Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tratem bem das vossas máquinas… – Take care of your SM and Serger…

…e elas farão o mesmo pelos vossos trabalhos de costura!
… and they will do the same for your sewing work!

Hoje vou falar um pouco da manutenção da máquina de costura e da corta-e-cose. É um aspecto que às vezes tende a ser descurado e a sua influência na qualidade da confecção é tremenda!
Today I will address the subject of the SM/serger maintenance. This is something that sometimes is forgotten and yet it is very important if you want to keep your machine running smoothly and avoid unnecessary visits to the repair shop.

As máquinas de costura e principalmente as corta-e-cose acumulam muito cotão e devem ser limpas com regularidade. Este trabalho não custa nada e não se deve ter receio de abrir as “entranhas” da máquina e dar-lhe uma boa limpeza, além de as olear! Adquiri o hábito de fazer isto sempre que acabo um projecto e assim evitar uma série de problemas, além de prolongar a vida das máquinas.
The Sewing Machines and specially the sergers tend to accumulate lint inside while sewing and should be cleaned frequently. This is an easy task and you shouldn't be afraid of using a screw driver and explore your SM "insides". This is necessary if you want to clean the inside mechanisms and oil your SM.

A máquina em que a limpeza e o olear frequentes é mais crítica é a corta-e-cose; para vos dar uma ideia, vou mostrar uma foto dos mecanismos internos da máquina depois de apenas um projecto simples e rápido (o top de bordado inglês):
The process of cleaning and oiling the machine is critical if we are dealing with a serger; to give you a glimpse of what I'm talking about, here's a picture of my serger's mechanisms and cutting blade after finishing the eyelet top (which was a quick project, btw):
Impressionante, não é? E o algodão não é dos tecidos piores! É evidente que a corta-e-cose perde performance se continuar a funcionar com este lixo todo nas engrenagens e na lâmina de corte!
Impressive, isn't it? And cotton is not the worst case for lint production! Obviously your serger will decrease its performance if you keep running it dirty as it is!

A melhor coisa que comprei há tempos foi um conjunto de acessórios que se adaptam ao aspirador doméstico e que servem para aspirar pequenas áreas de difícil acesso, incluindo as engrenagens das máquinas de costura, teclados e interior dos computadores, etc. São fornecidas um conjunto de ponteiras (escovas, pontas finas, etc.) e peças de ajuste a qualquer aspirador. Se fizerem uma procura por “mini vacuum attachment set” no google ou no Ebay, encontram de certeza fornecedores para estes acessórios.
My best buy was this mini vacuum attachment set, a set of mini tools that can be used together with a vacuum cleaner to vacuum small and hard to reach surfaces, like the inside mechanisms of a SM/serger or even the insides of a PC or its keyboard. It has a set of small accessories like mini-brushes that will make your job a lot easier. If you google search for "mini vacuum attachment set" or search it in Ebay, you will find this for sure.
Depois de aspirada (não esquecer de retirar o pé calcador e desaparafusar a placa para aceder melhor à área por baixo do arrasto), a corta-e-cose deve ser sempre oleada. Esta máquina trabalha a uma velocidade muito superior à da máquina de costura convencional, por isso necessita de mais óleo. O procedimento de limpar e olear deve ser feito depois de cada projecto concluído.
After vacuuming the serger (don't forget to remove the presser foot and the plate underneath it, so you can reach the area below the feed dogs), it's time to oil it. The serger runs at higher speed than a regular SM so it needs frequent oiling. The procedure of cleaning/oiling should be repeated after each project completion.

Quanto à máquina de costura, o procedimento de manutenção frequente é limpar a zona da bobine/canela. No final de cada projecto desaparafuso a placa que protege esta zona (tiro primeiro o pé calcador) e retiro a caixa da bobine, Uma boa aspiradela e é só colocar tudo no sítio! Quanto a olear, nestas máquinas não é preciso fazê-lo com tanta frequência, mas depende sempre do uso que dão à máquina. A maquina “queixa-se” quando precisa de óleo (faz um ruído metálico ao coser) por isso nessa altura consultem o manual e usem apenas o óleo recomendado.
As for the regular SM, the frequent maintenance procedure is to clean the bobbin case and the surrounding area, mainly the feed dogs mechanism. Remove the presser foot, unscrew the plate and remove the bobbin case so you can vacuum all the lint inside. As for oiling, a regular SM needs it time to time but you don’t need to do this as frequently as for the serger. The SM will "tell" you when she needs oiling (a metallic sound when running); consult your instructions manual for instructions on how to oil your machine. Use only the recommended type of oil. Há outros procedimentos que se devem fazer com alguma frequência, como limpar os discos tensores (podem usar um pano de algodão fino e passá-lo entre os discos). O pino onde fica o carreto das linhas também deve ser limpo com álcool para retirar a acumulação de cola resultante das etiquetas dos carrinhos. A máquina deve ser tapada quando não está a ser usada, para não acumular pó.
There are other cleaning procedures that you should perform from time to time, like cleaning the lint from the tension disks (you can use a thin cotton cloth and slide it between the tension disks). The spool pin should be rubbed with alcohol to remove any glue residues left by the thread spools' labels. The machine should be covered when not in use to keep it from dust.

Até à próxima!
See you soon!

PS – Não se esqueçam de desligar a ficha da máquina enquanto a limpam!
PS – Don't forget to unplug the machine while you are cleaning it!



8 comments:

dawn said...

This is a great reminder! My machines take a lot of abuse and I have to bring in the SM at least once a year to get cleaned and oiled and it sounds so much better afterwards. In b/w I clean it with a child's paint brush. A makeup brush would would well also.

My machine has taken so much use that the plastic where the thread curves around on its way to the tension disks, has 1/4" slits in it. I'm currently waiting for a part from Germany to replace it and in the meantime have covered over the slits with painter's tape! Ah, for the old metal machine housings.....

mirela said...

I use an air pressure spray like the one for cleaning the keyboards and a paint brush together.

I also have a Singer serger the Quantumlock and a brother sewing machine.

On the serger, do you only oil those 3 spots the show in the book?
Do you unscrew the keyplate for the serger after every project?

On the Brother, they say in the book just to oil that rotating part under the lower thread, like in your picture, right?

I think all the other parts are already oiled in some kind of Vaseline that is supposed to last forever...

Adrienne said...

Great advice! My machine is still under warrenty and its at the shop now getting cleaned. I pick it up in a little while.

Erica B. said...

Great post. I too use a an air pressure can... works like a charm!

Discovery Toy Mom of 3 said...

I love my little vacuum attachment. I try to remember to use it to clean my machines after each project. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Last night when I was sewing I had to pull it out because my serger just wasn't running correctly. I cleaned out all the lint (and there was a lot) and then my machine worked perfectly again. Cleanliness has such an effect on the performance. Thanks for the reminder of how important it really is! I love reading your blog. I always learn something new!

Tany said...

Dawn: I see why your SM gets a lot of ab(use), lol. These newer models are not as sturdy as ne older models; I would bet those were capable of running under water if needed!

Mirela and Erica: An air pressure can sounds like a good idea too! I will try that in the future!

Mirela: On the serger I oil those 3 spots plus any axel subject to movement; It's a good idea to ask your SM dealer for instructions on how and where you should oil the machine because manuals aren't always accurate; the manual for the Huskystar doesn't mention oiling(?!?!?) so I asked the dealer for instructions; They told me to oil the axel inside the SM "head" (the one responsible for the needle movement) and they didn't mention the spot under the bobbin... I will have to look into that. As for that kind of vaseline, I know what it is but I don't know the English name for it; you can find it at any car shop. My experience says that nothing lasts forever and I think they will "refill" the vaseline when the machine is in for anual maintenance...

Tany said...

Discovery Toy Mom of 3 Thank you! And thank you again for sharing your personal experience!

Vicki said...

Thanks for the reminder Tany! My Janome sewing machine is not to be oiled. But my overlocker/serger needs it all the time!