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bobbin winding problem

autumn | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I’ve searched through the discussions and can NOT find the one about my bobbin winding problem, so I hope whoever answered me about it will find this.  Anyway, I did try to take off the top of the machine the way you described, but the stitch width lever would not let me get it off. The lever sticks out of the front of the top and there is no way I could figure out how to get it out of the way so the top could come off. Any ideas on that?  It is a Singer 9400.


  1. User avater
    Becky-book | | #1

    Hey there!

    I can't find a photo of a Singer 9400 on line (I am very visual) Is there any way you could post a pic of your machine?  Or send me a link to a site with a pic.  There must be a way to access that winder 'cause somebody has to fix it!

    Hope to be helpful,


    1. autumn | | #2

      I could not find a picture of it on-line either. I think it is not a very popular style. I'm not a computer geek, but my daughter is. Maybe she can help me post a photo. I'll try, but it will be a few days.

  2. fabricholic | | #3

    Hi Autumn,

    Does the stitch width lever have a screw in the middle that you could un screw or does the knob on the end unscrew?


    1. autumn | | #4

      No, there is no screw on the stitch width lever. It sticks out of the front on the leftish side of the top of the machine. It is oblong/square. Maybe it would pull off or unscrew, but I was afraid to try it for fear of breaking something. I will try it gently. I can send a photo whenever my daughter or granddaughter (13 yrs. old -- knows how to e-mail photos) get around to it.  (I had a round tuit once but I lost it).

    2. autumn | | #5

      Here are a couple of pictures of my machine. The squareish knob that adjusts stitch width is what is keeping the top from coming off. Any ideas on how to get it out? /Users/janee/Pictures/iPhoto Library/2007/01/10/IMG_0860.JPG
      /Users/janee/Pictures/iPhoto Library/2007/01/10/IMG_0862.JPG

      1. fabricholic | | #6

        Hi Autumn,You listed a jpeg number, which is a number for a picture, but you didn't upload an actual picture. Can you make the picture into a thumbnail size and send it to us that way? I know I'm not very clear. Maybe someone else can tell you more clearly.Marcy

        Edited 1/10/2007 5:46 pm ET by fabricholic

        1. autumn | | #7

          Sorry. My daughter did it and was not sure how to do it on this Threads site. She e-mails pictures all the time but this is different. Can you give me an idea of how to do it? 

          1. fabricholic | | #8

            Autumn,Does it look like any one of these? http://www.singerco.com/support/model_number.htmlMarcy

          2. autumn | | #13

            It is model 9400, and looks quite similar to the top two photos. The second photo of yours also seems to have the stitch width lever sticking out of the top. That is what is stumping me -- how to get it out of the way so the top can come off. I got the entire top loose, but could not get it past the lever. I'm trying to get photos of it posted. I'd really hate to have to spend $75 for a simple thing if I can fix it myself. Thanks to everyone for their interest in this problem.

          3. fabricholic | | #14

            I could be wrong, but I can't imagine it would hurt the stitch width lever if you tried twisting the end counter clockwise, especially if it doesn't have a slot for a screw driver on the end of it.Marcy

          4. autumn | | #16

            I tried twisting it, but the problem is that the knob is square and the slot it is in is too narrow to allow it to twist. I am going to my daughter's house in a few minutes and she will get the photo to you.

            I'm frustrated that it is taking so long to get the photo on, because I've FINALLY gotten up the gumption to start (re-)lining the Kinsale cloak that I made a couple of years ago.  I lined it with a beautiful white fleece because she said she wanted it warm.  But it was too heavy, so I took the whole !#$%^&* thing apart and am now lining it with a very light weight gold colored polyester lining.  BUT now I can't sew because I've run out of the right color bobbin thread and can't wind it!  GRRRRRR!

          5. User avater
            Becky-book | | #9

            When you are writing a post, scroll down and see the purple 'buttons'. One of them is ATTACH FILES this is the one you want, click on it and follow the instructions. If you know the name of the file that has your photo, put that in,(file to upload)  or use BROWSE to find it

            I posted a photo of a quilt layout to check the procedures. Quilt is done and given to DD.


            Edited 1/10/2007 9:55 pm ET by Becky-book

          6. fabricholic | | #10

            Becky,The quilt is gorgeous. A labor of love, I'll bet.Marcy

          7. User avater
            Becky-book | | #11

            This was my Christmas gift to my oldest daughter, who loves green, and contains scraps left over from garments she made as a teen, and from things I have made for her and her children, and myself. So there are lots of memories in this quilt.

            I did have to give it to her in pieces (top, batt, backing) with a promise to finish.  She now has it completed!

            I started on daughter 2, purple theme, this week so it will be complete before Christmas this year!


          8. autumn | | #12

            Wow, gorgeous quilt!  OK, I will give those instructions to my daughter to send the photos. I am frustrated that I'm not more computer savvy, but one of my daughters is too busy to help, and the other one lives 1000 miles away and tries to tutor me by phone, which doesn't always help.

          9. User avater
            Becky-book | | #15

            My friend's daughter (age 10) just inherited a Singer (not very old) from g'mom. sounds a lot like yours. Will be seeing it sometime later today. Will see what I can learn from her machine.  Will be back on-line later this afternoon.  There is still hope we can fix your winder w/o spending$$.


        2. autumn | | #17

          OK, here it is again. I hope it works this time.

          1. fabricholic | | #18

            Oh, goodness no, don't twist that knob. I thought you were talking about a metal knob that came way out of the machine. I'll bet this knob just pops off, but I can't say for sure. I wonder if that website could tell us.Marcy

          2. User avater
            Becky-book | | #19

            I see what you mean! Try pulling on the end of the lever, straight off. If it won't come off, I don't know how else the 'lid' could come off, and repair personnel need to get at the workings. 

            One more idea... look at the under side of the little knob on the width lever, does it have a tiny screw holding it on the end of the lever? This 'set screw' would need to be loosened or maybe removed in order to remove the knob (and then the lid)


            PS friend's machine is no help, lid comes right off easy!

          3. autumn | | #22

            Oh, good idea to look for a tiny screw on the bottom of the knob. I will try that. Thanks.

          4. autumn | | #23

            Nope, no tiny set screw in the bottom of the knob.  No screw at all anywhere near it. I tried pulling it straight out as hard as I dared, but no luck that way, either.  I guess I'm stuck with taking it to a repair shop, but I sure hate the spend the $$ when I'll bet it will take them 5 minutes to fix it. I will try asking the repair person if s/he will show me how to get the knob off in case there is a problem again later. Maybe they will be willing to do that.

            I really appreciate all the effort and interest you have all shown in trying to help me with this problem. Thanks!

          5. fabricholic | | #24

            I would just ask them how the knob comes off, they shouldn't have any problem with that little bit of information.Marcy

          6. fabricholic | | #25

            If you pulled off the knob, the worst thing that could happen was that you would have to glue it back on again. It could have a screw under the plastic. Who knows. I'm just thinking out loud.Marcy

          7. fabricholic | | #20

            Did you pull the top of the machine toward you before trying to lift it off? Did you say that you had the top off and it is just hanging by that knob or what? Do you have your manual and does it tell you how to remove it? On that website it does have copies of instruction manuals and service manuals, I just can't guess as to which one it is.http://parts.singerco.com/index.htmlMarcy

          8. autumn | | #21

            Yes, I had the top off completely except for coming off of the stitchwidth knob. I looked on the site you gave me and did not find my machine. It is a 9410, and very hard to ever find it on any Singer or repair site I've looked. I Googled sewing machine repair and found a few manuals, but nothing that looked like it would help on this particular machine.

          9. lovestosew | | #26

            I've followed this discussion for a few days now and I've only just come up with an idea that may help. (I'm sorry it took me so long to think of this but I've been under terrible stress and my brain isn't working as well as it could be.) After some really unpleasant experiences with getting my machines repaired, I was lucky enough to find a fantastic repair shop here in Houston. Would you like their number - maybe they could talk you through the problem over the phone - or - you could email them or send them a photo of the problem area?

          10. autumn | | #27

            Thanks very much for your offer, but I finally gave up and took it to the local repair place. I asked the man how to get the knob off and he said, "Oh, you just have to finagle it."  Not very helpful. He didn't seem to want to tell me. I asked again, and he said it just pulls off, and then he tried to pull it off and it didn't come. So I hope he doesn't have to break the machine to get it fixed. I had tried to pull it off but could not get it to budge. It should be ready tomorrow, so I'm hoping.

          11. fabricholic | | #28

            Well, Autumn, you tried. I hope it is as good as new when you get it back.Marcy

          12. autumn | | #29

            It is supposed to be ready today, so I will get it this afternoon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Maybe it just needed a belt. The repairman said it would cost around $12, even before he looked at it. Probably just a thread wrapped around it or something.

          13. Betakin | | #30

            I didn't see what your bobbin winding problem was on reading this thread and was wondering why you were taking the top off of the machine. I was going to suggest that if your bobbin was not winding properly I think you can take a screw driver and just turn the little screw on the winder on top of the machine but I see you have taken the machine in for repair. I hope it works properly for you on it's return.

          14. autumn | | #31

            I was trying to take the top off because someone suggested that I might be able to fix the problem myself if I could get to the winding peg (I don't know if that is the proper name for it).  But I will take your suggestion and look to see if there is a screw there. I'd like to be able to fix things myself if possible.  The repair man does not have a very good "bedside manner", and I had promised myself I would not go to him again, but I did, and now I am promising myself again. It was a very cold icy day and I did not want to drive the 12 miles to the next town for a better repair place.  He was not at all communicative and obviously did not want to tell me how to get the stitch width lever off so the top would come off.

          15. Betakin | | #32

            If you adjust the screw, I suggest to just do it slightly to see if it helps.  Don't remove the screw entirely. The reason I questioned your opening up your machine and me not being familiar with your model is that some machines are closed units that usually need no oiling because their bearings emit oil as they sew and usually only techs get inside them. I also didn't think opening up the machine would help your bobbin problem.

            I wanted to ask if in order to wind the bobbin you need to disengage the clutch on the hand wheel either with a knob or a button that you push in and if it might have a problem. Will the bobbin spindle move when pushed to the side? Good luck, I hope it is an easy fix.

          16. autumn | | #33

            Actually, I see that there is a screw slot in the top of the spindle. I did not try that. I won't do any more now since it has been repaired.

            The wheel disengages the way it should to wind the bobbin, and the spindle tried to move but couldn't. So I don't know what the problem was, since the repair man would not explain it.

          17. fabricholic | | #38

            Hi Autumn,I hope you can get the lining done on the coat now. I can't believe the repairman wouldn't explain the problem and what it took to fix it. It was probably because it was simple and he didn't want you to realize that he was charging you too much. Marcy

          18. User avater
            Becky-book | | #35

            Dear Autumn,

            I'm glad your machine works now!

            About that 12 mile drive... I sure understand about ice and snow and not wanting to drive in it; but I drive about 12 miles just to get to the only repair man around here.  Thankfully he is a very nice man; I respect his skill and he humors my curiosity about how 'things' work!   Jac's Sew n' Vac in Peachtree City GA (south of Atlanta)

            Happy sewing!


          19. autumn | | #36

            I lived in Minnesota for 12 yrs., and am from Colorado originally, so I am used to driving on ice, but I don't like it. Here in SW Oregon it very rarely snows, but the roads get icy because of the wet wind coming from the ocean. I've gotten to be a wimp, but the next time I need sewing machine repair I will definitely go the 12 miles to get it.

  3. solosmocker | | #34

    What is the nature of the bobbin winding problem? Do you really need to take the top off?

    1. autumn | | #37

      The bobbin winding spindle would not turn. It tried but seemed to be stuck. I wanted to see if it was something I could fix myself, and the only way to see it was to take the top off. I finally took it for repair and it works now.

      1. solosmocker | | #39

        I understand it all now. Glad it is fixed and you are up and running again. Nothing is more frustrating than a sick machine. Well, maybe a grumpy repairperson. Be careful driving out there.

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