Fix Tin Lizzie 18 Problems: Quilting Machine Troubleshooting

Even industrial sewing machines have problems. They may be built better, have better parts, better service warranties and so on but these industrial sewing machines can and will break down on you. It is a sad shame but there is little you can do about it once a machine decides not to work right.

Believe it or not, one fix recommended by the company was to hit their sewing machine with a hammer if it did not work right. But if it really is the electronics you may have to completely rewire the machine to solve the problem. It can get that bad.

To learn more about fixing a Tin Lizzie sewing machine, just continue to read our article. These machines do seem to have their lemons. But they also have their top-quality models that work like a charm. You just never know which one you bought till you work with it.

Common Problems With Tin Lizzie 18


These common problems should be easy to fix as they take place on all sewing machines at some time or another. If you have poor stitch quality, then you should adjust the take-up bar a little. The gap should be about a fingertip width apart.

If the take-up bar is too high then you will looping stitches. If the bar is too low, then the quilt doesn’t move as quickly through the needle. Then, if the top thread breaks check the needle position. An incorrect needle placement will sever the thread.

When you see long loose threads on your quilt, or what are called eyelashes, turn the thread tension a 1/4 turn clockwise to make the right adjustment. That is the top tension is not tight enough.

For quilt puckers, you need to turn the tension disc counterclockwise to loosen it off. Just do little adjustments until the problem is solved. other common problems will be dirt, loose threads, fuzz and then when you see those items, it is time to clean the machine.

Tin Lizzie Quilting Machine Troubleshooting

Well, one of the problems we alluded to earlier is the electrical system. It is made from cheap parts and put together rather cheaply as well. What makes it a problem is that when one item goes into the electrical system, everything else messes up.

To troubleshoot that problem you may have a long search on your hands as it is hard to find the actual source as nothing is working right. One way to avoid this issue is to plug your sewing machine into a surge protector and do not plug anything else into that same device.

If you are under warranty it may be difficult to get any real customer service to fix the problem. Some owners have faced real difficulties getting help from the company. Especially when the problem is factory defective.

Some issues like motor freezing, encoder plug is defective, wheels misplaced on the carriage and so on. All of these problems cannot be solved outside of hiring a qualified repairman.

Then there is the problem with the honesty of the owner of the company and their many dealers. No one wants to take responsibility for any repairs or defective machines. It can be a battle to just get the sewing machine fixed.

The other side of the story is that there are those Tin Lizzy sewing machines that do not break down and their owners receive top-notch customer care. They have no complaints and feel that any negative experiences should be removed from public viewing.

Basically, the type of service you get will depend on who you are, how you act towards the company and dealers, and so on.

Tin Lizzie Stitch Regulator


The purpose of this device is to regulate the stitch length. Once you set it to the length you want, then every stitch comes out that same length. It does not matter which direction you go in or at what speed you are quilting. The stitch regulator maintains the same length of stitch until you change it.

With that said, this part is also a very vulnerable part that is prone to malfunctioning. While some owners have no problems with their stitch regulator, other owners are seeing it break down more than once in a short period.

One sewer gets about 5 quilts done and then the regulator breaks down. Another 5 quilts with a new replacement and it breaks down. There will be times like this as some lemons do exist and get through quality control.

Also, there may be a problem with manufacturing these parts because if the replacements are doing the same thing, there is a major problem somewhere. If it is not the wiring in your home, then it is the wiring in the device.

A tiny part just outside of the stitch regulator may go defective. When that happens then the device just does not operate as it should. When you are spending a lot of money on a sewing machine, you are taking a big risk.

Most times, the sewing machine will run like it is supposed to but other times...well nothing will make them work right. By the way, if you click on this link, you will be taken to a website that says its stitch regulator is compatible with the Tin Lizzie machines and will work on those sewing machines that have problems with that part.

Tin Lizzie Long Arm Dealer

For some reason, it is hard to find any information on dealers for this company. Not that they do not exist but unlike larger companies, the Tin Lizzy 18 just doesn't have dedicated dealers that sell their products only. The dealers that do sell them, may also sell other brands and are known by those alternative and more famous brand names.

While we saw many local shops online selling a Tin Lizzie 18 sewing machine, they were not large companies or dedicated dealers. In fact, we could not find a website for the Tin Lizzie 18 company itself.

The company seems to have a Facebook page but the last post was made in May 2020 and nothing since then. You can always send them a message to see if they are still around and producing sewing machines. their Facebook i.d. is TL18 or TinLizzie18 Long Arm Quilters.

As for dealers, there are likely a lot of them since this is supposed to be a family business and not a very large one at that. Many people have said that they have had to contact the company directly to get any help.

** After further research we were able to find a list of Lock Smith Lizzie dealers which is the newish name for the Tin Lizzie. Click here to get to it. But we should mention that the dealer page is missing from the website we found through 2 different searches for the Lock Smith Lizzie website.

Who Makes Tin Lizzie Quilting Machines?


The last word we had was that Bill Floyd started the company back in 2006. Mr. Floyd had been in the sewing machine industry designing and improving other brands’ industrial machines since 1948.

The company was to have started in California and then moved to Utah when Mr. Floyd’s son joined the firm. It has been a father-son, family-type business ever since. One piece of information we ran into during our research was written by both father and son, at least their signatures are on the document, and that provided little information on the company.

Inside the document under the warranty page, they provide a direct phone number to their head office and said that if any dealer was not co-operating, to call them instead. Some people have reported doing this and there have been both positive and negative reports of the exchange between all parties.

Some exchanges have been good and others not so good. The document we are or have been referring to seems like an instruction manual on how to set up the machine, time it, and so on. If you need to read it, just click this link.

The strange thing is that the link takes you to a parts store that deals in other brands as well as the Tin Lizzie.

Is Tin Lizzie Out of Business?

This may be hard to say. You may get that impression if you are searching for the company and using the words Tin Lizzie 18. Those words may not get you to the right location anymore and there is a good reason for this problem.

The company’s main website is Lock Smith Lizzie and you can get to their website by clicking on this link. when we clicked on the link ourselves, the landing page had in big letters Inventory Liquidation Sale.

We checked all the other web pages and aside from the products page, there was no additional information. All the product pages did was provide typical sales information and the specs on each of the two Tin Lizzies they are producing, if they are still making them.

On the products page, there is an extra link to push called downloads, and we call it extra as it is not on any other web page. But when you click on the link, all you get is the message downloads coming soon.

What bothers us is that we got to their ‘new’ website through a link posted 3 years ago. There is no copyright date next to the copyright at the bottom of the landing page.

As mentioned earlier when we searched for the LockSmith Lizzie website we came across a Lock Smith Lizzie dealer page. But when you clicked the home page link, you could get to the home page of the company but you could not return to the dealer page. There was no return link.

There could be many reasons as to why these navigational errors are popping up and we will leave it to you to figure out the clues and see if the company is still in business or not.

What Does Tin Lizzie Mean?


One story goes that back in the day car companies hosted races to promote their new vehicles. One race had an old Model T that was nicknamed ‘old liz’. When people saw how bad a shape it was in, they started to compare it to a tin can.

This took place in 1922 in a race held at Pikes Peak, CO., and as the comparisons grew so did the disbelief that the car stood a chance. When the race got underway, the car was unofficially named the tin lizzy.

Then the newspapers carried the story of this unique victory and in those stories published across the nation, they used the new nickname tin lizzy. Ever since then, that nickname stuck to the Model T.

A couple of dictionaries define the term tin lizzy as meaning a cheap or dilapidated car. That may make it appropriate for the tin lizzy sewing machine as many people claim that their sewing machine was made from cheap parts.

Other sources have said that the term tin lizzy used to apply to certain horses and was transferred to the Model T at some point in history. When used with the sewing machine, it is merely a brand name with probably little meaning attached to it, except to honor the Model T.

Some Final Words

Since we have found no mention of the owners and the company beyond what we have reported here, it may be that the owners passed on and any future generations did not want to continue the business.

After all, Mr. Floyd was an adult in 1948 and his son Ernie was an adult in 1975. The latter date is 45 years ago so anything is possible why they are liquidating the company.

Leave a Comment:

Add Your Reply