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Thread: How can I convert my Singer 403A from a cabinet to a portable?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    How can I convert my Singer 403A from a cabinet to a portable?

    Is there a carrying case that will work? Need some ideas. I want to use it as my main machine. I also have a Kenmore 1802, a Singer 301A and a Featherweight...but the 403A is my favorite for every day. Thanks for your suggestions!


    Julie
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  2. #2
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    There are at least 2 cases that are of the right vintage. One is the "lemongrass" case, the other one is a "beige" plastic case. The plastic one will need an adapter, because by default it covers the foot pedal plug.

    No affiliation to any of these sellers, just the best pics I could find without tearing up the sewing room.

    Lemongrass:
    http://blog.sew-classic.com/2009/03/...ne-review.aspx
    There are 2 sizes though, be careful. We have one of each here. The 301 case is smaller.


    Plastic:
    http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_...g-machine.html


    There's also this one, I've never seen it in real life though:
    http://m.bonanza.com/listings/SINGER...CASE/102712921

    The adapter is the fleshy colored piece in the picture in this thread:
    Singer 403 - foot pedal plug problem
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, 31-15, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

  3. #3
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    The down and dirty, quick and easy way is to loosen the 2 screws holding the machine in the cabinet, remove the machine and put it in a 20.00 plastic case from Walmart. 400 series machines are finished on the bottom so there is really no need for a special case. Just take it out of the case, set it on the table, and you are ready to sew.

  4. #4
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    MM, have you tried the walmart case with a 401? I'm curious about the foot pedal cord.

    The other thing worth mentioning is once removed from the cabinet (as MM suggests) if you're going to put it in any case, vintage Singer or uhm, I guess the Walmart case here is Singer labeled too, once removed from the cabinet (most people remove the 2 screws they can see) you'll have to remove the hinges from the machine.

    Loosen each screw that holds the hinges on, pull the hinges out, then tighten the screw back in place so you don't lose it. They're not easy to find.

    I've used the 401 and several other Singers simply set on a table and they're fine, like MM says. The case just improves carry ability for taking it out of the house.
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, 31-15, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

  5. #5
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    The cord just plugs into the side of the machine, none of the 400 or 500 series were hardwired into the cabinets. If they have a knee control it is because the foot control is inside a bracket inside the cabinet. A tug upwards and it will come loose. The foot control doesn't have to be wired into the case or connected to the machine until ready to use.

    To remove the machine from the cabinet tilt the machine the whole way back and look under the rear edge of the bed where the hinges go into it. You will see a small set screw holding the machine to the hinge pin. Loosen them a couple turns, there is no reason to completely remove them, While the machine is still tilted lift it off the pins. If it won't come off loosen the set screws a bit more.

    I hate to see the hinges removed from cabinets unnecessarily because they do get lost and the cabinets are so old there is a real chance of stripping the screw hole in the wood.

  6. #6
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    All of my 400, 500 and 301's have been stored in white plastic cases. There is plenty of room and honestly, I think they suffer less knocking around than they do trying to get them buttoned back into the original cases. Just my opinion.

  7. #7
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    I should have phrased that better. I knew they weren't hardwired. Because the 401, and the 301, and possibly the 403, I don't recall, have the single lead power cord that plugs in on the side, and then the separate foot pedal plug that plugs below the level of the bed of the machine, I wondered if the foot controller cord gets pinched.

    The 401s I've had I put the adapter onto it, and slid it into the plastic case and it seemed a snug fit...
    I think the trapazoid case definitely adds wear and tear.
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, 31-15, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

  8. #8
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I've used a Touch and Sew case for one.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  9. #9
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    I just acquired a 403 A and I love it. I have several other machines, but this one does it all! Very happy with it, although you made me realize I don't have a case. I guess if I travel I will just take a 301 with me, they are light.

  10. #10
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    I have a 403-A which I dearly love. I bought it as a portable, originally intending to keep it that way till I picked it, oh boy is it heavy. I immediately started looking for a cabinet, found one and dropped it in the cabinet and there she will stay, my 221 or 222 go traveling, so much smaller and lighter to handle.

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