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Thread: Singer 401 -advice needed on economic restoration???

  1. #1
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    Singer 401 -advice needed on economic restoration???

    Hi, an ebay buy at 62 gbp, lovely, almost mint cond externally but.......a graveyard lay inside: motor needs rewin Id, gears totally worn, innards all rusty. Elecs/foot control all need replacing. Case mouldy with LIVE woodworm!!!!!

    Good news: could use aesthetically for parts.

    Question: my very honest experienced repair man says not worth a repair............what do you think?

    Am I wrong to want a slant needle singer, when I already have 201s, a 306, a 301 and four fws?

    I had heard slants were THE best for machine quilting, what do you think? Should I bother hunting down a working 401???

    Thanks, ellie x

  2. #2
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    I assume you know that a Singer 301 is a slant needle machine.

  3. #3
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    It's not worth it. You can buy another one for less than $100. Part it out to get some of your cash back.

    401's are great for straight line quilting but not great for free motion quilting. So, you'll have to consider this. I love my 401, but it's not what I would consider THE BEST quilting machine.

  4. #4
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Candace this time .... It's not worth it.

    If you haven't bought it, don't.
    If you have bought it, try to get your money out of it somehow.

    And if live wood worms are anything like termites, don't take in your home.

    Joe

  5. #5
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    I would think that a straight shank would be better for quilting, no?

    (IANAQYet, so I ask,... I always thought that the slank shank had a better chance of hooking a needle where you didn't want it, but that could be soley because of my poor beginnings on a sewing machine (slant) I thought the main advantage of a slant is the extra visibility...?)

    The horizontal bobbin on the 401 makes it less than ideal as a quilter, I do know that part,... though it would be fine for piecing. The 401 is a great machine for almost everything but FMQ....

    I picked up a 401A for $80CDN in a cabinet 3 weeks ago with all of the accessories other than the tube of oil, that's less than your 62GBP... There are deals out there. Ones that don't require extra $$ for shipping either.
    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

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakekids View Post
    I assume you know that a Singer 301 is a slant needle machine.
    LOL - my 301 is en route from the USA - so to be fair its not yet in my posession.

  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone - great info & advice.

    The good news is that the seller is doing me afull refund (inc postage) and does not want the machine back.

    Im burning the case but will keep the machine for parts - such a shame, visually it's lovely!

  8. #8
    Senior Member grayhare's Avatar
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    How do you tell if a cabinet has woodworms?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by grayhare View Post
    How do you tell if a cabinet has woodworms?
    My trapezoid case had tiny perfectly circular holes (pin head size) and new sawdust kept appearing on binliner so I guessed still live woodworm!

    Im going to burn the wooden case once I have stripped the plastic/vinyl covering off.

  10. #10
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    The 401 is just great for piecing. I use the 401 for piecing non stop. I use my 301s for FMQ because you can screw down the feed dogs. The 401 can zig zag masterfully and do some other fancy stitches that I use for machine sewing quilt binding on. Find another 401 or 403. I bought mine from ebay- it showed a video of it working. I did do a thorough cleaning and oiling, but the gear driven machine is awesome. The slant needle lets you see perfectly when piecing small pieces. Sold my new Pfaff and replaced it with the 401 and 301s and have only become a better quilter!
    Linda

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