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Husqvarna/Viking 6460 and a Longbow Case

I really enjoy this Husqvarna 6460 — one of the machines in the “6000” line. It’s a solid, heavy machine; it stitches beautifully, it’s easy to thread, and (most important to me) the bobbin completely behaves itself! The only time I’ve ever created rat’s nests is when I do something dumb like forget to set the presser foot back down — and even then it’s not all that messy.

The bobbin’s easy to thread, it’s easy to insert in and thread the case, and it’s easy to replace the bobbin case. I’m always apprehensive when I have to fool with the bobbin on my Bernina Virtuoso 150 … it’s often the precursor to “man versus machine” bobbin wars. Not at all the case with this beautiful machine!

I am waxing enthusiastic, but there are a few “gotcha’s” you have to watch for on this machine. I’ll talk about some of these as we go on.

This machine uses cams for most of the extra ornamentive stitches. There are a handful of stitches available without a cam — these stitches show on the upper left control knob. The upper right control knob handles the stitch length. The bottom control knob handles the stitch width; it also selects one of the four cam patterns when a cam is inserted.

The upper right control knob offers several stitches — or you can set it to the circle. When the circle is set, control reverts to whatever cam may be inserted.

Here’s one of the “gotcha’s” — this machine is susceptible to cam woes. Camshaft breaks, camshaft locking … things like that. One symptom of this problem is that zig-zag stitching will not work — the machine will be stuck in straight stitch no matter what stitch width you select. Unfortunately for me, this machine is one of those so afflicted. I can only use straight stitching.

Another problem this machine may have is that it may stick in “reverse” feed. When I first received this machine, it did stick in reverse. I fiddled with it a bit and was able to get it feeding normally again. Usually stuck reverse feed can be corrected by using Triflow or some other method to “unstick” the innards.

The bobbin case is easy to reach on this free-arm machine. I normally prefer drop-in bobbins — because I usually don’t have problems with drop-in bobbins. Even though this is an upright bobbin, I’ve never had problems with it … so I don’t consider the lack of a drop-in as a weakness for this machine. If the bobbin fits, you must acquit.

Here’s the bobbin winding mechanism on the side of the machine. You can pull the plastic dealy around the bobbin winding shaft — when you do so, the machine slips into a “slow-speed, high torque” mode. Many people find this a really nice feature.

There are two thread spool pins; I usually use the left-most one for needle threading and the right-most one for bobbin threading. That way I don’t have to unthread the machine if I’m using only one spool of thread.

But wait — one feature of this machine is that you can wind your bobbin from the needle thread WITHOUT having to unthread the needle! Pretty cool, right? There’s a thread path you can use leading from the needle to the bobbin winder. This feature works pretty well — although it tends to bend the needle a little bit (but not permanently). Looks scary, but nothing is harmed.

The only thing I don’t like about threading the bobbin via the needle route is that it generates TREMENDOUS amounts of thread lint! Not a problem to brush this away when you’re done, but I find myself winding bobbins from a second spool to avoid the lint mess.

The bobbin winding does not stop automatically — you have to monitor bobbin progress yourself.

Here’s the cam slot — on the back of the machine near the thread spool pins. There are eight cams — “A” through “H” — for this machine. Each cam provides four ornamental stitch patterns.

Cool and easy — but there’s a “gotcha” …

… and here it is. Each cam has three “pegs” on the end of it. These pegs slip into the cam mechanism and lock the cam into place. This “pegs” are a weak point — they can break off. I don’t know if they easily break off — but you have to check to make sure that cams have all three pegs before they can be used.

You can see two of the pegs on this cam, but you can’t quite see the third. That’s because it’s not there! This particular cam is missing a peg — making it unusable. If you try to use the peg, the inner cam mechanism can break!

Four of the eight cams I received with this machine had broken pegs. I didn’t know to check this before I purchased the machine (an Ebay find).

Here’s what the camslot looks like with no cam. I don’t know if I’m missing something inside or not — none of my cams fit securely (even the ones with all three pegs), so I think something may be missing.

This machine needs a visit to the shop (because I’m pretty hopeless mechanically). However, it stitches so well in straight-stitch mode that I keep putting off the doctor visit!

Threading the machine was a little different — I’m used to threading things from right to left. Note how the tension knob is on the top left part of the machine. The thread path thus goes all the way from right to left, then you work your way back to the right again!

One thing I really, really liked — almost every thread post has a “slot”. This means you don’t have to “thread” the thread through a hole — you can pull it through the slot instead. This is really nice for weak-eyed fumble-fingered folks like myself!

A free-arm machine — with a detachable sewing table. This table is made of a very sturdy and strong PVC. Even though it’s a plastic, it feels very solid and strong.

The project I’d like to make is a fabric “case” for a 6 foot long bow. My wife and I like to go to Renaissance festivals in costume. I normally go as a French cheesemaker — but I think I’ll go as an archer next time. One of things I need is a case for my longbow that I can carry on my back.