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1930s Singer 201 Tension Assembly

1930s Singer 201 Tension Assembly

Old 02-23-2021, 11:20 PM
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Default 1930s Singer 201 Tension Assembly

Dear all,

first of all let me thank you for all the information I already found here. I recently got an old Singer 201 from a friend in the family and have been trying to get it to run smoothly. It is a 1930s version build in Wittenberge, Germany. One of the last pieces in the puzzle is the tension assembly as the thread spring was bent I had to get a new one. Unfortunately this is a singer without the dial later Singers used. It only uses a little bent thingy to show the tension which is totally fine. But I cannot for the life of me figure out how to assemble it correctly. Does anyone have any idea or a manual that shows this particular version of tension assembly? I couldn't find one anywhere.

Any help is appreciated,
Best, Robert



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Old 02-24-2021, 05:25 AM
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Robert, it looks as if this assembly is very similar to that on the 115. The little knob on the knurled thumb nut is not the indicator, rather, the window on the short cylinder gives you a place to view the compression of the beehive spring. That knob is a device to adjust the fit of the thumb nut to the mechanism, allowing one to adjust to get a full range of tension, if numbered, from 0-9.

​I'll have to resize a photo to post here, I do have a photo with the 115 sequence. I hope someone beats me to it!
ETA: nope, the recent photo I found is from a a 1936/37 15-91 with nickel plate stitch length plate. I'll have to look further for the 115 project.

I learned the hard way, too, to carefully disassemble, layout the sequence, and take a photo. But then, that assumes the person who messed with it before me installed it correctly.

Last edited by WIChix; 02-24-2021 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 02-24-2021, 05:51 AM
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Welcome to the board! I would start with page 26, of the manual itself, from here

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/07...99796216700119

It looks as though your numbered dial, part Y from the manual, is inside of the housing, part Z from the manual.

It may not be an exact match for those parts you have, but it's a start.
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Old 02-24-2021, 05:57 AM
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Here is the assembly order for, yes, the 15-91 nickel plate. Note that the tiny divided washer should have a "finger."
Attached Thumbnails 15-91-nickel-tension-assembly-order.jpg  
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Old 02-24-2021, 06:31 AM
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Thank you all for the help. Weirdly enough my washer doesn’t have a finger and it doesn’t look like it ever had one. So there is no breakage or similar. Which is in part why the assembly doesn’t fall in line with the 201s dial assembly. Also the ‚dial‘ is connected to the plate that some of you have separately. Which is why I am not sure where to put the round end of the spring.
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Old 02-24-2021, 09:33 AM
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OK here goes...

I am looking at another manual, for a 201k, for reference, pages 24/25 of the manual itself, not the PDF file:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/07...ER-201K.pdf?15

There are at least 2 issues to deal with on this, 1. how to lift the tension when you lift the presser foot lever, 2. The "eyelet" of the take up spring (see pg 25 part marked N).

My suggested order of assembly assumes you are removing that eyelet on the spring, or getting another spring without one, such as this:

https://www.vintagesingerparts.com/c...-numbered-dial

I have marked up your original picture with numbers for the parts in more or less the order I would use, no number on the spring itself, just the post.
1. Discs 2 and 3 go on 1 from the slotted end, with the flared edges of the discs facing out, opposite each other but inside the squared off loop on your spring
2. Part 1 with the discs on it goes into 4 with the arm of the spring from where the eyelet was removed floating in one of the spaces/gaps on part 4 between the housing and the base plate with the long finger, or that arm being cut short enough that it won't hit the housing
3. Part 5, turned over from how it is in your picture, slid onto part 1, the post, with the crossmember of part 5 in the slot
4. Part 6, turned over from how it is in your picture, onto part 1, the post, on top of part 5; I am assuming part 6 has edges on it that will allow the part 7, the spring, to fit into it, if not turn it over
5. Part 7, the spring, with the crossmember in the slot of part 1, the post, on top of part 6
6. Part 8, the thumb nut, screwed onto the post directly contacting part 7, the spring

I hope this helps. I can't see any other way with the parts in your picture.
Attached Thumbnails vm4cb4.jpg  
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Old 02-24-2021, 11:42 AM
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Even though I said I can't see any other way, I see at least one other way:

1. Discs 2 and 3 go on 1 from the slotted end, with the flared edges of the discs facing out, opposite each other but inside the squared off loop on your spring
2. Part 5, turned over from how it is in your picture, slid onto part 1, the post, with the crossmember of part 5 in the slot

3. Part 1 with the discs on it goes into 4 with the arm of the spring from where the eyelet was removed floating in one of the spaces/gaps on part 4 between the housing and the base plate with the long finger, or that arm being cut short enough that it won't hit the housing
4. Part 7, the spring, with the crossmember in the slot of part 1, the post, on top of part 4

5. Part 6 onto part 1, the post, on top of part 7, the spring; I am assuming part 6 has edges on it that will allow the part 7, the spring, to fit into it, if not turn it over
6. Part 8, the thumb nut, screwed onto the post directly contacting part 6
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Old 02-24-2021, 12:01 PM
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Dear JoeJr,

thank you and all of you so much for taking so much effort!
Your detailed descriptions are fantastic. Thinking about „how to lift the pressure when the foot is up“ had me thinking as well as part number 5 is not attached to number 4 as it is with „newer“ Singers. So I think you are right with your second idea that number 5 has to come before number 4 so it can press against number 4 when the pressure lifting pin is moving forward so tension is disengaged. I didn‘t know there were springs without the eyelet so snipping that off sure helped a lot getting it into the housing. That couldn‘t really be done with the eyelet on.

singer_tension.jpg

As you can see the complete assembly looks nearly like a singer with a black numbered dial. Now I think I need to adjust the bobbin tension, as that seems to be not high enough to resist the upper thread on any upper tension.

I attached a video to show you how it is working. Would you agree that that looks about right?
trim.EE9EE3BF-0881-432F-B552-851E8E994D5D.MOV

And one final question as you all got me thinking: is this really a 201 or another model?
singer.jpg
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Old 02-24-2021, 12:12 PM
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See if you can find the serial number here:

http://ismacs.net/singer_sewing_mach...-database.html

I have not seen a machine with that configuration, but someone here will likely know.

If it's from Germany, maybe this information will help:

https://www.singersewinginfo.co.uk/201
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Old 02-24-2021, 01:31 PM
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Thank you. It seems it is a 201 from Wittenberge in Germany but there isn‘t much info as the Russians destroyed everything or later reused the factories for other supplies. Quite a lot learned today.
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