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Do You Really Need To Set Your Timing?
By Dan Novak

As a repairman I see many interesting things and answer many interesting questions. One of the most common phone calls I receive is; “Can you walk me through setting my timing”? I always ask if the caller really needs to set the timing. Many times a simple tension adjustment or a closer look at everything is all that is needed. Most of us, myself included, dig way too deep into simple problems. Making unnecessary adjustments resulting in twice the trouble. I took a call one morning that caught me off guard. The person on the other end of the phone said that they had been trying to set the hook timing all morning and were not having any luck. It took quite a while to get all of the information out of this person. Finally I found that they were trying to set the timing by re-programming the stitch regulator. It took some time but we got the stitch regulator back to its proper settings and then proceeded to setting the timing. Calls like this are time consuming and can result in shipping the machine to me for a full check up.
I received another call one morning that made be wonder. A person I had talked to before and felt they had a lot of experience called. They were setting their timing like they had before and were not having success. After several minutes on the phone we determined that they had the hook timing set properly. After looking elsewhere we found that the quilt was stretched so tightly that it was causing skipped stitches. Stretching the quilt too tightly increases the needle flex. (It also tightens up the weave of the fabric. The tighter weave can cause the thread to be pushed to the side of the needle. With no thread loop to pick up the hook skips the stitch.) When we loosened the quilt some, everything worked fine. You will notice these are extreme examples. But they happen almost every day. Most of the time these problems start after changing from one quilt to the next, or one thread to the next. It should be obvious that the problem developed after changing something. If we take the time to think through the problem it can be easy to diagnose.
It is far too easy to jump to conclusions and make a drastic decision when trying to trouble shoot a machine. A good example is a machine that was sent to me from several states away. All of the symptoms that were relayed on the phone pointed toward a bad motor. After receiving the machine and checking it over, it was found that the machine had some adjustments made to it that were far from the factory settings. A lot of money could have been saved if we would have known that the programming had been changed.
Never be afraid to tell your repairperson everything that you have tried. This alone will save you time and money.
One place people get advice is over the Internet. Please be careful when taking advice. It is a good idea to know who is giving you the advice. It is very important that they are qualified to give you advice that is beneficial to you. If you are not sure about something please call an experienced repairperson. This will save you time, money, and frustration.