Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Babylock BL402

Today, I was gifted (cursed) with a serger that had been sitting in a storage shed for an indeterminate period of time. The above photo does not accurately represent the amount of dirt and insect droppings covering the outside of the machine but the photo below gives you an idea what I saw when I looked at it closely.

The rust was most severe on the exposed components, but the loopers were also rusty and thread needs to slide smoothly over the surfaces of the loopers. The machine was also frozen solid and the wheel would not turn at all.  The first thing I did was to give the mechanicals a good soaking of Liquid Wrench. I kept trying to turn the wheel until it finally broke loose the tiniest bit. From there, I kept turning the wheel until I finally got one complete revolution, then used the motor to finish the job of loosening everything up.

The thing is a bear to thread and the lower looper thread broke several times but each time it broke, I would polish the looper and try again. Finally, I got a nice stitch with all four threads.

And here it is now. I still have some cosmetic cleaning to do in the nooks and crannies and testing some of the functions, like differential feed, but I'm pleased with the results so far.

As you can see, I installed threads the same color as the tension wheels so I would know instantly which thread needed tension adjustment.

  I would not have taken in a machine in this condition for someone else because I was quite sure it would never sew again.  I only did it because there was no pressure to get it done and no penalty if I didn't. 


Jonathan said...

Nice job! Are you going to keep it?

Ed Lamoureux said...

I would like to keep it but that puts me up to four sergers - 2 Babylocks, a Pfaff and a Brother- and I rarely serge anything. What I would really like is an industrial overlocker, then I would get rid of three of the domestic models. -Ed

Ali P said...

Ed you make me want to learn all about how to repair and restore sewing machines. The Bradford is my first vintage. I can get 3 more for a bargain but I am holding back because A) what would I do with all of these beauties and B) I do not know how to restore, repair, or service any of them like you do(one is an old White and I forget what the other two are but they are beautiful to look at with their classic car colours). I have 20+ year old White that was purchased new at a quilt shop in Halifax back in the '90's to replace a monster of a Singer my husband had bought for me second hand. Now I wish I still had that old HEAVY Singer. (Portable my behind!) My White routinely has the timing go on it. When I sewed more (simple quilt piecing) I had to take it in for service a couple times a year and it was ALWAYS the timing. How can I learn how to fix up these beauties? Just by trial and error? Is there a book for Dummies? :o)

Ed Lamoureux said...

Ali, I refuse to take the blame for your new addiction and don't expect any kind of support payments from here! Your question,"How can I learn how to fix up these beauties?" has sparked an idea for a future blog post so, rather than answering here in the comment section where few will see it, I will post the answer soon. -Ed

melissa25125 said...

I know a trick for removing rust. Potatoes and water. I have no idea why it works, but something in potatoes eats rust and makes it a breeze to scrub rust off with a wire brush. Place the rusted piece of metal into a container that it can fit into, filled with water until piece is completely covered, and a few chunks of potato. The bigger the piece, the more potato you add. Place the container in a warm, dark place, and leave it there for a couple of weeks. I usually wrap it in a piece of dark cloth and leave it in the boiler room or out in the shed. Then, take your container out into an open area because, be forewarned that it will smell AWFUL. The foulest stench you could ever imagine. The potato will be dissolved, and you will be able to easily scrub the rust off with a wire brush or brillo pad. It works!! I've salvaged quite a few rusty items (although never a sewing machine part) such as old tools and ax heads, and with a little elbow grease, it works like a charm every time!!

Alysha renee said...

Hopefully you're still active on here. I just picked up a babylock 400 seger and everything works perfectly except the pressure foot lever is slack and I can't get the pressure foot to move upwards at all. I can't afford the 129 that the shop is estimating to clean it.