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Problem With Brand New Adler 205-370



Hello All,

I'm new to this forum, and would like to seek some help/guidance from other Adler 205-370.

Earlier this year, I purchased one of the last new 205-370 available from Michel Simard in Montreal. From the very beginning, I've had issues with the stitch-length, or should I say the symmetry of the stitch-length in forward vs reverse. I was told it was normal that the machine would not back-stitch in its holes, when adjusting the rotating knob on the lever. To ensure same stitch-length in reverse, I had to (from Michel Simard's perspective) use the metal (chrome) sliders above and below the lever, and set them to a fixed position where the forward and backward stitches would be equal. I purchased Weaver Leather DVD on the Adler 205, and it's very clearly stated that stitch length should be the same in forward and reverse, solely using the knob to adjust it. I also watched many videos on the 205 and clones, and they all backstitch in their holes.

After a few visits, this problem was partially solved. However, now, the machine maximum stitch-length went down to less than 8mm (instead of 10mm) when sewing leather. I was told by Michel Simard to test it on a piece of paper, and if it was 9mm long, it was all right. The spec states 10 mm in forward and 10mm in reverse, and my machine used to reach that length before the last adjustment.

Now, also after the last adjustment, the machine has started to "throw" (for lack of a better word - I'm french-canadian) the leather toward me (the front of the machine) when sewing. The needle and the feed-dog move forward as the presser foot rises. This is possibly one of the reason I loose on my stitch-length. Plus, when sewing in thicker material, it makes the needle break, so I don't want to use my machine anymore.

It is still under the original manufacturer's warranty, so I need to run this through Michel Simard, but every time, I'm told that it's a normal behaviour.

So, I'm reaching out to you, Adler 205 owners, to help me determine if I'm crazy and this is all normal, or if you get completely different behaviours from your own machine.

Also, if anyone of you know a 205-guru that would completely readjust my machine and make it work as it should, I would be very grateful !

Thanks in advance guys !

Best regards from Montreal



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Hi Danny, I am an Industrial Sewing Machine Technician and can put some light on your situation through experience with Adler 205 and general Industrial Leather Walking Foot Machines. Firstly, the spec of a maximum 10mm Stitch length is correct and in theory should back stitch (reverse) into the stitch holes. Some fine tuning may be required by adjusting the position of the Upper & Lower Slider Plates in the reverse lever guide plate. It can sometimes be difficult to get this adjustment correct but your Adler agent should have the necessary skills or be able to obtain technical assistance from DurkoppAdler in Germany to help with this problem. With regard to the feeding problem, "The needle and the feed-dog move forward as the presser foot rises", this is caused by the Walking Foot Assembly being out of adjustment/sync. The feed dog height on your model is not adjustable but is adjustable forward and aft....the stitch length should be set to maximum and then turn the machine over by hand and check to see if there is equal clearance in the throatplate forward and back. Needle breakage is definitely related to incorrect feed/foot timing and also hook timing/needle clearance. I would help you more if I was in Canada but am located in New Zealand. My advise would be to ask the suppliers to agree to allow you to get an independent technician to go over your machine and reset the timings etc. Good luck!

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Thanks for the follow-up and the recommendations. I spent a few hours on my machine last weekend. It turned out that 30 minutes studying the parts break-down, and looking at the various components of the machine were enough to figure out the problem(s). The biggest one (problem) was that the cam was roughly 15deg off. So the needle arm and the feed-dog were still moving forward while the presser foot was starting to rise. This caused my maximum stitch-length to go from 10mm to below 8mm when sewing. Once the cam was adjusted, I got back my 10 mm forward and backward. Since I had ordered Weaver's timing device, I also retimed the machine (which was also way off). That completely eliminated my skipped stitches as well as the heavy "wrinkling" (if that's even a word) when sewing lighter material. Now I can sew very thin canvas/fabric/leather without any wrinkle or skipped stitches. That also took care of the needle-breaking problem.

As for the symmetry of the stitch length (forward and backward), I couldn't find any adjustment that would allow me to fix that problem from the gut of the machine. The neutral was at the right place, and I got 10 mm stitch-length in both direction when set in full length. So what I did is to simply shim the front lower part of the plastic bezel of the direction lever. I found that adding a piece of 1/8" aluminum flat-bar on the flat surface of the lower portion, and beveled to near zero thickness at the neutral point allows for a perfect back-stitch, whatever the stitch-length or the material thickness - without using the metal gliders to adjust the stitch-length in fixed positions.

I'm still a bit surprised and shocked that I could fix all my problems in less than 4 hours, with literally zero knowledge of how a sewing machine works, when the folks at Michel Simard spent 14 hours before dropping the ball on me.

However, I'm really happy that it all worked out fine, and now I can enjoy my new machine at its best !

Thanks for your comments and suggestions, and have a great weekend !


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