Sunday, July 31, 2011

1924, Singer 128-13 Flying Shuttle

I just wasn't sure If I could fix this machine or not. So, I waited and waited untill the price dropped to an affordable level ($25.00). I brought it home and took as much of the machine apart as I was comfortable with. Then I soaked it in penetrating oil and let it sit......for hours. It was still frozen up solid.

Finally, after almost 24 hours and still no free movement, I took a big screwdriver and pried this back "Noodle Gear" (that's what I call it) free from it's socket. Wow, it was at least moving.

Now I had to completely re-wire the whole electrical portion of this machine including the light. After several more hours of cleaning and oiling, I was ready to try a test sewing.

Wow, It actually worked. It took a while to figure out how to thread this bobbin, I wasn't doing it correctly to begin with. Oh, I forgot to mention that it didn't come with a belt so I had to make one. Nylon Clothes Line cut and melted together works great. You just have to clean up the bump at the weld a bit.

I just love the decorative etching they did back then on the front cover plates.

I consider myself lucky to have found this machine in repairable shape. Even more lucky that it came with the wood dome case in excellent shape.

Here is one more picture showing the machine and it's re-wired components.
The foot controller has some very strange plugs so you could un-hook it from the machine.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A funny thing happened at work today

Today was one of those....."One in a million" days.  I had a chance to do a service call on a Satellite Internet problem. I was going to have to drive about 70 miles to get to this rural location.
When I did finally find the place, I introduced my self and proceeded to get to work and fix the problem.
Every thing seemed to go well and I had them up and going in about 20 minutes. I noticed that this customer had words pertaining to "SEWING" in their customer ID. While I was on hold with Tech Support, I ask if they were into sewing. After receiving a YES answer, I proceed to tell them my sewing machine repair story.
To make a short story even shorter, I ended up working on a machine and actually fixing it while I was there. Talk about a confidence builder. Apparently the machine had fallen and was caught short of bouncing off the floor. BUT, it would not sew anymore. This was an older machine. What I call a "Badge" Machine and they are very well built, Made in Japan, and designed after many of the great Singer models. (More on Badge Machines another day)

The needle was running into the bobbin assembly. I guess, either by catching, or barely bumping the floor,
the whole  bobbin assembly had shifted. I checked the timing and it was where it was supposed to be.
I finally found how to move the whole assembly back into position.

I had to loosen these screws and gently tap the assembly back into position. The black arrow shows the direction. After tightening everything up and loading some thread, it started sewing again. Remember, I have only been doing this since the end of May, 2011, and there is no way I could have done this with out having taken the "Ray White Class". What a great teacher.

A very happy sewer here! I personally love these old machines, especially the colors.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Singer 401A decorative stitch sewing machine

The Singer 401A was popular in the early 1960's (as far as I know)
and featured an adjustable throat plate, a hinged face plate,
superfine control of stitch length, a built in Light,
a new needle clamp that can hold 2 needles and the "Cam Stack". This machine, also known as the "Slant-O-Matic", was professed to be The Greatest Sewing Machine ever built.
(At least that's what it says on the owners manual)

I probably had the most trouble with this machine trying to get the "needle swing" working correctly. It was gummed up and would stick on the right side. It was driving me nuts! I finally found the service manual and there was a "step by step" on how to free up the needle swing. These old machines can really clean up nice.

The picture below shows the cam stack with the addition of the one "Special" replacable cam.

This machine came with it's own table which was in perfect shape.

And, I had to try sewing with 2 needles. I am not a sewer but I really enjoyed playing with the decorative stitches with 2 needles.

Being new in the sewing machine repair business, I new it would take a while to develop a customer base. I also new that I needed to gain some confidence. I search garage sales, flea markets, antique stores, Craigslist and E-bay for inexpensive machines to work on. What a great learning experience.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ruthie's Singer 15-91

Now let's go back to the first machine I played with. I can't really say I serviced it back then. I really didn't know much about sewing machines. I just cleaned it up and then decided to refinish the cabinet. It turned out well. This was actually a Birthday Present for Ruth in 2010.

I have since gone over it with a "fine toothed comb" and it really is a
nice, old machine (1949)

Pulled for servicing Front Shot


Serial Number

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

1951 Singer 301

I came across a Singer 301 which I heard was a very collectable model.
It turns out, that the Singer 301 is very close to a 221-featherweight. The whole functionality and bobbin package looks exactly the same as the featherweight as far as I can tell. Unlike the featherweight, the 301 has a "slant" needle.

Here is a picture of the bobbin assembly and the knob that lowers the feed dogs for free motion sewing.

This Machine came with a 3-drawer table and a special cradle that is required for mounting a 301 into a table.
watch machine demonstration video

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I am just getting started here.

I will start this blog with the oldest machine I have worked on. This is an Aldens treadle. I spent hours on cleaning and adjusting this "vibrating shuttle" machine. Wow, this was the strangest bobbin I have ever seen.

I then spent hours stripping and refinishing (tongue Oil) this entire cabinet. Restoration Video Here

Here is a closer look at the machine. It sews great and it looks great. It was sold for $149.00 to a collector in Northern Indiana.

A closer look, and ahhh, by the way, it takes some practice to do the treadle thing and feed fabric at the same time. At least for me!