Tag Archives: restoration

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

Replacing Singer 411G spool pins

Another edition of Reader Mail:

I get this question probably a couple of times a year, so today I’m presenting a post with a video companion!  Jocelyn and I spoke via email but I asked her if it would be OK to use her email for reader mail.  I’m guessing she didn’t expect me to get to it almost 2 years later!   (I really do get that behind on the site stuff!)

Jocelyn emailed me some time ago to ask:

Hi, I inherited my mom’s Singer 411G.   (Lucky ME!).  Both spool pins are broken and I am having a devil of a time trying to find replacements.

Any insight/direction/suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.

Continue reading Replacing Singer 411G spool pins

Finish what you started – cars and sewing machines

It seems like summer always brings lots of household projects. This year, it’s a leaking woodstove flashing (fixed – and the painting of the ceiling to go with it – not fixed), window frames needing to be painted (again – pending) and then the vehicles landed on my radar. They haven’t seen a good detailing in well,.. ever in the case of the truck and the car probably hasn’t seen a comprehensive detailing since 2008.

Yeah, I’m not proud of that. When the August long weekend hit, we started cleaning and cleaning and… uh oh. Rust. We went from prepping and painting a few spots to some fairly major repair and painting.  This is what we (former) business analysts call “scope creep”.

Great.  Spraying base and clear.  I’ve done this before.  Last time (2007), it was a 1999 CBR 600.  I’ll post that “throwback” post one day soon.  Yeah, I haven’t sprayed automotive paint in 9 years – I did do some major bodywork on a truck since then but I rolled that paint instead of doing it with a paint gun.

Speaking of rusty things – I am as well and my body sure has a lot more to say about it this time around.

I also swore that time that I’d never spray clear again.  Awesome. 😉

Since I’m going to be shooting clear anyway, I thought I’d try to do the touch-ups, and wet sand the sags in the paint on the “Wee One” and give her a final coat of clear too. If it doesn’t work – well, she was going to be repainted anyway.

Continue reading Finish what you started – cars and sewing machines

Cuts like a knife – Scissor care from a sharpening professional

Some of you might have seen me post on Facebook about my outing on Monday.  I finally took my favorite but very abused Gingher scissors in for repair and sharpening.   I’m a little embarrassed to say that in the few years I’ve had them, they’ve had a very hard life.

They’ve been dropped on their points, bent and even done a little bungee jumping.

GingherG7z2

These were my first “good” scissors and none of the abuse was ever intended – it just happened.   Somehow, I have a knack for storing scissors on the ground, usually from sewing table height.  I don’t think I ever did that when all I had were my craptastic scissors.   Figures, right?  Of course, at least 2 times they hit the floor they landed points down. Continue reading Cuts like a knife – Scissor care from a sharpening professional

More of it – Happy New Year!

“The only thing better than a good thing is more of it.”

Happy New Year Everyone!  As we go into 2015, I haven’t exactly made any resolutions but I have decided that I’m going to finish some projects that I’ve been working on and start the ones I’ve been thinking of.  What this means is that I’m planning on taking on only a couple of very focused projects this year which is a huge departure from previous years because last year left me pretty burned out.

I’m still going to be making posts – it’s one of the main things on my list of things both started and in contemplation.  I would really like to see the 34 drafts finished and out to you all to read.

In the effort to get an early start on the projects, I started 5 projects at once in the past week.  LOL!  Typical for me, overkill, right?

It’s OK – these projects are easy to stagger and it’s actually not as overwhelming as it sounds. 🙂 Continue reading More of it – Happy New Year!

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!

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

Love becomes Electric – Electrical Safety and your sewing machine

*Note:  The photo above is of a mis-assembled power connector.  This is an example of what not to do, or Love becoming Electric – which is the topic of this conversation today.

Today, I want to talk about the electrical connections in your vintage machines.  In particular, the topic will be when you’re using the machine and you feel a tingle, or a light shock, or buzzing sensation. Continue reading Love becomes Electric – Electrical Safety and your sewing machine

Vintage machines – What’s a servicing worth?

I received an email today that I just have to talk about.  It’s not the particular email, but the type of email I get fairly regularly.

From time to time, I sell a fully serviced vintage sewing machine on the local buy and sell.  Every time I post one of these machines, I will mention that I’m selling the machine for less than the price of a tune-up. Continue reading Vintage machines – What’s a servicing worth?