Tag Archives: Singer

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

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

Score at the Antique Mall

We made a trip to Calgary this weekend to see my aunt.

While enroute, I received an email from her saying she was just stepping out to run a couple of errands. We found ourselves with an hour on our hands, and were passing the same Antique mall that I’d found a lovely 1912 model 28 with both hand crank and motor upgrade a few months ago when we came through last.

We stopped and I wandered for a bit, seeing only a Spartan that was somewhat interesting, and completely reasonably priced, but since I already have 2 99s, I was in the process of deciding not to packrat, when I tilted my head toward the ceiling. I spotted it, on top of a China cabinet that was easily 7 ft tall. A featherweight case.

The hinges looked weird though. Ryan and I were standing there discussing whether they’d been replaced or not. I noticed though that the rivets looked identical to the lock side, and something was nagging in the back of my mind about the hinges and the box itself. It looked like it was the “wrong” dimensions. Continue reading Score at the Antique Mall

Reader Mail: October 21, 2012 Edition

So, I thought I’d start a feature here on AA where I answer questions submitted by you, the Readers.

I get some questions via email that you would normally never see, but the same questions seem to come up time and time again. In the hopes of addressing some of them in “public”, I present to you:

Reader Mail.

Matt wrote me about his model 127, with a replacement shuttle:

… the stitches don’t always stay tight and straight as I think it should. Maybe it’s the needle size and tension isn’t adjusted right?

How can I properly adjust the tension and what needle size does it need?

Continue reading Reader Mail: October 21, 2012 Edition

Model 99 and 66 bobbin case and feed dog cleaning

Also applies to the 185, 192 (Spartan), 285 and 292 models.

Probably one of the most neglected areas of a sewing machine is the bobbin area.

We stick a bobbin in, sew, replace the bobbin, sew some more.

It’s often not until one day when we’re sewing and suddenly there’s a nest underneath the needle plate (throat plate) that we have to cut out, or worse, the needle breaks and now we have to dig the shrapnel out.

You remove the slide plate, and the needle plate and horror of horrors, you find you’ve been knitting felt and birthing thread bunnies underneath there.  Maybe even worse, the bobbin case just won’t come out, no matter how you wiggle it.  Continue reading Model 99 and 66 bobbin case and feed dog cleaning

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

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