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
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
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:
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!
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
Note: I’ve noticed lately that the photos in the posts look blurry and low quality. This is not true if you click on them to look at them. Until I figure out what it is that’s doing this, please click on the images to see them the way I intended for them to look for you.
As some of you may know, my APQS Lucey was delivered on November 1. She waited patiently until November 5 for setup because when I bought the machine, part of the deal was for Matt from Sparrow Studioz to come set it up. You also may know him as manquilter. He’s a local quilting rockstar.
I loved this idea because I knew that she’d be set up, level and running perfectly with her leadergrips sewn in (and straight) before he left. Sure I can probably service Lucey, maybe even with one eye closed, but it doesn’t mean I want to tinker like that all the time and certainly not right out of the box. This was great peace of mind, and permission to be in creative mode, not techie mode right off the bat.
The wait was slightly agonizing. Yes, I know those of you who have known me for years are thinking “Wow, that’s the understatement of the century!” After all, I’m not known for my patience. 😉
That said, it was mostly “easy” to wait. She arrived Friday, then Saturday and Sunday I had classes at Sparrow Studioz. Monday, I had a white featherweight to service, a sewing circle (sometimes referred to as a “Stitch n B*tch”) to attend and a very well deserved chiropractor appointment. Realistically, I wasn’t going to be able to set her up before Tuesday myself anyway.
Tuesday, though… Continue reading Rockstar – In my quilt studio!
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
*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
So good a trade, I couldn’t even come up with a witty pop culture title. I know you’re disappointed, I can tell. 😉
Early last week, a lady contacted me about the Coronado that I had for sale in the local buy and sell. She said she loved it, and wanted possibly a couple of machines I had to do up a display wall in her quilting studio.
While talking to her, she mentioned that she had a B-Line King sized Frame and a Juki TL-98Q that she was going to sell (She’s ordered a gorgeous computerized Pfaff Mid Arm with a frame.). Continue reading Wow. Trade of the century.
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?
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