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Are you serging in there or executing cats?

Babylock 418 Serger

Babylock 418 Serger

My new (to me, at least) Babylock serger. It’s from the 80s and appears to be in good shape, but it sounds pretty creaky and sad when its running.

The stitch is well formed and balanced; it just sounds bad. I’ve given it the amount of oil the handbook recommends, but that didn’t appear to have much effect.

What I know about serger maintenance could be written on the back of an ant’s hat, so do we have any serger gurus out there? I’m toying with the idea of just drowing it in oil; is this a bad plan? Google has failed me in this instance.

About the author: I’m the editor at WeSewRetro so don’t hesitate to get in touch with any problems or questions. In addition to keeping the good ship WeSewRetro afloat, I do an amateurish but enthusiastic job of raising a couple of girls, faff around with computers in my day job, and study for a masters in literature at night. Somewhere amongst all that, I like to sew.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • MB@YarnUiPhoneAppv1.8 October 16, 2011, 7:22 am

    I wouldn’t drown it in oil..but a dab of w-8 at key points would probably help…I would suggest you call a sewing machine repair shop and ask where they would suggest you oil your machine. If you’re really drawing a blank you could make a long distance call to Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, IL. Ask for the sewing machine department. Speak to either Mac or the other guy who’s there. They’re both ace on trouble-shooting serger problems.

  • Erika October 16, 2011, 9:34 am

    Oh, don’t over-oil it! It just makes the whole machine gucky and slow! Just eunough oil, and only in the right places.
    When was it last serviced? Unless you know someone who services sewing machines, I’d really recommend leaving it for service with your local repair man. After all, if your car was making weird noices you wouldn’t just expect it to fix itself, right? You’d take it to a mechanic =) These old machines; just treat them like they deserve and they run forever!

  • MaelleandMy October 16, 2011, 12:24 pm

    Congrats on your Babylock! The best of the best, if you ask me. I totally agree with Erika. Have it serviced! It’s worth the money and your serger will be as new again.

  • LauraD October 16, 2011, 5:09 pm

    Before you just take it in, though, ask around. While I bought my serger from the local sewing machine shop, I’d never take one there for maintenance or repair. Instead, I’d drive the extra distance to take it to Kirby Sew and Vac in Mabelton, GA. They’ve literally got the best repair man around–especially for vintage machines.

  • Katherine October 29, 2011, 11:52 pm

    Just got this back from the service center and it sounds, looks and stitches heavenly. Well worth $50. Thanks for the great advice!

  • lauraj October 1, 2013, 2:05 am

    Hi, I came across this post because I found this same machine for sale, and I am trying to figure out what types of stitches it is capable of… What are you able to do with it? How do like it? Thanks for any help you can give me, and I hope your machine is still running well. 🙂

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