Thursday, April 18, 2013

problems with my Juki... Resolved!

Juki TL2010Q.... smooch!

Okay folks, I'm ready to dish.  I've had my lovely Juki TL2010Q for a good three weeks now.  Lots of sewing, straight line quilting and free motion quilting too.  Am I still in love?  Yes.  Has everything been perfect?  No.  Most relationships aren't.  I'm going to share all the hairy details here, hopefully for your benefit.  Here goes!

I shared before that the needle threader was an initial disappointment.  My lovely new sewing machine seemed temperamental in this department.   One helpful reader said to always make sure my needle is in the fully raised position and my presser foot down when using the threader.  I practiced under those circumstances and was able to thread using the threader by my second try and then, another day or so later, by my first try.  We went a full week with effortless threading on the first try every time.  Success!  I couldn't wait to tell you.

a Bad Night together

And then we had a bad night together. 

I set out to quilt the Starbright quilt with organic straight lines.  On goes the included walking foot... only, does this look right?

Walking foot not centered

See how the foot is not centered over the needle hole?  However, after checking carefully with the hand wheel, I confirmed that the needle would not strike the walking foot.  So, I decided to forge ahead.  All went beautifully for about 45 minutes of awesome, speedy quilting and then I noticed a different, clanging sound.  The clanging metal sound got louder.  I checked the hand wheel and confirmed that it was not turning easily - somewhere metal was grinding.  Gasp!  My poor machine.  I was so sorry to be treating her badly!

Grinding on arm

Close examination of the walking foot showed that the bar that goes around the needle screw was grinding on the needle screw itself instead of riding where it belongs.  You can see the nasty evidence here.  A defective walking foot, right?

Threader disfunction 

And then I went to thread the needle and my needle threader wouldn't engage.  Instead it just dropped straight down past the needle.  So sad.

Oh, and the automatic thread cutter started unthreading the needle.  Noooooooooo!  I love that feature.  Noooooooooo!  It had been working perfectly for weeks and was now unthreading the needle about half the time.  I noticed that my almost-empty, large Guttermann spool seemed to pop up and down sometimes when the cutter was engaged.   Could the thread be the problem?
An S.O.S. email to SewVacDirect.com came back with some very useful advice and happy news.  

on the Walking Foot

"The walking foot not aligning quite straight is an easy fix.  Just grasp the front edge of the foot and twist it slightly to the side and the presser foot bar should move into position as it should be. It's not a rare occurrence on any brand of machine for a walking foot to show a slight misalignment in the presser foot bar."  

Really?  I would have been hesitant to man-handle a foot that way.  But I tried it, and it totally worked! With that correction it looks like the walking foot bar is well clear of the needle screw.  Hurrah.

on the Thread Cutter unthreading the needle

"The issue of it unthreading with your large spools when they are almost empty is the thread is not pulling smoothly off the spool any longer. Adjusting the tension on the machine will have no effect since the thread is actually momentarily hanging up and stopping for a split instance as it tries to pull off the cone."

Folks, this is what I expected.  I switched to a new Guttermann spool and the unthreading completely stopped.  Right now I'm using Aurifil, which has the open spool top, with no problems.   I'll probably be buying more Aurifil since even an almost-empty Aurifil spool shouldn't give the thread cutter any trouble.

on the Needle Threader

"The needle threader issue is not one I have ever seen on a Juki TL series machine even as far back as the TL98 machines. But what has happened is the internal stop has moved upwards on the needle threader bar for some reason."

So, yes, it's broken!  Maybe I'm hard on machines?  Bad Rachel.  I certainly do sew A Lot.

"I am going to send you a new machine, that would be our normal response to nearly any customer of ours, due to you having the machine less than 30 days. We will also send UPS to pick up the machine you have now."  

Score!  SewVacDirect.com paid for shipping on the new machine and return of the old machine.  My new machine arrived yesterday, which is less than a week since I contacted them about my problems!  I just checked the walking foot and it aligns perfectly with the needle hole.  So we're off an stitching!  My goal today is to piece the first two rows of my Ziggy Strings quilt.

Juki problems & resolution

I am most definitely pleased with the service I've received from SewVacDirect.  If you have any questions for me, go for it! 

57 comments:

  1. good for you and I'm glad your company gives you such a prompt response. do you have the extension table for the machine? I can't imagine sewing without it.

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    1. Yes! This model comes with the extension table.

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  2. I had some of the same problems. Never did get needle threader to work. I joined the yahoo juki group. They were so helpful. So was the manufacturer but I got instant information from the group. I still LOVE my juki problems and all it is a workhorse

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  3. This is what I call a prompt and effective response to your sewing problems. I am glad, everything worked out so easily for you. Keep moving....(and sewing)

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  4. The problem with the almost empty Gütermann-spool (or other brands, too, who have a circle plate on each side of the spool) is not new to me, it happens over here, too. Someone said you could wind the rest of the thread on a bobbin and use this one instead. I don't know whether that helps or not because I didn't try it out. But maybe you like to.

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    1. Thanks! I think that would probably work in a pinch. Good idea!

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  5. It never is simple is it? Though I will say in my past year of research on these type of machines, at least two of those problems are the most common ones!

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  6. Your Juki is at the top of my list for my next machine. Thanks much for sharing your experiences with it!

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  7. Wow! That is great service! I'm glad you got your issues resolved!

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  8. I don't have a Juki, but a Brother PQ1500s that is nearly the same as yours. My threader stopped working after the year warranty was up. It wasn't the best threader. My Innovis 80 Brother computerized machine had an excellent threader though. The cutter on the PQ1500s works but half the time the thread un-threads out of the needle too. No rhyme or reason to it. Annoying, yes. I have a pin needle that I can set my machine to that grips fabric when sewing, so I use it instead of the walking foot. The walking foot works, but it's like yours and not an open toe, so it makes it hard to see when quilting.

    I live my Brother for the same reasons you like the Juki. It sews with ease, can free motion and stitch through thick layers with ease. I bought the very narrow foot as an extra foot because it's really great. I use it to sew zippers instead of the zipper foot too.

    Love how that ziggy string quilt is looking.

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  9. What a great customer service!
    I love you Ziggy quilt you are working on.

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    1. Thanks, Martha! I need to keep up on it. I've been a little house-directed lately =)

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  10. I'm so happy for you that it was all resolved!! Yay for Sew VacDirect!! It's so funny the timing of this post. I just posted yesterday about terrible problems with my Bernina and all the issues I was having. My local repair man came over and fixed it up- good as new, but I was asking him, based on your post when you got your Juki, about his thoughts on Jukis in general. He said they are really great, and said he thought, for as much sewing as I do, a second machine, a juki, would be a good idea. I was so glad he said it in front of my husband!!! I appreciate you sharing your experience with Juki for all of us to learn by.

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  11. WOW....that's what I call great customer service! I must say I WISH the needle threader on MY machie would work......but it broke on me ages ago! Oh well....one of these days i might look at getting it fixed! Christine
    - ChrisW Designs

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  12. Oh wow you have just answered / solved a problem I have with my walking foot. My needle threader works sometimes, I'm now off to investigate this one a bot more. Huge thanks for sharing your journey. hugs

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  13. Rachal, would you be interested in sharing this blog post at ImSewJuki.com? I'm looking for guest bloggers. The concept is Juki users blogging for each other and sharing their experience with the machines.
    You've got to tell me how you get such clear, detailed photos. You do an awesome job.
    Ramona

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  14. Awesome service. yay for them (and you!). I'm so happy you are happy with the Juki... I've been toying with trading my Janome in for one.

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  15. So happy for you all the issues worked out :-)

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  16. Thank you so much for the info. I just got a new machine after troubles and such. I ordered a Janome from SewVacDirect. They are wonderful to work with. Thanks to you for the referral.

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  17. Well, it's funny that you posted this today. I have had the same problem with my needle threader. It worked okay once I adjusted the needle and made sure the needle was up and the presser foot down. Then the last day I used it, it just came all the way down and didn't turn to the side. I have no idea what happened but it is 100% broken.

    When using my walking foot for straight line quilting over the weekend, it started making a squeaky sound. I diagnosed it to the walking foot since it stopped when I swapped feet. I actually oiled the foot since it seemed like that was the problem, and the noise stopped. But I am going to look closely at it when I get home tomorrow and see if maybe mine is aligned to the side as yours was.

    I've noticed that with the walking foot and doing straight line quilting using a SPOOL of thread rather than the CONE I was using at the beginning, the needle has started to come unthreaded for me, too.

    OMG we are like the Juki twins!

    However, I bought my Juki at Sewing Machines Plus.com (in San Diego, since I live in Los Angeles). I am going to call them tomorrow, and I really hope they will be as helpful to me as Sew Vac Direct was to you...

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    1. Ha, we are totally twins! I'm glad I posted this. How perfect! Definitely try a different and full thread spool to see if that fixes the unthreading problem. I know that was a big deal to me until I realized it was totally fixable =)

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  18. Glad to hear your new Juki is being obedient! BUT ... swoon ... just love the colours and fabrics used for your Ziggy quilt!!!

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  19. I have a much earlier version of this machine and I love it. I also have the same problem at the end of a spool or cone of thread and I have it with every brand. It's a small price to pay for a dream machine that has been serviced only once in 15 years!

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    1. Yes, I agree - it's something I could deal with. I figure I'll just avoid using the thread cutter when my spool is nearing it's end if that's what I have to do.

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  20. Oh my goodness. I have this machine and love it. HOWEVER, my walking foot is noisy and also not centered. I will immediately try and follow the same steps that you pictured above. Thank you so much. The needle threader, well, I am not as enamored of it so I am focusing on the foot! Thanks!

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  21. Hi, just discovered you. A free pattern, "Stitched in Color", came in an e-mail. I like, so I decided to check out your blog. I can so relate about connecting with a new sewing machine. My husband gave me a Viking Sapphire 835. I was not sure I wanted anything computerized and I so miss lifting my own foot up from the back. But after he did comparison shopping, this was the most economical one for me. Still in the learning process. Well I will definitely be checking you out more often. Maybe someday do your free pattern. (too many projects going). Love the backdrop picture, the beautiful materials and its colors. I think that is what a typical quilters room looks like. :) martha

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  22. It so wonderful to get good customer service ~ makes for coming back and recommending too. Good to know that SewVacDirect is such a great place to shop.

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  23. I told you SVD was great... love their service!

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  24. That is some of the best customer service I've ever heard of! wow

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  25. That's outstanding customer service - really good to know.
    As I've read about issues people have with their machines, one thought always comes to mind: it shouldn't be so hard.

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  26. That's outstanding customer service - really good to know.
    As I've read about issues people have with their machines, one thought always comes to mind: it shouldn't be so hard.

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  27. I am really sorry sorry sorry that I did not buy my Juki from the same place. I am having serious problems with my Juki, exact same model. I am not getting the help I need from my distributor, either. What to do?

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    1. Oh, no, I'm so sorry Deb! Try contacting Juki directly? That may help or try talking to someone higher up at the distributor?

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    2. Hmm, I must have a lot to learn. I thought Juki was in Japan. I feel like crying. That will not be helpful though.

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    3. Yes, they are in Japan, but they also have a headquarters in Florida for serving the U.S. market. So sorry, Deb!

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    4. So I emailed them from their Juki American website and received an answer back within about one minute, literally. The same day, I was on the phone with their technician, who walked me through the problem. Now, it will require a trip to the shop (tear tear tear) but it will be fixed, and at no cost to me. Now THAT is customer service and I cannot be happier! The technician, Elbert, is a JOY. How delightful is he??

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    5. That's great news!!! Thanks for reporting back.

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  28. Hi Rachel! I am about to order this Juki (your Juki) from Sew Vac Direct (mostly based on your review and experience with Sew Vac Direct) and I was just wondering how it is still doing? You've had it a little longer now...do you still love it? Thanks for your honest reviews and input!

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    1. I have not had a single problem since getting the replacement machine, as reported in this post. It's been a wonderful machine. I can totally recommend it!

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    2. Excellent news! I figured you would have reported anything further, but I thought I would ask. I get to order it this weekend! I am adding the 5 year extended warranty and I found a 10% off coupon online. :) I am so excited! Thanks again.

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  29. All of this talk about the needle threader not working over the course of the posts prompts me to write -- first time ever. I'm new to this and not sure about the political correctness of quoting another blogger, but here goes.

    On the "making rebecca lynne" blog (http://www.makingrebeccalynne.com/2013/05/sewing-machine-adultery-juki-tl-2010q.html) I read where using a size 14 needle with the Juki 2010Q can solve needle-threading problems. I'm pretty much a self-taught sewer, and wondered about using a heavier needle while machine quilting. Does anybody have any thoughts about this?

    This u-tube video is also helpful with its use and adjustments: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Xc8-rgntrI

    I'm in the market for a straight-stitch machine and like what I've read about the Juki. I'm really disappointed with my Brother 420PRW model (OK don't laugh -- my sister said just throw it out), it's really a wonderful machine with all of the great options -- thread cutter, needle threader, presser foot lever -- but when machine quilting it locks up when the tiniest bit of batting gets underneath. I've torn the thing down twice now and ready for a big-girl machine...

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  30. Just bought the same machine last month, and I love your advice about threading the needle, makes it so much easier! As to the walking foot, I too am having problems, which is how I found your blog. I have put in a call to the sewing center I bought the machine from - that clicking noise shouldn't be there.

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  31. Rachel, would you be willing to share how you deal with the maintenance of this machine? How frequently do you oil it? How do you oil it? I'd love to know!

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    1. Sure. I follow the directions in the manual to drop oil into 4 holes in the machine. You don't have to open anything to oil it. I used to do that fairly often, but it seemed like too much. Now I do that whenever I have to wind new bobbins (about every 3-4 bobbins). It is very easy to clean lint out from this machine because it opens a lot in the key places. It's easier to clean than the other machines I've used. Hope that helps!

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  32. Rachael: I bought the TL-2010Q last May. I have the same issue with the walking foot not being aligned with the needle. Can you be more descriptive about how to fix it. What does it mean to twist the foot? Thank you, Carole

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    1. This was quite awhile ago, so I don't really remember that twisting part, to be honest. If it doesn't make sense/feel right to you, it would probably be best to bring it to your dealer to have them make the correction or perhaps try a new walking foot?

      I will add that my machine has worked beautifully now for such a long time with no issues with the walking foot or thread cutter. I love it! Good luck.

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  33. do you ever have trouble with being able to adjust the tension on this machine. I loved the machine at first but after switching back and forth from quilting with the walking foot and piecing by thread on the back of the fabric just lays flat and isn't interlocking correctly with the top thread. I have adjusted the tension as much as I can and nothing changes. I have changed thread, needle, oiled, checked the manual and nothing works to change this. I bought the machine from someone else so I do not have a warranty also she didn't buy locally and I have no dealer to bring it to and see if they can get the tension adjusted. Any help?

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    1. Bummer! I have found the tension adjustment to be responsive. I do have to adjust it when I switch between different types of sewing, for example piecing vs. free motion quilting. It sounds like you need to bring yours into someone who can clean/repair it =(. Maybe try working with a mail-in repair service, like Sew Vac Direct, if there is no one you can physically take it to.

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  34. Just saw this post, Wow! Go Sew Vac Direct!!! What helpful, proactive customer service!

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  35. I read this blogpost before I ordered my TL2010 Q from Sew VacDirect. I had immediate problems when trying to use my walking foot in Dec. 2014--the fork would slide off the shoulder of the needle holder shaft onto the thread within a few seconds of sewing. This would knock the needle shaft back out of alignment as well as knocking the needle threader off. Needless to say, I was not happy about this (I was having zero problems with anything else). Sew Vac Direct finally believed me (told me no one else has these problems and this took about a dozen emails with pictures) and I sent the machine I had only had for 4 days back to them to fix. Five weeks later, they still had not returned my machine. It would probably still be there if I had not gotten insistent. I know it was over the holidays, but 5 weeks is too long. They fixed the needle shaft alignment and threader, but did not address what caused the walking foot to jam the machine in the first place (it would stall out the motor as well).

    I used my Jukito quilt two small quilts using FMQ, then decided to try the walking foot again. Within a few inches of sewing, I was encountering the same problem. Instead of calling SVD and getting told it was my problem, I called Juki America at their number in Florida. The techician I spoke to (Elbert) knew what my problem was immediately and said that he would send me a repair authorization and shipper to get it fixed. In addition to fixing what the walking foot caused, he is also going to be putting a washer to fill the threaded area and keep the walking foot from sliding over that direction. Just send it out this morning and have high hopes that this does fix the problem.

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    1. Thank you so much for this comment. I am having the same problem with my new Juki and the same problem with Sew Vac Direct. You are not alone : ). I would not have even thought to contact Juki America directly, but I sent them an email tonight and hope to talk to them tomorrow!

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    2. I am very bummed to hear this, but glad you ladies have a place to share, commiserate and hopefully find a way forward. Best wishes!

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    3. Sew Vac tried to make me pay for shipping it to them--I pointed out their written policy on their web page about service in the first 30 days being covered with their shipping. They eventually sent me a check to reimburse me, but not very happily. Juki OTOH, immediately told me I would be sent a return shipper by email once the Repair Authorization was complete. They did exactly that and I was pleased with their service.

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  36. I fixed the walking foot problem with a washer I made out of a button, I took a button and heated up a philips screwdriver end and melted a hole through the button. The washer goes in between the walking foot lever and the needle screw. It holds the bar over where it should ride! The noise goes away instantly! Now I have to get a bigger plate so I can use my #18 needles, I've been tweeking this machine for weeks trying to get it to do medium leather...although I'm starting to be able to do it, I bought the wrong machine...

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  37. Hello Rachael,
    I just bought a Juki TL2010Q from SewVacDirect basically because of your experience with them. From all the reviews from favorite blog sites I had decided on the machine but not where to purchase. I too put my presser foot on and it's not aligned sew the needle hits the foot. Just came back to your site to remember how to fix the problem. My question, which may be dumb, is; did you take the foot off the machine to realign it or leave it in place fix it. thanks, pat v

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    1. The foot was on the machine when we "tweaked" it to realign things. That was the walking foot that needed correcting; whereas, the regular sewing foot was already correct. If your machine is new, consider contacting SewVacDirect to alert them of the problem. Then, if things don't work out right you can have the machine replaced and they'll know it was not your fault.

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