This part of the sewing machine is also known as the balance wheel, and it plays a vital role in controlling the movement of the needle as well as the take-up lever. The handwheel is available in both manual and electric sewing machines and one has to be aware of the various dynamics that surround the availability and usability of this part of the device.
A crucial factor to note is that; when wounding the bobbin in older models; the handwheel should be released to prevent the needle from moving in the absence of a fabric to be sewn. This is done by holding the outer wheel and turning the inner one.
When using the sewing machine, the primary rule of engagement with the handwheel is to ensure that its motion is initiated in anticlockwise movement. Any attempt to spin it in anticlockwise will lead to various damages within the sewing machine that will end up being costly.
Turning the handwheel in clockwise motion is allowed when unjamming the bobbin, but it has to be slight. On certain occasions, one might experience difficulty in turning the handwheel. During such times, one should avoid the use of force as it may cause further damage.
The handwheel may be hard to turn due to certain factors that one can efficiently resolve on their own, or the damage may be extensive and require the services of an expert technician. The steps to follow when the handwheel is hard to turn are as discussed below.
Most old models of sewing machines if not all are designed with a knob inside the handwheel that may be locked, making it hard to turn the handwheel. It is vital for one to check this part and disengage it as it is done when threading the bobbin then turn the handwheel. This is the first step that one should take to ensure that the handwheel is not being jammed by the positioning of the smaller wheel inside it when using an old model device.
The first step advised is threading the sewing machine again to ease up any tension that may have been caused by tangling of the thread, hence making it hard to turn the handwheel. Once this has been done, one can try to move the handwheel, and if it is still hard to turn the next step is necessary.
If re-threading does not offer the solution to a jammed handwheel, the next step is to remove the bobbin case and clean up the surrounding areas. This should be done using a brush to remove any lint build-up that may have affected the motion of the handwheel. When cleaning, the race and bobbin thread sensor are two parts that one should pay keen attention on to achieve the desired results. After cleaning, one should check if the handwheel moves with ease before putting back the bobbin case.
If the handwheel moves freely with the bobbin case removed, the next step is to insert it to see if it works or not. If the handwheel does not move freely with the case removed, it is time to take it in for servicing. Alternatively, one can ring sewing machine technicians within their locality to see if they do home visits.
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