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Thread: Should I overhaul my Singer 401A or purchase a Janome 2012?

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    Should I overhaul my Singer 401A or purchase a Janome 2012?

    I have my mother's 401a and is going to cost $179.00 to overhaul and put in good shape. I am planning on sewing crafts, beginning quilting, and some home decor projects. Should I have the overhaul performed or purchase the Janome 2012 (my price range for a new machine)? The Singer has never been serviced and was having serious tension problems.

  2. #2
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    I am not familiar with the 401a but if it only stitches straight stitches...maybe a new machine that does more would be a good purchase at this time. Then sometime in the future you could spend money to have your Mother's machine worked on.
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place...the End Times.

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    Thanks Nygal,
    The 401 does have a very nice selection of stitches built-in and through internet searches and blogs, etc...I've figured out there are 2 additional "cams" that offer more stitches. I'm leaning toward servicing the 401 and buying a new machine for my daughter...if she absolutely loves it...then maybe I'll break down and become a "Two-machine" owner within the next year!

  4. #4
    Super Member jlhmnj's Avatar
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    401A is a good machine but not worth a $180 cleaning and tune up.

    Jon

  5. #5
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    What is wrong with your sewing machine that would warrant spending $179.00?? If it just needs servicing then that is something you can do yourself. If you have the machine's manual follow the oiling and greasing instructions.

    Something similar happened to me with my very first vintage sewing machine. I asked at a local Sew/Vac store how much it would cost to service it and as I remember it was $130.00 plus tax. No way!!! I have since learned to do it myself here on the QB.
    Sweet Caroline

  6. #6
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlhmnj View Post
    401A is a good machine but not worth a $180 cleaning and tune up.

    Jon
    I agree you can buy a functioning 401 for less than that, but it is "worth" much more than a new, plastic machine. That seems like a steep amount for just a cleaning and tension tweak. Unless there is something seriously wrong with it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Skyangel's Avatar
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    Where do you live in Oregon and where did you get the $179 quote? I live in Oregon too and if you are in the Portland area I can probably refer you to a very good sewing machine tech who works out of his home shop. I had a major problem with one major sewing shop/dealer in the area and what they did to my Mom's machine. PM me if you want more info. My decision of which machine might depend on what types of sewing you plan to do. The 401 is a great machine (INHO one of Singer's best ever) and I learned to sew on my Mom's. But it has it's limitations. Her's hasn't been used since the 70's because knits cams out and it didn't have any stretch stitches for knits. Other that that I would highly recommend the 401 and a lot of shops just want you to buy new. The 401 has many stitches built in and besides cams 1-4 that came with it there were about 5 more that would add to it. If you PM, I can give you those numbers too.
    Kim
    So many hobbies ... So little time
    private pilot, quilter, vintage sewing machine addict, silversmith, lapidary

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    What is wrong with your sewing machine that would warrant spending $179.00?? If it just needs servicing then that is something you can do yourself. If you have the machine's manual follow the oiling and greasing instructions.

    Something similar happened to me with my very first vintage sewing machine. I asked at a local Sew/Vac store how much it would cost to service it and as I remember it was $130.00 plus tax. No way!!! I have since learned to do it myself here on the QB.
    I am a new member here at Quiltingboard and am sensing that with all the online manuals and help here at "QB" , I just might be able to do it myself!

  9. #9
    Super Member jlhmnj's Avatar
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    401A is not the best machine to start on. I'm not sure what the going rate to work on these things are but best to shop around and seek out experienced SM repair tinkerer's nearby. Best of Luck.

    Jon

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyangel View Post
    Where do you live in Oregon and where did you get the $179 quote? I live in Oregon too and if you are in the Portland area I can probably refer you to a very good sewing machine tech who works out of his home shop. I had a major problem with one major sewing shop/dealer in the area and what they did to my Mom's machine. PM me if you want more info. My decision of which machine might depend on what types of sewing you plan to do. The 401 is a great machine (INHO one of Singer's best ever) and I learned to sew on my Mom's. But it has it's limitations. Her's hasn't been used since the 70's because knits cams out and it didn't have any stretch stitches for knits. Other that that I would highly recommend the 401 and a lot of shops just want you to buy new. The 401 has many stitches built in and besides cams 1-4 that came with it there were about 5 more that would add to it. If you PM, I can give you those numbers too.
    Thanks Skyangel,
    I'll do that! I do have 4 extra cams I'll have to look to see which ones they are.

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