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Thread: Vintage Sewing Machine Shop.....Come on in and sit a spell

  1. #28971
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlee View Post
    Oh crud!! It followed me home tonite, and whined so piteously at the door that I had to let her in! Meet the new lady of the house. She came with nothing but the "clothes" on her back (a style 56 cabinet)...that and a BUNCH of dust! Now I'm thinking I shouldn't have sold all of those slant shank parts!! LOL Oh well, I still have a pink egg buttonholer...and the other stuff is easy to find on ebay, or the local thrift stores!

    What's a girl to do? I couldn't leave her out in the cold, could I? (I really didn't want any of the slants, for some reason they didn't appeal to me! LOL)
    AH Charlee the 403 is my all time favorite zigzag machine!!! You can set the needle left, right and center even when you do decorative stitches. You need a complete set of disks anyway. I just cleaned a 503 up to sell, but it cleans the same. There is a little pin the needle bar goes on - to locate it, push on the needle bar and look down - see if it has any dried on oil. That needs to clean off with a solvent. Then when you have that cleaned and the lid off, push on it again. Watch under the rectangle thing next to the disk... Oh silly me, remove the disk. Then look way down there next to that round thing and over it to the left - ah you maybe found it - another of those pins. Get the oil off it. The clean the readers above it. Get the oil off all that stuff and re-oil. Then clean the rest like normal. You should be good to go for a nice sewing session. Singer 403a some more info - page 2 shows the needle bar and pin. You'll have to find the other one on your own. Those are very frequently gunked up when they follow me home. Any zz slant-o-matic gets gunk there. I frequently have had to pay more for the attachments than the machines - probably because nobody cleans that gunk out.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  2. #28972
    Senior Member quiltdoctor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlee View Post
    Oh crud!! It followed me home tonite, and whined so piteously at the door that I had to let her in! Meet the new lady of the house. She came with nothing but the "clothes" on her back (a style 56 cabinet)...that and a BUNCH of dust! Now I'm thinking I shouldn't have sold all of those slant shank parts!! LOL Oh well, I still have a pink egg buttonholer...and the other stuff is easy to find on ebay, or the local thrift stores!

    What's a girl to do? I couldn't leave her out in the cold, could I? (I really didn't want any of the slants, for some reason they didn't appeal to me! LOL)
    At least your had her clothes. My Singer 127 was nekkid !!!

    Texas Jan

  3. #28973
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom-6 View Post
    Charlee, I think I have her twin sister. Mine needs a bobbin cover and a good cleaning. I used her for a good while then got fed up with retaping the plastic lid I had substituted for her bobbin cover and also think now that maybe the plastic bobbins I had been using were the wrong ones as I was having bird's nest issues. One of these days I'll find time to work on her. Where would I look to find a bobbin cover for her?
    I'm not sure where to find the bobbin cover...but as I'm out and about looking for attachments and cams, I'll keep my eyes open for you!! Cosmetically, this one needs the knob for the needle position...
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  4. #28974
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagemotif View Post
    Cute! Those extra attachments are a hint to your next machine. Remember the machine has a way of finding you!
    Once this gal is clean up, she will be pretty. Enjoy!
    I really did not want one of these machines! Don't ask me why, they just did not appeal to me at all... the only reason I had attachments and cams for one is that I saw them in the thrift stores here and knew others here might want them, so I picked them up with no intention of keeping them! Until now, the attachments were pretty common to find, now I suspect that since I want some, they'll be scarce!

    I do know folks that keep parts they can't use as "bait" for the machine they fit... LOL!
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  5. #28975
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltdoctor View Post
    At least your had her clothes. My Singer 127 was nekkid !!!

    Texas Jan
    Her dress has some issues too...looks like someone painted her with stain or thin paint that's going to have to come off... but I have more fun with that than I do with making the machine work!
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  6. #28976
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    AH Charlee the 403 is my all time favorite zigzag machine!!! You can set the needle left, right and center even when you do decorative stitches. You need a complete set of disks anyway. I just cleaned a 503 up to sell, but it cleans the same. There is a little pin the needle bar goes on - to locate it, push on the needle bar and look down - see if it has any dried on oil. That needs to clean off with a solvent. Then when you have that cleaned and the lid off, push on it again. Watch under the rectangle thing next to the disk... Oh silly me, remove the disk. Then look way down there next to that round thing and over it to the left - ah you maybe found it - another of those pins. Get the oil off it. The clean the readers above it. Get the oil off all that stuff and re-oil. Then clean the rest like normal. You should be good to go for a nice sewing session. Singer 403a some more info - page 2 shows the needle bar and pin. You'll have to find the other one on your own. Those are very frequently gunked up when they follow me home. Any zz slant-o-matic gets gunk there. I frequently have had to pay more for the attachments than the machines - probably because nobody cleans that gunk out.
    Thanks Miriam! I'm sure I'm going to be picking your brain lots!! This one doesn't SEEM as simple as the other girls in the herd...
    There's one cam in place....I haven't yet figured out how to get it out, and haven't yet found a manual for a 403, altho the page you sent me to says the 503 manual is nearly identical.
    Also...will ANY of the top hat cams work with this machine? Didn't the 403 just come with 5 cams?
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  7. #28977
    Senior Member Crossstitcher's Avatar
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    Charlee, maybe once she is cleaned and you try to sew with her, she will be go thankful that you saved her and brought her in from the cold that she will make the prettest stitches in hopes that you will keep her.
    Quilting with a friend keeps me in stitches.

    Trish

  8. #28978
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    She's staying with me Trish, much to the disappointment of the spousal unit! I just plugged her in tho, just to test, believe I have the wrong power cord (it has 3 prong holes, the machine has 2 prongs)....no power. Gonna hafta figure that out too!
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  9. #28979
    Member bdschafer's Avatar
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    I know this is not a vintage machine, but I'm hoping that you folks will know your machines!! I'm looking for a machine that will do free motion quilting. A friend is happy with her Brother PQ1500. It only does straight sewing and that is ok with me, as I have another machine (Singer 500) that does other things, but it does not like to do free motion!!! My question is- is this a good machine or is there another that would be better??? I found the Brother on e-bay for $600. I sure would like any suggestions that you folks might have.
    Thanks.
    I live in the St Louis, Mo area.

  10. #28980
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Congrats on your 403. I have a 401 I've had to play with just a touch to get it in tip top shape. You'll love it. Yours will take any of the black, top hat cams. It's a sweet quilting machine. I spent all day quilting on it yesterday. I'm not thrilled with the FMQ on it though, but that's due to the drop in bobbin , I suspect. I will give it another go since I had to remove and tweak the bobbin case a bit.

    To mom-6 you should be using metal bobbins on this machine, so there's your problem, probably! The ones at JoannesWalmart tend to be too small in the center(junk). So order them from Sew Classic. I need to place an order myself...

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