401a Singer need cams

Old 08-08-2018, 03:39 AM
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Default 401a Singer need cams

We were driving home the other day and by the side of the road was a sewing machine cabinet with a cord hanging out. DH made a U turn and I went back to investigate. There was a machine in it and we took it home. It was very dusty, layers of dust but no dirt, in almost brand new condition. This 401a sews beautifully, actually a tighter stitch than my Bernina. It has a cam that looks like arrows in it. My question is will this sew a zigzag without the O cam in it? I checked eBay and that particular cam is expensive and the other groups of cams sold do not include the O cam. Iím now on the lookout for cams. Any information is welcome. The funny thing is my ex-DH bought me this particular machine new in 1964. It had terrible tension issues. I sold it for $100 to my MIL years later.
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:13 AM
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If you take off the top and look under the cam slot, you will notice a stack of metal cams. It's the built in stitches, and one of them should be plain zigzag. It's made to work in various combination of them and the settings are a bit intricate. The levers, knobs and joints involved can become a bit sticky on this model, patience and oil is more than likely required to make it shift smoothly again.
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Wanabee Quiltin View Post
My question is will this sew a zigzag without the O cam in it?.... Iím now on the lookout for cams....
You should be able to get the manual from https://www.singer.com/support The 401 has several built in stitches, so you do not need the "0" cam in order to zigzag.

I have to look up every time how to turn the knobs for the different stitches. If the knobs are stuck you might want to check out https://archaicarcane.com/stuck-in-t...lant-o-matics/

There are several threads here on Quilting Board about the 401(A) including She's real fun, my 401...

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
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Old 08-09-2018, 02:24 AM
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Thanks for the info. I knew if I asked, I’d get help.
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:39 AM
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The stitches that can be made without cams are pictured on the inside of the lid of the machine. If I remember correctly, the setting of B on one knob and L on the other will give you the zig-zag stitch. I have all of the cams and rarely use them; I find that the pre-programmed stitches are generally all I need. The additional cams are usually more for decoration. Get a free manual from the internet and it will explain how to use all the stitches and the additional cams.
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:57 AM
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I found some cams at an auction and so far, I’m in the lead. I will print the manual off because I don’t really understand exactly what they are saying about the stitches that are printed on the underside of the lid.
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