REPLACING THE CHECK SPRING
Tools you’ll need: 2 mm hex wrench and/or small flat head screwdriver.
Remove each piece on the tensioner and set each item down in front of you keeping them in same order, this makes reassembly much easier.
Start with the outermost knob. This is silver on the standard tensioner and gray/black plastic on the high-performance tensioner.
Next is the knurl plate. It is called a knurl plate because it has little hash marks (knurls) that allow the plate to grip to the knob keeping consistent pressure on the beehive spring and preventing it from slipping while quilting. Note the knurls face outward, toward the knob.
Then remove the beehive spring – large silver spring shaped like a beehive.
After the spring is a silver plate that is shaped like a shallow bowl, with a hole in the middle. The lip around the bowl is what holds the beehive spring in place. This lip should always face outwards.
Next is one of your felt or composite disks.
The rotary wheel that holds the thread is after that and then your last felt/disk.
Take a picture of the order if needed. They are going to stay in the same order and same orientation when put back together.
On the other end of the tensioner, the barrel part that goes into the machine – there is a small screw that either has a small flat head screw top or small hex wrench screw top. Loosen this screw just a little bit and the core of the tensioner will slide out.
Remove your old spring or broken spring.
To put the new spring in, it is best to start with the spring in your right hand, and the barrel in the other.
With the spring in your right hand, between your thumb and finger, orient it so that the bottom of the loop or “U” of the spring is towards you, and the tail or open end of the “U” is pointing to your right.
With the barrel in your left hand, hold the open side towards the spring in your other hand. Look for the hole/thin opening on the edge of the barrel. This is where you are going to feed the tail of the spring in to.
You’re going to keep the spring in your hand the same way, sort of flipping it as you feed it through the opening and then push the coil of the spring into the barrel.
Once the coil is in the barrel, take a look inside: In the center of the coil is little hook. This hook lines up with a groove in the core that you need to re-insert next. If the groove in the core is not lined up with the hook in the spring, it will be impossible to change the strength of the spring.
Once the core is in, rotate the core so that the spring is resting against the top of the opening for the spring, you’ll then tighten the set screw on the barrel.
Then place all the items back on the core, staring with the first felt/composite disk, then the wheel, then the next felt/disk, then the “bowl” plate, beehive spring, knurl plate with knurls facing outward and finally the knob.
To set you tensioner back to perfect tension in a snap, follow the tension directions on the education page of our website.