Tag Archives: 403A

Back in the Saddle – Take care of your back

Ergonomics Part 1: (This post ended up far longer than I’d intended (yeah, shocking, I know!), so I will split it into 2, and offer you part 2 tomorrow.)

Lately, I’ve noticed that I hunch a lot when I sew.  This is on the longarm or at the domestic machines.   The result of this is that I “hurt” and I can’t sew for long periods of time.  So I thought I’d talk today a little about ergonomics, both at the stand up and sit down types of machines and your cutting table. Continue reading Back in the Saddle – Take care of your back

Greased Lightning – Singer motor lube in Canada

Update 06-30-2016:  The latest batch of Singer Lube I received from the supplier is no longer suitable for use in Singer motors.  As such, I’m recommending the use of Petroleum jelly.

People far smarter than me are recommending it and White Sewing machine motors of the same time period used it.

 

Over the last few months, I’ve been hearing that Singer Lube / Lubricant / Motor Lube (S2129)  is getting really hard to find, especially here in Canada. This has been my experience as a consumer as well.  Walmart used to carry it, but no longer.  I believe that it may have been at Fabricland at one point.  Also, no longer.  With the loss of the Singer store in Edmonton, there were no longer any options I was aware of in my area. Continue reading Greased Lightning – Singer motor lube in Canada

Bobbin’ Along – bobbin tension

You may have noticed in the previous post about tension that we didn’t even test sew the machine.

Yet.  We will test sew it, but not just yet.  You see what I’m trying to do is get the machine to a point where it’s in the ballpark first, then the rest is just small tweaks.  The goal is to help you rule out the big problems, the ones that require repair, or in drastic situations, possibly a trip to the sewing machine spa.

Consider this statement:

Tension too tight on the top can also be tension too loose on the bottom.
Top Tension too tight does not automatically mean bottom tension is too loose.
Tension too loose on the top can also be tension too tight on the bottom.
Top Tension too loose does not automatically mean bottom tension is too tight. Continue reading Bobbin’ Along – bobbin tension 

Fragile Tension – Tension does not have to equal stress (Updated with a video)

Possibly the most common reason a machine ends up on my bench is for tension.  Usually bird’s nests.  The thing is easily 80% of the time, there’s nothing really wrong with the machine that a repair person needs to look at it.  Sometimes it’s basic maintenance, sometimes it’s because someone told you at some point “DON’T YOU TOUCH THAT! EVER!”

I’m sure that the people who’ve said that meant well, but today I’m going to show you how to manage that dial properly and what to do when it’s not proper. Continue reading Fragile Tension – Tension does not have to equal stress (Updated with a video)

Sit yourself down!!! Slant-O-Matics: Bobbin Case placement

Sometimes you find yourself taking the bobbin case of a Slant-o-Matic out, maybe to remove an errant thread, clean the lint out or whatever.  Strangely, putting it back in isn’t as easy as taking it out.   Or maybe you thought it was good, but the machine’s locked up, or it just doesn’t look / feel right. Continue reading Sit yourself down!!! Slant-O-Matics: Bobbin Case placement

Tear it down – bobbin case maintenance

What do you do when you’re sewing along and your machine’s tension goes crazy for no reason?

There are the obvious things to do: re-thread the machine, in case the thread “popped” out of one of the guides, or came unseated from the upper tensioner, clean out all of the fluff and lint from the machine, especially in the thread path ( don’t forget the bobbin case area) … sometimes you might even get desperate and clean out the upper tensioner.

If you don’t know how to do that, it’s really straight forward, and can save you a trip to the sewing machine repair shop.

But what do you do if you’ve done all of that and the tension’s still goofy?  Especially if your top tension seems way too tight.  Say you have it turned the upper tensioner all the way loose, and your thread is still laying on the top of your fabric… Continue reading Tear it down – bobbin case maintenance

Running out of Time

Timing series part 5:  Examples

Note: The 401A and 201 timing directions have been updated.  My apologies for the previous mistake.  I’m not really sure what I was thinking when I put those directions in, they were just plain wrong.  They should be correct now.

Note:  Never run the machine with the pedal If you suspect that the timing is off, while checking or after adjusting the timing until you’ve determined that the setting was correct.  Running it at speed if the timing is off can cause massive damage to the hook, bobbin case and also smash the needle which can lead to shards flying around.

Note: The process I show for adjusting timing doesn’t necessarily work for newer machines that are set up a little differently, but the process of checking it still applies.   And if your machine is on warranty, please just take it in and have it fixed.  Some dealers / manufacturers will void your warranty if you try to change anything.

In order to demonstrate setting the timing on a machine, I’m going to show a series of photos.  The first is the location of the timing lines on the machine, if applicable.  The next is the location of the screws / nuts / bolts you need to loosen to time it.  As needed, I will provide further explanation.  For the technical explanation, please refer back to this post: Making Time

Continue reading Running out of Time

Making Time

Timing series part 4: Why it’s fairly difficult to throw timing off, and how to adjust timing.

Note:  Never run the machine with the pedal if you suspect that the timing is off, while checking or after adjusting the timing until you’ve determined that the setting was correct.  Running it at speed if the timing is off can cause massive damage to the hook, bobbin case and also smash the needle which can lead to shards flying around.

Note: The process I show for adjusting timing doesn’t necessarily work for newer machines that are set up a little differently, but the process of checking it still applies.   And if your machine is on warranty, please just take it in and have it fixed.  Some dealers / manufacturers will void your warranty if you try to change anything.

First, why it’s very hard to throw timing off.

Continue reading Making Time

What a Pile of …. rebuilding your carbon pile button foot pedal. A complete tear down.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t detest the button-style or bake-lite foot pedals.  I just don’t trust them.

Last night, I was sewing my very first applique.  The tedium of the cutting and pressing finished, I thought I’d sit down to do some of the stitching.  This is slow speed sewing, especially because I’ve never done it before, and satin stitches on my first machine would spark many colorful arguments between myself and the machine.

I made it about half way around the perimeter. Then, speaking of sparks…

I heard them.  It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard in a sewing room. bzzzzzzt, pop pop…. a weird sound like rushing water, a hum that got louder, and then crackling noises coming from below my sewing table.

This was accompanied by some warm toes

Continue reading What a Pile of …. rebuilding your carbon pile button foot pedal. A complete tear down.

A find at the local V.V. Boutique

Or Value Village to the uninitiated.

Normally this is a place I avoid, but my recent quest to find all of the books in the “Singer Sewing Reference Library” has me haunting all of the thrift shops I can find.  Next weekend’s quest will lead us to the flea markets.

I was really only looking for the books, honestly.  Then I decided to wander over to the furniture section, to see if there were any machines there, just for fun.  So many of the machines I’ve been finding in the thrift stores are incomplete or “not working”, so I felt not a lot of risk.  Besides, hadn’t Ryan and I just been talking in the truck on the way over here about me not looking for another machine?  Really, I have all that I need, the only one that I might look for would be a really good “zigzagger”, for some finishing work, but it really wasn’t a priority…

Then it happened.  Continue reading A find at the local V.V. Boutique