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Thread: Question about Singer 338

  1. #1
    Member schuu6p's Avatar
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    Question about Singer 338

    I recently purchased a Singer 338 mostly for the cabinet it was in. I thought they had plastic gears. I was surprised to find mine is all metal inside. I didn't get any Fashion Discs with it and the needle bar won't move up and down. I notice that when I move the stitch width selector, the needle bar moves in and out. It has a belt on it, the motor works, and it spins the bobbin winder but when I try to straight stitch, nothing moves. I know you need a Fashion Disc for the zigzag feature but do you have to have one in it to straight stitch?
    MO Quilter

  2. #2
    Junior Member Kittywolf13's Avatar
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    If its like my touch and see my guess is yes. Mine needs a cam in it to sew. But I'm sure more experienced folks will giv you a definite answer.
    Proud owner of: Eleanor, a 1896 Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Treadle; Tucci, a 1952 Singer Featherweight; my mothers Singer Touch & Sew 758; Brother XR 6060
    1910 Singer 66; Singer 99K Shadow, 1929 Singer 128 (currently w/hand crank)

  3. #3
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    schuu6p,

    First make sure the stop motion nob is tight ( the chrome one inside the hand wheel ), and the bobbin winder nob pushed to the left.
    If that doesn't make the needle bar move up and down then you'll need to remove the face plate and make sure nothing inside is broken or come loose.

    You can straight stitch without the cam in place, but if you move the needle position lever it will crunch the needle. The cam in place is the only thing that keeps the needle within it's limited travels.
    When you lift the trap door there should be a chrome nob about 1" in diameter on top of the cam drive. If not you'll need one of those too. And the ZZ cam you need is a #1.
    There are 30+ flat cams you can use in that machine so any cam can set on the cam drive to keep the needle safe.

    Also, since the 338 is an all metal machine it is worth the effort to get it working and procure the cams. It's a good simple machine that works.

    Joe
    Last edited by J Miller; 11-21-2012 at 06:01 AM.

  4. #4
    Member schuu6p's Avatar
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    The stop motion tab is tight and the bobbin winder knob is pushed to the left. I have the faceplate, the top plate and the plate hiding the belt off. I can't see anything broken or loose inside. I does have the chrome knob. Other suggestions?
    MO Quilter

  5. #5
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    There is a direct mechanical connection from the hand wheel to the needle bar.

    Since you have the face plate and top off, turn the hand wheel and watch the main shaft. Does it rotate? If not then the stop motion clutch or something isn't working right.
    If yes look over on the needle bar side. There is solid metal parts connecting the main shaft to the needle bar. Follow the motion and look at each piece until you find the one that isn't moving. There is no plastic in there to break.

    Joe

  6. #6
    Member schuu6p's Avatar
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    The main shaft does not turn when I turn the hand wheel. I have the manual and I am oiling everything--not the gears or motor, however. Where is the stop motion clutch? I have a parts list but it only gives me the numbers.
    MO Quilter

  7. #7
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    schuu6p,

    If the main shaft is not turning then the stop motion nob is disengaged. It might feel tight, but it's not locking the hand wheel to the main shaft. That's it, there's nothing else there to be the problem.

    Tighten the nob by turning it to the right or clockwise.

    What I would do is get a small screw driver and loosen the little screw just far enough that you can remove the stop motion nob.
    Then the clutch washer. Clean them then reinstall them. The washer goes on the main shaft with the two small prongs in the middle facing out towards the nob. It can go in two ways, so when you get the nob back on and the screw tightened, try it. It should rotate about a quarter turn or so then stop and at that point the hand wheel will free wheel. Turn it back to the right and it should tighten up. At that point the hand wheel should turn the main shaft.
    If it doesn't, then remove the nob again, and rotate the clutch washer 180. Reassemble it. It should work now.

    Joe

  8. #8
    Member schuu6p's Avatar
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    I removed the stop motion nob and the washer was there. I removed it, cleaned it and put it back with the little prongs up. The shaft will not move. I have other machines and when I take that stop motion nob off, I can turn the shaft by hand. This one won't move at all.
    MO Quilter

  9. #9
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Tri-Flow, everything especially the shaft bushings. It's probably gummed up.

    Joe

  10. #10
    Member schuu6p's Avatar
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    OK, I will do that. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
    MO Quilter

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