Proper Bernina 1000-Series Maintenance: Part 3

Bernina Carrier Unit

Bernina Carrier Unit

This post is the third in a series I am doing on the proper maintenance of Bernina 1000-Series machines. I realize that as a Bernina owner, you most likely won’t be performing your own services, but I’d still like to give you some information about what I do when you bring your 1000-Series machine to Temecula Valley Sewing Center for service.

If you are interested in reading the first two posts in this series, they are available to read by following the links below:

In this post, I will be sharing information about one of the most critical part groups in a 1000-Series Bernina machine, the carrier unit.

The Carrier Unit

There are a lot of things that can go wrong with the carrier unit. That’s why I feel that it is essential to take this group of parts out of a Bernina 1000-Series machine at least once ever 2 years. As I said in part 1 of this series, if a machine comes in for annual service, I normally alternate taking out the head frame and the carrier unit. Without taking the carrier unit out, there’s really no way to thoroughly clean and lubricate some of it’s parts. There’s also no way to check some of the adjustments on the carrier unit without taking it out, so it just needs to come out!

Some of the more common problems I see in carrier units would be:

  • Bevel gears worn and making a knocking noise.
  • Stitch length crank / slider damaged from lack of lubrication and squeeking.
  • Broken springs that won’t allow the machine to feed fabric.
  • Play in the base shaft, creating a knocking noise.
  • Actual feed dog height off (as compared to feed dog height set by carrier unit position).
  • Overall lack of lubrication.

The list above doesn’t even cover all of the adjustments that need to be checked.

I’ve had customers tell me that their machine worked better after they got it back for service than it worked when it was brand new. I just think I’m doing my job, and I think a lot of sewing machine technicians are not. You should always make sure to bring your Bernina to a Bernina dealer for service, and don’t be afraid to ask if they take the carrier unit out during an annual service. If they don’t, then find one that does.

Posted in

Reader Comments (5)

Robin Westre on 1/2/13 @ 2:42pm

I'm looking at a Bernina 1000 Designer but don't know much about that particular machine. I have a Bernina 930 which I love and was the last model, I believe, before computerized machines and machines using plastic parts. It sounds like the 1000 is not computerized, it sounds very basic. I wonder about plastic parts. I'm looking for a good basic machine for my daughter. Is it easy to keep in adjustment and fairly problem-free? I realize you don't know the condition of this machine and I don't either but will try it out before buying and have it serviced afterwards. But let's say it works just fine. Would you recommend this machine?
Thank you.

b.gottier on 1/3/13 @ 9:22am

Robin, I don't really like the 1000 because it is a rotary hook machine. I think you're better off looking for something else.

Liz on 2/15/17 @ 12:51am

I have a Bernina 1000 Designer which I bought as a demo model in 1990/1991. I am happy with it now, but I had alot trouble with in the first few years. The Bernina dealer I got the machine from did not service their machine before selling it to me. I took my Bernina 1000 back to the Bernina dealer for them to do a no charge service on it. I had to take back to this dealer 2 times for them to service it so that it was better and even after the 2nd service I found lots of lint build up under the metal sewing plate! On thick fabrics like gaberdine the tension was OK, but on thinner dress fabrics the tension was too tight on my Bernina 1000 no matter what I did with the tension dial. So I took my machine to a sewing machine repair shop a few years later the sewing technician man pulled the thread on the bobbin and then adjusted the bobbin tension. It was a bit better after this man adjusted the bobbin tension. In the last week I have got even better tension by learning how to adjust the bobbin tension myself.
About 10 years back I went into a different Bernina dealer and found the tension on their demo models was too tight, but the sales lady said that is the way Berninas sew! I recently spoke to a young lady that said her family have about 5 Berninas, but they do not handle finer fabrics well and that the Berninas chew up and tear the finer fabrics. Since then I learnt how to fix the bobbin tension which has helped my machine a bit better on finer fabrics. I now get a nice lock stitch when the Bernina tension dial is set on 5 - which I was not getting before fixing the bobbin tension.

b.gottier on 2/15/17 @ 7:21pm

I see that you are finding that not all sewing machine technicians are the same. The skill level of "factory trained" technicians greatly varies.

Marilyn on 1/8/14 @ 4:11pm

I have a Bernina 1000 special. The bobbin winder stopped working, tried turning the shaft. It won't turn. Made the mistake of taking the little,cutter off, thinking that might help. Wrong p, the little washer or bolt fell down, cling, clang inside the machine. Is it safe to let the little washer/bolt down inside. Still can't use the winder. Do you recommend a replacement part. And can I put it in myself?

Leave a comment