So last year, I replaced my beloved Husqvarna Viking Huskylock 910 with a brand new serger, because my Huskylock just wasn’t running well. The dealer I bought the new machine from offered to take my old as a trade-in, but I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to it. I bought it in 2013, when I just started cosplaying. I’ve used it on so many different projects, both cosplay, regular clothes and things for the house. It’s like an old friend.
So for a year and a half, it’s just been in the back of a closet, collecting dust. Today I was looking for something else in my closet, and happened to find a box of specialty feet for that old Huskylock. That made me realize how much more that machine can do, compared to my Bernina L450. Don’t get me wrong, my new machine is doing it’s job very well, but it does have some limitations – it doesn’t have the free arm feature for stitching on sleeves, for example. And the salesman convinced me you don’t really need it, but… I really do, if I’m honest. I make a lot of jersey t-shirts and dresses and honestly, serging the sleeves on is just the easiest. It also doesn’t allow me to disable the knife for certain types of stitches.
But I degress. This wasn’t supposed to be a comparison post. THIS is a post about how – after YEARS of frustration and after a VERY pricey service that didn’t fix anything – I FINALLY got my machine to run smoothly!
The symptoms: Sometimes it would cut fine while sewing. Thick fabrics were no issue. BUT sometimes when I was stitching finer fabrics, it wouldn’t cut the fabric, it just bunched it up into the seam, making a horrible mess and ruining projects. I replaced the knives 3 times, thinking it was something to do with them – and I was right, but also wrong.
The issue was the knives, but it wasn’t sharpness. The knives were misaligned. I discovered this when I went down a rabbit hole of various youtube videos on all kinds of serger models. Every one of them had one thing in common: Upper blade must be BELOW lower blade when lowered all the way. Mine wasn’t anywhere near, it was maybe half-way there. Pictures below show how it looked before (wrong) and how it looks now (right)
Figuring out how to fix it took me quite a while of googling. Eventually, I found this picture from the service manual (which can be bought online, but I was stubbornly looking for a free solution)
Deciphering what was shown in the drawings took me quite a while longer. My lower knife was never an issue – it has always fit fine. The upper one is the issue. So I went through the checks for the upper knife. The first one describes the lateral position of the knife in relation to the under knife/sewing surface. The drawings don’t really explain where in the machine they’re showing or from what angle, but the first one was fairly simple to guess. To get to those adjustment screws, the plastic on the left side needs to be removed. Both the two parts that come off for every day use/cleaning and the bigger piece, which has 3 screws holding it in place. Once it’s off, if you look at the machine from the front, you’ll see this view, and where my finger is pointing in this picture is a tiny screw. Loosening that allows you to adjust the bigger black screw in the next photo (under the knife), which moves the knife towards front or back. I felt like I couldn’t do this alignment until I had the vertical alignment fixed, so I continued.
The next check had both me and my husband stumped for a good 15 minutes. Eventually we realized that the drawing represented the view from underneath the machine. So we flipped it on the side and removed the metal plate underneath it. And there it is, the screws that “just” need to be loosened a bit, so I could fix the knife and thereby the whole machine.
With those two screws loosened, this piece (by my finger in the image below) could be pushed/pulled to adjust the position of the knife. And voila, few years (and a very expensive service) later, my machine FINALLY works. It even sounds way better than it did before! (I removed some lint from inside while we were at it).
It was a bit of a high risk operation, but seeing as this was just a very big paperweight for ages, I took the chance and it paid off. Once I could see what was supposed to happen, it was actually a fairly simple operation. And now my good old Huskylock works again! Gotta figure out how to use these fancy feet, haha!
Bonus: I found this VIDEO TAPE instruction that has been digitized – hilarious! The machine was produced around 2004, not sure when they stopped production or exactly how old mine is, since I bought it used.
Extra bonus: I’m kind of a Husqvarna sewing machine fangirl, and I found this list of model names and years. It took me forever to find, so I’ll leave it here. Might be a help if you’re looking to buy a used sewing machine – the ones from 90’s and 00’s (until they moved production from Sweden to China) are mostly really good work horses.