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Thread: OK all you vintage enthusiasts, I need help

  1. #1
    Super Member Ariannaquilts's Avatar
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    OK all you vintage enthusiasts, I need help

    I purchased a beautiful 301 and I really love it but don't know if I can keep it because of two things (of course this is where you all come in) I can't get it to sew without getting a bird's nest on the back of the fabric of the bobbin thread and found out that the pedal wires are slit right at the attaching point to the pedal. That kind of worries me obviously I don't want a fire in my home. I only have one more day to contact the lady I bought it from so please tell me you can help. I don't know if the screw on the bobbin case are too tight but it just sits there. BTW if I loosen it then it just unravels like crazy. HELP!!! If I do keep her I will post picture then. TIA
    Maria
    Always be true to yourself!

  2. #2
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Did you get a manual with the machine? If not, I'd suggest you google and download one. There are free ones. If you don't have it threaded correctly, needle inserted the right way and bobbin case going the correct way you'll have all sorts of problems.

  3. #3
    Super Member Mrs. SewNSew's Avatar
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    Re-wiring the foot controller is not a problem. You can do it yourself or you can buy replacement cords.

    I wouldn't let a 301 go over those things. Try the easiest fixes first, replace the needle and the bobbin in case they have a spur that is catching. Check your threading and make sure the needle in in the correct way.

    If that doesn't work, check the bobbin case to be sure it's clean and has no loose thread bits.
    Christy
    Starting the year out fresh

  4. #4
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I can't get it to sew without getting a bird's nest on the back of the fabric of the bobbin thread - You must stop and start with the thread take up lever all the way to the top - needle in top most position or the bobbin thread will wrap around the bobbin and that can cause a nest mess. Otherwise what Candace wisely said.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  5. #5
    Super Member Ariannaquilts's Avatar
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    I do have a manual and have checked needle, threading and bobbin case. Unfortunately I don't happen to have a bobbin that fits this machine it is a metal one that is only a 1/4 inch, I've never seen one this slim before, I have a bunch of Singer bobbins but none like this. Originally I thought the problem was that I filled the bobbin too full but I took some of the thread off and still am having the same problem. I checked the bobbin case and cleaned that nothing. I reread the manual for possible hints--nothing . MrsSewNSew I don't want to let it go at all but I'm not real happy the lady wasn't forthcoming about the foot controller, I probably would have still bought it because I love the machine, it just would have been nice to know beforehand.
    What if I didn't have all of you?? What would I have done then? So anyone want to tell me how to fix the controller myself and also the manual says you can drop the feed dogs but I don't see any where in the manual how to do it, anyone??? Thanks so much for your responses so far, will continue to do what I have to do, this beauty will not defeat me!!
    Maria
    Always be true to yourself!

  6. #6
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    Singer 301 bobbins are unique to 301/221/222's so they won't play nicely with other machines nor will other machine bobbins play nicely in them. You can get more bobbins from sewclassic.com or likely from your LSMS. Have you checked for lint under the throat plate or behind the bobbin race? Those would be my next thoughts for thread snarls.
    -Ashley
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    Mom to Max (Am. Cocker Spaniel) and Charlie (Orange Tabby)

  7. #7
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Can you shoot a picture of the bobbin case and the bobbins?
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  8. #8
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    The Singer 9W-7 predates the 221/222/301s and uses the same bobbin.

    Joe

  9. #9
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    I hope you don't have to let it go. For a 301 I would replace what needs to be replaced and go from there. Hope you get it running properly.

    On Saturday, I was sewing on my FW and sewed two long seams putting the binding on a quilt before I realized it was nesting on the bobbin side of things. After playing the rip-it theme, I slightly adjusted the tension, sewed a few inches and everything was set to go. I sewed the rest of the quilt binding on without a problem. Not sure if this is helpful or not.

    Linda

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    [John Newton (1725-1807)]

    http://sewextremeseams.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    To drop the feed dogs. Open up the little lid/bridge and look at your bobbin. Next to it on the left is a knob. That knob drops your feed dogs when you turn it.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  11. #11
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    wiring

    A divided wire is not critical as long as the insulation is not broken or cracked. It can be taped until you can get a new one. Bad insulation should cause a replacement. It isn't the end of the world. Sew-Classic.com can you right up. They have the correct Bobbins. Don't mess around with that, as they are critical. The bobbin is probably the culprit.
    Donna


    Quote Originally Posted by Ariannaquilts View Post
    I purchased a beautiful 301 and I really love it but don't know if I can keep it because of two things (of course this is where you all come in) I can't get it to sew without getting a bird's nest on the back of the fabric of the bobbin thread and found out that the pedal wires are slit right at the attaching point to the pedal. That kind of worries me obviously I don't want a fire in my home. I only have one more day to contact the lady I bought it from so please tell me you can help. I don't know if the screw on the bobbin case are too tight but it just sits there. BTW if I loosen it then it just unravels like crazy. HELP!!! If I do keep her I will post picture then. TIA

  12. #12
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    The wrong bobbin is for sure the problem!

  13. #13
    Super Member mlmack's Avatar
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    I don't know how you could even use a wrong bobbin in a 301. No other bobbin I have seen would come close to fitting into the bobbin case.
    Mark

  14. #14
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Mark,

    With a big enough hammer you can make almost anything fit anything ...... Just ask Miriam Bwahahahahahahah ..

    Joe

  15. #15
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Seriously, you simply cannot get a class 15 or any normal size bobbin in a FW or 301 bobbin case. Here's a pic of that;

    221/301 Bobbin in case:
    Name:  FW bobbin in case.JPG
Views: 239
Size:  87.3 KB

    Class 15 bobbin in FW case:
    Name:  15 bobbin in case.JPG
Views: 232
Size:  95.4 KB

    Class 66 bobbin in FW case:
    Name:  66 bobbin in case.JPG
Views: 239
Size:  94.4 KB

    As you can see, only the 221 / 301 bobbins will fit in the case.

    In my experiances, bird nesting on the bottom of the fabric is a top tension, or top threading problem.

    Joe

  16. #16
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    When ever I get around to a new machine, I clean, oil check for burrs and take apart the bobbin area, clean, adjust and put back then clean up the bobbin case, including behind the spring - then adjust. Then I take the tension apart, clean and rebuild. Usually that takes care of any adjustments. Occasionally something else is the problem - but you do have to have everything put back correctly. My sister had a Singer 503 tension she took apart a bunch of times because the tension was driving her crazy. She actually had the thing put together correct. Finally I told her to try a tension from a different machine. It did the same crazy thing. So she started looking at everything carefully. There were burrs on the thread guides. I have seen dried up oil inside a tension make so much drag that the tension would not work correctly. If you are uncomfortable doing the servicing yourself take it somewhere and have it done - make sure it is taken apart and put back together - just flossing between the disks may not take care of some issues.
    Last edited by miriam; 06-02-2014 at 05:21 PM.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  17. #17
    Super Member Ariannaquilts's Avatar
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    For those of you that said about the wrong size bobbin I think you misunderstood, I do have the correct bobbin in there what I was trying to say was that I didn't have another to switch to if I found a burr on it. I just got this machine a few days ago and like the majority of you I just had to start sewing and this is when I ran into all these issues. With regard to cleaning and oiling I definitely will do that but under no circumstances will I be taking anything apart. I followed some instructions on here from Billy and somehow I don't know what I did wrong but my Singer Treadle stopped working, it was sewing so awesomely before I did anything to her (there are pictures of 2 of my girls on here one is Miss Rosie) it just breaks my heart when I want to use her but can't, it's not like it's easy to transport a treadle in a sedan. With the 301 I will definitely clean her and oil her but I won't be taking her apart. Miriam thanks for the info about dropping the feed dogs. I almost bought another 301A today it was the two tone but decided to get this black 301 taken care of first. I will try the suggestions that I have not already tried and keep you updated. I will post pics of her once she is good. How many of you have 301's and where on your favorites list does she fit in??
    Maria
    Always be true to yourself!

  18. #18
    Member schuu6p's Avatar
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    I have two 301s (a black one and a beige one) and I love the way they sew. When I got my first 301, it sewed but was bunching up the fabric and stitched really tight. I thought it was the tension but after downloading an adjuster's manual I found that part of the gib (I think that is what it is called) was broken off. I ordered a replacement from Glenn Williams, replaced it, adjusted the tension and then it sewed great. Look at J Miller's photos. The gib is the curved piece with the number and screw on it. The very tip of mine was gone. I don't know if that is your problem but worth checking. Don't give up. You will love the 301.
    MO Quilter

  19. #19
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    I have 6 301s. I would rather piece on a 301 than any of my modern,expensive machines. To be honest, you CANT screw up the timing or break them. Nothing but tension to adjust. You may have a bad bobbin. Do you know someone with a featherweight that could loan you a vintage bobbin to try. The bobbins need to come from sewclassic or a good source,not Joann's. Play with your top tension and see if that helps your birds nests. The manuals are all online,if I can work on them, you can too. Just use your camera to take photos and put screws and pieces in a safe place, like a magnetic bowl.
    PS the bobbins are interchangeable with featherweights but the presser feet are not!

  20. #20
    Super Member janiesews's Avatar
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    Don't give up on your 301. You will love it when you get it figured out. I have bought 3 - kept 2 and traded the 3rd one for having a King sized quilt quilted by my favorite long arm quilter. They are a very good machine and there has to be a "little" fix needed. Good luck.
    This too shall pass.
    Janie

  21. #21
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    I love my 301. I have had 2 of them. One of them I gave to the neighbor girls once they had learned to use it. The other is here and used a lot. I have a Singer slant needle walking foot that actually works great on it, although probably originally made for a later machine. The feed dogs don't exactly match, but that hasn't been a problem. I hope you get yours running to your satisfaction.

  22. #22
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Assuming the nests are not just at the beginning (those are from not holding the tails - the FW and 301 seem to be very sensitive to that), I'd say you need to tighten your top tension (or floss the thread into the disks as you thread it or get some dust kittens out of it). It's also worth setting the bottom tension properly too. These are both user adjustments, so I usually assume that they're wrong when I get a machine second hand and put them back to the "factory" settings.

    If you post a pic of the test sew, preferably with a different color thread for top and bottom, we can likely advise you more.

    Some people like using dental floss or a serger chain to get the fuzz out of the disks but I've found it often doesn't work or compounds the problem when it pushes the gunk further in compacts it and spreads the disks further apart. I disassemble. It's not difficult once you've done it once or twice, but I understand why you wouldn't want to do it.

    I've heard that there are people out there that just want to sew, not tinker with the machines.

    If you change your mind though, there are a number of us in this forum who can help you with the rebuild, and I can post a link to some videos I did to help step by step.

    As for the cord, it's less than a $10 part and 2 screws. Anyone can change it and it's worth changing it. I pretty much assume - there's that word again - when I get a vintage machine that it will need a new cord. It's just a happy surprise if it doesn't need it.

    Depending on whether it's a cabinet model or a portable model, it will be one of 2 cords:
    http://shop.sew-classic.com/Cord-Set...ers-SCE123.htm - Portable
    http://shop.sew-classic.com/Cord-Sin...rol-197628.htm - cabinet

    The portable will work for both though, it's just not as convenient for cord routing if it's in a cabinet.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    I can't get it to sew without getting a bird's nest on the back of the fabric of the bobbin thread - You must stop and start with the thread take up lever all the way to the top - needle in top most position or the bobbin thread will wrap around the bobbin and that can cause a nest mess. Otherwise what Candace wisely said.
    Additionally, use a small scrap of thread and put 4 or 5 stitches in it and leave it attached, sew for a stitch on air, and start your seam. This prevents most bird's nests.

  24. #24
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    You can buy a new foot pedal and connected wiring reasonably (e-bay). It's a lot better than a fire.

    If you decide to sell the machine, let me know (pm me).

    Cricket

  25. #25
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    You should not need to mess with the screw in the bobbin case. Just set it - carefully and a very little turn at a time such as a thread witch - so the thread tail when held will let the bobbin drop about six inches and then leave the screw alone!

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