Friday, February 26, 2016
So I've been a Bernina owner since -- I can't exactly remember, but sometime in the 1980s -- and I don't believe I've ever taken the opportunity to look inside the top section of my machines. I didn't think you could even go inside if you wanted to. But this week I had an epiphany.
It started badly, when the top thread got itself terminally caught somewhere inside the tension disk/takeup lever area. There was a nice long end to it, so I got a good grip and pulled, but nothing happened. I moved the takeup lever this way and that way but nothing would dislodge the thread. And of course the mechanism is so well shielded that I couldn't see what was happening in there, just catch glimpses of the frayed end.
I contemplated having to take the machine in to Roy the Sewing Machine Guy (without whom my fiber art career would be a disaster) just to get that thread out, because you can't get inside a Bernina, can you?
Wait -- there's a screw in the middle of the side panel. Not an ordinary screw, of course, that might yield to one of my dozens of home screwdrivers, but a fancy six-sided-star-shaped screw. Trust Bernina to be fancier than your ordinary machine. Roy must have that kind of screwdriver, because he takes care of this machine.
Pouted some more. Then I found, in the back of a storage compartment at ankle level, the big plastic box that all the Bernina stuff came in when I bought it. A cute cabinet with doors and little drawers that is stashed away and totally empty because it's totally dysfunctional -- it falls over any time you try to access it with only one hand, and besides, its footprint, with those opening doors, is way too big for my sewing table.
But wait -- it wasn't totally empty. It held... a fancy screwdriver!
And while I was there, figured I might as well clean things up. Used my trusty sewing-machine-oil-on-a-QTip method and removed three QTips' worth of disgusting dirt and crud. Put it back together and I swear it runs more smoothly and quietly than it did before.
Resolution #2: keep that fancy screwdriver in a more accessible place and go in and clean the machine up every month or so.
Of course there's still the big question: why didn't Bernina just build this machine with a regular screw?