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Thread: VSMS: Rewiring an old Singer foot controller ?

  1. #1
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    Hey Vintage Machine enthusiasts. Got a question.

    My $10 featherweight was not getting power. Took her to the sew shop, swapped out my cord/foot controller for one of theirs. Worked fine! So... I bought a double lead, 3 prong replacement cord.

    Before I rewire anything.... should I consider getting a new foot pedal? (Like one of the ones that doesn't heat up when you use it!)? Or should I just use the old bakelite push button controller that I have? That old controller will slide onto the FW's box lid holder. But a new controller won't dissapate the heat like the old Singer controllers do. I plan on using this machine on trips, classes, for fun, piecing quilts and sewing doll clothing, etc. It won't be my sewing room 'go to' machine.

    Recommendations?

  2. #2
    Senior Member luvnquilt's Avatar
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    Oooohhh, how appropriate for me too, I can't wait for the answer. I've got a japanese 15 that needs a new foot pedal after we replaced the cord, the foot pedal keeps getting really hot, so I'm interested in this topic. We were planning on just getting a new foot (I don't care if it's "authentic" looking). Best of luck :)

  3. #3
    Power Poster dreamer2009's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwendt
    Hey Vintage Machine enthusiasts. Got a question.

    My $10 featherweight was not getting power. Took her to the sew shop, swapped out my cord/foot controller for one of theirs. Worked fine! So... I bought a double lead, 3 prong replacement cord.

    Before I rewire anything.... should I consider getting a new foot pedal? (Like one of the ones that doesn't heat up when you use it!)? Or should I just use the old bakelite push button controller that I have? That old controller will slide onto the FW's box lid holder. But a new controller won't dissapate the heat like the old Singer controllers do. I plan on using this machine on trips, classes, for fun, piecing quilts and sewing doll clothing, etc. It won't be my sewing room 'go to' machine.

    Recommendations?
    send a PM to...Lostn51
    Billy will tell you;an expert :)

  4. #4
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvnquilt
    Oooohhh, how appropriate for me too, I can't wait for the answer. I've got a japanese 15 that needs a new foot pedal after we replaced the cord, the foot pedal keeps getting really hot, so I'm interested in this topic. We were planning on just getting a new foot (I don't care if it's "authentic" looking). Best of luck :)
    luvnquilt.... I don't know which foot pedel you have, but some of the older ones were made prior to the newer ceramics and stuff we have today. When current is applied (we're stepping on the thing) that power is used to run the machine. But if we're running the machine at less than 'fast' or our foot is resting on the pedel, but the machine is not moving.... then the power has to go somewhere else - it's converted to heat. That's what makes it hot. A lot of times, we sewers get a 'lazy foot'... and we sort of rest it on the pedal. You might find it helpful, to get in the habit of removing your foot completely from the pedal when you're not using the machine right then. Put foot on floor. Only put foot on the thing when you're actually going to sew.

    I was told/shown this a while ago, and changed my own habits... it does help. Shur 'nuff! I forget where I saw it, one of the vintage parts places on the web.... had a .pdf about how to use the old Singer knobby foot controllers correctly. Informative to say the least!

  5. #5
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreamer2009
    Quote Originally Posted by kwendt
    Hey Vintage Machine enthusiasts. Got a question.

    My $10 featherweight was not getting power. Took her to the sew shop, swapped out my cord/foot controller for one of theirs. Worked fine! So... I bought a double lead, 3 prong replacement cord.

    Before I rewire anything.... should I consider getting a new foot pedal? (Like one of the ones that doesn't heat up when you use it!)? Or should I just use the old bakelite push button controller that I have? That old controller will slide onto the FW's box lid holder. But a new controller won't dissapate the heat like the old Singer controllers do. I plan on using this machine on trips, classes, for fun, piecing quilts and sewing doll clothing, etc. It won't be my sewing room 'go to' machine.

    Recommendations?
    send a PM to...Lostn51
    Billy will tell you;an expert :)
    Yeah, Billy is our resident OSMG, even though he's not old! But there's plenty of folks out there who have recommendations and reasons why them like one or the other. Thought I'd ask for insights from everyone!

  6. #6
    Senior Member luvnquilt's Avatar
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    KWendt - thanks for that tidbit, It seems possible that I'm resting my foot on the button. I haven't been able to date the machine but the foot pedal is the same as my featherweight with the button on it. I think it's bakelite. I will watch myself when I sew with the machine again, making sure I'm not resting my foot, before I jump into replacing it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvnquilt
    KWendt - thanks for that tidbit, It seems possible that I'm resting my foot on the button. I haven't been able to date the machine but the foot pedal is the same as my featherweight with the button on it. I think it's bakelite. I will watch myself when I sew with the machine again, making sure I'm not resting my foot, before I jump into replacing it.
    Hi back.... here's a liink to the Jenny's Sew-Classic blog where she outlines the 'correct' way to use a Singer button controller. I have ordered from her in the past, but I am not affiliated with her in anyway. She has aLOT of sewing info for free on her site. Good read.

    This link is about the 400 class machines. But if you go about 1/2 way down, you'll see her directions for using the button controller. Also, for those using top hat Singer cams, she has a chart for those as well. Great site, poke around! Here's the link:

    http://blog.sew-classic.com/2008/10/...ne-review.aspx

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the link kewndt!

    I just bought a Featherweight, and am looking into getting it into tip top shape. My controller has some issues too, and I'd like to rewire it, so I'm very interested in opinions on how hard/easy it is to do. I'd like to keep it as "original" as possible.

    I'm feeling rather brave since converting an old swag light fixture to standard and installing it myself in my dining room!

    Thanks!

    PS: I did find this on the site kewndt provided:

    http://blog.sew-classic.com/2009/11/...r-control.aspx

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