Oiling the MC500E


Kathy Strabel
 

Jim ans other Janome fans--
Once again, I am needing some advice. Or maybe just an opportunity to vent a little. 
It is time to oil my machine which has recently been in the shop numerous times for another issue, which appears to have been solved.
I have oiled my machine as instructed in the Owner's Manual, about once a month, depending on useage for the 2-1/2 years I have owned this machine. 

On page page 62 of the manual, there is an illustration showing where to remove a screw from deep within the machine. I am referring to the small round hole that is on the machine's bottom when the machine is in its normal upright position, not the little rectanglular one that has a cover on it, also on the bottom. You're supposed to insert the screwdriver into the round hole, remove the screw, and remove the plastic cover piece (which is called the thread cutter cover).  It was extremely hard to do the first time, so I left that screw out of the machine altogether, to make subsequent oilings easier. Well, the repair shop put that screw back in place and I cannot get it out for the life of me. I cannot even see inside the hole with a penlight flashlight with an LED light!!!  I do not recall how I actually did it the original time.  But I do recall that it was extremely frustrating and hard to do.   

Do you, or anyone else on this Group have a secret tool or method to get that screw out so I can remove the thread cutter cover and oil the machine?  I know that I am going to be told to take it back to the dealer, but I really do not want to do that for screw removal!!    And, at this point, the dealer probably would rather I not come in so soon again.  Of course, no repairman is going to show at my door on a housecall for this.  Once again, I will have to use up my time driving back and forth......sigh.......

Janome designers and engineers: you get a big fat FAIL for this design. The machine requires user oiling on a regular schedule, yet it is next to impossible to expose some of the parts that need oiling.  You are not gaining fans with this design. Has it been changed on the later MC550e Machine?  

Any comments or suggestions appreciated.
Kathy Strabel   Camas WA


Jim Stutsman
 

Yes, it's a very annoying design "feature". You'll need a Phillips aka Cross Point screwdriver, at a size slightly smaller than the hole. With the machine on its back, put the screwdriver in the hole, keeping it as straight as you can. Once you feel it contact metal gently work it back and forth until you feel it slip into the screw head. Then hold the machine with one hand and push the screwdriver in as hard as you can while turning it counter-clockwise. If it pops out of the head you may be using too small of a screwdriver. Pro tip - get the longest screwdriver that you can find. This provides extra torque in case the screw has been put in by a 500 pound gorilla.


Kathy Strabel
 

Jim---Thanks for posting this about the oiling process of the MC500e.   When you say the screwdriver should be slightly smaller than the opening, are you referring to the shaft of the screwdriver? The one I have is 3/16"  diameter on its shaft. I need to almost fill up the opening with the screwdriver, to make it go in straight--correct?
Kathy Strabel   Camas WA


Kathy Strabel
 

Jim--I am happy to say "Mission Accomplished" I FINALLY got that pesky screw out. It takes patience, which I was running out of yesterday. Also, I found that if you hold a light source BEHIND the area where the screw is located, with the needle plate off and peering into the dark hole in just the right position---you can see where the screw is located. But of course you won't be able to see it as the screwdriver goes in. Still, this gets you closer to the target with the additional light.    And, of course, this little screw dropped inside the machine as I was extracting it. I was able to retrieve it with a small magnet on a telescoping handle.   

The Janome designers/engineers really need to re-think this item!!!
Happy stitching!
Kathy Strabel   Camas WA


Pixey
 

One other suggestion is to invest in a screw driver with a magnetized tip.  Like this one…


Thanks for the warning about your dealer replacing the screw after service.  

I was really hoping for a new release of the 500/550 design that would do away with this oiling and add wi-fi capability.

Pixey

On Sep 11, 2021, at 12:38 PM, Kathy Strabel <ksbappa@...> wrote:

Jim--I am happy to say "Mission Accomplished" I FINALLY got that pesky screw out. It takes patience, which I was running out of yesterday. Also, I found that if you hold a light source BEHIND the area where the screw is located, with the needle plate off and peering into the dark hole in just the right position---you can see where the screw is located. But of course you won't be able to see it as the screwdriver goes in. Still, this gets you closer to the target with the additional light.    And, of course, this little screw dropped inside the machine as I was extracting it. I was able to retrieve it with a small magnet on a telescoping handle.   

The Janome designers/engineers really need to re-think this item!!!
Happy stitching!
Kathy Strabel   Camas WA


Kathy Strabel
 

Pixey---Thanks for the suggestion for the magnetized screwdriver, which would have saved me a few brain cells in his process. I actually have a magnetized Phillips head screwdriver, but the shaft was too large to fit into the hole. My other Phillips head driver was too short to reach that screw!!  So, I ended up having to use my non-magnetized, very skinny shaft driver, which took a lot of patience and many tries to insert it in straight and engage the screw. But I was determined!!  The plastic piece (the thread cutter cover) actually has a guide molded into the inside of the piece that acts as a "target" to guide the driver to its destination, but you have to be able to locate and see that guide, which is two small ridges, or "fins" that guide the tip of the driver towards the location of the screw. ALso,, obviously, your driver has to be long enough. I will definitely invest in the longer, slightly "fatter" driver and reserve it for my exclusive use in my sewing room.   As for hoping for improvements in the upcoming model, it looks like we will have a long wait. Apparently, Janome is not introducing new models at this time due to difficulty in obtaining the required electronic chips from China for making the machines. I wonder if other machine manufacturers will announce similar news?   If I had my wish, my MC500e model would have automatic raising and lowering of the foot, and the needle threader button/handle would swing up and out of the way, or be located better.   I'm just sayin'......
Happy stitching----and thank you to all who have offered suggestions and advice.
Kathy Strabel    Camas WA  

On Sat, Sep 11, 2021 at 12:45 PM Pixey via groups.io <pixeyam=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
One other suggestion is to invest in a screw driver with a magnetized tip.  Like this one…


Thanks for the warning about your dealer replacing the screw after service.  

I was really hoping for a new release of the 500/550 design that would do away with this oiling and add wi-fi capability.

Pixey

On Sep 11, 2021, at 12:38 PM, Kathy Strabel <ksbappa@...> wrote:

Jim--I am happy to say "Mission Accomplished" I FINALLY got that pesky screw out. It takes patience, which I was running out of yesterday. Also, I found that if you hold a light source BEHIND the area where the screw is located, with the needle plate off and peering into the dark hole in just the right position---you can see where the screw is located. But of course you won't be able to see it as the screwdriver goes in. Still, this gets you closer to the target with the additional light.    And, of course, this little screw dropped inside the machine as I was extracting it. I was able to retrieve it with a small magnet on a telescoping handle.   

The Janome designers/engineers really need to re-think this item!!!
Happy stitching!
Kathy Strabel   Camas WA



--
Have a good one!
Kathy Strabel





Kathy Skagen
 

Since this is part of the design, it seems that a tool to accomplish it should have been included with the machine. None of our Janome machines are cheap.

On Saturday, September 11, 2021, 02:45:24 PM CDT, Pixey via groups.io <pixeyam@...> wrote:


One other suggestion is to invest in a screw driver with a magnetized tip.  Like this one…


Thanks for the warning about your dealer replacing the screw after service.  

I was really hoping for a new release of the 500/550 design that would do away with this oiling and add wi-fi capability.

Pixey

On Sep 11, 2021, at 12:38 PM, Kathy Strabel <ksbappa@...> wrote:

Jim--I am happy to say "Mission Accomplished" I FINALLY got that pesky screw out. It takes patience, which I was running out of yesterday. Also, I found that if you hold a light source BEHIND the area where the screw is located, with the needle plate off and peering into the dark hole in just the right position---you can see where the screw is located. But of course you won't be able to see it as the screwdriver goes in. Still, this gets you closer to the target with the additional light.    And, of course, this little screw dropped inside the machine as I was extracting it. I was able to retrieve it with a small magnet on a telescoping handle.   

The Janome designers/engineers really need to re-think this item!!!
Happy stitching!
Kathy Strabel   Camas WA