Let’s talk trouble!

Let’s talk about troubles of the longarm kind. I started having trouble with my thread while I was quilting, nothing major, just bits of troubles. Only certain threads would run nicely. Thread breaks more frequently than I thought I should have, the little everyday irritating stuff.

Earlier today I reached my breaking point and decided to call a friend for help and then walk away. After walking away, my mind kept going over and over all these little irritations and decided it had to be something in the tensioner or pigtail. And while the pigtail did have a slight wear slot in it, not enough to cause all the irritants.

Now before I go farther, you have to understand, I clean my machine regularly! But I decided to tear apart the tensioner in the off chance the felt pads were dirty. They weren’t. What I did find was a check spring as flexible as a slinky toy. And a bunch of gunk on the shaft.


Once they were changed and cleaned it runs beautifully.

Moral of the story, when I do my annual clean of the motor brushes, I’ll check the internal parts of the tensioner from now on too! Apparently they don’t last forever. Thankfully I had spare parts on hand and have now ordered another set of felt pads and springs to have just in case.

5 thoughts on “Let’s talk trouble!

  1. Glad you figured it out Judy! Tension issues cause way too much tension in the quilter! BTW, Cynthia, the kind of the longarm has nothing to do with whether you have felt in your tensioner – there are two different kinds of tensioners: one is a rotary tensioner that has felt disks that the thread rides on and the other is a disc tensioner which has two metal disks that the thread rides between. Judy has a rotary tensioner. Which kind you use is totally personal preference or the machine manufacturer’s preference.

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