Using a Bigger Hammer or Fixing my Elna Diva
I mentioned in my last post about repairing my beautiful 1990's Queen, the Elna Diva.
I purchased this machine on Ebay knowing it might be less than perfect. Ebay is about the only way you will find one of these rare ladies for sale.
My first was from Ebay and it was perfect, I resold it before a move . I had to make a choice and since this machine was 15 years older than my Janome and about the same amount of decorative stitches, I sold it for twice what I paid. However, I missed it in Texas and bought another one. Diva # 2 was okay, it had a few problems and I sold that one at the next move for parts and made my money back. Three years later I came across another one on eBay "for parts - but may work - controls light up and needle goes up and down"
So it was a risk. I was top bidder and the machine came beautifully packed and sewed a perfect
straight stitch and that was it. You know that pit in your stomach feeling?
These machines are rare and old, back in the day, the Techs went to Switzerland to the Elna school to learn how to fix them. Just getting the plastic housing off with out breaking anything is a major accomplishment - even with You tube!
I located a dealer not to far from home and he said he would take a look at it, and that he had worked on several of these. The man told me he would give me a quote so that I could decide if I wanted to make the investment. Well to be honest, I didn't want to make more $$ investment.
So after scouring the info boards and YouTube I was able to find a service manual.
I was pretty sure I might be lacking the IQ points to make this happen. These manuals are written in the First person tense " I am having a problem sewing the decorative stitches so I must run my diagnostic test # two" then a bunch of mechanical word I had to look up in a dictionary.
I took the facings and bottom off and had a scary looking mini robot on my desk
Flow charts are like Whhhaaat?
Discovery #1 none of the diagnostic tests can be run with out a connector set- which of course I don't have or even know the grown up name for.
So I have the choice to plow through and hope I don't do more damage or just use the bigger hammer. I choose to at least try to plow through
and then it really got bad - not even the straight stitch. After 3 hours I went to bed. thinking I was going to sell this Diva for parts and hope I make my money back.
At 2am I woke up and thought okay it was sewing before I worked on it, let me try one more thing
I found this page
I understood my previous mistakes and slowly got it back to where it was and then started the "fix"
Then I got the test stitch to line up and balance
The stitches were balancing, but they were skipping.
I checked the gears, they were all good. I oiled and cleaned every moving part in the upper body, still skipping.
So at 3 am I took the bobbin case/system apart
I cleaned and oiled everything, pulled out stuff with jeweler's tweezers and oiled again. That did the trick, perfect stitches and no skipping!
One of my favorite simple techniques is using two thread in the same needle and vintage mecerized cotton - the effect is lovely
Sadly I did not get a shot of the stitching on a test swatch
But here is a little bit on my needle book
I don't plan on selling this Diva, I hope to find the stitch cassettes to go with it, I have two, 5 more to go.
So the whole point of this post is get a service manual before you get the bigger hammer! Have patience and keep at it
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.