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Thread: Help (Billie?)! 1970s MW Signature Darn Button Won't depress

  1. #1
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Well, here I am thinking I'll try free motion on my "new" sewing machine. I read the instructions and in order to lower the feed dog, I need to press the DARN button. Well, the DARN button won't depress. Stuck stuck stuck.

    Lifted her up and looked underneath; see what SHOULD happen (see photo below), but the rod that connects the left of the lower-the-feed-dog mechanism with the feed dog itself won't move AT ALL.

    Oiled all moving parts. No change. Tried to move it manually; won't budget. Unscrewed top "lid" of the buttons and was able to move the device, but could not get the feed dog to stay down.

    Suggestions for me? (I'm trying to fix this myself.)

    Thanks.

    -- Jillaine

    Monkey Wards Signature 285 (1970s)
    Name:  Attachment-192066.jpe
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    Buttons to depress for darning (left) and regular (right)
    Name:  Attachment-192067.jpe
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    Mechanism underneath the buttons
    Name:  Attachment-192068.jpe
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    Left end of feed-dog-lowering mechanism that sits immediately below feed dog.
    Name:  Attachment-192069.jpe
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Size:  56.3 KB

  2. #2
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    Oh my goodness, I have that exact machine (it was my grandmother's). I've never had the button stick on me so I'm not sure I'll be much help. Could there be something jammed in there somehow that is preventing the movement? Maybe try taking apart the bobbin area and see if there is something stuck under the feed dogs. That machine is pretty easy to take apart and put back together. Just remember to unplug first.

  3. #3
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Jillaine, if you post this in the virtual machine section the experts there could probably help you.
    It's really pretty!! Love all the older machines.

  4. #4
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Susan, I have no idea how to post in that area. I can access it, but there is no "post new topic" even after I subscribe.

  5. #5
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Shannon, I will do as you suggest.

    But can you do me a favor? Holding the machine bed up, can you depress the darn button and tell me what happens. Does it actually do what I believe it should do (move to the right) as illustrated in the 3rd photo?

    Thanks!

    -- Jillaine

  6. #6
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Jillaine, you can hit the "post reply" at the end of the last post, then you can ask questions and post your pics :D
    It's page 1009 I think.

  7. #7
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Ah... THAT topic. How weird is that that there is no board area with individual topics. Instead only one topic about all vintage machines? VERY odd. Doesn't make finding things easy at all. But thanks for the pointer.

  8. #8
    Super Member TonnieLoree's Avatar
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    Rename it the "damn" button. I know, no help at all here. Sorry.

  9. #9
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    Opened up the bobbin area, including removing the plate around the dogs. Some fuzz in there, but not much. Brushed it out, oiled in hopefully all the right places. Still no budge. Well, not completely accurate, there is a little wiggle but no movement of the actual dogs.

    dang I *so* want to try FMQ!!!!

    Thanks for your ongoing help.

    -- Jillaine

  10. #10
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    i'll just have to start another project while I wait... :-b

  11. #11
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    You need a pentrating oil if kerosene doesn't work. I think Kroil is a good one. Liquid Wrench is another. If you have to use WD-40, be sure to clean it all off. It's not good to leave on a machine. Saturate the area and let it set. Try to move it, repeat if necessary. Old oil can get very stubborn.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose
    You need a pentrating oil if kerosene doesn't work. I think Kroil is a good one. Liquid Wrench is another. If you have to use WD-40, be sure to clean it all off. It's not good to leave on a machine. Saturate the area and let it set. Try to move it, repeat if necessary. Old oil can get very stubborn.
    This works but add a light tap from a hammer and it will free up. I have run into the stubborn ones like that before and a good oiling and a little force is in order.

    Billy

  13. #13
    Super Member Quiltforme's Avatar
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    Ah the good old hit it with a hammer technic :) I hope Billy helped fix this for you! it is a beautiful machine!!

  14. #14
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    You know, I actually considered a hammer... but now that I have permission from the expert, I'll actually go get it!

    Thanks, too, for the oil recommendations.

    Re: kerosene: I have seen Billy's tutorials on using this for soaking parts when you've disassembled a machine, but how would one use kerosene (other than VERY carefully) on a machine that's assembled?

    And as long as we're discussing oil, what are your recommendations for an oil to use regularly? This particular machine seems to be needing a lot of oil -- perhaps because it was hardly used for 35 years and now it's being used daily? or maybe I'm just using the wrong kind of oil?

    Many thanks for the help, everyone; I'll report later (I'm barely up yet).

    -- Jillaine
    P.S. while googling this machine I found an auction for one in SW Florida (Goodwill) here:
    http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions...e-7813153.html

    Current price $4.99
    2 days left for bidding

  15. #15
    Super Member buslady's Avatar
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    when useing hammer, remember, EASY DOES IT. dh used one to free up bolt on commode, we got a new commode. LOL (now, not then).

  16. #16
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Beautiful machine! :) I would try PB Blaster or Kroil.

    I've tried Liquid Wrench and it's okay, but in my limited experience, PB Blaster is much faster.

    As for oil, I've been so happy with TriFlow that I don't usually use anything else on my machines, lately. Regular sewing machine oil is fine and it doesn't matter what brand. But, TriFlow is really wonderful stuff - most of it evaporates away and it leaves "Teflon" behind as a semi-dry lubricant. Over time, it dislodges old gunky oil and makes it easy to wipe away. Jenny at sew-classic.com has it - a 2oz bottle lasts a very long time. She's also got the grease for gears if you need it.

    Good luck with your machine - hope she loosens up and starts doing what she was made to do - she's certainly decorative! :)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostn51
    This works but add a light tap from a hammer and it will free up. I have run into the stubborn ones like that before and a good oiling and a little force is in order.

    Billy
    Oh, I got such a laugh out of this! My dear, dear hubby (now deceased) worked for Montgomery Ward in the sewing machine/vacuum department, back in the 70s. He used a hammer or rubber mallet ALL the time to fix machines. The company encouraged it, and gosh darn .. it worked! I never let him come anywhere near my machines with that hammer, though! Thanks for the smile on my face this morning.... and I hope the hammer works for you, but be gentle!

  18. #18
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    I was so scared to try the hammer that I put it off for a few days! But no need to be scared. Just a few taps (after a bit more oil-- you know, I just used 3-in-one because that's all I had) and it moved like a charm and all is working well now! yippee!! I'm thrilled. Now I can get those feed dogs down (down boy, down!) and try FMQ!!!

    Thanks!!!

  19. #19
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    You made my husband proud! :-)

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