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Thread: We got a Singer 401a

  1. #1
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    DH and SIL were off yesterday, and went shopping at the thrift stores. They took a picture of a beautiful vintage Necchi in a cabinet, and said the shop had gotten in four vintage machines in cabinets. They were asking a lot for the Necchi, but had a Singer 401a in a heavy maple cabinet for $35. The Necchi is a Mira, but I just didn't have $130 right now.

    After reading the comments on this board via my iphone, I told them to bring her home! We still haven't decided if she will live with my daughter or me, but for right now she is residing in my garage. She's very dirty, and has no attachments, but the manual is in the drawer. Also missing the throat plate, but found one immediately online for $11.00. Whoever owned her previously kept her very well oiled and greased, which is obvious when tilted up. I looked up the serial number and she was born in Anderson, SC in 1961.

    I'm looking forward to cleaning her up and getting her going by using all the tutorials on here and on the net.

    Wow..these vintage machines are becoming an addiction! First, I found a Singer 247 in beautiful condition for $30. She is a wonderful baby blue, and I named her Audrey. After I got her home, I discovered she is not the best machine in the world because of her nylon gears, but she sews beautifully and saved my bacon because when I loaned my Singer portable to a family member, they brought it home without the zigzag and buttonhole foot and I needed to start school clothes for the grandbaby. Besides...she's so pretty I just like looking at her. LOL

    Then I found a White 130 for $35 in mint condition. Everyone on here told me to grab it, because they are great machines. She's still sitting in the garage, too, but something tells me she is gonna be well worth the money.

    And now the Singer 401a, which I think is my best find.

    Uhhhh...how does one stop this vintage machine addiction? Just buy them until I run out of room? :)

  2. #2
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I don't have the answer LOL
    Can't wait to see your newest one!! Aren't the older ones wonderful??? :D:D

  3. #3
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    If you find the secret let me know. In the past couple of months I've gotten an four machines from the years 1910, 0922, 1938, 1952, an antique wooden sewing basket and a 1920 to 30's quilt. I told my sister that my addiction was due to me wanting things older than my self so I was no longer the oldest thing in it and they are reminders that getting older can mean getting better. Don't know it that is true but I know that I want at least two more machines; one from the year I was born and a centinial. I tell my self I'll be satisfied but not sure I've convinced my self yet. It doesn't help that now my 5yr old grandson keeps encouraging me to get more. He's my enabler.

  4. #4
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by romanojg
    If you find the secret let me know. In the past couple of months I've gotten an four machines from the years 1910, 0922, 1938, 1952, an antique wooden sewing basket and a 1920 to 30's quilt. I told my sister that my addiction was due to me wanting things older than my self so I was no longer the oldest thing in it and they are reminders that getting older can mean getting better. Don't know it that is true but I know that I want at least two more machines; one from the year I was born and a centinial. I tell my self I'll be satisfied but not sure I've convinced my self yet. It doesn't help that now my 5yr old grandson keeps encouraging me to get more. He's my enabler.
    Excuses, excuses lol :twisted:
    My addiction to them is starting to worry me........ :mrgreen:

  5. #5
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I've been buying them too and I'm starting to get the "look" from my husband. But I do use all of my 6 machines!! Honest! And I'm still on the look out for a vintage elna, necchi and either a Singer. Guess my stable is growing.

    Though, I'm trying to buy them in cases not tables as I can hide them easier:>

  6. #6
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    I agree; I have to force myself from not calling Craigslist because there are affordable ones all of the time.

  7. #7
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    I've been buying them too and I'm starting to get the "look" from my husband. But I do use all of my 6 machines!! Honest! And I'm still on the look out for a vintage elna, necchi and either a Singer. Guess my stable is growing.

    Though, I'm trying to buy them in cases not tables as I can hide them easier:>
    LOL LOL :thumbup:

  8. #8
    Super Member KatFish's Avatar
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    If anyone knows the cure, let me know. I took my Singer 223 down to the church for our rummage sale on Saturday. While we were there DH spotted a 15 clone. He just had to drag it out of the corner and open it up, and point out that I don't have one with a knee controller yet, and for $20 how could I go wrong? and look how perfect those decals are. So of course it found it's way into the back of my jeep. This is why I still have 16 sewing machines!!!

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I keep dragging home 401s - I've found them in all manner of derelict condition.
    When you clean a 401 you don't want to soak it in a pan like you might one with out wiring. I take a can and put kerosene in it and just paint it on the moving parts. Someone on here suggested putting a disposable diaper down to catch the drips. Some times people used 3 in one oil on those machines - if so it will be pretty gummed up. Keep painting on the kerosene to dissolve the old oils. The stitch selector transmission clogs up and doesn't move if it has been over oiled. There is a piece that moves back and forth on the needle bar - and one near the cam stack - those can clog up with dead oil. Once you get it cleaned up use Tri-flow oil. There is a lot of info on the web site. If you want you can pm and I will answer???

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