Kenmore sewing machine tension control

Old 02-19-13, 12:02 PM
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Kenmore sewing machine tension control

I am not sure if the tension control on my model 1560 (old machine but works well: I think there is also a model number 148 on the tag, 15600) ever was quite right. I took apart the knob assembly and no matter what I try I can not get to anything other than moderate tension settings. I am wondering if anyone knows how to/what to look for with the various components of the tension control knob.

There are the disks which look fine, the plastic knob which is OK, 2 flat washers, 2 bellville washers and the 'gear' that the knob tightens to 'squeeze' the disks. And a cone shaped spring

It seems to me that once you install the knob, the spring is compressed even with no adjusting down the tightener knob. I cant get to no tension on the thread or even any tension other that moderate (too tight)

Any idea would be appreciated.
Old 02-19-13, 01:23 PM
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How do your stitches look? How do you know the thread tension is incorrect?

It sounds like you are talking about the top thread tension. First make sure that you are running the thread around between the two disks and is pulled down between them. The dial presses against a spring that squeezes the outer disk against the inner one. As you screw in the knob it squeezes the spring increasing thread tension. But most home machines do not have very high thread tension.

I don't know that machine but make sure the foot is all the way down when checking the thread tension or sewing. Many machines release the top thread tension when the sewing foot is raised.
Old 02-20-13, 08:45 AM
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I tried those things and it seems that with a '0' tension setting, it still takes a bit of tug to get the thread through the disks. In fact, I broke the thread a couple of times. I meticulously followed the manual to be sure I was threading the tensioner correctly. I ended up fitting a different spring with less tension/squish but its still not OK...

I got one more idea to try by fitting a washer and reversing the cone shaped spring.....
Old 02-20-13, 09:13 AM
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The tension assembly probably needs to be adjusted manually, to get it right.
I'm attaching a pic, which hopefully will help you somewhat. This is actually from a Pfaff I own, but should basically be the same.

That's a pretty nice machine you have. If you can't get it right yourself, it's worth taking it somewhere for repair. Don't toss it!

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