would cut out whilst she was happily sewing away. Result – an unhappy sewer.
The Elna Stella Air Electronic has an unusual foot control. Basically, it’s an air pump that operates a diaphragm on an internal circuit board. You can see the board above. A few tests prove that all the components are working well.

Elna foot control
A close look at the Elna foot control ‘pipe’ and the fault is discovered. There should be a small valve on the end of this pipe. It’s rather conspicous by its absence. The user has maybe had a tendency to wriggle the pipe on and off the machine, and at some stage she has torn the pipe and the valve has come adrift.
Time to phone our customer and give her an estimate for the repair work. We always offer free estimates on all our sewing machine repair work. Our customer agrees to the costs and we carry on with the job.

Elna Stella foot control repair
We strip down the Elna foot control, give it a clean and replace the damaged pipe with new.
Elna stella foot control
Job done. Now you can see the valve I’ve been telling you about. A small, but important blighter that will keep this Elna Stella working well.

Elna motor
Next job on the list is to remove and check this Elna motor and check the drive belt. All the teeth are fine, none are missing or worn.

Elna commutator
The commutator is a little dirty on this Elna sewing machine motor. After prolonged use, all sewing machine motors develop a build up of carbon. The carbon brushes create this problem. If the excess carbon isn’t cleaned from the commutator it will generate lots of sparking. This can eventually burn out  segments of the commutator and you will need a new motor.

Elna motor
Luckily this Elna has been serviced on a regular basis and this Elna motor has been looked after and the carbon build up is only light. So a bit of attention with the usa brush and the commutator is clean and shiny once more.

Elna motor commutator
There we go. A clean Elna commutator.

Elna carbon brush
We’ve removed the carbon brushes from this Elna sewing machine motor. You can see one of them in the picture above. As time goes by the carbon brushes wear down. If they are not replaced before they wear out, the springs that push the brush against the commutator will come in to contact with the comutator and begin to cause damage.
So, the lesson today is, if you care for your sewing machine, look after it and have it serviced every few years. Your sewing machine will pay you back faithfully with a long and trouble free life.

Elna motor
This Elna Stella has a date stamp on the motor.  12th January 1983.

tea and cake
Man cannot live on sewing machine repairs alone. He needs a bit of tea and cake occasionally. Janet made this lovely sponge cake last night – it was delicious!!!
We receive around 25 – 30 private repairs every week from customers all over the UK. Quite often, we receive a sewing machine that needs a repair or service through the post, from some poor soul who unfortunately lives hundreds of miles away from our fanatastic store. Ah well, there’s more than one way to peel a banana! Just remember to pack your sewing machine well before you post it.

As you reclined into your seat on the airplane that flew you to sunnier/snowier climes, you may have cast an eye at those baggage handlers chucking and booting your new samsonite around a wet and filthy runway. It’s the same with your machine when it’s posted off for repair. PACK IT WELL dear girl, and we will do the same for the return journey.We also service and repair sewing machines from schools and colleges throught the Northwest region. Our workshop is never quiet.

tea and cake eaten
Aahhh! Time to carry on with this Elna repair.

lubricating this elna
After going through our service and repair checklist and resetting various mechanisms, it’s time for a little lubrication. You should always use superfine sewing machine oil on your own sewing machine. Do not use, engine oil, castor oil, olive oil or crisp ‘n dry etc. etc. All of which, believe it or not, we’ve discovered on lots of sewing machines over the years. Superfine sewing machine oil – only!
Phone the shop, speak to the girls and buy some. It only costs a few quid and they’ll even post it to you.

Elna tension unit
We’ve stripped and cleaned the top tension unit on this Elna. Now it’s been rebuilt and reset it’s time to sew off the machine and balance both tensions.

Elna sewing sample
We check all the stitch functions to ensure an even and balanced tension. We test the stitching on various fabrics from a medium weight calico, to a reasonably thick denim and then a lightweight chiffon. Faults we double check for are missed stitches, uneven stitches, looping and malformed stitches. This Elna is now producing a good quality stitch on a range of fabrics and our customer should be a very happy girl.

Elna serviced
The service and repairs to this Elna Stella are now complete. Faults located and corrected. All settings checked and reset. All functions tested. The machine has been lubricated, cleaned and test sewn. Another job well done.

Sewing machine repairs completed
We phone the customer to let her know her trusty Elna Stella is ready for collection and it is carefully placed on a shelf on our ‘done rack’.

Sewing machine repairs
Now – which sewing machine is next on our repair list!