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Thread: Universal Model 5510

  1. #1
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    Universal Model 5510

    I'm new here and am not sure if I'm posting in the right place. If not please move me.

    My wife recently dragged home what appears to me to be a '60s or '70 sewing machine that "needs work" from the thrift store.

    The label on the front reads: Universal Standard Sewing Equipment, Model 5510
    The end plate: Custom Designed and Manufactured for Standard Sewing Equipment Corp., Made in Japan
    The bottom plate: 334492

    I don't anything about sewing machines, but am a pretty handy fix-it guy and am fascinated by this machine. It looks like it is very well made. It is all metal construction and is in very good condition. It was pretty cool to open it up and see all the metal gears and levers that look like they'll last forever. It came with a lot of spare parts and the manual. I took off the covers to clean and lubricate it and found little cleaning necessary. A few well placed drops of oil did wonders. Everything operates smoothly and with no scary noises. So far, so good.

    The problem I am having is that the fabric won't feed. I checked all the settings and took a look at the adjustment on the dogs and how the dogs move and it all seems to be working fine. So, my question is, can the dogs wear out enough that they won't feed the fabric at all? I can pull the fabric through and it sews nicely, but just sits in one place if I don't pull it. From what I can tell, I just need to replace the dogs and my wife will have a great $10 back-up machine. Does my diagnosis sound right? If so, anyone have any idea where I can find new dogs?

  2. #2
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    pictures please. can't tell by your description. Sounds like a good machine.

  3. #3
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    Wow! That was a quick response. I guess I came to the right place. My wife is the photographer. I'll have her takes some pics and post them up later today.

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    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Does it have a little knob on the bed in front of the pillar to raise and lower the feed dogs? My Universal does. The fabric won't feed if they are lowered.

  5. #5
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose View Post
    Does it have a little knob on the bed in front of the pillar to raise and lower the feed dogs? My Universal does. The fabric won't feed if they are lowered.
    I had the same thought, feed dog knob in the darning position. Yes, Noel, we all welcome new vintage sewing machine addicts and love to see pictures.
    Sweet Caroline

  6. #6
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    It has a lever that switches between up or down. It looks like it raises and lowers the dogs correctly. They are definitely above the plate in the up position.

  7. #7
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    WOW! I just fixed it! It was the reverse button. I knew it was gummed up and stuck, but thought I had it pulled out to the full forward position. Apparently, it was still pushed in just enough to keep the dogs from biting. I shot the whole area where the button pushes inside the machine with one of my favorite products, PB Blaster, a penetrating oil, and force worked the button in and out for several minutes until it loosened up and self-retracted. When it did, I heard one little click that I hadn't heard before. Voila!

    Thanks for the encouragement. I think I would have given up without it.

  8. #8
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    Well, maybe I spoke too soon. The dogs will now feed the fabric, but only with the foot pressure set to the very lightest position. As soon as I tighten it the least amount, it stops feeding. Is that how it's supposed to work? If not, any ideas for what to try next would be much appreciated.

  9. #9
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    If the machine does not feed properly

    Instructions from my Universa​l AZZ manual:

    a. The stitch regulator dial is set at '0', make sure the dial is not set at '0' position
    b. The feed dog is dropped, raise the drop feed knob
    c. The pressure of the presser foot is insufficient, increase the pressure by pushing the head of the darner

    It appears that "c" may be your problem. But without seeing a picture of your machine I will again quote my AZZ manual. The pressure regulator knob is called a darner in my manual.

    "Depending on the weight of the material a change in the presser foot may be indicated. To reduce the pressure, place index finger on the left hand of the round base of the darner in order to control its rise. At the same time, with the index of your finger of your right hand turn the head of the darner to raise either partly or fully depending on the material and operation".

    Keep playing with it Noel. You will get er done!
    Sweet Caroline

  10. #10
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    Thanks Caroline,

    But, something strange is going on here. What you sent me suggests that the problem is insufficient pressure on the presser foot.
    "The pressure of the presser foot is insufficient, increase the pressure by pushing the head of the darner" What I have is just the opposite. I can adjust the foot pressure easily with a knob on top. With no pressure on the foot, it self feeds but the stitch length is way too short, regardless of the length setting. When I put even the slightest pressure on the foot, it stops feeding. I can pull it through with a gentle pull, but it won't feed. That suggests to me that the friction from the foot is enough to stop the dog from feeding. Is the dog just worn out?

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