For me, the big challenge of owning a longarm has been understanding — and maintaining — an industrial machine. When people ask me if they should buy a longarm, I ask them one question: “Can you assemble IKEA furniture by yourself?” If you answer “yes,” you will be an awesome longarm owner.
Unfortunately, I was in the “no” category. I spent the first 50 years of my life avoiding anything mechanical. My son, at age 13, took over any assembly when my husband wasn’t around to do the job. Whether it was a barbeque or a bookshelf, someone else in my home put it together.
However, things change. We grow and learn, especially if we’re motivated. And I’ve learned to take care of my longarm machine. It is hard for me when things break or need maintenance, but I’ve learned. What was intimidating a year ago is now pretty easy.
Now that you have the background, you’ll understand why I was thrilled to discover a series of articles on maintaining a longarm. These are reprints from magazine articles by Steve Anderson. The photos are wonderful, the instructions are great, and it is a fabulous resource for a longarm owner. The cost — $17.95 — was pretty reasonable as well. Here’s the link, as well as the topics covered in this series of reprints.
General Maintenance Information
Tools of the Trade . March 2009
Annual Maintenance . March 2007
Routine Inspection and Maintenance . November 2009
The Care and Feeding of your Quilting Machine
Rotary Tension Maintenance and Repair . May 2007
Bobbin Case Maintenance and Repair . March 2008
Tighten Your Belt . January 2009
Motor Belt Maintenance
Keep an Eye on Your Motor Brushes . July 2008
Stitch Regulator Maintenance . November 2007
Getting the Most from Your Hopping Foot . November 2008
Proper Adjustment Can Improve Your Tension
Timing, Needle, and Hook Maintenance
Needle Bar Maintenance and Repair . July 2007
Ensuring Your Needle Fits Properly
When a Good Needle Gets a Bad Break . May 2008
Setting the Needle Bar Height
Setting the Hook — Timing Your Machine . September 2008
Polishing Burrs . May 2009
Stand/Table Setup and Maintenance
A Level Playing Field for Your Quilting Machine . September 2007
Attaching New Leaders . January 2008
In Search of Perfect Tension . July 2009
Part 1 — Why does Tension Change?
In Search of Perfect Tension . September 2009
Part 2 — Balancing Thread Tension
Gammill Design Center . January 2007