what I make, thrifting and more

Hi, it’s a glorious sunny morning and I’m ready to tell you about my sewing machine adventure…

If you have a computer sewing machine like I have, you are not to open the machine any further than the manual says you can. If your machine is new and still has warranty on it : do not open it for you will loose your warranty. If you have no patience or if you have no technical skills : do not try to do as I did! You might damage your machine, bits could easily break off and you may never be able to put it back together again, or you could damage the electronics and it won’t work again.

But if like me you have a secondhand sewing machine with no warranty in place and no money for costly maintenance at a repair shop, be brave and have a go!

This is what I did with my brother super ace 3:

These are the materials I used: the screwdrivers that came with my sewing machine for the bits you’re allowed to unscrew and two regular screwdrivers for the bits they don’t want you to touch 😉 ; a very fine knitting needle to pick out lint and threads in difficult-to-reach places; tweezers for dropped lint/dust and dropped screws and putting screws back in place where it’s hard to reach with fingers; a paintbrush to pick up dust  and finaly sewing machine oil.

First you have to take out the bobbin and remove the needle. I suggest that you place everything you take off in chronological order on a table so you will know in which order to put everything back in place once you are done with cleaning and oiling your machine.

Then you have to remove the presser foot

This plate also has to be removed.

This side cover has to be removed as well.

To take the top left cover off where the lightbulb is you have to unscrew this screw in the back.

In order to be able to take the front cover off you have to take this bottom plate off, unscrewing these two screws is enough to slide it off.

To be able to clean the part where you thread your machine, you will have to take the screws off. I could’t find an easy way to remove it completely but turning the wheel will show how to loosen this bit. It has to be removed from behind the square metal plate at the top. You can leave it that way but be careful when moving the wheel later to not get this part stuck and damaged.

The top screw you see me unscrewing has to be loosened a bit to be able to take the front off later.

This bit covers the place where you adjust the pressure, it has to come off before you can take the front away.

Another little screw I couldn’t find at first, there’s a lot of calmly sitting and observing involved if you have never done this before in order to be sure not to damage anything.

At the back of the machine behind the handle was another screw to take away.

At the side where the wheel is located, there is a screw hidden behind a stopper. The side can be taken off now but be careful in doing so because there are plastic clips holding it in place.

Here you can see the belt and motor, you will have to check the belt for wear and tear and replace it if needed (take it with you to the shop if you want to replace it)

Almost ready to take the front off. Before that can happen there are three more screws to unscrew at the bottom of  the machine. This is where you will need your big regular screwdriver to unscrew the torkscrews. This is where they really want to discourage you and sadly I needed a man to use force on these. They were just tóo tight.

Be careful when you take the bottom plate off as it is also attached to the front and back  and has to be ‘wriggled’ loose without damaging the plastic

Now you are finally ready to take the top off. I found this the most difficult bit because there were still two plastic clips holding it firmly in place (see arrows) and they were very hard to get loose without damaging or breaking anything, so please be carefull and take your time to gently apply pressure with your screwdriver to get them to open up.

This is the machine taken apart as far as needed. The top will not come loose from the machine entirely, it will stay attached by the bits where the arrows are in the picture, be carefull not to pull or twist or you will damage the electronic bits of your machine. You can also see the printplates now and they shouldn’t be touched at all.

This is me blowdrying my sewing machine 🙂 In a repair shop they would use compressed air and you could also use canned air like they sell for computers but I think a blowdryer set on cold will work just as good. Once you have blown away most of the dust you can look inside to find the bits that haven’t been blown away and take them out with the brush, knitting needle or tweezers. Also take out the bobbin holder to clean it with your brush and a soft damp cloth. Especially look for dust and threads underneath the place where the bobbin holder sits as that is where I found the most lint and threads stuck on the moving parts. Clean every bit that you think is cleanable with a damp cloth, like the motor. And also clean every bit of cover you have taken off inside and outside and also the bits that are not so easily reached when the machine is put together again.

Once you are sure there is no more dirt in your machine, you are ready to apply oil to all moving metal parts. If you look carefully you will probably see tiny holes in most of these places to put the oil in. Use just 1 drop of oil! There is nothing worse than oiling too much, says hubby who, long long ago, used to have to repair clocks.

Once you have done all this and replaced all parts that were broken you can put the machine back together again. Just put everything back in place in reverse order.

Once everything is back in place you replace the needle with a new one and you are ready for testing the machine. I was very relieved to see all the lights back on !

And it works!

To test the machine I have filled up the scent cushion with lavender and sewn on a ribbon.

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