Sewing machine oiling

Does anybody know how to open up a “never need to oil” sewing machine so I can oil it? I can’t find anything online.

I bought a new machine–Janome New Home 311/Arctic Crystal–about 18 months ago. It’s a beautiful shade of green* and had good reviews on Amazon. It said it doesn’t need oiling, and there are no instructions in the owner’s manual.

It’s been sewing well until this week, when it started clanking. I took off the usual parts (pressure foot, base plate, bobbin and race assembly) cleaned it, and changed the needle. Still clanking. I took all those parts off again, and ran the machine without them. Clankclankckank.

Bottom line, this machine needs to be oiled, but It’s all sealed up. Reading online, I’m apparently supposed to take the machine to a Janome dealer every year for “service”, i.e., cleaning and oiling.

I’ve always maintained my own machines, including retiming a couple; I had one for nearly 50 years. I’m outraged that this machine is designed to require a professional to do something that is normally so simple. It’s like computer printers; the printer is cheap, but the ink cartridges cost an arm and a leg. Yeah, I refill my ink cartridges.

*color is a bad reason to choose a machine, but the reviews were as good as the boring machines. Also, I now realize that the reviews were written shortly after purchase, so nobody mentioned the long term problems.

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That sounds absolutely the worst. I’m not familiar, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m cheering for you on finding a solution to get around the bad practice of preventing people from fixing their own stuff.

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Thank you!
I found an older Kenmore for sale, and may just dump this pretty piece in the trash.
Not really, but I’m that mad.

I’ve had some luck. Pried off a little coverplate to reveal the screw that holds the cover over the upper left side of the machine. Removed some thread caught in the machinery and oiled the same spots as my old machine.

#@%&#!!! Noise returned.

I wonder if I could paint the older machine…

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Good luck! I would love to see a picture of this amazing color. :slight_smile:

It also came in pink or blue. Doesn’t seem to be sold anymore, I wonder why…


Wow! That is an amazing color. You were right. Well shoot. I am sorry it’s been such a headache. :frowning:

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Sounds like new cars, you can barely change your own oil these days, let alone time with engine troubles that you could in the past. It’s a way to keep getting more money out of you. I’m a novice sewist with hand me down machines, so this is good to know if I ever have to go shopping for a new one.

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Try googling to find the service manual. They’re not generally available so it can take some looking. Surprisingly, I’ve had good luck finding service manuals in machine specific facebook groups.

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I have the service manual that came with the machine, and also downloaded the one online. They’re identical, and don’t even mention oiling or maintenance. There’s no help under troubleshooting, either.

The Janome site wasn’t helpful (contact your dealer!), and the people in online janome forums are actually scolding people for not having their machines professionally serviced annually.

What is the world coming to?

Do you have the owners manual or the service manual the techs use when you take your machine in for repair? The latter will be more difficult to find but will have all of the info about opening your machine, what to clean, what needs grease, oil, etc.

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Oh! I’ll google now.

Wow really? Sounds like a bunch of snobs. Not everyone can afford to pay for annual professional sewing machine cleaning.

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I think it’s part of Janome’s image; high quality machines that require the best care. That may be a legitimate argument for their computerized models, but this one is purely mechanical.

In fact, the mechanics inside seem identical to my 1970 Kenmore. The biggest difference is the outside case. The Kenmore was designed for easy access, this one to intimidate home sewers.

I haven’t had luck finding a service manual, but there’s a couple of videos on taking it apart. I probably have an electronic version of my Kenmore manual (or can download it), and will use that for maintenance. Maybe the service manual for that would work for this, too.

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I have never taken my machines in for service…I have always managed to do it on my own, even without a manual…just basically oiled anything that moved…lol…

Where does the clanking sound like it is coming from?

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Agreeing with @AIMR, basically if it is a moving part, it needs to be oiled.

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After oiling everything I could, I ran the machine without the shuttle assembly (the parts around the bobbin), and it was quiet.
By experimentation and elimination, I found that the shuttle itself is making the noise.

You don’t usually oil that, but I did, and it made no difference. So now I suspect it is damaged, though I haven’t broken a needle or done anything that might have caused a problem. It’s not scratched or bent as far as I can tell.

I’ve been looking for a replacement shuttle, but there are no part numbers in the owner’s manual, and googling and eBay didn’t turn up anything for the model number or name. The Janome site doesn’t have parts for it, tells me to contact my dealer. I emailed the local dealer, asked if they can supply the part or part number.

It’s good to have a project, right?

Can you take the throat plate off? There are two screws on the shuttle case that can get loose and cause the case to rattle around…very rarely does the shuttle case need to be replaced…it would take a lot to damage the metal…

Woohoo! Those screws were tight, but it prompted me to tighten the screws for the clips that hold the ring. Silence!

Incidentally, I DID damage a shuttle, about 35-40 years ago. That’s very low incidence considering how many hundreds of miles I’ve sewn, on dozens of different machines.



When I was about 23, I decided I had a knack for mechanical things. I took apart a sewing machine, a toaster, and a lawn mower and put them back together. The toaster caught on fire because I didn’t know a lot about electricity back then…everything else worked!

I am now the official fixer of things in my house…glad it worked…you don’t need no stinkin’ FB group snots or fancy repair shop! You rock!!!