Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 45

Thread: Need some help with 401 restoring

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    49

    Need some help with 401 restoring

    I recently picked up a 401A in a classic 50's cabinet, and it's been a real adventure getting it cleaned up. I've gotten the Triflow oil and grease, and have pretty much soaked everything for a week. Much of it works - and it does run, but I can't get the red stitch width lever to move to the left of center, and can't get the beige cam selector to move freely. More importantly, the top tension adjuster assembly was all in parts and I'm not sure how to re-assemble it. I did get the manual on my computer, but the drawing of the tension assembly is so small and blurred that I'm not able to follow it. I did order new springs for it from Sew-Classic. Can anyone tell me how the three tension discs go together? They have one side with printing and one side without - are they different? I can't tell. Any help would be much appreciated!!

    I also have an old Singer Treadle - which came across the plains from Kansas to Arizona in a covered wagon with my great grandmother, then on to California, and now to Colorado. It also needs cleaning up! My daughter picked up a pink Remington for me - haven't even tackled her yet. Then I have a Bernina 730 which I have been using. Gads, how they multiply!! Am I hooked? Yeh!

  2. #2
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    8,105
    Cowbelle,

    Go to this thread: { http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...m-t213849.html }
    There are links to .pdf downloads for the owners manual and shop manual for the 401s.
    Download them to your HD, then print them on 8.5" x 11" sheets and they will be much more readable.


    As for the stuck parts, keep putting the Tri-Flow in them and working them. You might need to add a bit of heat from a hair drier too. There is a lot of moving parts, cracks, crevices, sliding, pivoting, and rotating things in the 401. But it will loosen up eventually.

    Also if you remove the metal cam stack you can clean it and all the parts under it and lube the moving parts better.

    Joe

  3. #3
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    8,105
    Oh, I forgot to add, we want/need pics of these machines. ESPECIALLY the treadle.

    When you clean the treadle, use machine oil and soft clothes or cotton balls only. Otherwise any decals that are left will be further damaged.

    Joe

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    49
    Thank you so much, Joe. I'll keep oiling! How do the built in cams come out? Can I pry them up, or should they just slide off? They don't want to move right now. The one plastic one on top will come off, but I've been afraid to force the others.

    I'll see if I can get photos uploaded - read the instructions, but I'm not finding the "insert image" icon.

  5. #5
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    8,105
    Cowbelle,

    There is an off center screw slot on the black center part at the top of the cams. It just unscrews. Once that's off the three fingered spring and the cam stack just slide up and off. You might have to wiggle the cam followers for clearance but it will come up and out.

    Joe

  6. #6
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Cadillac, MI
    Posts
    6,583
    Blog Entries
    19
    Cowbelle, to add the picture icon ( a tree in a frame), go to 'Forum Actions' in the aqua toolbar, choose 'General Settings', under Miscellaneous Options choose 'Enhanced Full Interface WYSYING Editing'. Save changes and see if your tree shows up.

    Gun solvent, either Hoppe's or Koil works to loosen things up. I just used Hoppe's on a 404 tonight. Just remember to reoil it afterwards.

  7. #7
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Victorian Sweatshop
    Posts
    15,392
    Blog Entries
    2
    Those cam stacks can really get stuck up - solvent used with care...
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  8. #8
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    8,105
    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose View Post
    Cowbelle, to add the picture icon ( a tree in a frame), go to 'Forum Actions' in the aqua toolbar, choose 'General Settings', under Miscellaneous Options choose 'Enhanced Full Interface WYSYING Editing'. Save changes and see if your tree shows up.

    Gun solvent, either Hoppe's or Koil works to loosen things up. I just used Hoppe's on a 404 tonight. Just remember to reoil it afterwards.
    irishrose,

    Thanks for these instructions, Now I have controls to click on too.

    Joe

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    49
    Name:  Singer treadle.jpg
Views: 452
Size:  770.7 KBName:  singer treadle 2.jpg
Views: 432
Size:  761.1 KBName:  singer 401A.jpg
Views: 458
Size:  767.5 KBThank you all so much! I've sewn all my life, but never had a machine all apart - always just took it to a shop for servicing. I knew I didn't want to do that with the Treadle, and then this 401 appeared at a local antique barn. Very dirty and neglected, no manual or attachments, but I figured with this site's help, I could fix her up.

    Can't move that center post of the cams, maybe will have to find the gun solvent. Should I put it only on the center shaft? Thanks again for all the help! Judith
    Last edited by Cowbelle; 02-17-2013 at 07:57 AM.

  10. #10
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Victorian Sweatshop
    Posts
    15,392
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by Cowbelle View Post
    Name:  Singer treadle.jpg
Views: 452
Size:  770.7 KBName:  singer treadle 2.jpg
Views: 432
Size:  761.1 KBName:  singer 401A.jpg
Views: 458
Size:  767.5 KBThank you all so much! I've sewn all my life, but never had a machine all apart - always just took it to a shop for servicing. I knew I didn't want to do that with the Treadle, and then this 401 appeared at a local antique barn. Very dirty and neglected, no manual or attachments, but I figured with this site's help, I could fix her up.

    Can't move that center post of the cams, maybe will have to find the gun solvent. Should I put it only on the center shaft? Thanks again for all the help! Judith
    those are tricky to clean - I think we have about covered it in past posts - up at the top right is a search in the black bar above the turquoise is a search feature
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  11. #11
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Cadillac, MI
    Posts
    6,583
    Blog Entries
    19
    Oh, oh, Joe found the emoticons. I see some colorful posts coming up.

    Very nice machines. I like the treadle cabinet better than mine, but don't tell my son. The 401 cabinet has lots of storage.

    You'll have to ask Miriam and Joe where to put any solvent on the 401. The 404 is a much simpler machine, so I'm inexperienced there. Me? I just apply it anywhere there might be a stuck part. Then wipe it out and oil the area afterwards.

  12. #12
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    8,105
    OooooooKay, here is a picture worth 8,000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 words

    Name:  Under the top.JPG
Views: 232
Size:  134.4 KB
    In the pic above all the "O"s are oil points. The "G"s are grease points. I use Tri-Flow from Sew-Classic cos it's better.

    The big square topped thing on the center of the cam stack is the retaining screw. You stick a screwdriver in the slot and turn it counterclockwise to loosen it. Then the cam stack should come up.

    Literally everything there moves and needs oil. The two small vertical shafts on the left side of the cam stack is the selector shafts. Those gum up badly and then will not move. On this machine I used Hoppe's #9 Gun cleaning solvent. On my Singer 500 that's identical internally I used q-tips and denatured alcohol. Either or both will work.

    After it's clean oil it with Tri-Flow and then spend some time running the controls through all their travels.

    Joe

  13. #13
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Victorian Sweatshop
    Posts
    15,392
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    OooooooKay, here is a picture worth 8,000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 words

    Name:  Under the top.JPG
Views: 232
Size:  134.4 KB
    In the pic above all the "O"s are oil points. The "G"s are grease points. I use Tri-Flow from Sew-Classic cos it's better.

    The big square topped thing on the center of the cam stack is the retaining screw. You stick a screwdriver in the slot and turn it counterclockwise to loosen it. Then the cam stack should come up.

    Literally everything there moves and needs oil. The two small vertical shafts on the left side of the cam stack is the selector shafts. Those gum up badly and then will not move. On this machine I used Hoppe's #9 Gun cleaning solvent. On my Singer 500 that's identical internally I used q-tips and denatured alcohol. Either or both will work.

    After it's clean oil it with Tri-Flow and then spend some time running the controls through all their travels.

    Joe
    I high lighted some of what Joe wrote.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    49
    Yes, I've oiled all those points plus some, greased the appropriate gears, except for under the cam stack. Can't get the retaining screw to move yet. Will get the solvent tomorrow and see if that helps. I can get the left selector to go to H, and the right one to move throughout the choices, - if the red width selector is to the right. If it is in the center, the right selector won't move at all. And the red width selector won't move to the left at all. Will keep oiling!!

    Thanks for both of you for the support. I really appreciate the help.

    Re the treadle, I have to admit that the handles on the drawers are not original - many years ago before I knew better, there was one broken and I replaced them all from a restoration hardware store. These were the only ones that fit the drawers so they got chosen. Other than that, it's a very old family heirloom. I remember my stepmother making shirts for my dad out of heavy canvas sacking, when we lived on our ranch without electricity, phone, and 20 miles to the nearest paved road, two room school, PO, The oil lamp in the photo is also from that home. We did our homework by kerosene light - great memories.

  15. #15
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Victorian Sweatshop
    Posts
    15,392
    Blog Entries
    2
    Cowbelle, Those selectors IMHO will need solvent. Get some stick on panty liners or some cosmetic pads and pack the edges and bottom - get a depend and cover the base of the machine - you don't want solvent on your paint. Then paint some solvent on the selectors - you don't have to remove the cam stack - it is a little easier to clean the stacks though - The Tri-flow might penetrate that screw if you turn the machine upside down - heat may help. I've taken the whole selector mess apart before to clean it - kind of hard to get it back together unless you have a really good memory and like to do puzzles. Some solvents are made to evaporate quicker than others. When I use a solvent, I drink a LOT of water and I try to take a detox bath afterwards - I have a lot of chemical sensitivities so I try to do it out doors on a windy day, too. There are some dried up oils that do not come off very easily. You may need something that will more or less vaporize that gunk.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    49
    Thank you very much for the details, Miriam. I'm sure you get tired of answering the same questions, but I had not found this in the archives. I'll get the solvent today. And the depends! All good advice and I appreciate the help.

  17. #17
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Victorian Sweatshop
    Posts
    15,392
    Blog Entries
    2
    Almost under the cam stack - below the rectangle thingy is a plunger or piston type part - moves horizontal - it has it's other end on the needle bar. If you push on the needle bar you can see it go in and out there - follow the part to just before it goes under the camstack - see it go in and out? That needs to be cleaned with solvent, too - drape off the painted areas of the machine and use caution.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  18. #18
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Victorian Sweatshop
    Posts
    15,392
    Blog Entries
    2
    I have a 401 that was really gunked up - I'm not sure where I bought it or what I paid but I'm thinking I over paid if I paid for it at all... They should have paid me to haul it away... The motor on this one would spin freely with the clutch dis-engaged. Phil tested the motor and the wiring. It is fine. The motor would go then keep getting slower when the clutch was engaged. I cleaned and cleaned but figured it either had a bent something which I couldn't see or there was still some gummy in there. I finally took off the cord holder and dug down in there after that gear - it is the same machine the kidos helped with - see my QB pic on the left - I was distracted at any rate. Anyway I pulled the cord widget off and dug out oil, fluff, hair or what ever was in there. It started moving better right away - I figured if I did a half job I better go over the whole machine again. I removed the cam stack and cleaned some more. Some how I managed to pop off the spring that goes on the zz and had fits getting it to stay on - finally got out the pliers and bent the thing a good one. Then I wasted a bunch of time trying to find the Tri-flow grease... in plain sight... I found a very screwed up tension in the bobbin area - took me awhile to get it right. The upper tension didn't want to adjust so I swapped it out for another one since this machine is sold and the buyer is coming Wednesday. I must have spent a good couple hours on the tension problems before I figured out the hook had a burr. DUH It seems to be ok now. I need to print out a manual and then do a swatch now that I think it will do a swatch.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  19. #19
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Victorian Sweatshop
    Posts
    15,392
    Blog Entries
    2
    Ok somebody draw a circle around that thing that goes in and out when it zig zags so we all know what to clean...
    I hope the picture loads here ok.
    Name:  007.JPG
Views: 197
Size:  131.7 KB
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  20. #20
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Victorian Sweatshop
    Posts
    15,392
    Blog Entries
    2
    Oh and that is what she looks like with the cam stack removed
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  21. #21
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Victorian Sweatshop
    Posts
    15,392
    Blog Entries
    2
    With the camstack removed you can clean the gears under it a whole lot easier. You can see the stitch selector parts a lot easier, too. The one I was working on had a LOT of grease - on one hand a lot of grease is good - you sure won't find rust. But, the grease can get old and gunky as this one did - I got as much of it as I could and put some Tr-flow grease on it. They do NOT need a lot of grease - I don't know why some OSMGs put so much grease on some of them. A small amount of grease is just fine. Too much and the grease flings all over the place then collects lint, etc. In this case it kept the machine from turning right. I will say, I would rather have one that has been cleaned of grease than one that was bone dry and rusted - once the grease is cleaned off it will move very freely. With rust it is much harder to get it to move freely again. I do know there are folks on here who have that know how.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  22. #22
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Not Here
    Posts
    3,795
    Sometimes the issue with the stitch width selector is at the needlebar side of things. At the top of the needlebar with the "door" open, if you push it to the right, it should move about 1/4" to the right, then move back when you release it. If this is gummed up, like the 401A I worked on, it will cause issues at the other end as well. TriFlow is your best friend as usual.

  23. #23
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Victorian Sweatshop
    Posts
    15,392
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane View Post
    Sometimes the issue with the stitch width selector is at the needlebar side of things. At the top of the needlebar with the "door" open, if you push it to the right, it should move about 1/4" to the right, then move back when you release it. If this is gummed up, like the 401A I worked on, it will cause issues at the other end as well. TriFlow is your best friend as usual.
    yeah what I tried to say - the other end too - if you do one do them both - some kinds of dried up goo take solvent - most often T-F will do the job

    I got that machine sewing but it seems like it is still a little slow - I'm running out of goo to un-goo
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  24. #24
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    8,105
    Miriam, have you tried cleaning the brushes and armature on the motor?

    Maybe a couple drops of 30WT oil on the top of the top bearing?

    Joe

  25. #25
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Victorian Sweatshop
    Posts
    15,392
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Miriam, have you tried cleaning the brushes and armature on the motor?

    Maybe a couple drops of 30WT oil on the top of the top bearing?

    Joe
    DH replaced the brushes - and oiled the top bearing. Motor spins great with no load.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.