Saturday, March 14, 2009

Being empowered by "You Have Nothing to Lose"

My trusty old Bernina 2000DE serger decided to break right as I was finishing up the last of the dresses on Friday (see previous post). I was serging the edges when there was a "kerchunk" (never a good sound in something mechanical) and the feed dogs stopped moving correctly. Everything else worked, but the feed dogs weren't feeding anymore.

I've had this serger for a long time -- 15 or 16 years, I think -- and haven't had a lick of trouble with it since now. But I knew its time was going to come sooner or later; the motor is starting to run a bit hot and at its last checkup, the mechanic said it's just a matter of time before it will give out. So I knew that an expensive repair on this machine wasn't going to make sense economically; it would probably be more than half the replacement cost (which is our usual benchmark for deciding whether to repair or replace an item).

I posted a message to the Creative Machine list, which was hosting machine maven McKenna Linn this week, and asked about serger repairs. She replied that she wasn't an expert on sergers, but that mechanical problems could usually be diagnosed by following the linkages until you found the problem. Well, I thought, why not? What have I got to lose?

So I started taking it apart.

Once I got the first few cover pieces off, I picked up the machine and tilted it to one side. I immediately heard a "rattle rattle" -- and spotted a loose piece in the belly of the machine.

Okay, that probably shouldn't be rolling around inside the machine. But where did it belong? So I got my engineer husband Bob to come take a look. After a few minutes of examining the serger, he spotted the place where two arms came together and the little piece slotted in. Now came the fun part: getting it back in place without breaking something new in the process.

The machine is entirely naked at this point; all the covers are off. In this view it's lying on its front; the grey frame is the base of the machine. You can see the gold-colored motor housing to the left of center. Here Bob is trying to maneuver the part back into place.

Success!! The red arrow points to the part now back where it belongs.

Then I had the fun part of fitting all the covers back into place, in the right sequence, and driving home the dozen or so little screws that holds them all together. Of course, I took advantage of it being in pieces to give it a darned good cleaning. No more lint!

Now I can keep this fabulous machine off the "injured reserve" list, and I've probably saved a few hundred bucks in the process!!

1 comment:

  1. Hooray--good save! I'm going to be in the market for a serger oneof these days. I dread the thought. Having to decide on a brand is time consuming, not to mention the learning curve of a new machine.


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