Picture of How to adjust bobbin timing
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Sewing machines are surprisingly delicate pieces of machinery.  When the bobbin or needle gets pulled out of timing with the rest of the tool, the machine is useless and becomes a danger when the needle breaks.

In this Instructable I will show you how to adjust the bobbin timing on your machine.  For my example I will be using the Handi-Quilter at TechShop San Jose.

You will need:
A pair of thread nippers
A screw driver
A metric hex key set (if your machine happens to use it.  It might be all screws)
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Step 1: Take it apart

Picture of Take it apart
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First, remove the needle plate and run the wheel by hand to see where the needle is hitting.  This can give you a good idea of which direction you need to rotate the shuttle hook and shuttle race.

Step 2: How a Bobbin Works

Picture of How a Bobbin Works
Sewing machines are a mystery to a lot of people, but this website has a great animation that shows how a bobbin works.

There are 2 main parts that I will be talking about today

1. The Bobbin Case
2. The Shuttle Race/Shuttle Hook

The Shuttle Race is made of 2 parts.  The part on the inside is stationary, and the part around the outside rotates and grabs the thread as you sew (aka. the hook).

Step 3:

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Remove the bobbin case and loosen the lock bolts located behind the shuttle race so you can turn and realign it with the needle.

On the Handi-Quilter, there are 2 lock bolts which you can access through the access points on each side of the machine.  You might have to turn the wheel to get to each.

Step 4:

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Now that the shuttle is loose, turn the hand wheel until your needle is all the way in the down position and just about to start on the up swing.

Once you have the needle down, rotate the outside of the shuttle until the point of the hook is just above the eye of the needle.

It is very important that the inside of the shuttle stay stationary during this alignment.  It should be held in place by a prong coming out of the machine.
chellboy24 months ago

Thank you. You rock. Helped with myBrother XR7700

Basillex1 year ago
A great instructable! It helped me with the timing of my Adler 69, especially your note regarding the "prong coming out of the machine" which should hold the inside of the shuttle stay stationary. On my machine, the prong is on a removable part, which I took off during the attempted "repair". Then, naturally I got left wondering how to keep the inside stationary. Your 'ible helped me notice the prong and recognize its function, and all was well from then on.

There are plenty of advice and tutorials on the net about timing the hook, and I even have the manufacturer's service manual. But in all of them, I have failed to find this crucial little note on the existance and the function of the prong. Perhaps it might be obvious to somebody else.

Anyways. It is such small details that make great 'ibles. And this one will save me time and money in the future, as I believe I will no longer need to rely on a professional shop to set the timing of my machine! Thank you! :)