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Singer 201-needle too far to the left

Singer 201-needle too far to the left

Old 01-31-2016, 10:55 PM
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Default Singer 201-needle too far to the left

I have a Singer 201 that I purchased in December. It is in good shape, complete except for the stitch adjustment screw is missing, was very clean inside and out, but also no oil or lubricant to be seen. I have oiled and greased it with triflow . My question is, it sews well but the needle is all the way to the left, barely clears the presser foot and the edge of the hole. I have the manual so I know the needle is in correctly. Is there something I need to adjust? Also, the upper tension needs to be at 7 to sew correctly, should I take it apart or leave it as is? I also have 2 101's, they are a real favorite of mine, but I needed a machine to sew on in the dining room and thought to give this 201 a try. So wonderful to read all the posts here, to know that others enjoy the vintage machines as much as I do!
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Old 02-01-2016, 05:32 AM
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Tripple check that the needle is put in the correct way, flat side to the right, just in case. Even double check that the manual is the correct one, I've seen machines equipped with the wrong manual a few times too, could easily be missed if one assumes it's the right one.

If the needle enters the hole in the needle plate with clearence it's likely as it should. I have been wondering about the same, on my machien the needle is slightly to the left in the hole in the needle plate. It never interferes with the presser foot though. Stitch length adjustment for the 201 is a lever, what type of stich adjustment do you mean? If there's a knob or screw there, it might be a model 66 or something else.

On my machine I have to turn up tension quite high on heavier threads like top stitch and extra strength. I even have it high up when free motion quilting, and I hear others have much lighter tension then. If you have a medium weight thread, sew-it-all type, you can set top tension to 4 or 4.5, then adjust bobbin tension for an even stitch. If you can turn the dial from 1 to 9 with ease and you can feel the tension gradually increase as you turn the dial it's likely fine (fully threaded machine and just pulling the tread through the needle, presser foot has to be down). If the machien was very grimy and dirty when you got it, the tensioner might benefit from a disassembly and cleaning of the parts; it's often enought to floss between the two plates in the tensioner with a thin rag or cotton yarn.

There is a neat way to set bobbin tension, by using a 1 oz. weight. I've just ordered one, I'm not quite trusting my kitchen scale filling a bag with beans, peas or rice.

If all this fails, there are adjustments for repositioning the needle bar, and I would suggest looking up a service manual for the 201. It's available on the web. You will have to set timing in relation to hook and race.

I'm sure your issue will be sorted out, there's are some very experienced members on this forum and great help to be found.

Last edited by Mickey2; 02-01-2016 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:06 AM
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Oh, I was a bit slow there, but of course, you mean the screw to the left side of the lever. Sorry about that, I'm sure it can be found some where, and I suspect it's a common screw for several models, at least model 15 with the reverse stitch lever. I did a quick search and all I found was plate sets, and the screw was a bit scratched, but they turn up.

Last edited by Mickey2; 02-01-2016 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:09 AM
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A 201 requires the needle to have the flat side to the left and threaded right to left.
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:35 AM
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This video, he was adjusting to get rid of a click and it improved his needle alignment. Hopefully this helps you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeumOGI8pno
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:55 AM
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Good catch Sammie, I get this wrong now and then, even though I know it very well. Going from one machine to the other on a regular basis I always have to double check. Yes, threads from right to left, and flat side of the needle to the left.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:04 AM
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Yes, the needle is in with the flat side to the left. The missing stitch adjustment screw likely as nothing to do with it, just thought I would put that in just in case. That video is great Sammie1, I watched it and will go check on it and report back.
Mickey2-the machine was a clean as a whistle when I got it, not a speck of dust, lint, thread, or grease, but the brush cups had grease in them thankfully. Really strange! It had been put in another cabinet, one I had never seen before with spindle legs and 1 large drawer on the side. I have several machines with knee controls but this was the first one I had seen with the foot pedal/knee control combination, very clever. I bought if off of Craigslist from some resellers, don't know where they got it and they certainly hadn't cleaned it or done anything to it. I will be back later!
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Mickey2 View Post
Good catch Sammie, I get this wrong now and then, even though I know it very well. Going from one machine to the other on a regular basis I always have to double check. Yes, threads from right to left, and flat side of the needle to the left.

Can I tell you how often I thread mine from the wrong side of the needle? lol!
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:17 AM
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[ATTACH=CONFIG]541717[/ATTACH]

Hehe, glad nobody came up with a machine that threads from the rear. Maybe because I do some sewing with old round shank needles, in addition to flat shanks from three different directions, I finally got into the habit of feeling the needle for the long groove before threading.

Really curious about threadstarter's initial question, though - hope you keep us posted. I didn't know there is a sideways adjustment to the needlebar in the 201..? Is there any room for sideways movement at all?

Here's an illustration (from a Singer Slant service manual) that shows that offset needle sometimes is a rule. I don't suggest this applies in this case though, wrong position as far as I can see.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:36 PM
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I watched the youtube video twice, then took a look at my machine. The screw he mentioned adjusting was too tight to move, and there didn't seem to be any play in the mechanism. I removed the presser foot and reinserted the needle even though I had changed the needle multiple times in the last month.[ATTACH=CONFIG]541786[/ATTACH] So here is a picture, not sure how well it will show up, I can try again tomorrow with better light if needed. The illustration you shared steighy is really interesting. I have to assume that dead center is the desired position, and yes, I went around and checked other machines we have , but it is sewing correctly, and catching the bobbin thread which surprises me.
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