Tag Archives: 403A

The loosest thread – Those pesky thread nests

Some of the most common sewing machine issues I hear are:

  • “The bobbin thread is bunching up around the bobbin”,
  • “I have loops under the fabric”,
  • “It looks great on the top but the bottom looks awful!”,
  • “No matter how high I turn the tension on my bobbin, I still get a mess on the bottom side of the fabric!”,
  • “I keep lowering the upper tension but I still get loops underneath!”
  • “It’s the tension”
  • or something similar.

Something like this: Continue reading The loosest thread – Those pesky thread nests

Highway Star – Full speed from a Singer button controller

Back in April and May of 2012, I wrote the two posts that would become the most popular posts on this site.   These are the posts on how to adjust the Singer button controllers.  I’ve yet to find another brand’s pedals with so much adjustment which is why I advocate keeping them.

Today, I’m going to add a little tidbit of information.   Previously, we took care of a pedal that had been badly adjusted and was creating too much heat or was maybe not as responsive as you wanted – or a little too responsive and likely making noise.

What I didn’t cover at the time was how to adjust the pedal to get full speed. Continue reading Highway Star – Full speed from a Singer button controller

Motorin’ – Electric motor theory

Electric Motor theory – why and how we lubricate

There have been a lot of discussions about sewing machine motor lubricants over the years and I thought I’d take a step further back and discuss why we do this, how we do this and why some of the information “out there” is sort of F.U.D. (<- Wikipedia Link)

First off:  Why do we lube or oil a motor?  (I’m a why person, have you noticed this yet?? I’m quite sure I drive some people nuts with my “whys?”… )

Continue reading Motorin’ – Electric motor theory

Quick Note: Why I don’t recommend…

simply re-threading your machine when you have problems with it.

A quick note today folks! I’m inside waiting for the anti-inflammatories to kick in before I go back outside to do some bodywork on the truck so I thought I’d jot down a little note for you.

The traditional advice when you start to have tension problems with a machine seems to be “Re-thread it.  Everything, the bobbin case and the top”.

Most of the time that usually means that people yank the thread out from the back – or some will cut it and remove from the front – then they re-thread and…. it doesn’t fix it.  Sometimes it will but often it doesn’t.

Why? Continue reading Quick Note: Why I don’t recommend…

PSA: Sometimes it’s not what it seems with your seams

So today I sat down at my industrial to sew a couple of hems.  Yes, overkill but I like to exercise my machines a little sometimes. 😉  Immediately after sitting down, I noticed tension and stitch length problems.

Strangely, this photo doesn’t really show that there are 2 hems here.   Stitch lines 2 and 4 are the problem hems.  The bottom one is the most obvious, you can see loops and the stitch length kept changing. Continue reading PSA: Sometimes it’s not what it seems with your seams

Out of the nest – Ditching the Thread nests part 2

In the last post, we talked about ways that thread nests can be solved from a user point of view.  Today, I’m getting into the slightly more technical ways that the nests happen and how to deal with them, or when to take it in for service.

Category 2: Possibly user fixable or take it in – Depending on skill and comfort level

Continue reading Out of the nest – Ditching the Thread nests part 2

Fly little nestling – Ditching the Thread nests part 1

One of the most common issues that people bring machines to me for is tension.

The thing about it is that – in most cases – the tension issues are really not something that I need to address as a technician . Don’t get me wrong, there are some legitimate issues – mis-assembled tensioners or severely clogged up tensioners – to name a couple. Continue reading Fly little nestling – Ditching the Thread nests part 1

Stuck in the Middle – Frozen Slant-O-Matics

Note:  This post is some of what we’ll be going through in the class I’m giving in William’s Lake next month.

The 401A, 403A, 411G, and 431Gs along with the 500A and the 503A (or the J version) are possibly some of my favorite Singer machines.  There are a few more in this series as well, like the 401G and the 421G but I’ve honestly never laid hands on either of those models.   These machines are all fundamentally the same with some small differences.  They are all “Slant-O-Matics”, meaning that the whole stitching mechanism is tilted a little and angled toward the user to make the needle more visible.

Today, I’m going to talk a little about the differences and also about the one thing that makes some people shy away from these machines – the cam stack and stitch selectors are frozen.  It’s typically easy to fix, so I want you all to know how to take care of it.

Continue reading Stuck in the Middle – Frozen Slant-O-Matics

A Million Miles – traveling to speak and teach!

Note: Amended date!  I goofed ladies and gentlemen, April 16th is the date, not March!

Update: 2014-04-09 – It looks like the Evening class is tentatively full (may be able to open 1 more spot) and there is one left open for the morning class.  If you wanted to get in, now’s your chance!  We’ve been chatting about the possibility of me doing the class again in the future in William’s Lake, but there’s no firm timeline for it.

OK, so it’s not quite a million miles but I bet it feels like it by the time I get home.

I’m going to be teaching people just like you how to service and restore their vintage machines in BC next month! 🙂

Beauties like this:

IMG_1558

The Cariboo Piecemakers quilt guild has asked me to speak to the group about vintage sewing machines at their Tuesday meeting.   The following day I will be doing a marathon training session.

The class is in William’s Lake, B.C. Canada (approximately 3 hours out of Kamloops) the Wednesday before Easter (March  APRIL 16th) at the Pioneer Complex, and we have just added a second session and there’s currently a little room left.   The tentative times for the classes are 10am to 3pm with a break for lunch and 5pm to 9pm.  If you’re interested in attending, leave me a comment below or contact me here.

Here’s what I’m planning to cover: Continue reading A Million Miles – traveling to speak and teach!

Standing at a Crossroads – Thread: Cross Wound vs Stack Wound

I received an email from Roger about a month or so ago that asked for clarification about one of the posts I made last year. The post in question is Common Thread – Evaluating the Real cost of thread

Did I mention that I love hearing from readers?  Even if it’s questioning what I’ve written, I enjoy the conversation. 🙂  Feel free to comment below or drop me a line. I always answer, even if it’s not right away because I’m perpetually behind on email.

The question Roger asked made me realize that I might have been guilty of a little thread “geek speak”. He emailed me to ask what I meant by “cross wound” or “stack wound” thread.  The two other questions I also inferred from that question were “what’s the difference and what does it mean to me?” 🙂

Continue reading Standing at a Crossroads – Thread: Cross Wound vs Stack Wound