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Thread: Before You Plug Your Vintage Machine in............Yes Safety First!!!

  1. #1
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    Okay since there has been all this interest in vintage machines there is something that really needs to be addressed.....The electrical parts of the machine!!

    I am doing the tutes on cleaning and rewiring of your machines and the machine that I am using is my 1926 Singer 128. Well if I had plugged it into the wall before checking the electrics I would have caught the machine on FIRE or SHOCKED myself on it. Every connection was loose and there was some wires touching because of that and when I hit the Kneebar I would have felt it hit me like a brick!!!!

    Always thoroughly check the electrical out on the machine before plugging it in the wall. Check for cracks in the wiring or exposed areas, loose connections and so forth. If you have to you can take it to a professional and have him look at it.

    Your life is not worth being careless!!

    Here are some photos showing where the connections were so loose it would have been fatal to me and the machine!

    Billy

    after taking the cover off to see the wiring
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    The first loose connection
    Name:  Attachment-55310.jpe
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    the lugs that the cord plugs into. These were so loose and the wires were touching other wires that would have shocked ar caught on fire!!
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    The female connectors that plugged into the lugs
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    After making sure everything was secure and the wiring was in order I plugged it in and turned the light on and ran the mottor with the kneebar!!!
    Name:  Attachment-55384.jpe
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  2. #2
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Hey Billy, where were you years ago when I plugged in that machine and sparks flew everywhere???? LOL No damage but to my nerves. Lesson learned quickly.

  3. #3
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Good advice! I will post of duzzy on a Singer portable I pick up.

  4. #4
    Super Member no1jan's Avatar
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    I need to fix the wiring on my 201-2. Thanks Billy!

  5. #5
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    Billy,
    My husband had to lenthin the wire for my foot petal as it was to short. When he striped the wire he found asbestos coating on the wires. Now he want to change all the wiring in the machine as the asbestos is cracked and flaking and the outer coating of the wires isn't the best. By changing the wires will it devalue the machine?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborah Rae
    Billy,
    My husband had to lenthin the wire for my foot petal as it was to short. When he striped the wire he found asbestos coating on the wires. Now he want to change all the wiring in the machine as the asbestos is cracked and flaking and the outer coating of the wires isn't the best. By changing the wires will it devalue the machine?
    Not if you plan on wanting to use it. You can find the cloth covered wiring at lamp shops and it will not have asbestos in the insulation. If you want to maintain the integrity of the machine I would go that route.

    My cousin restores Fans from the teens and twenties and she gets her cloth wiring from a lamp supplier on the net. I will call her if I remember and ask her what site she goes to, but if you Google it you should find it no problem.

    Billy

  7. #7
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    Thank you for the information Billy

  8. #8
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    Glad your ok Billy. Course that comes with experience, doesn't it? :lol:

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wvdek
    Glad your ok Billy. Course that comes with experience, doesn't it? :lol:
    Fortunately I never had that happen to me but I have knocked the living stew out of me when I have grounded myself out when I was welding.

    Hurted like hell but it was funny!!!

    Billy

  10. #10
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    That is scary. You are so right......safety first. Thanks for the info.

  11. #11
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    I got electracuted fixing a 220 volt wall heater were I worked. My coworker said he would pull the braker for me and he pulled the wrong one. Well I went to fix the wires and the wires were alive and I could not disconect myself from them. I finely thru myself backwords and yelled out for help! I was in the hospital for a week with electical burns on the tips of fingers and it messed up my heart. Can't express enough how importent it is to "UNPLUG" no matter what!

  12. #12
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    thanks for your information!

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    I forgot I even did this tutorial but I need to go into the rewiring part of it. I think I will do that this weekend since I have the time now to do it. And I am rewiring a 99K right now and this would be a great candidate for the tute.

    Billy

  14. #14
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    Hey Billy and All,

    Thanks to your repeated advice over the last months I did a fair job receiving a featherweight recently. Checked all visible wiring for insulation condition, dropped the pan and checked the motor connections and wiring, checked the motor brushes and cleaned those, disassembled the button foot controller -- cleaning the contacts and checked the internal wiring.

    After all that, I plugged it in and would you believe it, the light actually turned on!

    Runs like a top and I am not worried about using it.

    Thank you for your invaluable guidance.

    Now, about that little ticking noise when the needle passes the hook and bobbin case . . . using the service manuals, I successfully set the timing on my 127, 66, and 301A. I checked the timing on the 221J and as far as I could tell it was good.

    I am using a 15x1 sharp needle and I am getting a good lockstitch, have even tension after disassembling the tension system and cleaning it.

    But I have a ticking sound because something is tapping something during the stitch. I am not sewing with it until the sound is adjusted out.

    Any advice?

    Aardie.

  15. #15
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Thank you Billy for caring and reminding us. DH just rewired the 301 we have.

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    New to this. Very concerned about asbestos. How would you know if it is present?

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    thanks, I just bought my 4th singer today. this one is a 66 and in fantastic condition except that even the seller pointed out that the wiring was cracking and should be replaced. I'm very afraid and respectful of the power of electric. As tempting as it is to start sewing on it I will wait until I can find a new cord.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by romanojg
    thanks, I just bought my 4th singer today. this one is a 66 and in fantastic condition except that even the seller pointed out that the wiring was cracking and should be replaced. I'm very afraid and respectful of the power of electric. As tempting as it is to start sewing on it I will wait until I can find a new cord.
    Use a 16/2 lamp card for the electrical cord for the machine. What I do is use an extension cord that has the plug end already molded onto the wire. Then all I have to do is cut to length and solder the ends on and call it a day.

    Billy

  19. #19
    Super Member deplaylady's Avatar
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    I wondered what was in that box! Now I have something additional to add to my list of to dos for the week end! At least to my husband's to dos - the electronic parts scare me - and he doesn't mind looking these parts over as long as he has clear directions and what to look for like what you provided here! I already have him putting the motor back into my FW - I'll just add looking into the 99's box to the list!

  20. #20
    Senior Member cabinfever's Avatar
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    Billy,
    Do you know if there is any reason/problem with using a grounded plug on a 99k? Mine is a 1954. We need to replace the cord, and husband being an electrician doesn't see why it wouldn't be a good idea.

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    I have that same box on the side of my 1926 Singer 99-13. The manual tells me to "grease the control mechanism" but I can't figure out what that is, and the internet has been no help! See my original thread here: http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...r-t225570.html

  22. #22
    Junior Member Redsquirrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raptureready View Post
    Hey Billy, where were you years ago when I plugged in that machine and sparks flew everywhere???? LOL No damage but to my nerves. Lesson learned quickly.

    Exactly my same experience with my 1939 FW. Plugging it in was fine as the wires were great after I replaced some, but when I went to pull the original plug out, wires inside the plug must have touched, blue sparks shooted out of the socket and scared the absolute crap out of me. I ran and shut the breaker off. Lesson learned, now I only plug into an external circuit breaker extension cord if there is any doubt.
    1939 Singer 221, 1980 Singer Starlet 496, 1947 Singer 201-3

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