I wrote in a while back, complaining that I needed a new circuit board for my Viking 936 serger – the third one!! I’ve only paid for one of them but….. Now, the darned thing has frozen on me – was serging along happily then, bang!! Sounded like a ratchety noise coming from the flywheel area. I’ve had it, so am either going to buy a new serger, or give up and go without. Once again, I’d like feedback from my fellow sewists on what they deem to be the best serger out there. I did like the coverstitch, but that is not important to me. I sew everything from knit and woven clothing to quilts, for kids and adults; jackets, jeans, you name it. So, please, all opinions are welcome.
Hi..........I have an Elna 704Dex (I don't think they make that exact model any longer); a Janome Compulock, a Babylock Evolve and a Janome Juno (sold by Hancock Fabrics). If you want the coverhem, the Babylock is awesome. The jet-threading is great and it's easy to change stitches. These machines are also expensive. The Compulock also does a coverhem but it's a bit harder to change over, and that wasn't inexpensive either since it is computerized. If the coverhem really isn't important, the little Juno (aka 3434D) is good as is the 9102D or some such number. They are much less expensive and they do a rolled hem without changing needle plate. I just bought my Juno to replace a small Janome that I gave away........I paid $189 on sale. Regular price is $329. I don't work for any of these companies but have used the machines and acquired my opinions........for whatever it's worth!
I guess my point is that if you are just looking for a basic serger that does all the basics and a rolled hem, these smaller machines can be just as useful and much less expensive to buy. I bought the Evolve about 2 years ago because I wanted a cover hem that was easy to set up and the jet-threading is great, too.
There you have my nickels' worth and I'm sure others will give their HO as well!! That's what the forum is all about.
I SEE IN YOUR LETTER THAT YOU HAVE A BABYLOCK EVOLVE. I JUST PURCHASED A USED ONE. IT HAS THE JET AIR THREADING ALSO. I HAVE ONLY HAD IT 2 DAYS BUT IT LOOKS SO COMPLICATED TO ME. EITHER IM A DUMMY OR HAVE NO PATIENCE. I HAVE WATCHED THE DVD SEVERAL TIMES WHILE LOOKING AT THE MANUAL. I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE "TABLE" IS FOR, THE SUBSIDARY LOOPER. ITS A VERY EXPENSIVE MACHINE. PERHAPS I EXPECTED MAGIC. IS IT O.K. TO USE A BIT OF WAX TO GET THE THREAD IN THE JET AIR HOLE? THERE ARE NO CLASSES WHERE I LIVE OR I WOULD TAKE IT. IM DISSAPOINTED AND FEEL LIKE AN IDIOT.. ANY TIPS YOU CAN GIVE ME WOULD BE WONDERFUL...MAYBE THE EASIEST USE OF IT FOR BEGINNERS.
To answer the questions regarding the wax..........NO, I wouldn't use that. It would built up in the tube over time and could cause problems. I would just moisten my fingers with water (or saliva!) just like threading a needle. You do have to push the thread down an inch or so to get it to catch but once you do that, it works like a charm.
As for the changing stitches, it really isn't difficult, just steps to take. Do you have the colored 'quick change' chart? If so, use that..it will help clarify things. I presently have my machine set for coverhem and have left it there for most of the time I've owned it. I did, however, change it from 4 thread overlock to the coverhem right off the bat. I am not expert with sergers.....and that puts it mildly! I get very frustrated and even have taught myself a few new bad words! Stay with it and it will get easier and you will love the machine once you feel more comfortable with it.
I hope this helps........I don't feel that I offered much in the way of help. Watch the DVD and play with it......when you aren't tired and don't feel rushed. Try to relax and learn when you don't have a project that needs to be done in 5 minutes!
Let me know if you have any other definite questions.......
I used a basic serger for years and got the Babylock Imagine a few months ago. I watched the video a couple of times and re checked the manual before I figured the subsidiary looper is the black gizmo attached to the top of the upper looper. To engage it, gently move it up and forward until it catches in the eye of the looper.
Do as recommended and pull the end of the thread through your moistened finger tips, it seems to reduce the static. I go a step further and snip the end of the thread so it is not frayed.
The acrylic table came with the Evolve.........it may have been a one time offer, not sure. You place it around the left end of the serger to help support the item you are surging. Sew Steady Acrylic tables for sergers are very expensive.
Don't let technology over whelm you.....take baby steps and soon it will be very easy to use your serger.
Nancy Zieman's Serge With Confidence may be of help. You can find the book in fabric stores or at Amazon.com
Edited 12/3/2007 5:51 pm ET by spicegirl1
The subsidiary looper is used to deactivate the upper looper when you wish to do a 2 thread stitch such as a 2 thread overlock or rolled hem on fine fabrics or a 2 thread flatlock. This device is also called a converter by other brands. The coverters do come in different forms depending on the brand. It might be a wire shaped object or a little cap or hat shaped object that goes over the head of the upper looper. Some of the newer sergers have them built in or attached while others include it separately in the accessory box.
Wow! I am so sorry for all that you have gone through with your 936. I have had mine for many years and never had a problem with it. I have never heard of anyone else having this problem. Did you write to the company? I also would like to know for future reference if this is one of those "new" 936s? Mary
My 936 is nearly 8 years old, so it is not one of the new ones. It's a wonderful machine when it works but, as I said, after three circuit boards and now this seizing, I've had it. I don't know what my plan is yet, as I like the large working area and other brands do not have that. Viking knows of my problems with the circuit board issue, but not about the seizing up.
I'm sure I have a lemon, as everyone on the yahoo 936 group seem to have no problems with theirs.
I had a Pfaff for years - just wore it out - so may go back to that brand.
Thanks for showing your support.
It is so aggravating when machinery misbehaves!
I believe some Babylock dealers are having a 24 month same as cash promo.
I upgraded to the BL Imagine a few months ago and it is one super serger! It auto threads with very little operator intervention. The only promotion at the time of my purchase was a free rolling tote. I bought extra feet at sewingsupplywarehouse for half the price my dealer quoted. It does not do the cover-stitch and I decided I could live without it and continue to use a double needle and the sewing machine.
I had a Janome overlocker that was a lemon as well. It was pre-computer, but it could never retain the correct tension between sessions, so I understand your frustrations also. For the past three years I have had a Bernina 800DL, and it is a honey.
(Hi to every one - its my first time of "speaking up" on the site. No, I'm not writing in the dead of night, I am writing from New Zealand, where its 6pm on a lovely hot early summer weekend!
This post is archived.