Tag Archives: restoration

Because a change would do you good – Substitution parts

The longer I work on vintage machines, the more I find parts that I need that are no longer available.  Sometimes I can get lucky and find something that works. Sometimes we have to “make” them.  I thought that this blog is a great place to keep track of successful and even unsuccessful substitutions.

Successful substitutions will help people keep the machines running.  Unsuccessful substitutions will at least save you guys some money, by not trying the same thing I did. 😀 Continue reading Because a change would do you good – Substitution parts

Followup to the 222 found at the Antique store.

In January, we found a Featherweight 222 in an Antique mall, on the way to visit my aunt.  This is the followup to the find, and photos of the lovely lady.

Eliza is ready for her close up.  When we were in Calgary, visiting my aunt in January, we learned that her serial number allocation date (as close as we can come to a birthdate on a Singer sewing machine) is February 26, 1957. On my aunt’s 3rd birthday.  Because of that, we’re naming her Eliza.  My aunt’s name is Liz, or Elizabeth.

She hasn’t been fully polished yet, but she’s completely returned to full working order and cleaned up.  When we picked her up, she didn’t turn smoothly, someone had been into the bobbin area, and the dreaded “finger” was misplaced. There was also more movement in the hook area than there should have been. Lastly, the bobbin case was reassembled incorrectly, so the bobbin didn’t fit into it.  She also had a little rust in weird places, on the chrome, a few of the screws, the bobbin case and the bobbin winder. We replaced the bobbin winder, and the rest had the rust removed from it, and a good oiling to discourage the rust returning.

Her body however Continue reading Followup to the 222 found at the Antique store.

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

The difference a day makes

Why am I posting this before I finish the timing series, you ask?  Well, this is what distracted me from it, and put me behind. 🙂  I’m also feeling less technical than I need to in order to finish that article today, but wanted to present you something to read.  It’s a terribly long post.  I apologize for that, but I’m very happy with how it turned out, I think you might be pleased as well.

I traded emails with a lady who had posted in Kijiji that they were having an estate sale that included 4 sewing machines and a bona fide stash of fabric, patterns and other craft items.

As you may have guessed, I was most interested in the sewing machines.  I found out that the machines were: 3 Singers, and a new Brother.  I’d seen photos of 3 of the machines and knew I was only interested in one but not at the price they’d listed it at, and possibly the “unseen” one.

The interesting one that I’d seen was a Singer 401A.  The photos showed it to be in fairly rough shape though, making the $100 asking price a little high.  It had the usual grime on it from oiling, but the slide plate had “something” on it that was tan and white.  Corrosion?  Sewage accident?

Oh I couldn’t have been closer.  Continue reading The difference a day makes

Number 10 – is it a 48 or a 51?

Last weekend ended with a huge win.  Of the two ads that responded to me, the machine we looked at last came home with us.  The picture below is what I saw in the ad. If you squint really hard, you can make out that it’s a model 15, but the picture isn’t giving a lot more than that away.   The bentwood case though caught my attention.  Continue reading Number 10 – is it a 48 or a 51?

Oops, I did it again! – Updated with Pictures

Saturday was Morinville’s Town Wide garage sale.  Every spring, the town has a garage sale, where people can rent a table at the Sports center, or just put their stuff out for sale at their homes.  The town publishes a list of the “registered” garage sales, and tons of people show up from far and wide to take a peek at people’s stuff.

This year, with my “new” hobby, I set off around town with my treasure map in hand, to see what I could find.  I promised from the outset that I wouldn’t buy any more sewing machines, unless they were exceptionally special.  No more rescues for now.   I can’t even find enough time to work on the ones I have.

At first it was easy.  I kept finding late 70s machines to mid 90s.  No temptation at all.

Ah, the best intentions… Continue reading Oops, I did it again! – Updated with Pictures

Sewing articles to come

  • Introductions to our whole sewing machine family, and how I ended up collecting.  It should never have happened really
  • Feet and attachments – They’re an addiction all of their own or “Style boxes, can I help you assemble yours?”
  • Featherweights and their poor sore feet
  • Oil Cans – Dating them
  • Screwdrivers – Why they’re so hard to find, or little boys with mommy’s toys
  • Basic adjustments you can do to make your sewing machine love you again
  • An impromptu article – What a Pile of …. or rebuilding your carbon pile button foot pedal.  A complete tear down.
  • A Kenmore? How did that happen? Or “another way to up your machine count”
  • Tension – Not just the stuff between your shoulders
  • Fade to white – Experiments with “whitening” products to revert the yellowed color of your plastic machine back to its factory color.

Please let me know if there are any articles you want to see, and if I have access to the items I need for the article, and the knowledge, I’d be happy to post about it.