Welcome to the Quilting Board!
Ragqueen, you may also want to join the Yahoo group, singerslants. There's a lot of info there on these machines.
King of the Rocketeers!
ok the update on the machine. found out it wasn't my grandmothers machine my mother is in skilled nursing at the local hospital trying to get her strength back from breast cancer and taking care of my dad who has alzheimes. long story short - mom in hospital, dad in nursing home and the daughters/grandchildren are de-cluttering the house per mom's instructions! mom said she actually bought that machine from a man in town who sold furniture and other things he would get at auctions. she told me she only paid $25 for the machine! even though it isn't one of my grandmothers i still love it and am going to adopt it once i get her out of the basement. we did give two portable sewing machines to a friend who teaches young girls how to sew. when they came to pick up the machines my sisters (one of whom helped create the quilting monster i am) found a pair of pinking shears and said to give them to the lady as well. something made me look a little closer and i turned them over - gingher pinking shears in excellent condition. needless to say they did not go with that lady - they are at my house!
ooo - thank you for the tip about the slant machine group! I am off to check that out, since I am the new owner of two non-working rocketeers. HA! I have ONE non-working motor, lol! SO much to learn, my goodness!
My Mom has a Singer 401 hidden away in a cabinet and sews on a 70s Kenmore that sits on top. When knits came in the 401 didn't do them well and my Dad went and got her the Kenmore, it is a basic model that does not take cams.
I've checked it out and the stitch selector is frozen (no surprise, since I remember the can of 3-in-1 oil that used to sit on the windowsill, it's now hardened in that machine). It's promised to me so someday it will get restored.
The 401 has the built-in camstack and does many of the stitches that would require a cam on the 403. It does take black top hat cams too, for additional stitches (I think #8, 11, 15, 18, 19 are the cam that aren't built in? I've seen a chart somewhere). Otherwise, the 401 and 500, and the 403 and 503 are mostly the same inside. It is a slant shank, that came in with the 301 and continued through the Touch & Sew line. You can buy accessory sets for T&Ss a lot cheaper than you can can for a 400/500 line and they are mostly the same although the T&Ss may come with chain stitch accessories that the 400/500 can't do.