You have 0 items in your cart. | View Cart

Dreaded Hook Timing

Most people are a little reluctant to set the hook timing on their longarm machines. I think part of the reason for this is because they have never had to do this before and the fact that they have never seen it done. Anyone that quilts on a longarm should look at their manual to see what setting the hook timing involves. If you do not understand the process you may want to contact your manufacture for proper instruction. There are a few common reasons that may cause your timing to change.
One reason that the hook timing might change is that the needle may have flexed and jammed or broken off in the hook assembly. When this happens, the hook may lock up and be forced to rotate on the shaft that it is attached to.
Another reason that the hook timing might be off is that the hook assembly may be full of lint and debris causing it to lock up. This may also cause the hook assembly to rotate on the shaft that it is mounted to.
In front of the hook assembly, there is a part called the positioning bracket. This part is usually held on by a screw or bolt. If this screw or bolt happens to come loose, this will allow the stationary part of the hook assembly to rotate causing the needle to break and possibly causing damage to the hook assembly.
Something else that occasionally happens is that someone may run over a pin or a clamp. This can cause the machine to jam; therefore something has to move. Most of the time the hook assembly is the part that moves.
These problems can be avoided by carefully watching where you are sewing, keeping your machine clean and oiled and also checking your machine occasionally for loose screws or bolts.
When checking or setting the timing on your machine, needle bar height is an issue. Be sure to check your manufacture’s recommendations. Most technicians or repair people will be more than happy to help you.
If your machine is skipping stitches or breaking thread and you have already checked for burs and any other obvious problems, make sure the needle is installed correctly and in all of the way, you may want to take a look at the timing.
The easiest way to check the hook timing is to remove the bobbin and bobbin case, then remove the throat plate. Next, rotate the thumbwheel in the direction that the machine runs until the needle is at its lowest position. With the needle at its lowest position, look where you usually put the bobbin. You should be able to see half to the entire eye of the needle, depending on what is recommended for your machine. If you do not see this, then you should check to make sure that you are using the proper needle and make sure that the needle is in all of the way and in correctly. If you are sure that you are using the proper needle, you may have to adjust the needle bar height. Check your manual for the proper setting. After getting the needle bar adjusted correctly, rotate the thumb wheel in the direction that the machine runs until the needle is at its lowest position. Now continue to rotate the thumb wheel in this direction so that the needle starts to come up the proper distance recommended for your machine. The Nolting machine has timing marks on the needle bar. Nolting recommends that you rotate the machine up one mark from the bottom position, still rotating in the direction that the machine runs. Then, with the hook assembly loose, rotate the hook assembly until the hook point is directly behind the needle or just ever so slightly to the left. The hook point should be half way between the top and bottom of the scarf or cut out on the back of the needle. The hook should also be so close to the needle that it looks like it is touching, but not pushing or flexing the needle. When you have everything in this position, reach through the hole where the throat plate goes and tighten one of the setscrews that you can reach. Now, go ahead and rotate the machine so that you can tighten the rest of the screws that hold the hook assembly to the shaft. After doing this, you will want to rotate the machine around and double check the hook and needle, to make sure that everything clears. Make certain that you have the setscrews very tight. With the hook set, you need to look at the positioning bracket in front of the hook assembly. You will notice that the positioning bracket has a little knob that protrudes into the front of the hook assembly. This little knob should protrude about 1/3 of the way into the slot on the front of the hook assembly. If you need to move the bracket, there will be a screw or bolt that holds this bracket in place. You can loosen this screw and move the bracket to its proper position, then retighten the screw. Some brands of machines have a timing tool or spacer that they use when setting the hook timing. Some of them recommend that you just set the hook to the scarf of the needle. As you set and inspect your hook assembly, you should check the hook assembly for burs, rough spots and deep scratches. Most of the time you can buff these out with a very fine emery cloth or sandpaper. If you can’t get these rough spots out, you can order a new hook shield or even a hook assembly if needed. The hook point also needs to be sharp and free of burs. This may sound like a lot to remember, but after you do it once successfully, you won't forget.