Cleaning the Serger


After a bout of dressmaking, a serger can fill up with fluff!  I find it best to clean it out after every project (and in the middle of bigger ones!) to avoid expensive trouble later...  Here's how I did it this time.


fluff.jpg (79391 bytes) This is particularly staticky, clingy fluff!  There was enough on the outside...
  ...but even more on the inside! insidefluff.JPG (125924 bytes) 
footfluff.JPG (99081 bytes)  stitchplarefluff.JPG (94260 bytes) The foot came off, and the stitch plate - both were very fluffy!
Under the stitch plate was fairly noxious, as was the view through where the free arm usually sits.  All this had to be removed. underfluff.JPG (141802 bytes)  morefeearmfluff.jpg (67407 bytes)
lessfluff6.JPG (122819 bytes)  gluffbehindknives.JPG (305122 bytes) The upper knife got turned down out of the way, revealing yet more fluff!  This isn't a particularly bad infestation, either!  At least we can SEE the mechanism!  I have had fluff so thick that the loopers were completely invisible.
I like to use the vacuum cleaner: some people recommend canned air, but as far as I can see, that has two BIG disadvantages:

The first is that you can all too easily blow fluff and other debris further into the machine, into nooks and crannies where it can jam things and cause problems of a mechanical nature, or settle on electronics, causing a fire hazard or electrical shorting.

The second is that canned air comes out cold, and can cause condensation.  If left, this can rust metal pars and cause problems for electrical and electronic problems.  Let's face it, you wouldn't keep the machine in the cold damp atmosphere of a garden shed or the fridge, would you?  Why induce these conditions with cold compressed air?

hooverfluff.JPG (107128 bytes)  outsidedefluff.JPG (177948 bytes)
noneedle2.JPG (31345 bytes) Removing the foot is good, but removing the ankle and the needles allows even more access, and at the end of a project you are going to discard worn needles and replace them with suitable ones for the next one.
Testing the knives: lay a piece of thread over the lower knife, turn the hand wheel slowly, and see if it gets snipped.  If it doesn't, the knives might need changing or adjusting. snip1.jpg (78538 bytes)  snip2.jpg (43514 bytes)  snip3.jpg (43801 bytes)
needleplatein.JPG (51546 bytes) Replacing the stitch plate is the first part of reassembly...
Then the foot gets reassembled and replaced. reassembledfoot.JPG (109005 bytes)  footon.jpg (51282 bytes)
freearmon.JPG (60369 bytes)  flatbed.jpg (62608 bytes)  I then put the free arm and the flatbed surfaces back: this covers places a needle could drop into.
Then two new needles go in: these are universal 70's, as I shall be sewing fine, tightly woven silk and lining


insertneedle.JPG (93224 bytes)  2needles.jpg (150341 bytes)

In addition to what you see here, the tension disks got 'flossed' with some strong thread to try to be sure there was no lint there to hinder the free flow of the thread when I rethread the machine.  I also put a drop of oil on the oiling points: check in your manual for these.  Now Serge the Serger is ready for work again.

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