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Help with slide plate on Singer 401A

Help with slide plate on Singer 401A

Old 09-24-2011, 03:50 PM
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I bought a Singer 401a awhile back, and then last week brought home a Singer 403. Both of these machines were missing the slide plate (not the needle plate). I'm guessing these plates must fall off when the machines are put down in the cabinet and then moved.

Anyway..I ordered a replacement part, and for the life of me I cannot figure out how to get the darn thing to slide in.

The replacement piece's edge that goes closest to the needle is crimped shut. Seems strange to me. But rather than ruin it and not be able to return it (in case it is defective), I thought I'd ask if I'm just being a complete numpty about this.

My plans are to clean both of them up and use them. The 401a has some levers that will not move, and the wheel on the 403 will not turn. I'm guessing gunked up grease, so I'm going to clean clean clean and see if that does the trick.

I have learned SO much from this board, and I thank you in advance for any help on these old girls.
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:06 PM
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Is it possible to take a picture to see. I have a 401 but not sure what you are trying to do. :oops:
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:16 PM
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Slide it in backwards, from under the presser foot toward you. Use a fingernail or small screwdriver to lift the spring ends up into the plate groove on each side to get them started, and then slide it on toward you until itís in place.

CD in Oklahoma
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:20 PM
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I thought pictures might be helpful LOL

Thanks, CD! I'm going to go try that right now! You rawk :)
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:24 PM
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Yeah!!! It worked!!! Thank you SO much!

Odd that both of these machines are missing those plates - they don't look like they would slide off that easy.

Thank you thank you thank you!
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:35 PM
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That model of plate usually doesnít just slide off like some, but if it is slid open and pressed down upon, itíll pop off easily.

CD in Oklahoma
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:38 PM
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I have recently begun to use my 401 and I love her! I'm amazed how well she sews and all the stitches she can do. I really only straight stitch but I've been playing with the other stitches just for fun.
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:56 PM
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I can't wait to get them going, and have high hopes for them. I was so impressed with the stitches of the Singer 347 (which isn't supposed to be very good) that I did some reading on vintage machines. Everyone says the 401 and the 403's are pretty good, and they seem to be plentiful around these parts.

Heck, I paid $20 for the 401a (probably because she was missing that plate) in a beautiful maple cabinet with long table extensions on either side. The cabinet was worth more than that!

I'm sure I'll be asking lots of questions, and once again, I so appreciate the help!
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:59 PM
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My wife and I have and use three 401As, and I have a 403A that needs serviced up (just got it not long ago). Theyíre our main machines both at home and at the shop.

Our daughter has a 401A for her main machine too.

CD in Oklahoma
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:16 PM
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I take that as testimony that they are good machines? :)

I'm carrying around a Domestic in the trunk of my car. I have no idea if it works or not, and it's incredibly dirty and gunked up with black grease. But the woman at the estate sale practically forced it on me, so I brought it home. Don't know when I'll ever do anything with it, mainly because I can't find out much about those machines. And it weighs a ton!
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