I am posting a few pictures of the Singer 500 and the Singer 503. Please note: The differences between these two will be the same differences between the Singer 401 and the Singer 403. This why I like the 403 and the 503 better - always check with your manual to make sure you are setting knobs, levers and disks the right way. I suggest looking at http://blog.sew-classic.com/2008/10/...ne-review.aspx Jenny has a link for a manual. I would print it out so you can feel free to scribble to your heart's content. She also has a chart for the disks vs the knobs on the 401/500 - THANK YOU Jenny!!!
in my hot little hand is the cam stack off a Singer 401 - same as a 500 There are 'readers' that slide up and down on 2 little shafts to 'read' how to make the stitches. It is small but heavy.
The GUTS!!! Singer 500 on left and Singer 503 on right
Singer 503 or 403: To make a decorative stitch or zig zag put a disk on and set the lever for any width you like. There are 'readers' in a set position to 'read' the disk as it goes around - make sure you do it right so you don't break or bend a needle
Singer 401 or 500 you simply use the stitch selector knobs and choose a combination - then you set the lever to 2, 3 or 4 to get different stitches
For the Singer 503 or 403, put a disk in following manual directions - then the width can be set but it can also be set left or right of center if you use small width
knobs are set. Lever can be set for 2, 3 or 4 each will make a different stitch. There is no width control without a disk.