The bobbin is as important as any other component in any sewing machine. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to do much sewing. However, bobbins do act up sometimes, such as when the thread gets bunched up or stuck and ends up messing your fabric. You can fix serious bobbin hiccups by removing and reassembling it but how do you put the bobbin driver back together?
How to Put the Bobbin Driver Back Together
The term bobbin driver is commonly interchangeably used with the bobbin case. In the simplest terms, the bobbin driver is the mechanism that controls the movements of the secondary thread, otherwise, known as a bobbin. It’s the cylindrical device plus compartment normally located below the needle that turns in either direction and allows the needle to slide in and hook the bottom thread to form a hook and complete a stitch on your fabric.
There are several ways to put the bobbin driver back together depending on the sewing machine. However, the universal method involves disengaging the needle first and then popping the bobbin enclosure open. You can then slide the bobbin driver out and insert your bobbin thread inside. Make sure you have left a few inches of loose thread on the bobbin and that the thread is revolving in a clockwise direction in the bobbin driver.
After this, you can direct the loose thread through the slit and bobbin finger and guide it as directed on your sewing machine’s manual. Make sure you follow the instructions for your specific sewing machine as bobbin driver mechanisms vary from one sewing machine to another. Next, slide the bobbin driver into its enclosure and lock it in. Test that the bobbin is properly secured by engaging the needle and checking if it slides into the bobbin without impediment from the outer bobbin case.
Step by Step to Put the Bobbin Driver Back Together
Since bobbin drivers and placement may vary from one sewing machine and model to another, this guide gives an overview, step by step process to reassemble it in readiness for the next sewing job. You will need to put the driver back together every time you want to change the bobbin or when the bobbin gets stuck in place and cannot serve the secondary thread.
This guide assumes that you already know how to wind your new bobbin or have bought a ready-made bobbin and that you know where the bobbin is located. If not, you can refer to your sewing machine’s manual for the same. Also, more complicated bobbin driver issues such as mechanical damage or disintegrated bobbin drivers are best fixed by a professional to avoid more damage.
With the above out of the way, follow these steps to put the bobbin driver back together in any sewing machine:
Step 1- Before You Start
You must disengage the needle fully before you try and remove the bobbin driver from its compartment. This will avoid any accidental needle movements that will most likely lead to injuries or damage to the needle. Most sewing machines have a switch or lever to disengage the needle that is located near the wheel or control panel.
Step 2- Accessing the Bobbin Driver
Locate the bobbin compartment on your sewing machine and pop the enclosure open. Most sewing machines including older and modern Singer, Brother, Bernina, Janome have their bobbin driver just below the needle. Refer to your specific machine’s manual if you can’t locate the bobbin compartment or can’t open the door/enclosure.
Step 3- Remove the Bobbin Driver
The bobbin driver is a cylindrical device secured in the bobbin compartment you popped open in the previous step. Check if any special hooks are holding it in place, otherwise, just go right ahead and lift it without applying too much force. Some machines may require that you turn the bobbin case a bit in either direction before you can remove it.
If the bobbin driver has never been removed and greasy, wiggling it gently might help to free it from the compartment. A bent or malfunctioning bobbin driver might require a bit more effort to remove but be careful not to damage the compartment. It’s cheap to replace a bobbin case or driver but certainly not cheap to repair or replace the entire bobbin compartment.
Step 4- Replace the Bobbin
Replacing the bobbin is the easiest part. Slide your bobbin into the bobbin case and guide the thread through the slit on the case and bobbin finger if your driver has one. Check that the tension is properly set by pulling gently on the loose thread. Make sure you can pull a few inches of the thread, otherwise the tension might be a bit on the high side.
Step 5- Install the Bobbin Case
The last step involves putting the bobbin driver/case back to its compartment and testing it. To do this, just slide the entire thing into the bobbin compartment as it should be based on your sewing machine’s design. You should hear it lock into place to show that it’s properly secured. Test that it’s done correctly by engaging the needle and turning the wheel to see If it goes into the case and picks up some thread.
Bonus Steps- Assembling/Repairing the Bobbin Driver
In rare circumstances, you might find that the bobbin driver’s compartment has disintegrated and you need to put it back together before you insert the bobbin. This is a minor annoyance and one that you can easily fix if you understand the design of the bobbin area in your machine.
There are two removable components in some sewing machines that you need to put back into the compartment: the hook and the ring. The hook is the one holding the bobbin case and goes in last and in a specific direction. The ring provides a latching point for both the hook and bobbin case. Some newer sewing machines have a better setup with both the ring and hook secured using screws, therefore, hard to mess up with.
You can try fitting the ring in either direction and orientation until you can hear it slide in without blockage or interference. Next, slide the hook or finger just on the top of the ring followed by the bobbin case. Ensure the entire assembly is firmly secured and can move around when you engage the wheel. If the bobbin case is wiggling around or falls off, it means one of the components is not properly secured and needs to be checked.
Note: Be careful about assembling components in your bobbin driver. If unsure, it’s best to have the sewing machine looked at by a professional to avoid further damages. A bent or broken ring or hook might cause a lot of damage if you continue using the machine.
How Do You Put More Thread on A Bobbin?
You can wind a new bobbin using the mechanism available on your specific machine. Each machine or model has a different winding mechanism but the idea is to use your main thread to wind new thread into a bobbin. You will need to have a bobbin holder that has no thread to wind the bobbin thread onto.
How Do I Fix the Bobbin Tension on My Sewing Machine?
If the bobbin is set too tight, then the needle will have a problem fetching the bottom thread and probably get stuck. If the tension is too low, the bobbin thread will easily slide off and get bunched up or entangled creating an even bigger mess. You can change tension by turning the screw located on the side of your bobbin case. Test the tension by suspending the whole case with the free thread and see if it’s too tight or too loose.